Professional athletes are inherently risk-takers. They have to be, right? They put themselves out on a field and put their bodies at risks, especially football players. It makes perfect sense that some of them would have off-the-field interests that would explore that side of their personalities as well, although I have to bet their teams would wish that were not the case. Every July, we hear about some NFL player who goes to Spain to run with the bulls in Pamplona. This year, Russell Okung of the Seattle Seahawks was the guy, but he was not alone among his football brethren. New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan was there as well. In my opinion, they are a couple of idiots.
OK, to be fair, Rex Ryan was pretty much an idiot in my eyes well before he put his large behind in front of a bull’s horns. He is exactly the kind of loud, brash, over-confident fool that I would expect to see being gored for no reason at all. I was a big fan of his father Buddy when he was coach of the Eagles way back when, and Buddy had that same sort of personality, but Rex seems to be more about the bluster than the actual coaching, unlike Buddy, although there are people out there who would say that he was just as full of it has his sons. I don’t remember Buddy putting his health at risk two weeks before training camp was supposed to open.
Russell Okung’s presence in Pamplona is a different story entirely. This guy is a Pro Bowl left tackle for a team that is one of the favorites to win the NFC this season. For him to be running with the bulls is absurd and inexcusable. Forget being gored, there are a whole load of other bad things that could have happened to him while running through the very crowded, cobble-stone streets of this 2000-year-old city. From something as mild as a hamstring injury to something as major as a trampling, the risk this guy took with not only his own health but also with his team’s season is outrageous. It seems likely that his actions could be considered a violation of his contract, but it does not appear that the Seahawks are going to make an issue of it. Had he been injured, that decision might have been different.
I will admit that I am not the kind of guy who is going to jump out of an airplane or climb a rock-cliff. I like my life too much to take that kind of chance with it. Running a whole lot of miles in a fairly short amount of time is as daring as I get. I don’t understand why someone would risk life and limb, in addition to a very large paycheck, to do these things. I know we take chances every time we walk out the front door, but to put yourself in front of a bunch of charging bulls for fun just seems moronic to me.
Bad sports, continued:
2) It was revealed this week that two different Denver Broncos executives were arrested for drunk driving within the past month. Matt Russell and Tom Heckert, the Director of Player Personnel and the Director of Pro Personnel, respectively, were each charged with DUI and face possible punishment from the team in addition to their legal woes.
3) New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter’s long-awaited return to the team after a variety of injuries did not last very long. He left in the eighth inning of his first game back due to hamstring tightness and will be out until after the All-Star break.
4) Sprinter Tyson Gay failed a test for a banned substance, he revealed on Sunday. He will not be competing in the world championships next month.
5) For some reason, it seems that Indycar awards a trophy to the second-place finisher of a race. Perhaps the trophy-maker felt that this was as dumb an idea as I think it was, as it seems they did not construct the thing very well. Check out the video of what happened when Sebastien Bourdais hoisted his prize.
6) A motorcyclist from Florida was killed on Sunday while trying to set a new speed record in Maine. Bill Warner crashed while traveling 285 mph and died on the way to the hospital.
7) I am generally of the opinion that adults should not be wearing baseball gloves when attending baseball games. This guy shows why I might be wrong.
1) Driver Morgan Shepherd became the oldest person to ever start a race in NASCAR’s top series on Sunday when he ran in the race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway at the age of 71.
Bad sports, good sports appears every Monday
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