I am a Iowa State fan, to the core, but I am also more of a Cubs fan than an Iowa State fan. Earlier this summer, I made the decision to write about how I would feel if abuse accusations as wide spread as what happened at Baylor happened at Iowa State. For the few of you who don’t know, Baylor covered up abuse and rape accusations from women which involved football players. I was going to write a piece about how difficult it would be to be a fan of a team with players who harm women.
Life has a funny way of changing on you.
On July 25th the Chicago Cubs signed Aroldis Chapman. What was publicized was his ability to throw 100 mph fastballs as easy as I can flip a cup, the stability he would bring to the bullpen, and how this could be the piece to solve the Cubs’ World Series riddle. With the Cubs trying to end a 108-year championship drought, you might think I would be ecstatic to have him on my favorite team, but you would be wrong.
As sports fans we’re trained to blindly love our teams no matter what. We live in bubbles. Until the proof is shoved in our face, we won’t believe any accusations against our teams or players. I 100% believe Ray Rice would be playing football in the NFL right now if the video of him hitting his then fiancée hadn’t gone public. Sports fans, much like people who enjoy eating hot dogs, don’t want to know what goes on behind the scenes. We just want to enjoy the end product.
Greg Hardy signed a one-year deal with the Cowboys for 11.3 million dollars. There was some backlash, but once practice started, fans were fully on board with the signing. Below are some of the details surrounding Hardy’s arrest.
Hardy is accused of throwing the 24-year-old Holder to the floor and into a bathtub, slamming her against a futon and “strangling” her during an argument at his home.
Hardy also said he would kill her. A threat “made in a manner and under circumstances which would cause a reasonable person to believe that the threat was likely to be carried out.”
Hardy still got paid because he is good at what he does and there was NO VIDEO. The video part is what does it for fans. Until fans are forced to have their bubble popped it won’t happen. The old “innocent until proven guilty” premise is practiced heartily by supportive fans.
Sometimes it doesn’t even matter if video IS out there. For example, Mississippi State football signee Jeffery Simmons was caught on video beating on a woman. One would think his college career is over, right? WRONG. You see, Simmons is a five-star defensive linemen, and those don’t grow on trees. To show how seriously Mississippi State is about the issue of assault, they suspended Simmons for one
year, month, game. [checks his sources again] Yep, one single game.
Are you kidding me? One freaking game against the South Alabama Jaguars?
You want to know why they didn’t suspend him for more than one game? Go look at a schedule. The second game of the season is against SEC opponent, South Carolina, and you don’t pussyfoot around with conference games in the mighty SEC. Mississippi State Athletics Director, Scott Stricklin, was asked the following question in a press conference.
[Reporter]: “How much of a consideration is it that if you cut him loose someone picks him up tomorrow?”
Stricklin paused shortly then replied “I think that thought crosses your mind.”
Those are just a few of the many, many accusations out there against professional and college athletes. While it angered me, it never directly affected me. Then the Cubs went and signed Aroldis Chapman.
Chapman’s police report states that on October 30th of 2015, Chapman’s girlfriend found something on his phone she didn’t like, sparking an argument when she confronted him with the issue. He is accused of pushing her against a wall and had to be restrained by family members. A friend then helped him into a car where he punched a side window so hard that he cut his hand. He proceeded to get PA-10 rifles from his glove compartment, and lock himself in the garage where he fired eight shots. Seven into a wall, and one out a window into the field. All of this happened while the couple’s infant child slept inside.
Maybe you are asking yourself, “Well, if he apologized maybe you shouldn’t care, Ted.” He didn’t apologize. In fact, he hasn’t seemed remorseful at all. He seems to act like fans and the media shouldn’t care. Chapman was suspended for 30 games. In baseball, if a player takes the wrong supplement from GNC, they get suspended 50 games. Threaten your girlfriend, pull a gun out, and you miss 30.
The Cubs had to go sign this guy.
“Well, Ted, he is just one player. Don’t root for him.” It isn’t that easy. Chapman is the closer. For the few non-baseball people who might be reading this, the closer’s job is get the last outs of the game. Come playoff time,which the Cubs are all but assured to be in, it will be Chapman’s job to finish the game. So by rooting for the Cubs to succeed I am in some/a lot of ways rooting for Chapman to succeed. For the most part this summer and fall that hasn’t been an issue for me. Because (humble brag) the Cubs are just so far ahead of everyone single games don’t really matter, I can block it out, or shut the TV off when he pitches. But come the playoffs, that is no longer an option.
Most of my adult life, I have been dreaming of watching the Cubs run out to the mound and dog pile on the pitcher after the last outs of the World Series. Finally, a championship for the North Side, but now I might need to come to grips with the fact that the pitcher they might be dog piling on might in fact be a piece of dog poo.