Professional Male Athletes: Cheaters All

Glenn CardSenior Analyst IMarch 24, 2010

WINDERMERE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Tiger Woods practices golf outside his home on February 18, 2010 in Windermere, Florida. Woods will make a statement at the PGA Tour headquarters this Friday morning (February 19, 2010), according to a notice on the PGA Tour's web site.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

It’s possible that if you’re a male sports fan you may be faced with the same problem that I’ve been dealing with lately. Explaining to your wife/girlfriend/significant other how it is possible that male athletes seem incapable of keeping their focus when it comes to committed relationships?

I’m not sure how I became the spokesperson for the rest of my kind. I have valiantly tried to frame my responses to ensure that we, males, are not all viewed as creatures with the same mind and motivations that get these few sports stars targeted in the press.

It’s easy for me to fall back on my standard and well used analysis that the star athlete peccadilloes that we become aware of are far removed from the many normal relationships that exist throughout the sporting world.

My female counterpart can quickly rattle off a number of high profile male fiascoes one after another. The list ranges from a president, governors and presidential hopefuls to pro golfers, NBA stars, NFL stars, sports announcers, late night show hosts, down to the lowly NFL football mascot Pat Patriot.

I find myself not defending my gender but trying to explain why Ben Roethlisberger is facing a similar problem but not the same as Kobe Bryant as Ben’s not married or exclusive with anyone I’ve heard of. Long ago, I tried talking my way around Magic Johnson’s mess.

I had trouble explaining why Derek Jeter has a synonym as a nickname and his teammate Alex Rodriguez seems to wear the badge proudly. How would you explain the “Multiple Mistress Keeper,” Tiger Woods?

The problem is these cheater chronicles aren’t new and are not specific to sports or one sports franchise. The list of offenders is long.

I would like to believe that all these sensational stories are out of the norm, not of the norm, anomalies of the wider populace. I prefer to think I’m safe in saying that statistically, stable and long-term relationships are maintainable by the male athletes of the species.

I could be wrong though.

This is what has lead me to what is possibly the stronger of my two arguments. Although the second is inherently logically flawed any of you guys are welcome to use it next time you’re asked, “How come?”

It goes like this.

I am then, the anomaly of the male gender. So separate am I that I only associate myself with other males of my kind and I can probably name them off with my fingers and toes, those friends of mine that I could never throw under the bus.

I don’t mind tossing pro athletes onto the trash heap as they never show up at my barbecues, besides, who am I going to watch the games with if I don’t include my buds as my contemporaries?

So instead, it’s we few males who are what the rest of our gender should aspire to.

Sure, you might think that professional athletes might be higher up the evolutionary chain. But by the truth that I have made up, these modern day hunter gatherers of our world have to forfeit some aspect of their humanity to have advanced skills in their chosen sport.

I am the sensible one. My yin and yang are in balance and I am thus a much rarer commodity in this diluted world.

I may not be much of a hunter but I’m a hell of a cook manning the grill. My wife knows that I’m not straying too far from the cuisine I’m cooking. When we set the table, we’re eating together.

I’m sure there are some good guys in pro sports but even if that is true I can no longer root for a single individual athlete. I could be only a news story away from being guilty by association.

I’m now rooting for the teams, not the players. The name on my sports jersey is my own. If I’m going to crash and burn for any reason it is going to be due to a predicament of my own making, I don’t need anybody else helping me to stub my toe.

In this world according to me, the athletes should be out there hunting down my jersey. They should endeavor to join me and my band of brothers rather than have me trying to explain their failures.

My self-devised truth allows me to benefit from the failings of idiots. I don’t know if my wife really believes my B/S but she does seem to appreciate the story.

The real truth is, there are more of us real men out there than not but we don’t make the news. What’s so sensational about the “Dudley Do Rights?” We’d all rather read and hear about the “Guys Gone Bad.”

Monogamy is achievable and desirable. It’s not only about an enduring love; it’s also about survivability with the one you love.

You can keep your medals, rings or trophy; keep your fame, glory, and money; I’ll keep my wife, my love of life, and sanity.

And that does not require an explanation.

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