Friday, July 6, 2007

I'll take two coffees, a roll, and a kidney please

There was a great story in today’s USA Today about former Cowboys teammates Everson Walls and Ron Springs. As much as I loathe the Cowboys, this story touched me and felt it deserved some thought. Bear with me…I promise I’ll bring the funny back this afternoon.

After learning Springs was severely suffering from Type 2 Diabetes, Walls donated a kidney to Springs. It’s safe to say that by doing so, he saved his life. Now, I understand that people donate kidneys every day. Usually it involves the transfer from one family member to another. But back when these two were playing (1981), your team was your family. I’ve touched on it before and I’ll say it again – the concept of “team” has changed throughout sports.

What do you think Jeter would say if he got this call from Arod in 20 years: “Hey man. I’ve got some bad news. My kidney’s failing and I need a new one. Can you spare one of yours?”. OK, so it wouldn’t go like that, but you get the idea. Athletes today look at each other less as teammates and more like co-workers.

What’s to blame? The salaries, the endorsements, the merchandising deals. Look at the AL East for example. Collectively they have the highest payroll in baseball and only one of the teams is above .500. And as a division, they have shown the least amount of “team” behavior. Franchises are being run more and more like corporations and while that’s the quickest way to financial gain, it changes the dynamic of the organization. And ultimately, it’s the fan who suffers.

I’m not saying that Peyton needs to run out and start donating kidneys to his running backs (He’s a busy man. He’s got commercials to film). But I am saying that we need to get back to what “team” used to mean. The ’86 Mets. The ’85 Bears. That’s what I’m talking about.

2 comments:

grungedave said...

Ah, the '86 Mets - my kinda team. Coke binges and wife-swapping.

Wait, f--k the Mets, they beat my Astros that year.

McAdory said...

Whats wrong with those guys? Have you seen those mustaches? Priceless, they should be wearing the white linen suit with a pastel shirt underneath. Those guys epitomize the 80's and they kick Boston's ass, thats the important thing.