Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Making Poor Decisions

I am what many may consider a bit of an ‘overthinker’ at times. For as long as I can recall I have always held firm to my beliefs, my thoughts, my way. I can’t say this has always been the best option, but I can say that it is a rare occasion that I jeopardize who I am to myself and to my friends. Instinct and action without recourse or doing without accountability are on opposite shoulders of my head. Fighting an urge to do what I know to be better has dictated much of my life. Again, I can’t say it’s always been for the best. Often I wonder what my life would be like if I let things rip a little more. Most of my adolescent years and into the majority of my college experience I entered into leadership roles. I can’t begin to explain how much these experiences have taught me about myself, they are among the most defining elements of my life. More so than just testing my mettle, I gained amazing insight towards working with others and learning about one another’s word, trust, morals and friendship. Needing so count on others and having them count on you speaks volumes of one’s character.

That being said I do have an angle that I take in life to cut the tension. I try to maintain a positive outlook, an aggressive action mentality and regardless of the situation, I aim to keep a sense of humor.

The obvious flaw in this is of course, my sense of humor.

It’s dry, low-high brow, curt, self reflective, complicated, heavy on references and often massively misunderstood. There are those that get my sense of humor. These are the people that truly know me the best. Essentially these are the handful of people to even bother to read this here blog.

My oft repeated offensive is to thrust my sense of humor on others or perhaps a better way to put it, force others into a situation that is construed from self inflicted awkwardness. In other words, I screw up often and have a hard time explaining it to others. Good thing that doesn’t apply to anything else.

I’m Ok with that. I’m more than OK with that. It’s what make me, for better or worse, me. I forgive and forget easily in these terms.
Where I draw a line.

I have minimal tolerance for blatant malicious acts. Lying, stealing, harming or threatening the well being of others mentally or physically. I do as much as I can to avoid this. Which is why I take it so deeply and seriously when I encounter it and even more so when it is inflicted on me.
What I have come to discuss is a matter that directly and indirectly effects my well being; mentally and physically.

The Punch and the Penalty.

The preseason sucker punch Steve Smith laid has repercussions reaching further than Ken Lucas’ jaw line. They test the structural integrity of sport and the league.
For starters, for a leader and well respected athlete and role model like Smith to punch anyone is inexcusable. To punch a teammate, unreal. We all know the stigma that revolves around professional athletes, no need to harp on any of that other than to say, for what he does and what he gets, he knows better.

Here is where things get tricky.

The NFL did not sanction Smith, the Carolina Panthers did. Sounds like the right thing to do doesn’t it. Professional athlete blatantly violates team rules, brings shame to his namesake and that of the team and the league. He must pay a price.

At the same time, he works in an industry of raw aggression that spills over to entertainment. He’s a hothead, but he’s also one of the better athletes in the league and an essential ingredient to the success of the Panthers.

So who’s really being punished by the two game suspension?

Smith? Sure he misses being on the field, misses the money he would be earning and misses out on the pure sport of competitive professional football. But is this making him a better person? Is the suspension going to make him a better athlete?

The Panthers surprised most everyone by starting the season in San Diego against the highly touted Chargers. They showed their mettle and found a way to overcome adversity to win the game. This Sunday they take the field at home against Conference foe the Chicago Bears, again without Smith. This stands to be a massive game in terms of the Conference picture and may hold major bearing come playoff time. Does it make sense to take the field without Smith? Isn’t the objective of professional sports to win and entertain? Are we, as fan not being robbed of this? Are Smith’s teammates not being further subjected to punishment for the foolish act of one player? Why Smith couldn’t be forced to speak in schools, do massive amounts of community service and give large donations to charities is a mystery to me. That would help so many.

Having Smith on the sidelines helps no one, and hurts many. No lesson is learned. No battle has been won.

Smith let his teammates, his fans, his family and the league down when he acted out.
Now the Panthers are letting their players and most importantly the fans down by not putting themselves in the best possible position to win this game.

Where does that line get drawn?What are your thoughts?


NormanDale said...

I'm a regular reader of "Listen..." but the blog's material usually doesn't resonate. This entry did. Ironically, "Making Poor Decisions" was a GREAT decision in the EYES of this reader (maybe I should start my own damn blog). "Dawgs Roll, Jacket Rocks" was thought to be an entry about UGA and Georgia Tech. I was half right. It was an entry on Georgia and some band I have never heard before.

Nice work on this one. Keep the good times rolling BCP.

bcp said...

Gonna start doing more along these lines, need to branch out some, plus the music this year hasn't been as exciting as in the past.

Do a blog, it's a great outlet and you would have a blast with it.