Sad summer

When most people turn to the sports section, they are looking to get away from the world’s troubles. But this summer the sports page turned into just another source for bad news. The most disturbing story to come out in a while is the Michael Vick case. At the beginning of May, allegations surfaced that Vick was running an illegal dog-fighting ring at his home in Smithfield, VA. These allegations sent the nation into an uproar, even people who were not sports fans became very involved in this case. Authorities found around 54 dogs and different items associated with dog fighting. Later searches revealed graves of other dogs killed in fights at ‘The Bad Newz Kennels’. “He’s an example for the NFL, and he set a poor example. The NFL should permanently suspend him,” junior Stephen Smalley said. On July 17th a grand jury in Richmond, Virginia indicted Vick and three others. Vick, a former first round draft pick and three time pro-bowler, pled guilty on August 25th and was suspended indefinitely by the NFL. That hasn’t been the only problem going on in the NFL recently. In late February, Adam “Pacman” Jones “made it rain’’ on more than 40 strippers at Minxx Gentleman’s club & Lounge. Jones threw up an estimated $81,000 for the visual effect, which sparked a brawl and a triple shooting at the strip club. Jones became irate when the women started to pick up the money. “Pacman is an idiot, he should be kicked out of the league, nobody is indestructible.” Junior Riley Banach said. Maybe the biggest story of the summer was Barry Bonds blasting into the record books. For the past few years Bonds has been in the middle of steroid rumors. On August 7th, in the bottom of the fifth inning, Bonds crushed a pitch thrown by Washington Nationals pitcher Mike Bacsik into the right field bleachers. This had been a hot topic all summer, before and after it happened. Most people did not want to see “Hammerin’” Hank Aaron’s record of 755 career home runs broken, especially by Bonds. Bonds is disliked by many because of the steroid allegations and his negative attitude towards many. “ I don’t think he should be allowed in the record books,” senior Alex Olinger said. Some people feel that there should be an asterisk placed next to his record because of the steroids. Many were sad to see the record broken, not just because it was Bonds, but also because Aaron is such a beloved figure in sports. Although Bonds more than likely has used performance-enhancing drugs, that doesn’t automatically make anyone home run king. It still takes a great deal of talent to do what Bonds did. Tim Donaghy was respected. He was a good referee and liked by many, but his reputation is now gone and the NBA’s is on the line. Donaghy started placing bets on NBA games four years ago; he would give tips to gamblers and receive 5,000 dollars per game if he was right. He didn’t care if he had anything to do with the game, or if he was officiating it. Donaghy is linked to fixing four games he officiated. Donaghy faces up to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced on November 9th. It seems the NBA has lost its integrity; but some think otherwise. “I don’t think the NBA lost its rep,” junior Andy Weiss said. “It was an isolated case, there are still great refs out there.” With all this going wrong in the sports world, it may be hard to get excited about the games anymore. But you also have to remember the good stories, like Clay Buchholz, the Red Sox rookie right-hander who threw a no-hitter in just his second major league start. Or how about Appalachian State, who proved there aren’t just Cinderella stories in March.