Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
June 11, 2018
For some reason, we as sports fans revel in the failure of other people as well as accept those who are awful individuals as “good” because they follow a particular world view that you have adopted. Personally, if you are an awful individual I don’t care what you brought to the table or what change you supposedly instilled. Either way, the sports world has been in a frenzy this past week as two major sports wrapped up a little quicker than expected. Alex Ovechkin finally silenced some critics by leading his team to a Stanley Cup and Golden State mercifully ended the NBA finals as the Cavaliers decided to prep for their offseason vacations than play game four. It was a good thing I guess, for we can really start talking about the dirtiest sport in North America, that being baseball. My favorite description of baseball was when someone called it “just an excuse to get messed up” considering the league’s long history of substance abuse. Heck, substance abuse seems to be a pretty big reason for so many athletes getting themselves into trouble. I look at it this way…when you have tons of money on the line, don’t you think you would want o try and stay clean and keep a good image? Well, some people think the American public is stupid and thus believe we should keep worshipping those that cheat. Either way, last week I featured some fav athletes of mine, but this week we have to have some stories about people who were basically the best in the world, but let their personal lives and vices get the best of them. And we start with the guy that I have written about more often than not….
LANCE FREAKING ARMSTRONG
Ask anyone who one of the best homerun/doubles players of all time is and they will leak out the usual suspects like David Ortiz, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols. No one seems to remember Albert Belle, one of the most interesting and controversial players in the history of the game. He had a short career to say the least, but he was possibly the best player in the league between 1991 to 2000. During that 10 year stretch, only Barry Bonds hit more homers than him, and we all know Bonds started juicing late in the decade. He also drove in 120 runs a season and hit .300 during that stretch. Oddly enough, his best season came in the strike shortened 1995 campaign, where he had 50 homers, 52 doubles and 126 RBIs in a 144-game season. He is the only player in history to hit 50 homers and doubles in a season, and he almost did it again in 1998. So why is this guy not remembered? Well, for one thing, he had a really horrible temper and attitude. He was an HR nightmare for his first team the Cleveland Indians and would frequently get fined and suspended. Not to mention he got caught corking his bat in 1994. One time he tried running over some kids that egged his house on Halloween when he wasn’t passing out any candy, settling the case for a million dollars after he “bumped” one of them. When he left the league at the age of 33 in 2001, he was still a good hitter, finishing his 2000 season with a .281 average with only 68 strikeouts in 622 plate appearances. Yeah he was coming back from an injury, but he was still young enough to make a full comeback. But no one wanted him, and thus fell into obscurity. His post career life has been one long string of anger management episodes as well, including stalking, DUI and indecent exposure. Needless to say, despite a solid resume that is better than a great many players in the hall of fame, Belle’s behavior off the field will keep him from earning the honors he so greatly wanted.
Okay, the book is still being written on him, but the first half is still pretty darn captivating. Rather than playing on Sundays in the fall, he is playing in the Canadian Football league this year and has an outside shot to be the starter for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/news/johnny-manziel-cfl-first-touchdown-pass-hamilton-tiger-cats-ticats-stats-browns-texas-am-video-watch/1ww6tj8qkazap1npyxuh0isfu3While people love a good comeback story, this comeback should have never happened. He skipped out on weight lifting. He missed out on film sessions. He didn’t really live a healthy lifestyle, drinking too much and making side trips to Las Vegas during the season. The thing is, he played for the Cleveland Browns, a team desperate for anything north of three wins a season, and thus they allowed Manziel’s behavior to get out of control. While you can blame the person for their own screw-ups, the Browns had problems with weed and discipline all through out this past decade. The fact they never laid down the law didn’t really help him all that much. Anyway, he lost millions of dollars because he wanted to be a frat boy, and now we shall see if playing for the league rookie average of $50,000 will bring some perspective to what he really lost.
You might not know who this guy is, so watch the documentary “Unguarded” and you will find out rather quickly. A highly touted player in the mid 90s, he was looking to be one of the biggest surprises of the college basketball world. However, one of the problems that fell onto so many other players just like him was the scourge of cocaine. Cocaine and basketball really had its heyday from the mid 70s to the late 90s, devouring a great many players along the way. Herron was no different, for he would show up to games strung out. https://youtu.be/fMK9VbhIv2cHe was viewed as a potentially good point guard, like a quicker Steve Nash at the time. But his habits got the best of him and ultimately squashed his career. Every drug that was out there, he seemingly tried it. Before he decided to get sober, he told a crazy story about him getting high in the back of a 7-11, pondering the idea of driving his car and leaving everything behind…including his wife and daughter. Fortunately, he got his life together and is now an anti-drug advocate. But let’s just say he blew it. In my opinion he was as talented as Steve Nash, Jason Williams, John Stockton and many of his other contemporaries that were in the league at the time. But drugs may make you feel like a million bucks, but it quickly destroys even the most finely tuned body.
While some might say the shocking events at Penn State is some of the most disgusting things you could possibly hear about, the university at least made an effort to remove all vestiges of Joe Paterno’s sullied legacy. Baylor on the other hand was probably even worse, for while the lives of coaches is one thing, this school seemingly took cheating and scandal to whole new levels within multiple sports. First and foremost, the football team. My school the University of Arizona got rocked and sent into a tailspin over one sexual assault case in 2015. A sexual harassment case in 2017 pretty much ended the coach’s career and has basically destroyed any progress the program has made the past decade. That is how a normal university might deal with some issues. Well, Baylor had 17 cases of sexual assault in the span of five years…and covered them all up. It wasn’t until 2015 when the scandal came to a head and disrupted the entire football program. Players left, scholarships removed and the head coach Art Briles was fired. Needless to say the football program was a budding top 10 program, and have been reduced to a one win team in two years. And then you have the basketball program, which was so crooked in the 2000s, that they got busted for improper payments, drug use and lying to federal investigators. Oh, and a player on the team shot and killed another player. All this is coming from a strict Baptist school mind you. The school is full of hypocrisy as well, for the they have a predictable no homosexuality clause and no premarital sexual intercourse clause for its students. Didn’t stop them from looking the other way for former women’s basketball player Britney Griner, who is openly gay and openly admitted she had a relationship in college. I guess when you bring your school three final fours and a championship, so called “moral clauses” go out the window.
I could go on and on about this, but there is no point in kicking down down a dead horse. Either way, maybe I will do another one of these someday, but who knows.
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
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Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.