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Sports Talk: Trouble always finds a star

Have some famous pro athletes become stupid, selfish, or both? Are they competing for publicity with Michael Jackson and Britney Spears and others that we hear about ad nauseam?

Pete Rose and Kobe Bryant couldn't seem to be satisfied just being rich and famous. Even former Atlanta Brave Otis Nixon stabbed his own bodyguard. By the way, what in the devil does Otis Nixon need a bodyguard for?

If I were on top of the world like these athletes have been at some point in life I would chain myself in the house, handcuffed to the recliner, before I'd throw it away because of some vice.

Those of us that lead simple, boring lives and can barely afford to go home, much less on a cruise or exotic vacation, manage to find contentment without pillaging the village. Why can't these big time athletes?

Liberal psychologists will offer that like movie stars, these athletes are under great pressure to perform. Some will say they have too much idle time.

I say, "Bull!"

If I could play baseball like Pete Rose, I could find another diversion besides betting on the very team I managed. Why lie about it for years, deny himself a deserved spot in the Hall of Fame, profit from a confession and then act like a victim? Can't being one of baseball's greatest players ever be enough?

Why couldn't Kobe Bryant put his brain in gear when confronted with temptation? Besides being married, he could easily have arranged for female company that wouldn't drag his high profile into the gutter.

It amazes me that people that are already riding the highest attract trouble like my mouth attracts sausage biscuits. Somehow many sports stars have become like Hollywood types.

They manage to find themselves at the top of the list for fame for the wrong reasons.

Web posted on Thursday, January 22, 2004

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