The Roger Clemens Rule: Put a Stop To It!

josh millarSenior Analyst IJuly 22, 2008

When did Athletes become bigger then their teams and their respective leagues?

It seems to be a growing trend in sports that started in the NFL with guys not reporting to training camp.

In recent years it’s become in my view the “Roger Clemens rule”. Clemens decided in 2004 after apparently retiring the previous season, to join the Houston Astros midseason. He proceeded to do this the next three seasons of his career. No problem? I don’t think so. It IS a problem.

Last season this happened to the Anaheim Ducks TWICE when Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne both returned after Christmas.

 This season Mats Sundin is unsure of his playing future leaving his team the Maple Leafs in limbo.

There’s one other guy in Green Bay what’s his name? Brett Favre, now he wants to come back on the eve of training camp.

What does this do in each case? It causes a distraction before, and after a players return.

In the case of the Ducks they were bombarded with questions of their stars returns. They struggled last year and that was a huge part of it. The Ducks were a fragmented team last year.

When they did return it was a bit of a blow to the guys who had gone to camp played all season. Perhaps a subtle message that the players they had weren’t good enough. The Ducks were a cup contender; they lost in round one of the playoffs.

It remains to be seen what will happen to the Packers and Rogers but it’s a pressure situation and not in a good way. If he gets hurt they’ll want Favre, if they lose the fans will want Favre.

The Leafs well they have bigger problems but would somebody PLEASE MAKE PLAYERS DECIDE and put an end to the circus! The rest of us have to work full schedules, athletes should too!