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Sports Morality Ends at the Laundry Basket

LONDON - OCTOBER 28:  Miami fans cheer on their team during the NFL Bridgestone International Series match between New York Giants and  Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium on October 28, 2007 in London, England. This is the first ever regular season NFL match to be played outside of the United States.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
michael gomesContributor IJune 7, 2009

Sports fans are hypocritical when it comes to morality, and I'm no different.

As a Miami Dolphins fan and historian, I will always be grateful to Plaxico Burress for his game-winning touchdown catch at the Super Bowl. He enabled the 1972 Dolphins to remain the only undefeated team in NFL history, while also delivering a crushing blow to the Fins hated rivals, the New England Patriots.

However, when I learned of Plaxico's gun possession charge, I could not help but think how arrogant a person must be to show up during the wee hours of the night with a gun and expect to get away with it. This and many similar situations made me think about who exactly are we cheering for and for what reasons. The only logical explanantion is laundry. We cheer for team names and not individuals, because they are likely to be gone in an instant, a memebr of a different team, even a bitter rival.

I was reading a sports rumor website recently, and read that Plaxico would like to join the Miami Dolphins. My gut reaction was excitement, and thoughts of a magical playoff run, even a home Super Bowl, began to form. Plaxico could be the big play guy the Dolphins have been looking for. No more thoughts of selfishness, or off-the-field character concerns.

As a Boston Red Sox fan, I loved Manny Ramirez, and was an apologist for all his actions while in Boston. As soon as he joined the Dodgers, I thought about how he would destroy their team. When he was suspended, I was satisfied. If he was suspended in Boston, I would likely have thought it to be some type of mistake in testing, and apologized for Manny.

The sports pages used to be an outlet from all the bad news and sad stories taking place in society. Now, you're as likely to read about law and court cases, as you are to read about pitching matchups or box scores.

It's great to read the facts and come to conclusions about these athletes. Just know that the opinion is skewed by what the front of their jersey says.

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