Brian Hamilton: Take me out to the ball game, and hurry! |

Brian Hamilton: Take me out to the ball game, and hurry!

A basketball referee possibly participating in a point-shaving scheme, a quarterback allegedly moonlighting as the Don King of dogfighting and a baseball slugger, rumored to be fueled by steroids, on the verge of bringing down the most precious record of our national pastime.

What’s next, another Tour de France champion testing positive for doping?

Do we dare knock on wood?

It’s been quite a week in the wide world of sports (blotter).

The Michael Vick investigation itself would have sufficed for a week’s worth of water cooler conversations, at least talks with those who would actually hear of such a disgusting demonstration of the lack of regard for the life of animals.

A co-worker of mine heard the word “dogfighting” and actually stopped me short of sharing another single word about how a million-dollar athlete decided to get his kicks.

She didn’t hear about the inhumanity these supposed human beings had reportedly shown to these animals. She didn’t know how they allegedly electrocuted or beat the inferior fighters to death.

Good for her.

Let’s just hope she doesn’t channel surf into any that looped videotaped footage of man’s best friends fighting to the death.

Her only response?

“He should have the exact same thing happen to him.”

Fair enough.

And how about that NBA referee who apparently couldn’t make ends meet on his actual salary for officiating? According to a story I read on, those officials

actually make some pretty good coin, reportedly somewhere between $100,000 to

$300,000 per year.

And they don’t have to deal with Bobby Knight!

“We would like to assure our fans that no amount of effort, time or personnel is being spared to assist in this investigation, to bring to justice an individual who has

betrayed the most sacred trust in professional sports, and to take the necessary steps

to protect against this ever happening again,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said in a statement.

Let’s hope that’s true ” and wouldn’t it have been nice to hear the exact same thing from the lips of Bud Selig when the reality of baseball’s steroid era started to come to light? .

Oddly enough, just the other night Sports writer, Ross Maak, and I were wondering which was worse: the 1919 Black Sox or the steroids scandal?

The truth is, both cut to the very core of sports.

If we can’t believe that we’re seeing ” at the risk of riling up all you pro rasslin’ fans ” a pure competitive athletic event contested on an even playing field, then what, my fellow sports fans, is the point of watching?

And, personally, with each home run flying off the bat of Barry Bonds, I cringe with that very thought.

Yes, it’s been quite a week, one that makes you want to take a shower and then head out to a Little League game as soon as possible. There, at least, we can be reminded once again what our games are really supposed to be all about.


Brian Hamilton is sports editor at The Union. His column appears Saturdays. Contact him via e-mail at or by phone at 477-4240.

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