Another Raven in Cuffs, Does It Matter? Idolizing Players Is Dumb and Are The Orioles Becoming More Likeable Than The Ravens?

Featured, Sports and Bets — March 10, 2014 at 12:41 pm by

Jah Reid became the latest Raven to feel the cold embrace of handcuffs this weekend, as the big O-lineman was arrested on battery charges after an altercation in a Key West bar.  Being young, drunk, and in a bar fight is probably not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, but when you’re playing in the NFL, everything you do is magnified times 1,000.  The fact that Reid is the third Raven to be arrested this off-season makes the timing of his drunken fisticuffs even worse.  Granted, of the three arrests, I’ll take alleged bar brawling over Deonte Thompson’s alleged drug charges and Ray Rice’s alleged domestic uppercutting, but none of the three incidents are the stuff that make billion dollar organizations happy, especially one as image concerned as the NFL.

But we’re used to our football players acting unprofessional here in Baltimore, aren’t we?  And it really doesn’t matter what guys do as long as they produce on the filed, right?. Hell, we all know Ray Lewis was once up for murder charges.  But Ray- Ray turned his image around with some scripture from the good Lord and some hall of fame football.  (I still think that if Ray was such a good Christian he would talk to police about what happened that night, but that’s just me.  Obviously, the way he’s worshiped around here most people don’t agree with me, as long as he kept thumping that Bible and winning football games, nobody gave a shit about what happened in Atlanta. )  T-Sizzle was once charged with domestic issues, and he just got rewarded and publicly applauded for restructuring his contract.  (He’s also one of my favorite players ever.)  Jamal Lewis was charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, but kept on getting hand-offs from Ravens quarterbacks, rushing for over 2,000 yards and scoring 12 TDs in the two years after federal charges were filed.  Chris McAllister got popped for DUI more than once, and who could forget Corey Fuller, who once faced gun and gambling charges for running high stakes poker games out of his house.  But none of that mattered because these dudes could, and can play ball.  The Ravens failed to part ways with any of these players, with the exception of Fuller, because their football talents outweighed their off the field problems.

So now back to Reid, Rice, and Thompson.  What will be their futures?  Rice will stay, because despite the extremely egregious nature of his alleged crime, he’s getting paid too much to just get cut.  The Ravens won’t eat that contract, nor should they.  Thompson will probably get cut, but that’s more because he can’t play on a consistent level and he’s not worth the headache.  I have a feeling that deep in the heart of the castle, Reid’s case isn’t viewed as that huge of a deal.  But if the NFL suspends Jah, the Ravens will have to determine his value to headache level.  With the O-line problems the Ravens have had, my guess is that he sticks around since he’s still young and still has a smidgen of potential.  Remember, the arrest only matter if the player isn’t any good.

Meanwhile, the Orioles are looking more and more likeable by the day.  Adam Jones tweets about local food and burgers constantly, and when he’s seen around town he’s always cordial and tipping big.  Chris Davis comes off as approachable, humble and hard-working.  In fact, the Orioles as a whole come across that way, and that comes from their manager, Buck Showalter.  A bunch of the players came to Nelson Cruz’s first spring training presser to welcome him to the team.  Ubaldo Jimenez has commented on how easy it was to fit into his new club house because all the players in it are so nice.  After years of playing second fiddle to the winning and PR powerhouse of the Ravens, the O’s are suddenly looking like the more likeable bunch, all because the Ravens are allegedly punching women and strangers and allegedly dealing drugs.

But the bottom line is that we as fans just shouldn’t put pro athletes on such a pedestal.  Sure, sports are great, and it’s a lot of fun to have a home ball club to root for, but these dudes are just dudes, same as us.  They make mistakes too.  We as fans have to keep in mind that fame and money aren’t necessarily easy things to handle at a young age.  And sometimes your past and your friends can put an even bigger strain on early success and the dollars that come with it.  Hell, I’ve been in a Jah Reid bar situation before, I just was lucky not to have been arrested.  And while that is not an excuse for Reid’s behavior, it is a reminder; athletes are not role models and shouldn’t be presented as such to fans, especially children.  Sure kids can admire an athlete’s performance and work ethic, but to think that someone should be idolized as life’s  role model because they are good at sports is fucking absurd.  We as fans don’t know these athletes, we just know the parts that they let us see;  and sometimes when the other parts of these people’s lives are revealed, it ain’t too pretty.

So enjoy the games, the sports banter, the camaraderie of fandom, and don’t lose your love for the games themselves.  But don’t idolize the players, you don’t really know shit about them, and too often they will just let you down.

…….and even though he’s not a Raven, don’t forget Aaron Hernandez!

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