Guest / Limited Access /

It is no coincidence that two current bad boys of sports agree on what constitutes the essence of sports. Unfortunately it is a philosophy that is getting them, and sports in general, into all sorts of trouble.

Terrell Owens is not a genuine article "bad boy," just a boy with bad manners, someone who represents the garish side of modern sports. He loves to delight the crowds with his antics, on and off the field. In his recent ego-biography, Catch This!, he recognizes that many people think he is "shameless, selfish, egotistical," but he justifies his outrageous behavior with this: "They forget that football is entertainment." Unfortunately, many say his idea of entertainment is like the junior-high kid who thinks burping at the dinner table is funny.

Jose Canseco, on the other hand, is a genuine article bad boy. He's not only self-centered, he's a cheat—something Owens is not. In his just-published best selling tell-all, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big, he acknowledges that he took steroids all through his baseball career. And he did so primarily to give the fans a good show: "I always saw myself as more of an entertainer than a ballplayer," he writes.

On top of that, he argues, the more steroids the better. With a syllogism worthy of Aristotle, he writes, "People want to be entertained at the ballpark. They want baseball to be fun and exciting. Home runs are fun and exciting. … Steroid-enhanced athletes hit more home runs."

And like a logician, he takes his philosophy to its inevitable conclusion. Baseball is not a contest or competition between two teams—the traditional understanding. Instead, "[Baseball] needs to remember that this is a game about individual athletes ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueAndy Crouch: Stop Engaging 'The Culture,' Because It Doesn't Exist
Subscriber Access Only Andy Crouch: Stop Engaging 'The Culture,' Because It Doesn't Exist
We should spend more time loving our flesh-and-blood neighbor.
RecommendedWhy Every Christian Should Be Ambitious
Subscriber Access Only Why Every Christian Should Be Ambitious
How drive and dogged pursuit are aspects of bearing God's image. An adapted excerpt from 'A Woman’s Place.'
TrendingDied: Tim LaHaye, Author Who 'Left Behind' a Long Legacy
Died: Tim LaHaye, Author Who 'Left Behind' a Long Legacy
Jerry B. Jenkins: 'Thrilled as I am that he is where he has always wanted to be, his departure leaves a void in my soul.'
Editor's PickIs There a Better Way to Fight 'Political Correctness'?
Is There a Better Way to Fight 'Political Correctness'?
When language is a tool for coercion, nobody wins.
Christianity Today
Baseball Isn't Entertainment
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

February 2005

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.