July 9, 2008

Seven Deadly Sins of Sports Celebrity

With news of A-Rod's affair with Madonna breaking last week, you may have found yourself wondering why he got off so easy with the media. Sure, people were interested in the story, but they weren't all that critical of A-Rod's actions. Why do some scandals involving sports celebrities bring out the protesters and some don't?

The reason A-Rod got a free pass is that he didn't commit one of the Seven Deadly Sins of Sports Celebrity. Scandals involving one of these sins turn into media circuses while other scandals blow over quickly. Next time an athlete does something stupid, consult this list to determine the fallout.

Any scandal involving even accusations of racism immediately takes on another level of significance. Sportswriters just love any chance to trot out pages of righteous indignation that race is still an issue in America today.

Examples: Jimmy the Greek, Duke Lacrosse, Kelly Tilghman

Anything Involving Figure Skating
For some reason, figure skating scandals are always bigger than they should be. Maybe it's because there's not much else going on in the Winter Olympics or maybe the sports media thinks they can attract some female readership. Whatever the reason, figure skating scandals reach epic proportions very quickly.

Examples: Harding-Kerrigan, Canadian Silver Medalists (the French judge)

Old White Men Having Kinky Sex
The idea that old white men (especially the straight-laced ones) might have interesting sex lives is always a big story. It's hilarious to think that the guy who reads you the scores during the day is dressing up in drag that night.

Examples: Marv Albert, Pat O'Brien, Max Mosely

Gambling scandals bring with them a degree of seediness. When people think of gambling scandals, there's always intimations that maybe the mob is involved. Gambling also calls into question the integrity of sports, so people take it very seriously.

Examples: Tim Donaghy, Charles Barkley, Pete Rose, Nikolay Davydenko

Cruelty to Animals
This one caught a lot of people off guard when the Mike Vick dog fighting story broke. People assumed that a scandal involving dogs wouldn't be that big of a deal. Those people were wrong. Americans love their dogs more than their families, and anyone treating animals badly will quickly become a pariah.

Examples: Mike Vick, Vince Young

Anything Involving Feces
Poop makes a scandal way more interesting. Or maybe disgusting. Or just smelly. Whatever it is, if an athlete is involved with a poop scandal, it will haunt him for the rest of his career.

Examples: Najeh Davenport, Osi Umenyiora

Killing Your White or Pregnant Wife

The granddaddy of them all. If you kill your white or pregnant wife, even if you are acquitted, you're in trouble.
Examples: OJ Simpson, Rae Carruth

There you have it, a cheat sheet for evaluating the severity of sports scandals. The lesson to be learned here is that if Jim Nantz and Kimmie Meissner ever film a scat/snuff film featuring a dog and a KKK hood in Vegas, the Internet will explode.

3 Responses:

jon said...

Brien, your first picture (of who I assume is of A-Rod) isn't showing up

J-Red said...

I'm seeing it. It's a side-by-side of Madonna and A-Rod.

Brien said...

Thanks Jon, I think it's fixed now.

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