I have been the fan of Cincinnati Reds baseball and Indiana Pacers basketball ever since I can remember. Outside of the traditions and successes these teams enjoyed in their histories, it would be a given to be a fan of these teams since they were the closest MLB and NBA teams to a kid growing up in southern Indiana.
Throughout the years I have stayed true to my teams, even though my patience with "the big leagues" has waned intensely. We have moved from the days of players being there for the team, for the fans, to an era of players who have no idea of loyalty outside of themselves and the almighty dollar. Today's pro is for the most part spoiled, ungrateful, and immoral. I am disenchanted by season after season of teams unable to afford the players they need to be competitive, or when players get involved in situations or instances where their extravagant earnings have blinded their better judgements and morals.
I was quite happy that the town I live in, Rapid City, SD, has a team that shows the real meaning of having a team: a team that supports the city they play in, players who enjoy playing for their city and their fans, fans who love their team, and loyalty from everyone involved. There had been other teams come through Rapid City but don't have the staying power of the Central Hockey League's Rush. Hockey is a perfect match for this area, and boy, western South Dakota has been eating it up.
They recently came off a ten-game win streak, but the Rush have been rolling since they began play in 2008. Names such as Miguel Beaudry, Brendon Hodge, or Rich Hansen may not yet be household names but they should be. They can at least teach today's fragile, basket-case big-leaguers a lesson on work ethic and morality.
None of the Rush have ever had a problem with drugs or fighting with the fans. You will never hear about one of them not getting paid enough. To these guys, they are just like the people who pay to go see them. They clock in, work hard, bust their butts and do the best they can, put it all on the ice, clock out, and live just like the rest of us. They have embraced the notion that no player is above the team, not even above the fan. That is the way it should be, yet this point is the first thing that seems to be absent when looking at the big leagues.
New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Lakers, maybe you each should take a page out of the minor leagues. You guys have gotten too big for your heads, and lost your way.