bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Antonio Morrison arrested for barking at a police dog

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I have been writing this column every week for nearly four and a half years, and I have become quite accustomed to scouring the sports world for stories, with much of my focus being on the bad ones. This focus on the negative may have made me jaded, I suppose, as some stories that should leave me outraged merely make me laugh. When I start to give my take on them, I will sometimes find that maybe some of these actions are more revolting than they are funny, and my text will often reflect that disgust. Still, I think most of these things don’t seem very real to me, because most of the people involved are unlike anyone that I actually encounter in my own life. An example of this would be Antonio Morrison, a soon-to-be-Sophomore linebacker for the University of Florida football team, who was arrested on Sunday for barking at a police dog.

Yes, I really said that.

It seems that Morrison and his friends were out on the town in Gainesville at about 3:45 Sunday morning when they walked past a police car that was there responding to some kind of incident at a hotel. One of the responding officers had a police dog with him, and the dog was still in the squad car. As any reasonable person would have done, Morrison decided to walk up to the open window and bark at the dog. Wait, what? You are saying you would not have thought to do that? Perhaps there is something wrong with you. The canine officer barked back, naturally, which distracted the human officers from their investigation. The player was told to sit down in the car and wait, which led to an altercation that ended with three officers having to assist in getting him handcuffed.

I’m sure Morrison felt he had done nothing wrong. After all, I imagine he feels that he can do whatever he damn well pleases, and at that moment, he felt like barking at the dog. My favorite part of this is the explanation he gave when questioned about his actions. He actually said this…out loud…to police officers. He said that he barked at the dog because the dog barked at him first. Oh, well that explains it, right? How could he have done anything else under those circumstances? I am clearly not the genius that Morrison is, but I am pretty sure I would not have barked at a police dog, even if he had barked at me first. Intentionally pissing off the police is something I feel like I am best off not doing, but maybe that’s just me.

As you may have assumed, this was not Morrison’s first brush with the law. He was arrested last month for punching a bouncer at a nightclub who refused to give him discounted admission to the club. It appears that this guy has a bit of an overdeveloped sense of entitlement. The assault was apparently not enough for head coach Will Muschamp to suspend Morrison, somehow, but this new transgression has led to a suspension for the first two games of the upcoming season. Sounds a bit light to me.

Bad sports, continued:

2) Mike and Maurkice Pouncey, two former Florida Gators who were teammates of alleged murderer Aaron Hernandez and are now both centers in the NFL (Mike for Miami and Maurkice for Pittsburgh), were photographed wearing hats that read “Free Hernandez” at a party last week. Classy. Maurkice quickly apologized for his poor judgment, but Mike has done no such thing. Instead, he has refused to talk about it at all.

3) I rarely begrudge a professional athlete his money, as careers are short and if the market will bear these massive contracts, the athlete would be nuts to refuse a huge payday. I do greatly dislike when the same athletes then complain about the crazy money they just received. We got two solid examples of this phenomenon this week, one from the NFL and one from Major League Baseball. New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz recently signed a six-year deal worth almost $46 million. This week, he discussed how hard it was to sign for less than he thought he was worth. Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips took things a bit more toward the ridiculous, complaining that his newly minted six-year, $72.5 million deal was “a slap in the face.”

4) Meskerem Legesse, a former professional runner originally from Ethiopia, collapsed and died at a restaurant near her Connecticut home on Monday. She was pregnant at the time, and the doctors were successful in saving the baby.

5) Nike does a pretty good job making sports clothing, but they admitted to a pretty big error this week. They pulled this shirt from stores after it was brought to their attention that the Carolina Panthers play in North Carolina, not South Carolina. Oops.

6) One-time Olympic sprinter Lolo Jones, who has been working with the U.S. Bobsled team for the past year or so, got into some kind of fight at a club last week. It looks like she will escape any sanctions.

7) This is an odd one. Pitcher Erik Bedard of the Houston Astros had one out in the seventh inning of a game against the Seattle Mariners on Saturday. Although he had walked five and the game was not even a shutout, he had not yet let up a hit in the game. Naturally, he asked to be removed from the game, as he had thrown as many pitches as he was comfortable throwing. Quite the competitor, there.

8) I have never sat directly behind the plate at a baseball game. I am not sure if that is because I have never had the opportunity or because I wouldn’t like foul balls flying back toward me all game long, even if those fouls would be stopped short of my noggin by the big net that every stadium hangs at that spot. After seeing what happened on Saturday at Nationals Park in D.C., I am not sure I’ll be sitting back there anytime soon.

Good sports:

1) A late charge on Sunday led Phil Mickelson to a win at the Open Championship at Muirfield after entering the final round five strokes back of then-leader Lee Westwood.

2) This year’s Tour de France, the 100th edition of the famed race, ended Sunday with Britain’s Chris Froome taking the title. There is no truth to the rumor that they didn’t even bother awarding the trophy, deciding instead to hang on to it rather than having to take it back after the eventual revelation of failed drug tests.

Bad sports, good sports appears every Monday

Alan Spoll is a software quality assurance director from the suburbs of Philadelphia where he lives with his wonderful wife and children. He has spent his entire life as a passionate fan of the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Flyers, and Penn State. Recent Phillies success aside, you will understand his natural negativity. Follow me on Twitter - @DocAlan02
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2 Responses to “Bad sports, good sports: Antonio Morrison arrested for barking at a police dog”

  1. LOL … as soon as I saw the Morrison story in the news, I was thinking … “Wow, that’s something for Alan’s column.”

    Good post, as always, Alan. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks Jeff! This was certainly an odd one…

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