Behind the Mic: Cheat Week

When I was in high school, teachers would normally sit us in rows of chairs alphabetically.  That is why in chemistry and physics class, Laubach (me) was seated next to Miles (not me).  I bring this up because I never really comprehended the personal value of chemistry or physics.  I did not anticipate mixing strange ingredients nor did I concern myself with laws of physics (those things are going to happen anyway).  I just wanted to keep my grades up.  So, since my blog this week is going to be about cheating because it was so prevalent in the world of sports the past seven days, I felt I would be hypocritical if I did not initially confess my own sins.

My classmate, Miles, is now Dr. Miles, MD (in other words, very smart) and you know what I am.  It would be an understatement to say he got me through chemistry and physics.  He sat next to me and, during tests, I may have glanced at an answer or two or three or ten (whatever).  So I guess you could say I cheated.  I feel comfortable saying this now because my Physics teacher has passed away and I’m fairly certain my Chemistry teacher is not reading this stuff.

And I, also, must confess that I often get inspiration for my blogs from the headlines and articles written about the news of the week.  Even though I was going to write about this topic since the “deflategate” report came out, AP writer Paul Newberry beat me to it.  I would like to say he copied my thoughts, but he wrote his article first.  So, suffice it to say, I am not copying here, but adding my thoughts.  Just saying…

And Paul Newberry did not even write about this event.  Two Saturdays ago, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao earned over $300 million for fighting in what was billed as the “Fight of the Century”.  It turns out that Pacquiao basically fought with just one arm as an undeclared shoulder injury kept him from waging a very competitive fight.  So the fans who put down untold dollars to see the fight LIVE or $89.99 for pay-per-view and, particularly, those fans who legally wagered on the fight were cheated.  Either Pacquiao reveals his injury and gets the fight delayed or he makes everyone aware of his injury and they then decide where their money goes.  He did neither.  But he did get paid!  By cheating us of the information, he, ironically, may have been the only one NOT cheated.

The “deflategate” report  was issued this week, all 243 pages.  The conclusion of the report is that the balls were definitely deflated by an employee of the Patriots prior to the AFC championship game.  And, it appears that Tom Brady had knowledge that this was being done.  The balls were easier to throw and probably easier to catch.  Based on the rules of the NFL, this was cheating.  Brady needs to be suspended and, due to guilt by association, the Patriots need to be fined.  Tom Brady is one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks to play the game, but the image is now tarnished and rightfully so.

This leads me to A-Rod, Alex Rodriquez.  This week, he hit his 661st home run, passing my childhood hero, Willie Mays, and moving A-Rod into third place all-time in home run totals.  But, he cheated to accomplish that feat.  A-Rod used performance-enhancing drugs for at least four or five years and during that time hit over 200 home runs.  Barry Bonds is ahead of him in home run numbers.  He, also, cheated.  Let those two have a “cheaters” list of their own and keep the records of players like Mays, Babe Ruth, and Hank Aaron separated.

Isn’t it time that all pro athletes act like pro golfers?  Professional golfers call mistakes upon themselves and are immediately penalized for those mistakes.  Often (ex: a ball moved while addressing it), the infraction is not their fault.  But rules are rules and they abide by them.  There are lessons here for Lance Armstrong, Marion Jones, Roger Clemens, etc.

If athletes confessed their cheating immediately upon being caught, we might even forgive them.  C’mon, Tom, be honest with us.  Manny, tell us you should not have gotten into the ring.  A-Rod, don’t accept the accolades that come from passing Willie Mays. Look at me. I am glad I confessed my high school cheating right up front.  Besides, the Statute of Limitations has passed (I hope).

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS) 

  1. Have you noticed that former Lafayette student and current Chicago Cubs manager, Joe Maddon, has the Cubs in second place in the National League Central division and they have the fourth-best winning percentage in the National League? Good for Joe.
  2. I have found an NBA story that makes me want to watch the playoffs. The LA Clippers are playing the Houston Rockets and, so far, the star of the series is Austin Rivers.  His father, Doc Rivers, is the head coach.  This combination has never happened before in the NBA.  It is neat to see the two interact.
  3. Big baseball stories normally center around no-hitters, grand slams, or fights. The defense rarely gets its due.  This past Saturday, the Pittsburgh Pirates pulled off a triple play that had never before happened – second to third to second, or as the scorebook showed 4-5-4.  Take a look here.
  4. If outside reports are to be believed, the Eagles did try to make a last-minute trade with Tampa Bay to get the NFL’s #1 draft pick so they could take QB Marcus Mariota. The Bucs would have no part of it and seem very happy they got QB Jameis Winston.
  5. High school baseball is on tap this week. On Wednesday, watch the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference semifinals on RCN TV LIVE at 4:00 and the championship on Thursday at 7:00.  Congratulations to all the Colonial League and EPC teams that made the playoffs.  Even with a loss in the league playoffs, District XI baseball is right around the corner for all of them.

Behind the Mic – December 12th

I know this blog is called “Behind the Mike”, but this week it would be better titled, “Behind The Computer”.  I thought you might be interested in how news and sports people find some of the stories that they report.  You probably often wonder how a reporter went out and found some of the unique stories and people that make up their columns, their TV reports, their radio interviews.  Well, many times, those stories just come to them.

Each week, I am offered some “wonderful opportunity” (their words, not mine) to interview a person on a variety of subjects.  Since I am basically a play-by-play broadcaster and our local programming is limited in scope, those anonymous press agents are seeking out the wrong person.  However, I always find their proposals quite interesting.  Let me share the last ten I have gotten and, by the way, these have come in just this past week.  The comments in parentheses are mine:

  1. Undercover Agent’s Life Made into a Movie  (I have seen this movie many times)
  2. College Basketball Returns  (I never thought it wouldn’t)
  3. Freshman Wins Heisman  (This would be the same person who wanted to discuss the return of college basketball – see #2.  Like me, he, also, reads the paper and watches TV)
  4. A Legend’s Journey – The Life of Jake “The Snake” Roberts – Former Professional Wrestler   (Is “The Snake” really a legend?)
  5. Top 12 Amusement Parks for the Holidays   (I would rather know how to afford them)
  6. Life Threatening Results of Concussions   (I already knew head injuries could be dangerous).
  7. Thuzio – The Ultimate Fan Experience – With Tiki Barber   (Play flag football with a football player; have dinner with an NFL player, etc. – Doesn’t this sound like it would be very, very expensive?)
  8. Sports From a Woman’s Perspective   (I get this message from my wife EVERY weekend!)
  9. New Year’s Revolution – What You Were Born To Do   (So this person was born to tell others what they were born for?  Huh?)
  10. Non-surgical Facelift Uses Sound, Not Scalpel, To Help Smooth Away the Years… in Minutes   (My personal favorite)

So, in conclusion, #10 is my favorite.  I think, before I entertain the idea of having this person on my show, I will hold an iPod up to my face for a week.  I wish I knew what sound works the best.

Let me get back to you on this one!!


 

 ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

  1. Our local football teams were all eliminated from the state playoffs by the Philadelphia Catholic schools.  This has been happening with very few exceptions every year since the Catholic schools became part of the PIAA.  The big difference seems to be the linemen.  We need to get bigger and stronger to compete.
  2. Would it be wrong if Penn State played Ohio State in a Bowl game and the money would go to charity?
  3. It sure looks like there will be a Manny Pacquiao-Juan Marquez #5 after Pacquiao was knocked out cold this past weekend.  Just let these two fight every six months.  By the way, the replay is on HBO this Saturday.
  4. The Phillies, with this week’s trades, seem quite serious about contending again.  The deals look very good right now (but it is December).
  5. Got this offer this week -Jan. 7–BCS National Championship Bowl (Notre Dame-Alabama). Tickets start at $1,450.00. I also have a 20 Person Suite!  Interested??

NFL PICKS FOR THIS WEEK
(Last week- 9-7)  (73-43 for the season – 63%)

  • CINCINNATI
  • GREEN BAY
  • GIANTS
  • NEW ORLEANS
  • ST. LOUIS
  • WASHINGTON
  • MIAMI
  • DENVER
  • HOUSTON
  • SAN DIEGO
  • SEATTLE
  • DETROIT
  • DALLAS
  • OAKLAND
  • NEW ENGLAND
  • JETS