Sat, Mar 17, 2018 09:27 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
The Point After
Addressing what really matters
Sports commentary
by James Ellis

What do Irag, Iran, North Korea and big time sports have in common? If you’re thinking expansion franchise locations for the WNBA, forget it. If you’re thinking future stops on the Montreal Expos traveling team tour, forget that.

Those four things have all been topics of a presidential State of the Union address.

President Bush took time out from dealing with issues like health care reform, the war on terrorism and economic recovery on Tuesday to address the monumental threat of performance enhancing substances in professional sports.

Remember the exercise on the kids shows when they would sing, “One of these things is not like the other?” This was one of those moments.

Of all the major issues that face the United States of America these days, the veracity of the competition in professional sports is not one of the primary concerns on my list.

Yes, it is important that Barry Bonds achieve his monumental, statistical and historical impact on baseball without the advantage of a synthetic substance to enhance his already considerable gifts.

It is also important that Sammy Sosa use a non-corked bat to drill his awe-inspiring homeruns.

One could also never overstate the importance of keeping baseball, basketball, football, hockey and just about every other significant sport free of the evil influence of drug pushers, gambling rings and other festering sores of human corruption.

But really, are all these things so significant that they should command such attention as being involved in the State of the Union address?

Personally, given the fact that President Bush mentioned Iraq, Iran and North Korea as an “Axis of Evil” and then proceeded to totally renovate Baghdad with high explosive re-decoraters, then leverage Iran into nuke inspections and has certainly developed detailed battle plans for North Korea as well, if I were a roided-up pro athlete, I’d be a little leery.

I mean, andro might help you hit 70 homers in a season, but is it really enough to help you fight off the 4th Marine Division? Is there a designer steroid that could help Sosa if a SEAL team showed up at his doorstep demanding to inspect all his bats? Probably not.

All in all, perhaps it simply means that this tough Texan of a Commander-In-Chief means to clean up the lawless world of pro sports by whatever means necessary.

If so, I have a short list of things to do to get it right:

1) Eliminate Don King. If you think Saddam had shady connections, you should check out King. This guy is the Crown Prince of Corruption in big time boxing.

2) Send the Philadelphia Eagles’ wide receivers some place more secret than Guantanamo. These guys were weapons of pass destruction last Sunday. PLEASE get rid of them.

3) Remove the World Series of Poker from ESPN. It might be cool to watch for some, but some fat guy in a visor and cheap sunglasses chomping on a cigar is not my idea of an athlete.

4) NO MORE PRIME TIME FIGURE SKATING. I would rather watch Howard Dean blow a gasket after the Iowa Caucuses than watch Kristi Yamaguchi do one more triple axle.

5) Force the NBA to get rid of the zone defense. That rule change has yielded just what fans needed: more 77-69 snooze-a-ramas.

Anyway, thanks for the prioritizing Mr. President. Its good to know you’re on top of the things that actually matter.

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