Balls, Sticks, & Stuff
9/28/2004
 
Character Counts
Often, individual accomplishments on the field are so extraordinary that we overlook what those accomplishments mean in the context of that player's life, in other words, forgetting that prominent professional athletes are humans with lives outside of sports. Recently, we have seen several of these scenarios:

Obviously, we should be impressed by these accomplishments on the field of play, but even more so when you consider what was happening to these athletes off the field of play and these are just some examples. As the old saying goes, "Sports do not build character, they reveal it."

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On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have Sammy Sosa. Several days ago, Sosa was thrown out sliding into second base while trying to make up for doing his trademark "homer hop" in the batter's box when he incorrectly thought he had hit a homerun. When asked if his trademark hop was a detriment to the Cubs effort to win the National League Wild Card, Sosa replied:
"I have been doing that a lot of years and I'm not changing now."
This sounds a lot more like Leon from the Budweiser TV ads ("There ain't no 'we' in team" and "If they're payin' - Leon's playin'") than one of the two players that helped to rescue baseball in 1998.



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