Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The "Spitting" Incident

Yesterday Joy, our secretary, said, "I haven't read your blog today. Did you write about T. O.?" I guess I am becoming too predictable on Mondays. But no, I hadn't written about T. O. -- YESTERDAY. Today, however, is another day. I would love to have T. O. be a non-story. But he makes sure that, no matter what's going on with the team -- it ends up being all about him.

So, Saturday night, on about the 6th play of the game -- he spit in the face of DeAngelo Hall, a defensive back for the Atlanta Falcons. T. O. said Hall was (those of you who are sensitive might want to go get a kleenex) "bugging me." On the 6th play of the game?

In his book that came out back in the summer, T. O. told about one of the most devastating things from his childhood. He spoke of how it had scarred him. Do you know what it was? It was when someone spit in his face.

As a lifelong Cowboy fan, I have had to put up with some characters who embarrassed and tarnished the "Cowboy star." Duane Thomas. "Hollywood" Henderson. Erik Williams. Michael Irvin. But there is nothing to compare to this guy. I'm sure Beverly would love to "counsel" with him for a few sessions.

So, at what point does an athlete's behavior not matter? Are we to not care so long as he is catching TD passes or hitting 50 homeruns or scoring 30 points a game? Is unacceptable behavior on the field OK so long as no felony is committed? Where do we draw the line?

Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but I think character is nearly as important as athletic ability. And that's why I have been on such an anti-T. O. crusade. He represents everything I do not like to see in an athlete.



Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you! I think anytime you are in a position of setting an example for kids watching you need to watch what you are doing. That applies to just about everyone really. And even more so to us as Christians. But whether they like it or not, athletes are held to a higher standard. Kids respect them and look up to them. Sadly probably more so than anyone else in their life. Athletes know that and most of them try and set a good example. But those guys don't get the attention for the good examples they set. So all the kids hear about are the "stunts" from character like T.O.

I have heard it said that character is what you do when know one else is watching. If T.O. does all this when people are watching, it makes you wonder what he does that no one knows about. I think character should be part of your contract just as much as ability. (and so far even his so called ability is in question!!) He doesn't only make himself look bad, he makes the team, the city and sports figures in general look bad. It's way past time for T.O to go!

Jeff said...

If character mattered in pro sports, there would be fewer teams or a lower level of play, either of which would damage the pocketbooks of several owners and executives in the industry. Character will only matter when we quit paying to watch the performers.

jonroster said...

I was wondering when your T.O. column would come...I thought you were getting soft.

jross said...

In response to Jon's comment ..... Jon, with yesterday's and today's blog I believe he is going soft. He's letting a dog sleep with him and he's reading T.O.'s book!

Rick Ross said...

I assure you: I have not read T. O.'s book. Just going by printed exerpts. I would watch a NASCAR race before I would waste my time reading his book.

Jeff, I wish that what you said was not true. But I am afraid you are right on.

Kyle R. said...

Character and behavior does matter.

T.O. is a loser in life and he's not really that good of a football player anyway. He leads the league in dropped passes. Soon his time will have passed and nobody will even mention his name, except maybe a warden or parole officer.

randy said...

My lovely wife Linda hates all sports and doesn't quite have the sense of urgency about email that most do checks her email once a week - if she doesn't forget. Sometime back I showed her how to read this blog which she does if she has time (and of course if she remembered to check email that week). Last week she said the blog was a bit difficult to understand - a lot of it was about this guy T.O. whom she has no idea who is. Now the difference between Linda and I is that she really doesn't know who T.O. is and I wish I didn't know who he is. But we can look forward to that blissful day, as brother Kyle suggests, when no one really cares who he is. Of course we could always pray that he would reform.