Athletes in the News…just not about athletics

March 9, 2009

David Owens
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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. … Wrong – it most certainly isn’t. I must begin with a disclaimer: midterms are in the air, there is a constant bombardment of news that our country’s economy is tanking so quickly, that the whole world may end any day, and it has taken any sanity I once had. Parental advisory: Explicit news may follow.

Sports Illustrated reported that on Mar. 3, after learning that he had mistakenly said “Fernando Vina” when he meant to say “Fernando Valenzuala,” MLB Network host Matt Vasgersian said on the air, “What the f— is that?” He said it without the dashes.

In other news from my Major League friends who always baffle the rest of the world with their high regard for morality and ethics, current New York Yankees third baseman, Alex Rodriguez, has been battling a steroids scandal for quite some time now. Former New York Yankees player Darryl Strawberry has not. Apparently that is only because Strawberry was “too old” by the time he had a chance to take steroids, or, at least, that is what he recently told Newsday.

“Hell yeah, I would have used them,” Strawberry said to reporters in Florida. “Are you kidding me? I mean, come on. We’re competitive creatures, and we have tremendous drive, high tolerance, all these things. I’m not saying that was the right thing to do. But if that was going on in the ‘80s, that probably would have been in my system, too. I wouldn’t have denied it because you guys know I don’t deny anything.”

So how much does it cost to watch these ignorant creatures with a narcissistic drive and hot tempers swing a bat around? The Yankees’ inaugural season ticket plan in their new stadium includes a field-level seat that costs $26,325. Seriously, what the f— is that?

It’s not just a conspiracy theory; Facebook really can get you fired. Dan Leone was a game-day stadium employee for the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field for the past six years, up until last week. He was fired after he slammed on the organization via Facebook for trading safety Brian Dawkins to the Denver Broncos.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Leone served as the west gate chief, which required him to hustle to different areas of the stadium as needed. That was tough for Leone due to a neurological disorder he suffers from called transverse myelitis. His left leg is weaker than his right, and standing for too long gives him severe pain in his right knee and hip because that’s where he shifts all his weight. While on duty, he sometimes needed a wheelchair to get around.

“They had me running all over the place like a nut, but I didn’t care,” Leone told the Inquirer. “I was so proud to work for them. It was my dream.”

Leone’s Facebook status read, “Dan is [expletive] devastated about Dawkins signing with Denver … Dam Eagles R Retarted!!”

So players can carry guns around illegally, beat their wives, take steroids and abuse illegal drugs, with only a fine or suspension, but this lifetime fan gets axed for that?! My Facebook status now says, “David is not stating his opinion about Leone being fired, because if he did, he too would be fired.”

One guy who will not be canned for his online update is Shaquille O’Neal. According to Sports Illustrated, his Twitter update read, “Weee weee wha weee weee wha weee wee weeee what’s song is this?”

Sounds like something from Pee-wee Herman’s Playhouse.