Happy endings rare in sports
Do you think anyone cares what Kobe Bryant does to get his knees ready for an 82-game NBA season? You think David Stern and the league’s television partners care? The same could be said of Peyton Manning’s neck and Ray Lewis’ triceps.
I hope Kobe plays forever (as long as he’s never perceived as a better player than Magic Johnson). Kobe is entertaining, compelling and fun to analyze. So are Manning, Lewis and A-Rod. My position on PEDs has been pretty consistent for quite some time. Athletes are entertainers, the same as musicians. I don’t much care what drugs Led Zeppelin, Guns N Roses or Marvin Gaye used to make good music. I don’t care what athletes do to take the field.
Although it's a minority position to take in American sports, I agree with Whitlock on this one. I don't care what athletes put in their bodies as long as they know the associated risks; further, he's right to call football entertainment. It may be more enduring than hot-oil wrestling (although I know where I'd rather be during a 4th-quarter blowout), and Roger Goodell would have you believe it's as American as the Boy Scouts, apple pie, and a Tim Tebow speaking engagement (that will be $30,000, thanks), but at the end of the day, it's just another way to occupy your leisure time--you know, like composing showtunes, masturbation, or watching reality TV. As long as you are consuming something, you contribute to a Keynesian multiplier.
Now, fire up that plasma TV and drink something that has caffeine or alcohol (preferably both)--two substances the NFL hasn't banned.