Banterism in sports: Good or Bad?

The Chicago Cubs miss the playoffs again and continue their 104 year championship drought. Another player in the MLB is accused of steroids. Barcelona are the conquistadors of soccer. Young NCAA players declare for the NBA Draft before finishing college. All of these are just some examples of trends in professional sports. Don’t get me wrong I consider myself a sports fanatic, I absolutely love sports with all my heart and soul. It’s just that watching someone do the same thing over and over again can get boring for me. So when normal sports are not getting the job done for me, I like to look for banterous players/events that keep me interested. In my spare time I try to be as creative as possible, but I cannot compete with the creativity that banterous players bring to their sport. For example, what would basketball be like if the NBA never experienced Shaq? Shaquille O’Neal was one of the most dominant centers to ever step foot in the NBA, but what makes Shaq unique is his once in a lifetime personality. The guy has even broke the glass and the basketball hoop itself a couple of times in his career when he went for a dunk. And Shaq knows how to stay calm and collective when talking to the media. Shaq represents a good form of banterism, while just recently the new manager of the Miami Marlins, Ozzie Guillen, stupidly made positive comments about Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Guillen was given a five game suspension for his comments towards Castro’s actions. A lot of the fanbase of the Marlins are Cuban Americans and they all despise Castro, so all of this negativity towards Guillen is understandable. Many of the fans now want Guillen to be fired and he has only coached 5 games with the team. So if we take both negative and positive forms of banter and mixed it all together we produce a man who sweats, breathes, and defines the word banter. The Italian striker who currently plays in the Barclays Premier for Manchester United. Mario Balotelli. Where to begin with this description of Balotelli. Well for starters he’s a fully grown man who has trouble putting on a warm-up bib. He allegedly has allergies towards grass, which seems to be a bit odd considering that the sport that he plays for a living is constantly surrounded by it. (This is my personal favorite) Last summer in a friendly against the LA Galaxy, Balotelli attempted to make ESPN’s Top 10 Plays for that day when he tried to score a backheel and completely missed the net. This was considered disrespectful by Man City’s manager Robert Mancini and immediately subbed him off. And as adults always tell kids to stand up to bullying, Balotelli responded towards all this hate he was getting by after scoring a goal, revealed from under his kit which red, “WHY ALWAYS ME?” But where is the bad side of Balotelli? Well the most recent sports related incident was when Manchester City faced off against Arsenal. Balotelli was given a 3 match ban for receiving two yellow cards in the game, which could possibly turn into 9 games for his tackle against Arsenal midfielder Alex Song. I like it when athletes express their personalities at professional levels, it actually shows what kind of person the player is off the field and it makes the game more fun to watch as well. These unique personalities I think help sports rather than harm it looking from an entertainment perspective.