Don't Put Stock in Bonds

    Back in the day, when I was a fresh-faced, innocent, doe-eyed high school lad (okay, actually a few years ago) my baseball coach once told everyone on my team to write an inspirational quote on the bill of our baseball hats. The quote I chose was “”Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records,”” by William A. Ward.

    Last week in baseball, a record was broken by Barry Bonds, who hit his fifth home run in as many games to hit the 500 home run milestone for his career. To top it all off, Bonds’ 500th was an absolute bomb into the murky waters of the San Francisco Bay. With a distance ranging anywhere from 415 feet to 450 feet, it could be the longest 500th home run ever. Such is the stuff legends are made of.

    And Bonds, colossal prick that he is (this is coming from a die-hard Giants fan), deserves our respect and admiration for his amazing physical accomplishment. Though his ego may be the size of that giant glove in Pac Bell Stadium, he is a helluva baseball player and athlete (the two aren’t always synonymous).

    But Bonds does not deserve to be a sports idol, for he is sorely lacking in those small, intangible aspects of being an athlete that add up to the difference between a great athlete and a sports legend. He has a poor attitude, he’s a prick, he doesn’t run out ground balls, he’s surly to both the press and his teammates, he’s a prick and he’s watched what he thought was a home run bounce of the wall for a 300-foot single enough times for me to scream, “”Run, you bastard!”” at every weak fly ball he hits.

    My point here is that while today’s athletes can perform amazing athletic feats in their respective sports, many of them should not be idolized, due to the rampant number of oversized egos and undersized personalities among superstars today.

    These supersized egos are due in some part to society, which has begun to market individuals over teams, which in turn has caused fans to support players instead of teams.

    Fan support has swelled athletes’ egos to the size of Good Year blimps and given them the notion that they can do just about anything, including break the law. And the media looks right past the jail record.

    If you ever want to view the man whom I consider to be a sports idol, take a look at Cal Ripken Jr. He plays his hardest every game and set the record for consecutive games played a couple of years ago. His numbers alone ought to make him a first-ballot hall-of-famer. But more than that, he’s a humble man who didn’t have that much to say even when the national spotlight was on him. In the end, there are athletes a lot worse than Bonds, who isn’t snorting cocaine or driving drunk (or at least not getting caught). He would just rather be lazy and not utilize his whole potential. Prick.

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