Daze of My Life: Sports "Jeopardy"
Daze of My Life
Good evening and welcome to Sports "Jeopardy" where consequences follow actions and careers can really change. The categories are "Steroids," Contracts," "Substance Abuse," Injuries," "Off-Field Activities" and "Gambling." Let's meet our three contestants. Our returning champion, Mr. Barry Lamar Bonds. Tell us something about yourself, Mr. Bonds.
"Thank you, Alex. I have testified before a Grand Jury. I have not admitted to knowingly taking performance enhancing drugs. I have been divorced. I am under investigation by the Federal Government for perjury and by Major League Baseball for using banned substances. I am currently the All-Time Home Run Leader, having recently passed the previous total of 755, long held by the Hall of Famer, Henry Aaron."
"And where do you work, Mr. Bonds?"
"Currently I am employed by the San Francisco Giants with whom I've been under contract for 15 years. However, this year, 2007, appears likely to be my last working for the Magowan family (the owners of the Giants)."
"Thank you for your honesty, Mr. Bonds. Now let's meet our two challengers. First, from Newport News, Va., Michael Vick. Welcome, Mr. Vick, please tell us something about yourself."
"I am not a graduate of Virginia Tech University although I played football there for two years, I left for the National Football League after my sophomore season. I was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in 2000 and have been there starting quarterback for the last seven years. Recently I entered into a plea agreement with the Federal Government on conspiracy charges that I 'crossed state lines to commit unlawful acts.' I will be sentenced on Dec. 19 and from what my lawyers tell me, I'm likely to spend 12 to 18 months incarcerated in a medium security prison. It appears that the freedoms and/or the goods and services that my athletic abilities have allowed me to enjoy, and for which I was paid a lot of amount of money, will end. I guess you could say, my life has gone to the dogs, in more ways than one."
"Thank you, Mr. Vick. We're glad you could appear this evening, under the circumstances. Now our final contestant, Mr. Tim Donaghy. Tell us a little something about yourself, Mr. Donaghy.
For the past 13 years, I have been a professional referee officiating in the National Basketball Association. Recently I resigned after it became public that I had been betting on basketball games that I was actually refereeing and furthermore that I was providing 'inside information' to others who likewise wanted to place bets on those same games. The commissioner of the N.B.A., David Stern, was none too pleased by my behavior and legal action was ultimately taken. I plead guilty in August '07 to Federal felony conspiracy charges and I am awaiting sentencing. "
"Thank you, Mr. Donaghy." Good luck to you sir, and good luck to all our contestants. It's now time to play Sports "Jeopardy." Mr. Bonds, as the defending champion, you get to choose first; please remember, your answers must be in the form of a question.."
"Thank you, Alex. I'll take "Steroids," for $500."
"And the answer is, 'This slugger is alleged'"
"Yes, Mr. Bonds."
Kenneth B. Lourie is a regionally syndicated columnist who resides in Burtonsville, MD.