Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Why Fans Love Bad Behavior and Cheap Shots… 10

Posted on February 06, 2010 by JA Allen

Charles Darwin must have been imagining the Super Bowl when he devised his theory on survival of the fittest.  Only the strong make it to the finish line and only the most fearless claw their way to the top, reigning over inferiors.  The most colorful, the most aggressive and boastful are the ones we wish to follow as fans.  They are special, attracting attention for their bravura.

That, in part, explains why we are irresistibly attracted to bad behavior –– the bad boys and girls –– on the playing fields, the ice, on the tennis courts and golf courses –– the ones who are not afraid to try the impossible –– to test the limits, often going beyond boundaries set for them.  Because they go all out in their drive to win, we cringe but applaud those vicious hits that rip off helmets or result in some poor receiver landing on his head because the guy tackling isn’t afraid to lay his body on the line.

But when the aggressor steps over some shifting line in the sand, we all step back tsking and berate the player caught front and center in the media spotlight when moments before we admired his or her tactics.

Where exactly is that line of demarcation?  When does it cease being aggression in the spirit of the game and verge on the boundaries of physical assault?  More importantly, when do we stop applauding the actions of our sports stars and those aggressive maneuvers on or off the field of play? Read the rest of this entry →

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      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

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