bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Joseph Randle shoplifts, gets caught, and benefits from it

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Perhaps it’s just me, but I preferred the version of the world where people who did something bad did not immediately profit from it. In that world, Kim Kardashian would still be famous, but only in a negative way, and she would not have made untold sums of money and become a household name by appearing in a sex tape while displaying no other notable skill other than self-promotion. Paris Hilton would have been seen as a family embarrassment rather than a worldwide celebrity. We have had a good number of athletes become famous for bad things too, and the pace at which the bad turns to profit seems to have accelerated quite rapidly. The current case in point is Joseph Randle, running back for the Dallas Cowboys and shoplifter.

Last Monday, Randle was arrested in the Dallas area after he stole underwear and perfume from a Dillard’s store. He was seen stuffing the items in a bag by security officers watching on camera, and he was then apprehended outside the store. This guy makes almost $500,000 a year, and yet here he was stealing stuff that cost around $100. I have to assume that there is something wrong with this guy, as this behavior is truly bizarre. I know very little about Randle’s upbringing, so I am not making any kind of major social statement here. I know he grew up in Wichita, Kansas, and went to Oklahoma State. He is only 22 years old, having been selected by the Cowboys in the 2013 NFL Draft. Still, I would think half a million bucks would be enough to cover some underwear.

The story got much worse for me less than a week later. On Sunday, a company called MeUndies announced that it was “partnering” with Randle to help sell its products/services. The running back, who had been fined one game check by his team, would be making more than that by helping to sell underwear. On the positive side, the company and Randle will be donating clothing and undergarments to children in need and the kid will also be making appearances at local schools to discuss “learning from their mistakes.” Wait, is stealing now a mistake? OK, I guess you could argue that…but when I read “mistake,” it seems to me that there is some suggestion that he didn’t really intend to do what he did. Not only did he intend it, I also don’t believe that he has already learned some big lesson from it that he will be imparting to the kids at those schools. “Listen kids, if you are going to steal, make sure that you have a company ready to make sure that you get in no trouble and that you get paid back for any penalties you incurred.” That message should be very helpful to kids who want nothing more than to look up to a professional football player.

I have an idea: how about we let this kid be punished? I am not advocating that he get some big jail sentence, of course. The punishment should fit the crime, and there are a lot of his fellow football players who have done much worse things than lifting a few pairs of drawers. He shouldn’t come out of this not only unscathed but wealthier than he was before, though. That just turns my stomach. I hope the company does not profit from this idiocy. They are certainly getting plenty of publicity (including by me right here), but I am hoping that there are some more people like me out there who would deliberately refuse to buy something from a company who went about its promotional activities this way.

Bad sports, continued:

2) Kansas City Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie made a bunch of people angry with his choice of post-game wardrobe on Wednesday when he wore a t-shirt that read, “These O’s ain’t Royal!” Apparently this is a reference to a song by singer and noted domestic abuser Chris Brown. Beyond that detail, he used to pitch for the Orioles, so the Baltimore fans were less than amused. Personally, I am more bothered by the incorrect use of the apostrophe in the team abbreviation.

3) Shamil Tarpischev, the chairman of the Russian Tennis Federation, was fined this week for derogatory remarks he made about Serena and Venus Williams. He referred to them as the “Williams Brothers,” also saying they were scary to look at. Well done, Shamil. You managed to be offensive in a whole bunch of different ways all in one statement. The WTA is seeking to have him removed from his position.

4) Carolina Panthers star linebacker Luke Kuechly was ejected from his team’s game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday after he shook off an official who pulled him out of a scrum. This was thoroughly unjust, as he had just been pulled on by opposing players and had no way to know it was an official who grabbed him that time. His movement was more of a “get off me” kind of move rather than an aggressive one. The NFL can’t reverse the ejection, but they need to make this right by not fining or suspending Kuechly and acknowledging the mistake.

5) There are bad goal celebrations and then there are bad goal celebrations. An Indian soccer player in the Mizoram Premier League died on Sunday after he critically injured himself celebrating a goal last week. Peter Biaksangzuala did a few somersaults after he scored, and the last one did not end well. The damage to his spine was apparently too severe and he died.

Good sports:

1) Check out this catch by Mike Moustakas of the Kansas City Royals. This was last Tuesday during game three of his team’s series against the Baltimore Orioles. Fantastic.

2) Dom DeBonis, an amateur golfer who happens to be 81 years old, somehow managed holes-in-one on three consecutive days during a recent golf trip in North Carolina. That’s pretty ridiculous.

3) The high levels of college football get all of the attention, but winning consistently is difficult at any level. Lance Leipold, the head coach at Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater, reached the milestone of 100 wins faster than any other coach in history at any collegiate level, doing it in just 106 games. Amazing.

4) The St. Louis Rams pulled off a huge upset of the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, and one of the ways they did it was with trickery. They had one of the craziest looking punt returns for a touchdown that I have ever seen where they faked out the entire Seattle special teams unit into running to the wrong side of the field, leaving an open path to the end zone for Stedman Bailey of the Rams. Later, they salted away the game by faking a punt and throwing for a first down with just a couple of minutes left in the game.

5) On Sunday night, Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos became the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdown passes when he threw the 509th of his career against the San Francisco 49ers, breaking Brett Favre’s record.

6) Travis Ishikawa sent the San Francisco Giants into the World Series with a walk-off homerun last Thursday to beat the St. Louis Cardinals in game five of the National League Championship Series. That’s doing it in style.

Bad sports, good sports appears early each week

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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