Taking it from the top, former MLB slugger Albert Belle was arrested last Thursday for stalking his ex-girlfriend. We’re not exactly sure why a rich, famous, former star athlete would have to resort to stalking women to get laid, but perhaps his bat wasn’t corked, if you know what we mean. Ironically, Belle was busted for corking his bat in 1994 while with the Cleveland Indians. After he retired in 2000, Prince Albert moved to Arizona where he added a DUI to his résumé in 2002.
Belle was never exactly the fan-favorite and the best guy for the Indians’ marketing team to, ugh, market, but still…stalking an old girlfriend? Even we think that’s pretty fucked up.
Then on Sunday, there were two big events in the crazy, psychopathic and hazy world that we’ve come to know as sports. (And we’re certainly not talking about the NBA All-Star game, which, by the way, we have a hard time calling anything but “recess”).
First, NFL running back and star of the film Cheech and Chong: kites are high, then there’s us, Ricky Williams, violated the NFL’s substance abuse policy by testing positive for an illegal substance according to the fine folks at the Miami Herald. Because this is Williams’ fourth violation, he may be suspended for the entire 2006 season. (The previous three instances were marijuana-related, so we’ll go out on a limb and say this fourth violation was also for pot. Just a hunch).
Williams has been spending time in Northern California and India doing some yoga training, which, in itself, screams, "What the fuck?!". But despite the numerous publications and websites reporting this whole yoga thing, we just don’t buy it. We think Williams is somewhere in the Himalayas, shooting for his new movie, 7 years in Tibet and 18 bong rips later..., and shooting the breeze with some monks.
Also on Sunday, everybody’s favorite steroid pumping, homerun hitting, soap opera star Barry Bonds, made the news. This time, he told USA Today that he was going to retire after the 2006 season. Then Giants’ PR people whispered in Barry’s ear that he shouldn’t have said that and if he retracts the statement, they’d give him an extra Oreo at snack time. Because he’s so fond of Oreo cookies, Bonds then told MLB.com a few hours later that he may play in 2007 if his body holds up.
No one ever seems to know what is going on in Barry’s mind – and now he may not even know. He told MLB.com,
“I’m playing psychological games with myself right now. I don’t want to set myself up for disappointment if things don’t work out this season. So I go back and forth. Back and forth every day. These are the things that are going through my mind. This is what I’m struggling with.”
We’ll admit that we’re very biased towards the Giants and really like when Barry hits homeruns. But quotes like this are just disturbing. It’s never clear what is going on in that large head of his, but if we could peek inside, we’d bet that Cirque du Soleil would be performing while unicorns and other fictitious animals, like a Minotaur, perhaps, looked on.
Children everywhere are rumored to view athletes as role models. But the way these chumps have been acting, maybe they should find some new idols – their parents would be a good place to start. Sure, there are many athletes who do good things for the community, donate to charity and sign an occasional autograph, but all these athletes really do is play sports. It’s not like they save the world or anything...but hey, with Belle chasing women, Williams taking hits on and off the field and Bonds’ mental games, maybe they think they can, in fact, save the world.
This column was published in the University of Washington's The Daily.
In other news:The U.S. women's hockey team won the bronze medal after beating Emilio Estevez and the Mighty Ducks, 4-0.