Sunday, April 20

Does one beer (or twelve) make one a savage?

"I want to apologize to my family, fans and the Denver Nuggets organization for my actions early Monday morning. As a leader, I know they expect a lot from me and I regret putting myself in this situation. I also want to apologize to my teammates for the distraction this has caused." -Carmelo Anthony, April 15, 2008

Such was said after Anthony was taken into custody early Monday morning on suspicion of driving under the influence (presumably of alcohol, but you never know what the kids these days will do). He's not the first professional Athlete to be pulled over for drunk driving, and certainly won't be the last. But I wonder, why
should I, as a person, an American, and/or a sports guy, care that a professional athlete drove home drunk? Or, rather, why should it be public knowledge that Anthony, in the present case, has driven drunk?

This is in no way meant to condone drunk driving. It is a dangerous enterprise, that, in a perfect world, should be eliminated. But it's here, and most everyone does it. You've no doubt heard the statistics, but in case you've been living under a rock for the past 5,000 years:

in 2006, 41% of all traffic fatalities involved alcohol,
in 2002, over 159 million trips were taken by someone under the influence,
3 in 10 Americans will be involved in an alcohol-related accident during their lives, and
alcohol related crashes cost $114.3 billion (with a B) in 2000, 63% of which was paid by the other guy.

I bring these up, not to depress or scare, but to emphasize that driving while intoxicated not good, it is prevalent in the United States. And by prevalent, I mean that many, many people do it, not just professional athletes (or other famous people). So, if "everybody" does it, why does it matter that famous people drive drunk? Is Carmelo Anthony somehow less of a basketball player? Of course not. He goes out and does his job, quite well, in fact. The same goes for Irish McDrinkerson. He's no less of a bricklayer because he got pulled over. In fact, odds are that most of his friends and acquaintances don't even know that he did get the DUI.

And don't even get me started on the fact that Anthony's offense was "suspicion of DUI," not an actual DUI.

People who hem and haw over Anthony's arrest -- we'll call them S. Reporter, no that's too obvious, how about Sports R. -- will bring up "the children." What about them? How will making public that Anthony drives drunk help the kids? All they will see is that he drinks too much, and drives a very nice car. But if it's never made public, "the children" would not know, and they can continue to consider Anthony a stand-up kind of guy.

No, the reason why people find Anthony's arrest newsworthy is that they are jealous. They are jealous that he gets paid as much as he does, for playing a children's game. They are jealous he wears the newest clothes, gets the hottest poon, drives a nice car. The owners are complicit in this vilification of professional athletes. Why else would they publicly disclose the amount that they pay their players, while being very cagey about their own finances. It's to make the worker out to be the bad guy, to appear justified when they lowball the player during salary negotiations. Such Orwellian propaganda is clownshoes.

1 comments [add yours!]:

Ezra said...

The short guy next to 'Melo is the aptly named DJ Juice. I think he's a close relative of spanky. Anyone else see the resemblance?