Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
“A” FOR THE WEEK
This past week gets an “A.” A Scarlet Letter “A” that is, as three known, admitted adulterers topped the sports news, with two getting an immediate comeuppance and a third with his punishment yet to be.
Of course we’re discussing Kobe Bryant, Tiger Woods and Rick Pitino, who all made big news this week.
Let’s start with the big rock buyer, possible rapist, playing the best basketball of his career, especially considering his age, Kobe Bryant. Some will argue the “best basketball” statement but I say considering how well he was facilitating, assisting as well as scoring, it could have been. One thing we know for sure, Kobe was doing everything possible to get his team into the playoffs and if that meant not being a ball hog, Kobe accepted the role. Right up to the point where he ripped his Achilles
Now, there’s where God gets you. He lets you think you’re doing really good, becoming a great teammate, being unselfish, and right when you think all your efforts are paying off and this sharing of the ball is serving a purpose and you feel good about yourself, that’s when he rips your tendon.
If you don’t believe me, ask Sam Kinison. The comedian Sam was once a preacher and always had a stormy, some say rocky, disrespectful relationship with God. Sam had his demons, partied enough, drugged enough to have ODed numerous times. Sam should have gone out the Belushi and Farley way but many think God had different plans for Sam. He wanted Sam sober so Malika came into his life, a beautiful, strong woman who loved him dearly and helped him dry out. Then, only after Sam was clean… and happy… Sam says the happiest he’s ever been, then and only then could Sam buy the big one. Add to that, the accident was on his honeymoon while going to a sold out show in Laughlin. When the underage driver ran into Sam changing a tire you could call it timing, comedic timing. As if, only when you’re really, really happy can God truly get you for your past deeds.
Just like Tiger Woods, who happens to be really, really happy at the moment. So happy he, the greatest golfer in the world, didn’t even know he was making a mistake in the Masters when he drops his ball, advantageously, a rule violations resulting in a two stroke penalty. Without the penalty, would Tiger have won the tournament? Possibly. But you have to admit it’s freaky, almost supernatural the way Tiger’s ball hit the pin and then rolled back down into the drink. Counting the two stroke penalty makes for a three shot turnabout. Of course Tiger could’ve won, if you don’t find carrying around the big letter “A” as being too much of a burden.
This brings us to our final adulterer of the week, Rick Pitino. He gets voted into the Basketball Hall of Fame plus his Louisville Cardinals win the National Championship, all within 48 hours. Doesn’t seem like much of a punishment for a back booth dalliance where a lady becomes pregnant. Then again, one of his players snaps a tibia in front of his eyes and the world. Snapping tibias are usually reserved for racehorses, of which Rick has one in the Derby. Ominous? Hmmm. Then again, Pitino endured razzing for his indiscretion, an affair Rick claims lasted no longer than 15 seconds. The nickname “Quick Shot Rick” shouted by hecklers in every arena Louisville visited may have been punishment enough.
So, we guess our rule of threes doesn’t always apply. Three adulterers in the news but not all had bad luck befall them unless you count the snapping tibia, which is pretty dramatic. On the other hand, Rick’s punishment might be finding out all the McD All-Americans committed to his hated rival, Coach Cal.