Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Athletes with a Real Bite Need Not Bark

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Athletes with a Real Bite Need Not Bark

Article excerpt

Our nation's big three cultural icons - Barney, Bart and Beavis - are teaching our youth the values they will need to lunge into society and become groping bottomfeeders.

So if our kids want to achieve, they must watch the MTV-style sneaker commercials to find the real pearls of wisdom. And perhaps the most sage advice comes from the simplest advertising slogan:

"Just Do It."

Today's athlete should take this command to heart. Our jocks are so caught up in looking tough that they are forgetting how to actually play tough.

There is no better example than Atlanta Falcons coach Jerry Glanville, who wears black, puts on dark shades and talks all sorts of nonsense on television. He projects a biker image for himself and his team. Unfortunately, he is a better actor than coach, and his theater group keeps getting stuffed in waste cans.

Miami Dolphins linebacker Bryan Cox doesn't have to talk like a fool and do the Garry Templeton at Buffalo fans to prove his ferocity. He has demonstrated his iron will by making it from to the pros from Western Illinois University, and his physical ability speaks for itself - when opposing ballcarriers go oooooooomph! as he creams them.

And what's with college football? Last Saturday, the Miami-Colorado, North Carolina-N.C. State, Duke-Virginia and Maryland-Virginia Tech games turned into silly-boy slap parties. The tiresome shouting, pointing and taunting turned to shoving and, ultimately, brawling.

Such peripheral gridiron posturing is comical, because the players can line up every 30 seconds or so and knock the bodily fluids out of each other. If you're upset with someone, plant him into the turf up to his navel at the next snap and then just stare at him. That's intimidation, and it can be done within the rules of the game.

Why would football players ever fight? With the opportunity for horrific violence existing on every play from scrimmage, why would somebody punch another player on the facemask, or take off his helmet (exposing his head!) to swing it at a rival?

Unfortunately, today's athlete believes carrying on like a pro wrestling villain is all part of the job.

In baseball, any batter who gets buzzed - even if he was standing on top of the plate and had to duck a slow curveball - feels compelled to rush the mound and do his Chuck Norris martial arts thing. …

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