I actually wrote one of these blog posts earlier in the semester and picked French soccer international, Thierry Henry. The close second on my list of people was the one and only Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United’s most celebrated coach of all time. Most of you are probably unaware of who this is. To give you a little background on Sir Alex Ferguson, he the Coach K of Duke basketball or the Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots(A little more respectable might I add). In other words, he is an absolute legend. During his 26 years of coaching at Manchester United, he won 38 trophies including 13 Premier League Championships and 3 Champions League trophies.
Concussions have become quite a common injury in high school sports. A 2011 study indicates that concussions account for around 15% of all high school injuries for schools with athletic trainers. I specify that these schools have athletic trainers because this injury is often difficult to detect. In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics presented a paper that suggests schools with athletic trainers post higher concussion rates than schools without athletic trainers. This is clearly a problem. High school students will not have the discipline or the awareness to put themselves out of the game if they do not have an athletic trainer. Thus, I propose that Elon Musk invents a device for all sports that can be used to detect concussions.
The World Cup has continuously been the one of the greatest sporting spectacles to bless nations across the world. I say “bless” because for most nations around the world soccer is more than just a sport. In John Oliver’s YouTube spoof of the World Cup in Brazil, a Brazilian woman discusses how soccer truly is a religion. This highly anticipated event, occurring only once every four years, attempts to unify each nation under the religion of soccer. Unfortunately, over the past decade the World Cup has become shrouded in controversy. Why would such an amazing event with the goal of unifying nations become subject to alleged criticism? Simple, the World Cup is run by a corrupt international civil society organization called the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).
Without a doubt, my favorite sporting event to watch is the World Cup. The World Cup is an international soccer tournament that takes place every four years. Over 200 different nations across 6 different continents play matches to be one of the 31 nations to make it into the prestigious World Cup. The World Cup is run by the Federation Internationale de Football Association(FIFA), a civil society organization, whose goal is to improve the game of soccer and unite the world through events and competitions. However, closer looks into FIFA’s practices have illuminated the corrupt, unethical nature of the organization.
Upon searching through past blogs, I eventually came across one entitled “Strategy or Ethics”. In it, Kaitlyn discusses ethics and their place in sports, specifically soccer. She struggles with the question of tripping someone on a breakaway before they are in the box. On one hand, it is a proven and widely used strategy. The result is a difficult free kick, as opposed to alternatives, which range from a 1 on 0 with the goalie to ejection from the game via red card. With soccer and ethics in mind, I immediately thought of an ethical issue with tight ties to the sport- flopping. However, due to my lack of knowledge in soccer history, and a thrilling overtime Bulls’ win Tuesday night, I decided to approach flopping from the sport it seems to have affected to a similar extent, basketball.
Forty years ago, before the term “flopping” had been used in the NBA, Dave Cowens was so enraged after an opponent drew a charge on him that he chased the player down the court and tackled him! Cowens viewed the flop as dishonorable, unethical. The public shared a similar mentality. Today, watching five minutes of an NBA game without seeing an embellished fall is less likely than the Patriots getting through a season without a cheating scandal. It has become a part of the game. So, I ask you, is flopping unethical?
LeBron James is the best basketball player alive today. He will likely be remembered as one of the greatest of all time. He is paid incredible amounts of money to entertain the public through his sport. LeBron, the entertainer, also has a tendency to dramatize his performance. Not only is he following an important rule of the industry (no one wants to watch a lazy performance), he is being a competitor. Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cavaliers, brought LeBron to his team because he thought it gave them the best chance of winning. It is here that LeBron must make a choice. Does he unethically “destroy the sanctity of the game” by flopping, or unethically accept Dan Gilbert’s contract offer knowing he won’t employ one of the most effective point-accruing strategies in the league?
I dislike flopping and wish it wasn’t a part of the game, basketball or soccer, but my dislike does not stem from an ethical dilemma. In my opinion, flopping slows down the game and isn’t as impressive as solid defense. I do not find it, however, to be unethical. Over the course of time, societal views shift and ethical boundaries shift with them. Forty years ago, I may have considered it unethical to flop. Today, I have begrudgingly accepted it as part of the game. Because it has become so normal, it is my opinion that players no longer view flopping as a decision of ethics, but instead as just another regulation of the game. Referees are trained to watch for and penalize flops just as they are for any other rule breaking. Nobody accuses a player who receives a reach-in foul of playing unethically, but what is different about a flopping foul when both are clearly defined in the rules and regulations of the sport?
Here is a LeBron James flopping compilation. What do you think? Is this unethical? Just a part of the game? An Oscar worthy performance?
As I browsed through the depths of 302 blogs, I came across a blog labelled “Dinner with Michael Jordan”. The blog talked about Michael Jordan’s success both on the basketball court and in the corporate world. He consistently referred to Michael Jordan as the G.O.A.T(Greatest of All Time). Now, everyone who knows me knows that I am a a crazy soccer fan. So immediately I thought about the G.O.A.T of soccer, Thierry Henry. The french international is definitely one of the most decorated players in history. From winning the 1998 World Cup, the 2000 Euro Cup, and the English Premier League to being named Footballer of the Year on 3 separate occasions, it is without question Thierry Henry is the absolute G.O.A.T. Despite all these accolades, one of the major reasons I would want to have dinner with him is because of a firsthand experience playing against him.