Friday, July 20, 2007

Leagues in Scandal

Given the choice, which League Commissioner would you rather be today?

Roger Goodell is facing mounting criticism for not suspending Michael Vick. Bud Selig is watching one of the most revered records in the game being chased by a miserable steroid abusing jerk. However, David Stern would gladly change places with either of those commissioners as he confronts the issue of fixing games.

13 year veteran referee, Tim Donaghy is being accused of betting on games that he referees. There is probably no bigger breech of trust in sports. While Barry Bonds steroid use gives him a competitive advantage, fixing games is a whole different level.

I have long believed that NBA games are the worst officiated professional sport. What other sport is there a blatant standard to protect stars? How often did Michael Jordan travel? What about Robert Parish landing two clean punches on Bill Laimbeer in front of the referee only to see Darren Daye get called for the foul (youtube below)? NBA refs have long compounded one mistaken call by giving a makeup call.. When you look the other way at bad officiating (see Violet Palmer), you get more bad officiating.

David Stern needs to address this gambling issue by cleaning up the larger issue of poor officiating. Bad management and poor leadership lead to what has happened here. How would anyone know that an official is trying to effect the outcome of a game when it ALWAYS seems as if they are trying to effect the outcome of the game? If Commissioner Stern wants to see what happens to a sport when people can not trust the basic integrity of the competition, he should take a look at what has happened to Boxing.

Somewhere out there Gary Bettman is laughing. (he’s the NHL commissioner)

(I still get goose bumps watching Robert Parish doing the boy scout deed of popping Bill Laimbeer in the face)


Mike said...

I missed that story. Thanks Phil.

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