Sideline Slants

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JOE KLEINSASSER
With the recent terrorist attack on our country still fresh in my mind, here are some things I don’t need to hear for awhile in sports.


— I don’t need to hear a football coach say, “We are going to war against our opponent,” or “It was a war out there.”


— I don’t need to hear a coach say, “Our kids showed a lot of heart.”


— I don’t need to hear a coach say, “Our team has a lot of guts.”


— I don’t need to hear any opponent in athletics referred to as “the enemy.” High school and college kids wearing uniforms from another school are not enemies of Hillsboro, Marion, Peabody or Tabor. They are simply young men and women representing their school in an athletic competition.


— I don’t need to hear a coach or sportswriter say, “They have an offensive arsenal with a lot of weapons.”


— I don’t need to hear a coach talk about how their team is making great sacrifices in order to succeed.


— I don’t need to hear NFL referees complain about their wages. Do you think it’s merely a coincidence that the NFL and the regular officials came to a contract agreement a week after the terrorist attack?


How silly would it look for NFL officials to stay on strike and quibble over a contract when they are being offered a 50 percent raise this season and a 100 percent increase by the fourth year of a six-year contract?


All the while, rescuers worked long hours without complaint and cleanup crews broke their backs trying to do a back-breaking job while dealing with unspeakable horrors.


— I don’t need to hear any more bickering between baseball players and owners. In case you didn’t know, Major League Baseball will again be on strike next spring unless the two sides can agree on a new contract.


In light of the recent tragedy, if players and owners can’t settle their differences, they’ll be known as “The Weakest Link” in America.


— I don’t need to hear an athlete referred to as a hero. A real hero is someone who lays down his or her life trying to save someone else. That equates to the New York City firefighters and police officers, the volunteers and rescue workers, and the airline passengers who may have saved many lives by bringing down their flight in a Pennsylvania field.


NFL analyst John Madden said, “When I saw those firemen going into (the twin towers) when everybody else was running out, I made up my mind never again to use ‘tough’ to describe a football player. That belongs to those guys. It doesn’t belong to football players.”


— I don’t need to hear the reason

NFL players still want to play a 16-game schedule instead of a 15-game schedule this season is so they don’t miss a paycheck.


How ironic is it that the head of security for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games was in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 11 to ask for additional funding for security in February 2002?


I don’t know if the likelihood of U.S. Air Force jets flying overhead will be comforting or disconcerting for spectators at the upcoming winter Olympics.

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