A Gonzo Sports Column Mourning the Death of a Champion…Celebrating the Demise of a Cheater…Evaluating Roger Goodell’s Unprofessional Pro Bowl…and Taking Bets on the Super Bowl.
Stan Musial died on Sunday, Jan. 20, at the age of 92. Stan “The Man” played every season of his 22-year career with the St. Louis Cardinals and led the team to three World Series titles. He was a .331 career hitter and won seven batting titles. Only Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner and Tony Gwynn won more. He played in 24 All-Star Games and was MVP three times, but he was “The Man” because of how he treated people and the game. He gave so much back to the St. Louis community and played the game honestly and respectfully. Close friend Willie Mays said he was “a true gentleman on and off the field. I never heard anybody say a bad word about him, ever.” He will be sorely missed. He was a Hall of Fame ballplayer with a Hall of Fame heart, and the Baseball Writers of America are sending a strong and necessary message by inducting no players from the performance enhancing drug (PED) era this year. If those cheats had respected the game like Musial did they’d be recognized for it, and when they pass on, they won’t be cherished like Stan “The Man” is today.
Speaking of cheats, in an interview with Oprah, which he was probably paid handsomely for, Lance Armstrong admitted to using PEDs during his seven-year run as Tour de France champion. Lance has already been stripped of his Tour de France titles. Now he’s been stripped of his dignity. He is a liar and a cheat and a disgrace to everything American. He’ll probably end up a snitch for the doping agency. I’d have no problem if he moved to France never to return.
The Pro Bowl is this Sunday and no one cares. The NFL’s “All-Star Game” is indicative of the league’s recent demise under Roger Goodell. The “No Fun League” will be no fun this weekend, as the All-Pro players from the Super Bowl-bound Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers will not be present. The best thing that could happen: Adrian Peterson runs like he always does and punishes anyone who tries to touch him, but it won’t change the fact that making fans sit through a garbage game and wait two weeks for the Super Bowl is irresponsible and uncool. Get it together, Goodell.
Speaking of the Super Bowl, here’s my prediction: Ravens over 49ers, 27-24. For the gamblers out there, Baltimore is favored by 3.5 points, so if you’re picking the Niners take at least three points if you can get them.