Where Have All the Good Guys Gone in the Sports World?

Gage Arnold@GageArnoldCorrespondent IJuly 17, 2009

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 17:   Cedrick Wilson #80 of the Pittsburgh Steelers high-fives a fan after a game against the Carolina Panthers  December 17, 2006 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. Pittsburgh defeated Carolina 37-3.  (Photo By Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Today is July 16, the time is 10:55 PM in the Eastern Time Zone. After a long day of working 10 hours, I get home and, after a nice shower and meal, turn on ESPN News.

On the bottom line it is in fact flooded with "whether or not Manny will be booed in his return to Dodger Stadium," "David Beckham and Landon Donovan's continuing feud," and "an analysis of  where Allen Iverson will end up."

Now, to me, those headlines don't scream "Man am I glad to be playing in a team sport." They in fact scream "Man I sure do love me some me."

This has become a recurring theme in our sports world. An athlete is an essence taught to fend for himself and to get what he wants above anything else. Oh, and they can entertain the media with wittiness and humor and good charisma.

But if this is what our sports world has come to then we are completely missing the point!

I don't know about you, but as a child I grew up playing baseball. I loved baseball. I played it everyday and slowly I became better and better at it. While playing this little league baseball, the main goal that was always taught to us was to play as a "team." To play "together" as one whole unit so we can come together unite.

So just as I was taught I followed. I knew that sportsmanship was good, heck we shook hands after the game and told each other good game, if we take time to do something like that during something as serious as a little league baseball game then it must be important! Or so I thought when I was a child.

But why do we strive to teach these young athletes to shake hands and congratulate others on their efforts? Sportsmanship.

So if we are taught at a young age that sportsmanship is the way to go and we should always realize and be sportsmanlike, not flaky, but sportsmanlike.

Now this leads us back to the modern day in the situations we sit in now. What are our athletes turning into? What is causing them to change from sportsmanlike little leaguers to punk NFLers?

In a sense with money, contracts, as well as the media I think are truly to blame. Money is and always will be the root of all evil. And it has shown that it can even creep into the sports world.

What truly happened to the days where Larry Csonka was bowling over people and Ken Stabler was leading the Raiders and the Steel Curtain was dominating offenses?

Distractions have popped up every which way, and we have gone in fact from the glory of Troy Aikman and the Cowboys to Spygate?

That is a gigantic change, and one for the worse at that.

But this brings me to my biggest question. Where truly have all the perennial "Good Guys" in sports gone to?

Growing up I was also a Tennessee Titans fan, a product of growing up in Tennessee, I guess.

But growing up I saw Steve McNair as my hero, my idol.

Everything he did was amazing. He was hurt, and he still played, and not only played but won! And then on top of that would go out and do community service, and he had a beautiful healthy family.

This guy had it all and I was so inspired by him.

Now not to make a sad story out of this, but upon his death, we can make the assumption that he may have been involved in an unhealthy relationship with the girl he was "spending time with."

So for the fact that the last thing Steve McNair, my idol, will be remembered for is having an affair and then being killed, that pretty much drowns my hope. I mean to show that even a "good guy" in the NFL can be doing things like this show how sad society and athletes have come to.

So, in conclusion, I raise this question to you. What do you think has caused to sports world to drown into what it is now?

People come and go, but for a generation as a whole to turn it's back on sportsmanship, it really makes you wonder if we will ever get back to true honest sports.