No Pepper Games: The Perilous Path of Virtue
Post by Cincinnatus Van... on 9/10/2012 9:45am
Virtue leads to reward. Vice leads to ruin.
We learn this as children.
If there are children reading this column, have them stop reading now.
Like everything we learn as children, this is manure. We tell children these things to protect them. Then they grow up and life smacks them in the face like a big, wet trout. And we wonder why they never call on our birthdays.
Who is behind this lie?
I have discovered who is behind this pernicious lie. It is vice.
Vice, being a selfish beast, would like to take all the reward for itself. Vice will tell you tales of degradation and depravity to frighten you into a life of virtue. Vice then retreats back behind the iron gates of his mansion, lowers himself into a hot tub full of caviar and supermodels and laughs his fool head off.
This fairy tale, wherein virtue is rewarded and vice is punished, must be debunked.
Allow me to tell you a true life story of two athletes.
Each was beloved in his city. Each was tempted by lucrative offers elsewhere. Each stood behind a microphone to announce to the world where he would be next year.
Here is where our road diverges in the yellow wood.
One athlete represents Vice. His path is broad and well-trod. The Good Book says that it leadeth to destruction. There he goes down the broad path, steeped in sin and marinated in malignancy. He reeks of the putrid stench of filthy lucre as he callously laughs at the wounded carcass of Sportsmanship.
We'll call him LeBron.
The other athlete took the road less-traveled. This is our knight in shining armor. Our Prince Charming. The Gallant to LeBron's Goofus. This is our hero, pure and virtuous. Eschewing the path of wealth and ease, our noble lionhearted paragon suits up with no thought save that of the glory of his University.
We'll call him Montee.
Yes, our hero is none other than the Wisconsin Badgers' own Montee Ball. After a season for the ages, Mr. Ball could have cashed out his senior year and gone to the greener pastures of the NFL.
He did not. He stayed to put his precious body on the line for every snap of the Badgers 2012 season. "My heart still lies with the Badgers," he said in his press conference.
Is this not heroism? Is this not gallantry? Do you not hear the heraldic trumpets? This is nobility unseen since the leather-helmeted days of Jim Thorpe.
For his purity of heart, and his singularity of mind, what has been Montee Ball's reward?
He's gotten mugged twice in the last month. That's what his reward has been.
Over the summer, while on his way home from single-handedly rescuing a group of homeless orphaned nuns from a high-rise fire, he was beaten by vicious thugs and sent to the hospital with a concussion.
Theoretically, there could have been other reasons why Mr. Ball was out at 2:15am. I stand by the heroic version.
This past Saturday, Mr. Ball was viciously mugged again. This time by the Oregon State Beavers. The only difference between the two muggings was that Montee ran a lot more than 61 yards in the first one.
His consecutive games with a touchdown streak lies dead at 22.
He entered the game 17 touchdowns shy of the NCAA career record. He is still 17 touchdowns shy of the NCAA record. At this pace, he will break the record on *DIVISION BY ZERO ERROR PROGRAM TERMINATING*
The Badgers offense played with less rhythm than the Starland Vocal Band.
This is supposed to be the easy part of the schedule. This is where we play St. Fintan's College for the Infirm and the Rhode Island School of Ophthalmology. In a year where the Badgers were supposed to walk away with the Leaderless Division, we're suddenly, God help us, looking up at Indiana.
The Badgers do not look good. This could be a very long senior year for Montee Ball.
Thus is virtue rewarded.
As for LeBron, the Mary Astor to Cleveland's Dr. Thorpe, never has a native son so publicly and cruelly stabbed the bosom of his hometown.
(ed: Can't we use a more topical reference here? How about Kristen Stewart to Cleveland's Robert Pattinson.)
For his perfidy, LeBron has an NBA Championship Ring. And an Olympic Gold Medal. And a yacht made of solid gold, complete with a wet bar and polo stables.
Thus is selfishness rewarded.
The wisdom of Aesop and Mother Goose is made foolish.
Vice is triumphant. Virtue languishes.
We may lie to the children, but the box score doesn't.
"No Pepper Games" is a twice-monthly sports opinion/humor column - the views expressed within are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of Dane101.