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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dumb Men

A Rod is a dumb man. He must be. Who else would believe the garbage his PR guy gave him to read at his press conference about taking steroids. "I injected myself with a substance for three years and I didn't know what it was and I was young and stupid" He got the stupid part right. Does anyone believe such BS? We expect our politicians to lie but we kind of want our athletes to have some sort of moral code, but of course that would presuppose these are stellar individuals just because they can play a sport that involves a bat and a ball. Let's break it down here. These are dumb men. The old ball players were illiterate as dirt. Farm boys. Laborers. They played for pennies and chewed tobacco and took the games they were given. Beat riding the rails. If they did interviews you heard a yanging sort of accent of West Virginia or Mississippi with a few teeth missing and that buzz cut given in the back of some old drugstore. Baseball players were not exactly at the top of the social totem poll. Bring on television and advertising dollars. Suddenly Slim and Joe and Cal are making thousands of dollars. Bring on stadiums and television now we are in the millions. Now our athletes have to talk for that kind of money and in this country Americans have always confused money with intellectual acumen. That's why we have a plumber running around giving interviews on foreign policy and the economy. That is why we are teetering on the edge of a Depression. People assume that if you have made it materially then you have morphed into an upstanding renaissance man able to speak on a myriad of subjects and that you have the moral rectitude of Gods. Give the man a suit and tie and he can run for President. It is nothing short of amazing that we did elect a smart man who did not have a lot of money. But we fall back into our assumptions with our sports figures. They should be of a different cut. These are men with talent who have made millions of dollars with their talent. They certainly must have something on the ball. All you have to do is watch the smirky A Rod reading the lies on television to realize this isn't so. When the lights dim for old A Rod and he is reduced to signing baseballs for boys who still remember him, he will not go off and read Shakespeare or Chaucer or even popular history. He will simply flip on the tube and watch other lying dumb men.

Books by William Hazelgrove