Just kidding, of course. So my former colleagues at SI can relax. Besides, unlike TIME mag, which awards its Person of the Year to the person (or thing) that had the greatest impact on our lives (for good or disastrous), SI’s SOY is the person (or persons) who most embodies the spirit of sportsmanship blah, blah blah. So no worries, the feds will not be getting an amphora for their trophy case. (In truth, if the award doesn’t go to Tony Dungy there ought to be an investigation.)
Yet there’s no doubt that no one was more impactful (or annoying, depending on your perspective) on sports this year than the feds. They spent millions of your tax dollars chasing down and building cases at those notorious threats to society: Barry Bonds, Michael Vick, Tim Donaghy and Marion Jones.
Don’t get me wrong: Vick broke the law. Done. Marion Jones lied to grand jury. Done. Tim Donaghy danced with the mob and threatened the NBA’s very core. Done
Barry Bonds? We’ll see.
In the end, what will we have learned? How will our games have benefited from the millions spent on bringing these notorious law-breakers to justice.
Well, we learned dog fighting is heinous and costly. We learned lying to the feds is stupid. We learned that leaving voice mails with the mob is stupid.
And oh yes, we learned that athletes are human. They’re they’re far from perfect. Like the rest of us.
Other than that, I’m not sure if I’m getting my money’s worth.
Legal experts are scratching their heads over the recent indictment of Barry Bonds for perjury and obstruction of justice. Four years after he testified before a federal grand jury called to “investigate” the use of steroids in baseball, saying he did not knowingly use performance enhancing drugs, what do they know that they did not know a few months ago when he was chasing Hank Aaron?
Is this just a case of the feds having to show something for their four years in our pockets?
What is their motivation? And what purpose has been served this year – besides saving the lives of who knows how many dogs; a worthy feat in my book – by their high-profile chases?
If you’ve been reading me for awhile you know I loathe conspiracy theorists. But you’ve got to wonder if it’s the only logical card to play after Bonds was singled out (and let’s stop fooling ourselves, this has all been about Bonds from the beginning) and after looking at the hue of most of the high-profile targets of their efforts this year.
The Feds: Sportsmen of the Year.
Now, go away.