FanDuel - WFBC

November 29, 2006

That's $5,000 a finger:: Michael Vick fined $10,000 for flipping off the fans.

posted by lil_brown_bat to football at 12:21 PM - 62 comments

Was it Michael Vick? Or was it.... DA DA DAAAAA - Ron Mexico? In all seriousness, that demonstrates a total lack of class and restraint. It's sad that fans express themselves in such inappropriate ways, but it's up to Vick to be the bigger man.

posted by rocketman at 12:46 PM on November 29

Ah, I find this kind of thing entirely understandable. Vick was frustrated. Given how his receivers performed on Sunday, I'd be frustrated too. I find it amusing that in the shot of Vick giving the finger to the crowd, the majority of the crowd giving him the finger right back are, almost to a man, wearing Vick jerseys.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:12 PM on November 29

I find it disappointing you can no longer order a personalized Falcons #7 jersey with "MEXICO" on the back through NFL.com.

posted by yerfatma at 01:31 PM on November 29

10,000 pocket change for vick, if vick didn`t try to be the whole offense maybe his receivers would remember what a pass looks like.and what or who is the running backs ? vick is too talented to play qb he would be a more dangerous threat as a receiver/back but his ego is beyond a team player.as for the finger if he got em he should give em boys will be boys

posted by slodoggy at 01:51 PM on November 29

well to give Vick some credit, at least he didn't throw out the race card and instead left it as "some fans were saying some obscene things that I can't repeat". As soon as I heard about this I figured the first thing he would say was "Someone in the stands was pulling a Kramer on me" since that seems to be the easy cop out for every other athlete in similar situations....it gets the white reporters to go "oh, ok...um, err...in other news we have Bill Parcells..."

posted by bdaddy at 02:35 PM on November 29

I find it disappointing you can no longer order a personalized Falcons #7 jersey with "MEXICO" on the back through NFL.com. No Fun League, indeed.

posted by tron7 at 02:57 PM on November 29

What Vick did was not the most professional thing to do by any means. His receivers didn't give him much help either. But thats not the fans fault that pay good money to go see their teams play, whether its on the road or at home. Even though he got caught up in the heat of the moment,and in fact apologized for his finger flipping and verbal tirade, as a professional athlete,one must control their emotions. I'm not saying what the fans did was ok to do.But probably 75% of them were under the influence and don't know any better to begin with. You've got kids that look up to and idolize such star players as Vick. What does that show a kid that plays any organized sport, whether it be football, baseball, etc. Not only Vicks tirade, but all the other things that have been happening on the sidelines in the past few weeks. The argueing among teammates, and Tom Coughlins ass chewing of one of his players was totally uncalled for. Embarrassing a player like that on national TV was absolutely unnecessary. Things like that should be done in the locker room at half time ,or after the game. Not in front of a national television audience. Vick payed his fine and made a public apology.Such is life in pro sports. As for Coughlin,I just think he's a total asshole and never liked him even when he was coaching here at Boston College.

posted by Ghastly1 at 03:03 PM on November 29

I'm not saying what the fans did was ok to do.But probably 75% of them were under the influence and don't know any better to begin with. You've got kids that look up to and idolize such star players as Vick. What does that show a kid that plays any organized sport, whether it be football, baseball, etc. So, let me get this straight: a kid is sitting there at the game, watching fans make all kinds of obscene gestures and screaming all kinds of obscene language. The kid's parent may or may not be among the gesturers and screamers -- let's give him/her the benefit of the doubt for showing a little restraint -- but basically, the kid looks around and sees a ton of people who look just like Mom and Dad acting like animals. They're wearing the same logo gear, they're showing the same passion, they just have a slightly different vocabulary. And then Michael Vick comes along, receives a remark that can't be repeated on television -- one that's got to be a real doozy, because he's heard plenty already today, and finally he reacts. He flips a double-bird in the general direction of the heckler. And that is the action that is going to throw the monkey-wrench in this kid's development of moral character. Being surrounded by people, "75% of [whom] were under the influence," seeing that these people apparently feel that being inebriated means a free pass to act like a goon, isn't what's going to mess up this kid. Seeing people who have apparently grown to adulthood and who "don't know any better" than to sit on their fat asses screaming taunts at someone who's running around getting hammered on isn't gonna do it either. Oh, no, it's Vick, the idol, whose lapse is going to represent a major and crippling letdown for this kid. Not the behavior of people of the kid's parents and their peers...it's all Michael Vick. If you are a parent, and you believe in this weak and worthless copout, you need to get over it. You're gonna damage your kid more than Michael Vick possibly could, even if he put on his cleats and stomped the little rug rat.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:49 PM on November 29

And that is the action that is going to throw the monkey-wrench in this kid's development of moral character. Oh, no, it's Vick, the idol, whose lapse is going to represent a major and crippling letdown for this kid. Not the behavior of people of the kid's parents and their peers...it's all Michael Vick. I agree with you lbb to a large degree. It is mainly up to the parents to display integrity and encourgae maturity in their kids. Great point. That being the case, i have to say that we still can't overestimate the impact a child or adolescents heroes have on them. Few things hurt worse than seeing someone you thought was the man being a jerk. This can jade a kid. However, if a kid is raised by solid parents, this isn't going to be a crushing blow to his growth. I guess i am saying it isn't either/or. It's a both/and. Both sides need to show youth today how to act like an adult. I would still say that most of this comes from the parents. To me it's not a complete copout to call vick out on this. what do you think?

posted by brainofdtrain at 04:07 PM on November 29

Well said, lbb. We expect athletes to be robots. Losing probably still sucks even when playing a sport is your job and even when you get paid a gazillion dollars. We criticize pro athletes when they show emotion, we criticize them when they don't. Vick and the Falcons lost ugly and he was pissed. I don't recommend running around flipping people off, but I've said or done some things I've regretted when frustrated. I dropped the f-bomb and used the lord's name in vain at work today, and I don't have people heckling me. As for the role-model stuff, enough already. Maybe this will show the poor, jaded, role-model-less children of the USA that athletes are human just like the rest of us. Maybe that's the lesson here.

posted by SummersEve at 04:21 PM on November 29

SummersEve said it best! As fans, we must all learn that that these professional athletes are not "public property" just as they are not media property. Whenever they hit the stage or the arena, we forget to notice that these are human beings out there and believe that we have paid for the right to treat them as we see fit. Michael Vick expressed himself, then apologized. Those of us who didn't deserve the flip/lip accept his apology (he never intended it for us anyway) and the rest need to cool it, and let's play football.

posted by Bud Lang at 05:16 PM on November 29

Being surrounded by people, "75% of [whom] were under the influence," seeing that these people apparently feel that being inebriated means a free pass to act like a goon, isn't what's going to mess up this kid. This is the perfect chance for the "mob" to take out the annoying guy that has a 2/3 Curse to Word ratio. You all know the one. The guy who can't handle his liquor. My most memorable moment at a live sporting event occurred at Edison field while watching the Motorcross Championships. It was all recorded and shown live on the JUMBO-TRON. A drunk ass 21-25 year old kid is so wasted/excited to be on the jumbo screen that he jumps up and spills his beer all over a 4-6 year old kid (who's dad happens to be the size of Hulk Hogan). The Dad asks the guy to apologize, but instead gets the bird. Well, for the next 30-40 seconds 50,000 people at Edison field watched Hulk Hogan beat the living shit out of a drunk frat boy. The moral of the story is that if society doesn't enforce its values, people will act as stupid as they want.

posted by yay-yo at 05:19 PM on November 29

Well, for the next 30-40 seconds 50,000 people at Edison field watched Hulk Hogan beat the living shit out of a drunk frat boy. Dude, I would pay good money to have that go up on YouTube. As for Vick, he's not my favourite guy in the world, but yeah, let's be realistic. I can be a smidge of a hothead, and while I hope I wouldn't flip off the crowd in a situation like that, I've also yelled "Fuck!" at the top of my lungs after booting a grounder at third in a slo-pitch softball game.

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:50 PM on November 29

I think along the line here I may have been misunderstood, or it may be me. I'm not blaming Vick on the outcome of he or she as they get older. As everyone knows whos ever been to a pro football game,you've got your drunks that are going to do things probably worse than what Vick did. And theres times when kids are going to hear and see worse things than what Vick said and did. But being in the public spotlight,not just Vick, but any pro athlete,they have got to maintain their emotions.I'm not saying its an easy thing to do. I for one wouldn't like it if I was getting heckled by an irate fan telling me maybe that I suck or whatever the heckler might be yelling at me at the time. All I was trying to point out is that these guys are looked up to by young fans.These young kids ,in their eyes, don't give a damn about the drunks yelling obsenities. Young kids think that their favorite players can't and don't do any wrong. Them hearing and seeing it come from a Vick,Brady,Manning etc. kind of gives them a different outlook of that certain player, whoever he may be.I know better because I'm an adult A 7or 8 year old doesn't.We as adults know that pro players are not robots and aren't perfect. We know that they're no different than you or I. But they're in a position where they have to maintain emotions while in the public and knowing that there are kids that look up to them. Pro players are human just like you and I and are going to make mistakes. Maybe alot easier said than done.

posted by Ghastly1 at 07:03 PM on November 29

Ghastly, you keep repeating all these pieces of conventional "wisdom" about the youths and how their characters get formed or damaged by the behavior of sports superstars...and I'm sorry to harsh on you because I know that these gems don't originate with you, but it sounds like a bunch of hooey. What else can you call it when someone asserts that a kid is going to be more influenced by a distant idol than by the people they know? What else can you say when someone claims that kids "don't give a damn about the drunks yelling obsenities[sic]"? It makes no sense to me that you would claim that a kid is going to be unaffected by goon behavior all around him/her, and then is suddenly going to be knocked all off kilter when Michael Vick flips the bird. Let's get real, okay?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:45 PM on November 29

OK, I'm an idiot. I can't find the picture that weedy is talking about. I want that for wallpaper. Parents raise children; quarterbacks lead football teams. Parents tell children when other "adults" are acting like morons, fan and athlete alike. Perhaps Vick's upbringing lacked the all important lesson about flipping the bird on national TV. The Vick boys are well known for their on-field restraint after all.

posted by THX-1138 at 07:57 PM on November 29

It's funny. Actors, musicians and artist types lead Jerry Springer Show lives, but an athlete flips a bird and people talk about being good role models. I bet there are probably a few kids out there who will start flipping the bird because of Vick, sure, but I'd bet they were well on their way to flipping the bird anyway. And at least he apologized (does anyone else remember Thurman Thomas' response when some kid in the stands asked him why he had a bad game?)

posted by forrestv at 08:11 PM on November 29

lil_brown_bat, well said! I for one get tired of the "athletes are role models" attitude. As it has been stated in some of the comments above, they are human, just like you and me! We aren't perfect but we expect them to be without flaws, that is unrealistic. I would like to see this topic added to the "banned topics" list.

posted by steelergirl at 09:16 PM on November 29

I would like to see this topic added to the "banned topics" list. Heh, well, I made the FPP, so that one's on me. The logic behind the "banned topics", as I understand it, is just an extension of the usual SpoFi posting guidelines: if it ain't news, and it doesn't add something, and -- maybe most important -- nothing new will get added to the discussion, it's not FPP-worthy. This one may have been marginal, although I think we did take it in a slightly different direction than the usual "athlete misbehavior" discussion.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:01 PM on November 29

This thread should have been closed after Lbb's post. Give me a break with the Vick is a role model crap. Vick could be the class act of the entire NFL and for the most part your average American parent would still be telling their kids to be nothing like him just based on his hair style. Stop being a lazy good for nothing and start teaching your kids to be like you. Practice what you preach. They are your kids, not Vicks. What is your kid more likely to repeat, Vick flipping someone off after a football game, or you flipping someone off on the highway after they cut in front of you without signaling? What's next? Law suits against the NFL, NBA, MLB, and the NHL every time your kid gets in trouble at school? Let me give you some advice, your kid is the way he/she is because of YOU. Until you realize that, your only hurting your child.

posted by Bishop at 10:02 PM on November 29

You all know something? Sorry to all for posting my comments on this subject. I have nothing against Mike Vick or anyone on this sight. As far as I'm concerned, pro athletes can do anything they want to do. It's not affecting me in any which way, shape or form. If he wants to flip people off,let him. I'm not paying his fine. I'll continue to post My views on other subjects as they come up. I'm not taking anything personal here. Just enough of Mr. Vick in which I am a fan of.

posted by Ghastly1 at 10:38 PM on November 29

Ghastly, you don't have to apologize for having an opinion. And just because we disagree with you doesn't always mean you're wrong.

posted by SummersEve at 06:23 AM on November 30

What SummersEve said. Rah!

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:48 AM on November 30

Yeah, plus your posts always look like a sonnet. You need to work on your meter, though. Too many iambs.

posted by BullpenPro at 07:02 AM on November 30

Forget being a role model, how about being professional. How many of you could go to work and flip off your customers and not get fired? I guess if my co-workers are not performing the way I want them to I should just go flip off the customers who may think it's my fault that the company is not meeting their expectations. OR....... As a leader I could take the heat that I have earned by not leading well enough to meet the expectations of my customers. While I don't see pro athletes as role models, I don't see excusing poor behavior by a pro athlete and blaming fans for his actions.

posted by Familyman at 07:16 AM on November 30

More pentameter!

posted by yerfatma at 08:22 AM on November 30

How many of you could go to work and flip off your customers and not get fired? I don't know, but how many of you go to work in front of 50,000 screaming people who get to flip you off? I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying that it's pretty ridiculous to compare your job to pro-sports jobs sometimes. It's a little different.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:23 AM on November 30

just because we disagree with you doesn't always mean you're wrong. Unless I disagree with you; then you're wrong. /flips bird, walks away

posted by The_Black_Hand at 08:50 AM on November 30

How many of you can tackle one of your co-workers and not get fired?

posted by SummersEve at 09:32 AM on November 30

How many of you can slap the ass of one of your co-workers and not get fired?

posted by rocketman at 10:20 AM on November 30

I used to go to Cowboys-Eagles games in Dallas. Based on the number of fights, obscenities and other out-of-control behavior that occurs, I'd be irresponsible to bring my young sons into that environment. So even before Vick flipped the birds, it's on parents if kids were exposed to it. However ... And then Michael Vick comes along, receives a remark that can't be repeated on television -- one that's got to be a real doozy, because he's heard plenty already today, and finally he reacts. He flips a double-bird in the general direction of the heckler. I'm throwing a flag for excessive deference to celebrity. Fifteen yard penalty and loss of down. For all we know, Vick was no less an idiot than the heckling fans in the stands. Portraying him as a person who finally reacted, as if you know he's fully justified after whatever he heard, is as much an appeal to emotionalism as the "athletes are our role models" or "pampered millionaire don't know how good he got it" stuff. Whether you want to call the guy a role model or not, he's a hero to a lot of sons and their dads. He's also paid millions to endorse products. Both ought to suggest at least some obligation not to be an asshat. The Dad asks the guy to apologize, but instead gets the bird. Well, for the next 30-40 seconds 50,000 people at Edison field watched Hulk Hogan beat the living shit out of a drunk frat boy. What has the potential to be more traumatizing to a 4-to-6 year old kid -- spilled beer and an upraised middle finger or seeing your dad beat the crap out of somebody?

posted by rcade at 10:55 AM on November 30

For all we know, Vick was no less an idiot than the heckling fans in the stands. Portraying him as a person who finally reacted, as if you know he's fully justified after whatever he heard, is as much an appeal to emotionalism as the "athletes are our role models" or "pampered millionaire don't know how good he got it" stuff. I'm taking your flag to the booth and charging you every time out you have between now and the Pro Bowl. Were you not paying attention to the press around this? Indications are fairly good that it was indeed a case of "finally reacted"; otherwise we'd have heard all about Michael Vick flipping off the fans on every play from the first snap, dontchathink? Whether you want to call the guy a role model or not, he's a hero to a lot of sons and their dads. Yeah, well...that's their problem, I guess. They're free to choose their heroes, and deal with the emotional trauma when they find that their heroes have feet of clay like everyone else. It's a harsh old world. What has the potential to be more traumatizing to a 4-to-6 year old kid -- spilled beer and an upraised middle finger or seeing your dad beat the crap out of somebody? What has the potential to be more traumatizing to a 4-to-6 year old kid -- seeing a total stranger flip someone off, or seeing his own dad scream curses and flip someone off? Take some personal responsibility.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 11:36 AM on November 30

What has the potential to be more traumatizing to a 4-to-6 year old kid -- spilled beer and an upraised middle finger or seeing your dad beat the crap out of somebody? I'll take my chances with the ass-whoopin. Then you explain to your kid that there is always someone bigger and stronger, so don't act stupid unless you're willing to get your ass handed to you.

posted by yay-yo at 11:50 AM on November 30

I'm going to wish I had those timeouts later. All heroes don't have feet of clay, and if you don't believe me ask my childhood idol Lenny Randle. Or Frank Lucchesi, the manager he sucker punched into the hospital. That was one tough day to be a Junior Ranger. I don't get your last comment, LBB. The kid's dad wasn't the curser and flipper of birds. He was the guy who beat that guy up.

posted by rcade at 11:51 AM on November 30

Being a parent, nothing here has changed my mind. My job is to tell my kids that Vick's behavior is WRONG. It's not how decent people act, especially in public. If someone spilled beer on anyone in my family and didn't do anything to make amends for it like at least an apology, then they would have to face the consequences. You DON'T spill beer on a kid and then flip off the dad. That's asking for it. I've taught my kids not to fight, but I've also taught them not to be doormats.

posted by THX-1138 at 12:08 PM on November 30

Everytime something like this happens, all of a sudden everyone is a parent and the only thing we can find to talk about is the influence on the children. Well, I don't have any children. I do, however, have a 70-plus-year-old father who will almost certainly cease to exist if he doesn't get fed with a steady dose of irrefutable evidence that today's players don't respect the game like they used to when he was a kid. If you don't like what the finger flickers are doing on your television, don't punish my dad by making them stop. Tell your kid to quit watching TV and go outside and play. I'm told kids today don't play outside like they used to. I've seen potentially influential material on "Family Guy" that is much, much worse. And I love "Family Guy." Please don't take "Family Guy" away from me because your kid won't stop watching TV.

posted by BullpenPro at 01:05 PM on November 30

The line of commentary had led us down this path of discussion. I AM a parent, and a damned good one, if I say so myself, so this is something I can talk about as I know what I'm talking about. If I've said something debatable, debate it. I love South Park. I don't let my kids watch either show.

posted by THX-1138 at 01:26 PM on November 30

I don't get your last comment, LBB. The kid's dad wasn't the curser and flipper of birds. He was the guy who beat that guy up. You'd just wandered off into non-sequitur-land, is all. I was talking about the reaction of kids towards seeing the same thing done by their parents (or their parents' lookalikes) and Michael Vick; you were talking about Joe Idjit doing Asshole Thing A vs. Jack Idjit doing Asshole Thing B.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:47 PM on November 30

As a parent, I have only one thing to say. Those Idjit brothers better stay away from my daughter.

posted by tselson at 02:19 PM on November 30

lbb, nothing against your post. I guess I should have been more clear. It is the arguement that athletes are role models everytime one of them screws up, breaks the law, smacks his wife/girlfriend, celebrates in the end zone, and flips off a heckler in the stands. As it has been stated many times in this thread, PARENTS are the ones who most influence their children! If you can't explain what is/is not acceptable behavior, then how the children turn out is on you. I guess I misused the word banned. My influence on my son (now 16) was never driven home so throughly as when I was driving down the interstate, another driver stopped completely to let someone merge! ( I will slow down to let them merge, but not stop!) I was cursing her big time, and then I heard my son (in his car seat at the time, he was about 2yrs old) cursing away at the woman too! So needless to say, I cleaned up my mouth.

posted by steelergirl at 05:45 PM on November 30

THX: I was being flippant, and my comment was not directed at you personally at all. You're obviously passionate about this issue. If my dry (and quite marginal, to be sure) wit offended you at all, I apologize. I in no way meant to challenge your abilities as a parent. Professional athletics have a long history of introducing to the public individuals with poor judgment and no common sense. That we continue to be astounded by this is... well, astounding. That we continue to hold professional athletes, in general, to a HIGHER-than-average standard in these areas is bizarre. To extend this hope of high character to include the average drunken fan at a football game is like wondering why they don't have telekinetic powers.

posted by BullpenPro at 06:15 PM on November 30

Damn women drivers. They slow the entire planet down. Why do I feel a 15 yarder coming on for unsportsmanlike conduct?

posted by Bishop at 06:30 PM on November 30

Bullpenpro: No offense taken. I just thought that you had spilled beer on my kid and now I was going to have to...."Roll out them 24 inch pythons brother, and take some vitamins and have the Hulkamaniacs run wild over YOU!" Sometimes we parents get all "parenty" about things and our own marginal senses of humor become flat as day old soda. Plus, I'm kind of a dick, anyways. What were we talking about?

posted by THX-1138 at 06:36 PM on November 30

What were we talking about? The use of gesture in sports.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:53 PM on November 30

O yeah, right. I like it when the golfer guys let the guy closest to the pin go out of turn and just knock it in. That seems like a nice gesture. Or the Florida Gator chomp. Is that a gesture? Time of death:5:14 PST

posted by THX-1138 at 07:15 PM on November 30

THX, you forgot, "Keep sayin' them prayers, brothER!"

posted by yerfatma at 06:00 AM on December 01

If athletes aren't role models, then it logically follows that actors, musicians, writers and whatever Paris Hilton is aren't role models either. What does that leave us with -- parents and politicians?

posted by rcade at 07:13 AM on December 01

"In a crowd of cheers. I could always pick out the solitary boo." -Ted Williams I liked Ted's response to the Boston boo-birds: after his famous last-major-league-at-bat, he refused to tip his hat. And he was considered an ass. Vick only joins a long list of pro athletes that have done this and worse. Expect it to happen again, and expect the same fines applied to, and words of contrition from, the jock who does so...

posted by mjkredliner at 08:34 AM on December 01

What does that leave us with -- parents and politicians? Role models. Seems like most of the value of a "role model" is in learning how to determine if someone is worth looking up to, regardless of their occupation.

posted by yerfatma at 09:11 AM on December 01

What has the potential to be more traumatizing to a 4-to-6 year old kid -- spilled beer and an upraised middle finger or seeing your dad beat the crap out of somebody? You DON'T spill beer on a kid and then flip off the dad. That's asking for it. I've taught my kids not to fight, but I've also taught them not to be doormats. couldn't agree more. The worst thing a father could do in that situation would be to NOT do anything. That sends a REAL strong message to your kids, and not a good one. (unless you want your kids to be walked on all their lives) And I don't know about you, but the 4-6 year olds I know wouldn't be traumatized by their daddy doing that, they'd be bragging to their schoolmates about how they KNOW that their daddy can beat up your daddy. I'll take my chances with the ass-whoopin. Then you explain to your kid that there is always someone bigger and stronger, so don't act stupid unless you're willing to get your ass handed to you. yay-yo, for father of the year :-)

posted by bdaddy at 09:38 AM on December 01

bdaddy, would they also be bragging about how they got to spend every weekend for the next five years visiting their daddy in prison? I swear, every time I read this "what I'd do" chest-thumping, it just makes me shake my head. I hope for your sakes that chest-thumping is all it is. Here's the reality: in a law-abiding society, if you get into a fight with someone, you should assume that two things will happen: 1)At least one party will go to the hospital. 2)You will go to jail. You will go to jail, understand? You can't just throw down and walk away high-fiving your buddies and your oh-so-proud kid. Please disabuse yourself of this notion, or one day the fantasy may meet the reality, and you'll be paying for it for a long time.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:40 AM on December 01

Seems like most of the value of a "role model" is in learning how to determine if someone is worth looking up to, regardless of their occupation. I think that is right on. I think you start with one or two -- parents, guardians, mentors -- and you take cues from there on where to branch out and who to avoid. I had many athletes as heros in my childhood, but growing up in the '70s as a Yankee fan my dad pointed out me that just because somebody is the biggest star on your favorite team doesn't mean he isn't a first rate jerk and a poor example to follow on many, many levels. Starting off with good ones off the bat makes a big difference.

posted by BullpenPro at 11:34 AM on December 01

I had many athletes as heros in my childhood, but growing up in the '70s as a Yankee fan my dad pointed out me that just because somebody is the biggest star on your favorite team doesn't mean he isn't a first rate jerk and a poor example to follow on many, many levels. Starting off with good ones off the bat makes a big difference. I didn't exactly have athletes as heroes when I was growing up -- there were many that I admired for their athletic achievements, but I knew that I didn't know about them as people, if that makes any sense. My feeling about these "sports idols" was something like, "I'd like to race like that one day," or "I'd like to win a gold medal like that one day," not, "I want to be like this person." I wonder if that's a girl thing?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 12:30 PM on December 01

l_b_b, you just need to chill out. So few of us get to be ass-kickin' tough guys in real life that we have to take the occasional turn as an I.T.G. to make ourselves feel better. The last thing we need is for you to come barging in with your bucket-of-cold-water dose of reality while we're kickin' ass, takin' names, and showing off to all of our buddies (and, apparently, our kids) in some internet forum. Sheesh!

posted by The_Black_Hand at 01:22 PM on December 01

I wonder if that's a girl thing? No, I don't think so. And I don't want to overstate the influence they had on me. I did REALLY want to be a professional baseball player from very early on, so I was shopping for what kind of ballplayer I wanted to be on the field and in the clubhouse. With a few exceptions, like Hank Aaron, it stopped at the ballpark -- if I had found out that Bobby Murcer kicked his dog, I don't think I would have ever added "dog kicker" to my skills development list. I do really believe, though, that choosing as a child what kind of teammate you want to be when you grow up does influence more general attitudes towards working -- and living -- with others as you develop. And it's not necessarily just a good/bad thing. Who do you admire more from the '70s -- Pete Rose, Rod Carew, Mike Schmidt or Nolan Ryan? They all conducted themselves in very different ways and portrayed very different personas. All of them were admired and had Hall of Fame quality careers. Pete Rose, I think, is a great example of the problem of "athletes as heroes" being taken to the nth degree. Here is a guy that was the epitome of hustle, who symbolized accomplishment from sheer effort and determination, without the great natural skills. I think it took someone of Pete Rose's caliber, someone who was so broadly held up as the model ballplayer, to fail as he did for people to actually say gambling on baseball isn't that big a deal. Rose and OJ probably represent the two steepest falls for sports heroes -- in my lifetime, anyway* -- and the people who saw them as such seem to be divided, in my opinion, between deeply rooted anger and denial. The depth of those wounds, from having the rug pulled out by somebody we had spent a career trusting as a role model, fall in direct proportion to the degree that we feel the need for, and clutch at, heroes. *If Lance Armstrong ever officially falls from grace, he would almost certainly make this list as well.

posted by BullpenPro at 01:44 PM on December 01

I don't think I would have ever added "dog kicker" to my skills development list. Sign of a Poor Vocational Choice #179

posted by yerfatma at 02:21 PM on December 01

Perhaps I'm not as eloquent as some folks on this site, and perhaps I have a point of view that is skewed either by: a) My own upbringing b)personal experience c)my gender d)all of the above I also never quite stated that if I were in the situation that yay-yo described that I would pull out a club and beat the offender to within an inch of his life. But I do stand by what I said. I respectfully request that if there is an opposing viewpoint, please to be letting me in on an alternative solution. Keep in mind that diplomacy would, of course, always be the first choice. But if that doesn't work, my kids have to know that they shouldn't let themselves be abused by jerks. And jerks should know that they won't get away with it. Please believe me. I am not a neanderthal. I don't go looking for trouble. And I have defended my wife and children from aggressors without having the law come down against me. That's because I was in the right.

posted by THX-1138 at 02:44 PM on December 01

THX, my point is simply that I would be surprised if the law, in all its many forms, sees pounding on someone as an appropriate response to a spilled beer. That's the hypothetical situation that we were talking about -- not whatever went down with your wife and children, which none of us knows anything about. About the beer thing, you may disagree with me about how the cops would view your whaling on someone who spilled a beer on your kid, but I'm betting that my approach would lead to less grief and jail-time.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:45 PM on December 01

No, no l_b_b. I agree. I was fending off a REAL beligerent drunk. Not exactly knight in shining armor stuff. And I reiterate: diplomacy, diplomacy, diplomacy. Get an usher. Rally support from the people around you. Save for that, what other approach would be advised? What if it doesn't work?

posted by THX-1138 at 04:08 PM on December 01

Mike Vick is an idiot and so are the Falcons. He can only get credit for immediatley apologizing. Other than that it just shows a lack of professionalism.

posted by Clevelander32 at 06:42 PM on December 01

Was there this much outrage when blackjack flipped off Yankee stadium? I don't remember it being a huge deal. Ghastly, your couplet dosen't rhyme. Worst. Sonnett. Ever.

posted by HATER 187 at 10:49 PM on December 01

I am sick of people saying that if vick wasnt trying to the whole team then recievers would know how to catch a ball. BullSh**. How about they treat the situation like a receiver should always look for the ball to come your way. AND CATCH IT!

posted by msusportsguy at 09:00 PM on December 02

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