WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Even confronting a tragedy, pro sports shows its amoral side

A tragic murder--suicide was not enough to justify the postponement of a game. What would it take? Maybe two tragedies?

See this commentary from the FORBES website...


Posted at 7:41am on December 4, 2012 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Dec 4, 2012 8:22am
I heard about this yesterday on WWTX Fox Sports Radio's Dan Patrick Show. Very tragic.

I agree with the Forbes article that the game should have been rescheduled or canceled (they probably would reschedule given all the money at stake, which is probably why they went ahead and played the game anyway - money). The owners of these teams seem to forget that these athletes are humans and when something like this happens in their workplace, just as if it could happen in ours, they and we all would need those grief counselors to help each person deal with the tragic event.

Our society seems to like our sports figures to be sort of a "wild breed", like a gladiator. Difference is the Ancient Roman society was far more violent where if you ticked off someone, you'd very likely get a sword in your chest. So our sports figures seem to be encouraged to have that gladiator mentality about them, but when the game is done for the day, they're supposed to pack-up that gladiator gene and put it away until next week's game. Then we're surprised when our sports heroes act badly.

One thing I took away from the article is, money is not the route of happiness, as the sports figures seem to have all sorts of problems and anxieties, etc., thus what probably contributed to this tragedy.

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 8:25am
I don't know. It reminds me of the old philosophy prevalent during the Vietnam War which was used when a chopper just dropped out of the sky from mechanical failure. The rest of the group dropped down and collected the bodies and got out immediately. If the pilots didn't fly within thirty minutes, they never flew again... The shakes would overtake them; they mentally could not do it.

They had thought too much about it... But once in the air, and once they returned to base without further incident, their brain could accept that it had been a fluke occurrence and probably would not happen again.

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 8:07pm
Well it certainly served as an opportunity for Bob Costas to spew the usual gun control agenda from the left. Nothing quite like exploitation, huh?

Tue, Dec 4, 2012 8:47pm
Actually if the 'right' was really serious about guns, and not just interested in using it as a campaign bludgeon, one would think they would come up with some type of safety valve or control to make such random violent acts harder to perpetrate. In other words, they should be the ones coming up with a system that keeps guns out of the hands of those who are unstable, and which will continue to allow responsible people the right to enjoy with no government oversight.

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 6:53am
Kavips: There used to be a safety valve. It was referred to as "morals". Your people want to keep taking those away.

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Dec 5, 2012 8:02am
Kavips and Mrpizza: Both make good points.

Kavips is correct, the GOP should be coming up with a better system to help keep guns out of the hands of the kooks and other unstable people. Every knucklehead shouldn't be allowed to own a gun, rifle, and definitely, not an assault weapon.

Mrpizza is correct, too. The DEMS, on the other hand, seem to believe that by removing God, in particular the Christian faith from our society, would make America a better place. Better for what, I'm not sure as we now live in a harsher, less kind, far less peaceful society where sexual immorality is considered "normal" and OK, etc., etc. Having those moral values of the Judeo/Christian ethic has in the past helped make America a good, safe place in which to live, far more than what we're seeing today without those Judeo/Christian moral ethics.

So you both are correct in my opinion.

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 9:10am
Just one little tweak on Mike's statement. Yes, there are people out there who do not believe in God. Since such beliefs clash harshly with those of the Republican Party, they tend to matriculate over to the Democratic Party which does not ostracize for one's beliefs. That in no way means that all Democrats are all immoral and in no way implies a majority of Democrats do not believe in God...

The fine edge of reality that gets misinterpreted by the mega-churches on the right, is that Democrats, probably as a direct result of their diversity, do not think official religion and official government should be intertwined. To force minority religions to pray to the majority's God, just to attend a Sussex County meeting, is actually blasphemous to both gods... Public religion has its place; to guide the morals of the nation. Public government has its duty as well: to make sure the dispensing of its laws, falls equally upon all....

Your concern over a lack of rigid sexual morality, is simply because it is the churches that have failed, and that have not done their jobs sufficiently. It is not because a government has been overzealous in undermining values....

If there is a decline in Judeo-Christian values, and I'll agree, there is, the problem lies with the churches; not the government. If, as you imply, the only reason we previously had a Judeo-Christian common morality was because our GOVERNMENT FORCED US TO COMPLY, ... then those values never had much strength to begin with....

So what is wrong with today's organized religions, that they cannot sell morality to their congregations? If rigid sexual morality is natural law... why are religions always looking to the government to bail them out on this?

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 10:19am
Ok, I just got a few extra minutes, so let me offer my ideas on what organized religions should be doing to bring morality back to the table of daily discussion....

The issue: Why long a term sexual relationship with one partner should be the first choice of everyone. Here are some things one can say....

Your life is fuller and richer when you share it with someone. It is easier to explain yourself to someone who has known you for most of your lifetime. Although all of us are superheroes in our own minds, the reality is often we do get overwhelmed by events bigger than us. Always fighting them alone, means we'll eventually tire out faster. Being part of a team that has people who think differently from you in times like these, is an asset.

Trust is required for happiness. If you are bouncing from one partner to the next, where does it stop becoming meaningful and new? With the second one, the tenth, the 50th, the 100th, the 200th, the 1000th, or the 15,000th?

Out of all of those, who do you trust? None? What then did you accomplish in your life? What good are you going to leave behind?

Relationships ebb and flow over a lifetime. There are moments of hotness; there are moments of coolness... When we are young, we think ourselves as following the one true way, whichever way that may be. We think we are the smart ones, we found the answers, and the world should be following us... Thinking that way, is just part of being young. Without it, we'd never develop personalities. We'd just be a collection of memories. But as we gain perspective over time, we realize our way is not for everyone. We were shown a unique set of circumstances when we were growing up, and that molded our beliefs. Others with different circumstances got molded in different ways. Exploring these others, often challenges our beliefs, and educates us to new ones. We selectively discard what is no longer needed, replacing them with new tools that may be useful in our future....

It takes a great man to stick with his spouse, when his head and heart are looking elsewhere. Likewise it takes a great woman to do the same... Though the immediate benefit of splitting up may seem obvious at the moment, the new relationship probably won't work out over a long period of time. And old age is when you really do need support; that is the absolute worst time to be totally independent.... Going through the end of life alone is close to unbearable. It can be done, but is far worse than sharing it with someone who has traveled most of that journey alongside of you.

Life is sort of like hiking the Appalachian Trail. As you come down off Mt Katahdin at its end, just steps from entering the parking lot, you look at your partner, and say, "wow, we did it. We survived." and your memory flashes back over the whole trip, the pain, the suffering, the aches, the teamwork, the joy, the breathtaking moments you never would have witnessed if you hadn't made the journey,...

That is life.

So, which is better? Sharing that end moment glance with someone? Or walking to the car alone, climbing in, turning the key, moving on to whatever is next?

If you are inclined to share such moments, then you have a duty not to chase your partner away. A lot of that depends upon your own actions. You should be monogamous. Not doing so puts deep and irreparable hurt into another. It is more about how you want to be remembered. It is more about how tough and mature you are as an individual. When you were tempted, did you throw away your whole life? Or, did you clearly analyze the pros and cons of what you might be thinking of doing,.... and say... um. no thank you....?

In a round about way, what I'm saying is that for long term happiness, sexual morality is necessary. You may think because people flirt with you now, you have no need for long-term relationships. But you see old people every day... Do you have an insatiable urge to flirt with them? Why not? You flirt with those who are younger, and vibrant, correct? So.. when you are old... broken, held together by stitches, valves, and plastic tubes... who then, is going to be there for you? Huh? Who is going to rub your shoulder when it aches? Who is going play with your hair then? Who in a moment of deep tender quietness is going to warm your hand, by placing theirs on top? No one?

It is lonely at the top. Which is why, those people who are moral and monogamous have very happy lives, and those who are not, just pretend to.

These morals are not here just for morals' sake alone. They are guidelines for happiness. They may seem old-fashioned when you are in your twenties... Of course, to you they are; they come from an experience about which you know nothing... But the twenties are only ten years. How many years is it between 40 and a 100? Wouldn't it make more sense to be happier 60 years and unhappy for two or three, than the other way around?

That is why we advocate morality. Old people have for centuries told us, from their perspective at the end of the trail looking backwards, that morality is ... the right thing to do...

Your life's goal, to borrow from the movie of Private Ryan, is to make your time on this planet... worth it...

Being monogamous, with one spouse over a lifetime, learning to give-and-take in a relationship, learning the benefits of love over time, learning that love is stronger after two years than it was at one; that it is stronger after 20 years than it was at ten; that 60 years are better than at 50... all these things,.. are how one gets happy....

Never having a relationship lasting more than two years before starting all over simply means, you will never find out just how great it is like to share a lifetime with someone. There just is nothing like it............

Ok, those are just some ideas of what the church should be doing... Making the argument for morality... Most or all of us on this page are deemed by each other to be quite moral. From the argumentative sides of all of you, I would venture none of you are moral simply because you are "forced" to be. You are that way, simply because that path makes the most sense....

Well, not everyone shares that same upbringing and thought process. Retreating inside, shaking one's head at the sudden-change society has taken, does nothing. Through such action, nothing changes.

Go ahead, then. Make the argument.. Make your view known... Tell them: "I'm this way because it makes really good sense...."

Well, I've written too much... Hopefully it explains how and what churches, synagogues, and mosques should be doing in today's world...

Wed, Dec 5, 2012 8:14pm
No, society has not made a "sudden" change. This pot has been brewing for the last 50 years. It's now come to a head.

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Dec 5, 2012 11:04pm
Kavips: What you wrote makes a lot of sense and was well said. One little bit of tweaking. The Bible clearly calls homosexuality an abomination, not exactly a weasel word. However, I also realize that there are many parts of the old Jewish law in Leviticus, etc, that we, as a society no longer follow, and that's where the controversy comes in.

For me personally, I believe homosexuality is wrong and sinful, but also don't believe I am called to judge homosexuals, that's between them and God, just as any sins I commit are between me and God. So I can worship the Risen Christ with folks I may not agree totally with, as long as they too are worshiping the Risen Christ, and are committed Christians seeking to follow Christ. We all are at different places in our walk with Christ and as we all see through smoke colored glass as St. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians, and we won't have total understanding until the perfect (Christ) comes.

I'm not in favor of ordaining gay/lesbian pastors or having churches do gay/lesbian marriage, but there may be others in Christ who do not see it the same way as I. I can worship Christ along side these folks, as I'll leave the judging to God. I'm there at church to be in God's presence as I worship the Risen Christ, and receive the grace and love that can only come from God and his Son Jesus Christ, and to receive the Eucharist to also receive more grace and love from Christ. Who am I to try to prevent someone else from doing that same thing. All of us need the forgiveness for our sins and the healing that only comes from receiving the grace of Christ.

Thu, Dec 6, 2012 2:58pm
Mike, you have hit on why the God of Abraham has endured longer than all others.....

It's wisdom is so broad, that people can worship the same God, even though they have many differences in how....

It would be nice, if all of us like you, focused on the positive miracle, of how great diversity can come together under one unifying force, instead of how our differences, must drive us apart, as we each fight to prove our sect is truer than all others....

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