The Sports Kings: J-Dub’s Journal “Strictly Business”
The 1992 studio album released by EPMD entitled “Business Never Personal” was a staple of what this particular group was all about. Besides, when you call yourself Eric and Parrish Making Dollars it is obvious to me that you are about your money and do not take menial things personally in the process. This mentality applies to the sports world as well. Sports teams are usually in the business of doing what is best for their individual franchises and not letting personal feelings get in the way of that focus. During the past two weeks, I saw a couple of examples that were mirror images of each other in different leagues.
The University of South Carolina Gamecocks Football Team recently dismissed embattled Quarterback Stephen Garcia after allegedly testing positive for both marijuana and alcohol. Suspensions and trouble were nothing new for Garcia who throughout his Gamecock career was suspended often, primarily for alcohol related offenses. If you kept up with the program at all you always thought that eventually Garcia would gone sooner than this but for some reason he was always reinstated. Also being most of his suspensions seemed alcohol related the natural conclusion was that Garcia had a drinking problem and that the University of South Carolina or the Head Football Coach, Steve Spurrier would get the young man some help. We do not actually know what forms of help they gave, but what we do know is reinstatement came often, begging to ask the question, as long as Garcia gave them the best chance to win, could this have derailed the help Garcia seemed to most desperately need?
Owner Mike Brown of the Cincinnati Bengals was the poster child of morality during this past summer when it came to his starting quarterback Carson Palmer. Palmer wanted to be traded out of Cincinnati or he threatened retirement. Brown held firm and stated that Palmer signed a contract and he would not reward him not honoring the contract by giving in to his demands. I say that was fair enough, although a team can cut you anytime in the NFL. Nonetheless, everyone understood why Brown held firm to that position. Well this past week, Brown traded Palmer to the Oakland Raiders for a 1st round draft pick in 2012 and a conditional 2nd round pick in 2013 that can turn into a 1st if the Raiders win a playoff game. So much for principle!!
So maybe morality really should not be a consideration in sports. I understand that the primary goal is to win and have success on the field, but at what cost? Coach Spurrier is expected to win and contend for SEC Titles while at South Carolina but he is also expected to be a leader of men, as all coaches should strive to be. Mike Brown ultimately is a business owner who is expected to turnover profits and put a good product on the field. When you take a position especially about someone that has become disloyal to you and you break your word, what good are you? Ultimately, Warren Sapp said it best, they get paid handsomely to play a kid’s game, but the business side of it all causes one to lose a part of themselves for the almighty WIN.
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