The Boston Red Sox have been the best team in baseball for the entire 2018 season and they are positioned to win another World Series championship with a 2-0 lead entering Friday’s Game 3. They have become the team to beat in Major League Baseball over the past five years. It will be interesting to see how long this run will last.
Their sister team, the New England Patriots, have had a run that has lasted fifteen years. The New York sports fans are beyond upset. The Kansas City Chiefs fans need to understand that the team just does not have the type of defense that can stop many NFL teams.
The Chiefs need to use a 7-on-7 strategy. If the defense can get two stops in the first half and two stops in the second half it will give them a very good chance to win the game. Stops are defined as a takeover on downs, a punt by the opponent or a turnover by the opponent. The NFL is not the NFL of just 10 years ago. It is all about offense and holding the fort on defense. The object of the game is to have more points on the scoreboard than the opponent.
Basketball season is upon us and unfortunately headlines at the beginning of the year are focused on the FBI investigation of payments by shoe companies to top players in the country to play for blue blood programs in exchange for their loyalty when they sign a pro contract.
The biggest surprise in all of this that anyone would be shocked. Everyone involved with the NCAA, college and university administrations and select college coaches have been involved in big money basketball for more than 20 years. The truth has been shielded because money talks.
I served for six years on the Missouri State High School Activities Investigative Committee for the Kansas City area. Those six years were the years that Myron Piggie became infamous for his work in providing various types of payments to local star basketball players. Even 20 years ago it was obvious that players were gaining special favors from shoe companies if they attended certain colleges.
Many have attempted to rationalize it away. The NCAA promoted propaganda that colleges were interested in creating a well-rounded student-athlete through education. I shook my head in disbelief at the NCAA advertisements. People really bought into this lie because they liked they way it was working to increase college revenue.
NCAA college football and basketball in America was becoming too big to fail. Greed has become a silent sin in our society. A price will always be paid when giving up honesty, integrity and truth.
Every major program in the country is most likely sweating bullets with the depth of this FBI investigation as it threatens to expose the dark side of college sports. It would be easy to single out a person or school, but the reality is that the entire college sports system is being stripped and exposed.
Men’s basketball has always been the easiest target because only five players are needed to create a respected and winning program. In addition, summer AAU and other competitive programs are financed by shoe companies and other high dollar businesses. College coaches spend all their recruiting hours hanging around company-sponsored tournaments during the spring and summer.
At one time you would see college coaches in the stands during high school games. That is not the case most of the time now. It is much easier for them to attend a one-stop shop at a company sponsored tournament on the east or west coast. Great high school players learn at a young age that if they are talented they can write their own ticket to a college or university belonging to the highest bidder. It is not unusual for a $100,000 payment, a new home or a new vehicle to be gifted to parents or guardians.
It doesn’t take much for a young talented athlete to realize that he holds the cards to provide he and his family a payday by going along with the recruitment process. It also is a reality that in most cases it is a short payday inside the NCAA. Schools and coaches are the ones who reap the highest rewards.
It is a sad reality that most do not want to admit. The system is now out of control and it has become almost impossible for coaches and schools to compete without crossing over to the dark side. Hopefully this newest investigation with provide a positive teachable opportunity and big money does not surface as the winner. Hypocrisy tends to reign when it is all about money.
• My quote of the week comes from Swiss essayist Henri Frederic Amiel: “He who floats with the current, who does not guide himself according to higher principles, who has no ideal, no real standards – such a man is a mere article of the world’s furniture – a thing moved, instead of a living and moving being – an echo, not a voice.”
– Tim Crone, a William Chrisman High School graduate, is a former activities director and coach for Blue Springs High School and is a host of a weekly radio show, “Off the Wall with Tim Crone,” on KCWJ (1030 AM) 6 p.m. every Monday. He writes a weekly column for The Examiner. Reach him at email@example.com.