Mark Raines

Mark Raines

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In so much sports writing these days people want to lament what is wrong with sports. Increasingly journalist and fans have seen themselves as the guardians of the times when sports were “pure”. They lament how money and greed dominate the game instead of effort and humility. Apparently 50 years ago athletes did not care about making a living. They lament all of the off the field incidents in sports because apparently 50 years ago players were angels. They lament the steroid era in baseball because no player 50 years ago tried to get a competitive advantage by stealing signs, scuffing balls, or paying a stripper to keep the opposing team’s best player up the night before the big game. Yes clearly the game has become jaded with the modern world and it is the fan and sports writer’s job to call everyone out on it.

Quite frankly you will not see me taking that position. Oh, sure there are going to be plenty of things that anger me in sports. In fact briefly I’ll make a list:
1. The sacrifice bunt
2. People who live in Cincinnati, did not go to Ohio State, but root for the Ohio State Buckeyes
3. Anyone who continually undervalues how productive Adam Dunn is for the Cincinnati reds
4. The NCAA’s handling of the Ben Mauk situation
5. People who don’t believe Barry Bonds is the best hitter of the last half century
6. The fascination with “this team wanted it more,” “he loves playing the game,” “they are always hustling,” in baseball. Baseball is not that complicated, the better team wins more often than not. The more often a team gets on base the more runs they score…hustling be damned.
7. Yanking your starting pitcher too early, particularly your better starting pitcher (see Cubs divisional series game 1 last year… yea Lou Pinella I am talking to you)
8. Nancy Zimpher
9. That no one is ever willing to argue against Michael Jordan for the title of greatest basketball player of all time
10. Sideline reports, and awful sports announcing.

There is a brief list of stuff and yea I am sure I’ll discuss most of that in future writings, but here is what I will not do: I will NEVER start talking about how the game used to be played, how sports are jaded, how athletes are selfish, how athletes are thugs, or anything else that tramples sports place in society. Who are all these smug people to judge the athletes, coaches, and owners involved in sports? Sports writing should be about talking about the game, not looking for opportunities to ridicule those involved in it. So my mission as a writer is to not be a naysayer, but to celebrate all that is great in sports and why I enjoy it so much. If only Paul Daugherty saw the world this way.

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  • Mitch Wilson posted 2149 days ago

    Mitch  Wilson

    "I will NEVER start talking about how the game used to be played, how sports are jaded, how athletes are selfish, how athletes are thugs, or anything else that tramples sports place in society. Who are all these smug people to judge the athletes, coaches, and owners involved in sports?"

    Mark: That would be people who don't think they are above the law and use the fact that they are a prominant sports figure to justify it or to get there way out of it. When A Bob Huggins or Chris Henry say things when they're caught breaking the law like "do you know who I am?" it's perfectly OK for the rest of us to say "who do you think you are?".