Thursday, October 25, 2007

I would offer my thanks to the commenter who pointed out that Mike Lowell as a cancer survivor would probably be unlikely to take performance enhancing substances if I were convinced. After all, even the great Lance Armstrong wasn't above suspicion. And look at the roster of baseball players who have been suspended under the terms of the new policy. None of them are super-ripped, to use the technical term.

The point I was trying to make, in case I wasn't clear, is that Lowell's numbers in 2005 declined from what they were in 2004. And it wasn't a small dip. It was almost as though his offensive performance emulated a cartoon character who went over a cliff without realizing it. Perhaps his stats windmilled their metaphorical arms comically before they fell off the way they did. But the fact is that his stats dipped just as the MLB steroids scandal was at its peak and then picked up considerably when the story lost its momentum.

It just struck me as a strange coincidence that this process coincided with his trade to a team with the leader of the steroid witch hunt on its board of directors. 33 isn't tremendously old in this day and age, that's true. But I don't believe that professional athletes can turn back the clock, no matter how talented they are. Particularly if they have grey beards and play for inveterately corrupt franchises.

Thank goodness it rained tonight in Blacksburg, VA. Boston College fans will not have to overtax their meager intellectual capacities to explain why the #2 ranked Eagles were the second best team on the field this evening for 59:10. Unfortunately football games last 60 minutes and Virgina Tech couldn't hold its collective water this evening. If it is any consolation, if the offense plays like this against Ohio State (assuming that the next scare isn't the big one), Boston College won't lose by more than 50.

Fortunately, the second overall ranking in the BCS was not the most fraudulent aspect of BC athletics in the last few weeks. There is this video in parody of the Bud Light Real Men of Genius series contrasting the current miraculous success of Boston College's football program against the failure of ND this season.

In a sense, like Boston College itself, this video is a sickening affront against intellectual honesty.

While it mocks Notre Dame's football tradition, it reveals an inherent jealousy on the part of the BC fan who created it. Yes, Notre Dame hasn't won a bowl game since 1994. But is it better to lose the Orange Bowl, the Fiesta Bowl (twice), the Sugar Bowl and the Gator Bowl than it is to win the I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Bowl. It must warm the cockles of a fan's heart to see Fabio present that spray bottle of butter substitute to the winning coach, but I'm an old fashioned sort of guy, I'd rather lose big than win small.At least Notre Dame has made it to a BCS bowl on three occasions. However, with this nice run, BC just might play a game that nets its athletic department a little more than car fare to the game and a canned ham for a change.

For some reason, the creator of this video decided to claim that BC has better Christians than Notre Dame. Perhaps going to an Ignatian evening to say a decade and talk about how a retreat changed your life before visiting a debauch that would make Caligula cringe in the Mods makes you a good Christian, but I must have missed that page in the Baltimore catechism. There are 19 locations on the University of Notre Dame campus which host Eucharistic adoration. By an astonishing coincidence, there are 19 people on the Boston College campus who know what Eucharistic adoration is and 19 roving bands of atheists who would assault any man, woman or child who have adored the Blessed Sacrament.

Notre Dame is the preeminent Catholic university in the world. Every other Catholic college or university is fighting for third place (the eminence of Notre Dame is so great that it occupies two positions). Whatever the reputation of the Jesuits as educators, it was earned long before the Four Horsemen took the field for Knute Rockne. But, to paraphrase Rick Pitino, Ignatius Loyola isn't walking through that door. Francis Xavier isn't walking through that door. Robert Bellarmine isn't walking through that door. As a quick note to BC fans reading this, all three were Jesuit priests and are Catholic saints.

I do not know what would happen should they walk through the door of which Pitino spoke, but I doubt it would end well for the New England Province of the Society of Jesus. I doubt very highly whether they would be mollified by the settlement of their own piece of the sex abuse scandal. It's hard to say what is the crown jewel in the New England Provinces galaxy of stars Boston College, with its litany of athletic scandals running the gamut from fixed games in the 50s to general gambling in the 90s to the rambunctiousness and misdemeanoring of the basketball team under Al Skinner or the high school soccer coach who used to wrestle his players in their jocks after practice at the flagship high school in the province.

And for those of you who might get angry at my lack of respect for Jesuit education, whatever you'd like to throw at me for my writing and whatever syntactical and grammatical miscues I made, it still hits home and proves my point. I went to a Jesuit high school myself, but I've never bought the party line on BC. I think it was better as a commuter school than it is as what they have made it. BC students are crass, boorish and bullying as a rule when they leave campus, I see no reason to suspect that they are any better in a classroom.

And while the Red Sox took a 2-0 lead on this fine autumn evening, I wonder how Sox fans felt when they saw the team's principal owner with his fingers in his ears as Papelbon struck out the final batter of the game. Truly it's a labor of love and not a profit seeking venture for John Henry.

1 comment:

TheKobraKommander said...

So now you're hanging your hat on mere suspicions from those bitter cheese eating surrender monkeys who can't bear the fact that they were beaten not just by an American, but worse still, a Texan, over and over again? These are the same people who think that the CIA crashed the planes into the WTC. Lance has submitted to testing, over and over again, and he's clean. Give it a rest.

You can argue the correlation with steroid hearings all you want, but as they say in the science racket -- correlation is not causation. Every hitter has up years and down years, and Lowell's fluctuations are not abnormal. Take a look Yaz's stats, or Greenwell's, or Boggs', and you'll see swings like that too. There weren't steroid hearings in 1971 or 1992.

I'm sorry, but you're going to have to do better if you toss out serious accusations like that.