Even the Losers

For those of us who regularly follow sports and have specific teams that we always root for, a big loss can be very tough to take. As a lifelong fan of the Atlanta Braves, a 25 (plus) year fan of the Georgia Bulldogs and a former season ticket holder for the Atlanta Falcons, I know this as well as anyone.

This past December, my Georgia Bulldogs lost a heartbreakingly close Southeastern Conference Championship Game [SECCG] to the Alabama Crimson Tide. Here’s some of what I posted on Twitter after that loss:

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Screen Shot 2013-01-14 at 3.52.45 PMI went in search of those tweets after seeing how fans of the Seattle Seahawks were conducting themselves on Twitter after their team lost to the Atlanta Falcons in Sunday’s NFC Divisional Playoff Game. While not happy about some of what the Seahawks fans were tweeting, I was fairly certain that when Georgia lost the SECCG that I had probably expressed my disappointment, heartbreak (and bitterness) in a similar manner. After re-reading my Twitter feed from December 1st-December 2nd, and after going through many of the tweets that were posted under the hashtag: Seahawks, I’ve come up with a theory.

And here it is:

The Five Stages of Grief, though originally identified by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross as pertaining specifically to death and dying, can be applied to almost every type of meaningful loss that we experience in life–including those that relate to sports.

And to illustrate my point, I’ve *curated a collection of tweets from Seahawks fans that were posted in the period immediately following their team’s loss up until almost 24 hours later. I am not trying to pick on the Seattle fans–not at all. They are famously known for their role as the “12th Man,” so I thought that their post-loss behavior would make an excellent case study.

Stage 1: Denial.

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Stage 2: Anger.

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Stage 3: Bargaining.

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Stage 4: Depression.

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Stage 5: Acceptance.

Screen Shot 2013-01-14 at 1.43.40 PMAnd because this is my blog (and my social experiment), I am going to add a sixth stage: Grace.

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How do you handle it when your favorite team loses a big (or little) game?

*All of the tweets that I’ve shared here were posted publicly on Twitter.


DGD Interview: Verron Haynes

If you type the words “Hobnail Boot” in Google search, this link appears:

Fans of University of Georgia football not only have the above play committed to memory, they can tell you exactly where they were, and what they were doing when P-44 Haynes, as we later learned it was called, was skillfully executed. When listing iconic plays in Georgia football history, this one is near the top. And while credit should go to the entire team for keeping UGA in the game with only nine seconds left, there are two players who are directly responsible for the come-from-behind win: David Greene, Georgia’s quarterback, and Verron Haynes, the fullback. I consider myself fortunate to have gotten to know the latter at bit via Twitter. Verron Haynes kindly agreed to answer some questions for the World According To Jennifer.

First, a little background information on Mr. Haynes. Born in Trinidad in 1979, he later moved to New York and then to Atlanta where he played high school football. Not one to shy away from a challenge, Haynes transferred from Western Kentucky (leaving behind a football scholarship) to walk-on at Georgia, where he beat out several highly recruited players for the tailback spot. Haynes finished his career at Georgia with a rushing average of 5.15 yards per carry, which at the time (2001), was second only to Herschel Walker.

Haynes joined the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2002 after being drafted by them in the fifth round. He played for the Steelers for four seasons before suffering a severe knee injury in October of 2006. Haynes spent the rest of 2006, a year in which Pittsburgh won a Super Bowl, rehabbing his injury. The Steelers released, and then re-signed him, in 2007. In six seasons with Pittsburgh Haynes had 174 carries for 738 yards (4.2 average) and three touchdowns. He completed 58 receptions for 429 yards and two touchdowns. In 2009, Haynes returned to the state of Georgia, signing as a free agent with the Atlanta Falcons where he played in seven games. Haynes, who is currently a free agent, hopes to play at least one or two more years in the league.

JFL: You were born and spent most of your childhood in Trinidad, yet you managed to join the University of Georgia’s football team as a walk-on. When did you first start playing football?

VH: It was not until my junior year at North Springs High School in Woodstock, GA that I played on an organized team level. My heart was in the sport of basketball. I was also accustomed to playing soccer, the Trinidadian version of football. My father, Ulric “Buggy” Haynes, played on the National Soccer Team for Trinidad and Tobago, so athleticism runs in the family. My first love was basketball, but it was a blessing to excel in football considering I started so late in a sport that most play at a young age.

JFL: Given your lack of experience playing the sport, who, or what, gave you the confidence to try out for a Division 1 program?

VH: My mother and my faith in God served as my sole support team. I was taught to be confident in my abilities so long as I give all my effort. I feel discipline is vital in achieving any goals. I thought it would be no harm in at least believing in myself and trying. One of my favorite quotes is by Michael Jordan, who also shares the same birthday as me; “I can accept failure. What I cannot accept is not trying”.

JFL: I have to bring up the Hobnail Boot play. One of the most memorable, and celebrated plays in Georgia football history. Nine years later, is P-44 Haynes something you get tired of being asked about?

VH: Not at all. I am still humbled and appreciative of my fans to this day. If it were not for them, a lot that we accomplish would not mean as much. The play, P-44 Haynes, opened many doors for me and was great exposure as a college football player striving to play at the national league level. UGA fans are loyal and truly awesome.

JFL: In 2009 you played for the Atlanta Falcons, before that five seasons with the Steelers including 2006 when Pittsburgh won the Super Bowl. Is there a favorite moment, or play, from your time in the NFL?

VH: You have some of the best players who never make it to the Super Bowl let alone win a Super Bowl ring. It was a monumental peak in my career that will always ring supreme in my mind.

JFL: What was it like suiting up in an Atlanta Falcon’s jersey for the first time?

VH: It was a mixture of emotions. I was not only happy to be back in Atlanta where I call home, but it was also my first season back after rehabilitating my knee from a very serious surgery. It was good to be home and even better to be back on the field. The camaraderie and spirit of the game can be addicting so it was good to be back in the mix.

JFL: You’re a dad and your son is playing football. What do you think are the most important things for him to learn about the game, and about competition in general?

VH: I actually preferred, and was hoping, my son would like soccer or baseball since they are less physically damaging and risky sports. I guess it was in his blood. I am proud to assist coaching and be present at his little league games. He plays with heart and has excelled on the field. Faith is always first. We say a prayer before every game. I try to instill a strong faith in my children so they know, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Discipline, never give up or be defeated; winning is a state of mind, and to always have fun. When you no longer enjoy what you do, it is time to move on.

JFL: What is Verron Haynes up to now?

VH: My career is coming close to the curtain call so I am preparing for life after football. While I have enjoyed playing and it has afforded me many great opportunities, it is only one extraordinary phase of my life. It took growth and as I have gotten older and dabbled in acting, coaching, broadcasting and entrepreneurship, I realized I have so much more to offer outside of being an athlete. I am only 31, so God willing, I have a lot more time on my clock to truly leave a legacy.

My foundation, The Verron Haynes Foundation, has always held a very close purpose to my heart with the breast cancer work we are able to do. As I have more time to give with retirement, I want to expand and do more to educate and assist those who have endured breast cancer. That includes the women and their support systems of friends and family. I recently heard of a foundation in Washington, DC called Men Against Breast Cancer. I found it to serve a great purpose of educating men on how to help their wives in getting through breast cancer. I lost my cousin, Kadine, someone who was like a sister, to breast cancer. She was my calm in the storm of my crazy life with football. I confided and trusted her opinions. The day I was drafted, she was one of the only four people I shared that moment with. I learned how valuable life truly is. Kadine was a beautiful women with an incredible spirit and to see her lose a beautiful life in such a hard battle… Cancer doesn’t discriminate against anything including age. My cousin was only 26 when she passed. I know Kadine is looking down on me like an guardian angel and I want to make her proud.

In addition to raising breast cancer awareness, I have started a water sports company in my homeland, Trinidad called The Red Sail. We offer jet skiing, para sailing, etc. I have other entrepreneurial projects in the works as well. I spend as much time with my children, family is very important to me and they grown up so fast I do not want to miss a moment. I am working to launch my first football camp in the Spring/Summer 2011 to spread the knowledge and experience I have with upcoming youth and athletes. I am just living life a day at a time and trying to help in any way I can along the way. I am thankful to have overall good health and a great family.

I want to thank Verron Haynes for taking the time to answer these questions. As anyone who follows him on Twitter can tell you, he is a very gracious individual. For more on the Verron Haynes Foundation contact Jill Binkley at: jbinkley@myturningpoint.org Or, visit the Turning Point website.

Men and Sports

The first full week of the 2010-2011 football season has now come and gone, so I thought this was as good a time as any to share:

Five observations about men and the way they watch sports:

1. Men don’t like to listen to the people who are paid to analyze the game they are viewing. They’d much rather talk over them, and tell you (or the person in closest proximity), what just happened and why.

2. Regardless of how old they were when they last played the sport (yes, pee wee league counts), at some point during the game a man will talk about how he was involved in a similar play. Yes, they were five when it happened, and their opponents were barely 3 feet tall, but they’ve done the same exact thing!

3. Drinking beer, especially if it is a hard-to-find craft beer, makes every bad play bearable.

4. Men will visibly cringe and make loud and unpleasant noises when someone on the field gets hurt, and then they will rewind the play (multiple times) so they can cringe and groan some more.

5. A man might not remember to pick up the dry cleaning or where he put his keys, but he does remember how many fumbles Dick Butkus recovered during the 1970 season. And he will bring that, and other equally fascinating facts, up at least once during the course of the game you are watching.

Do you have anything to add to this list?

What’s That Coming Down the Track…

I’ve written before about how odd it is to live in one place and root for sports teams from another place. Especially when that place is nearly 3,000 miles away and in a different time zone. No matter how much I enjoy living in San Diego, and I enjoy it quite a bit, I will never not be a fan of the Braves, Falcons, Hawks and of course, Bulldogs. Today, I got to do something I’ve been doing for the past six years, something that makes me feel more connected to the team I love the most.

University of Georgia flag, flying outside Pacific Beach Bar & Grill

This morning my husband and I watched University of Georgia football with fellow Georgia alumni and supporters. So much fun. I love being with this group of people on Saturdays in the fall. We don’t usually see each other after the first week of December or before the first week in September, but in between, we are family. And we bark. And most of us have Southern accents. And we love UGA. And the majority of us also love the Falcons, and the Braves. All of which is nice when you live nearly 3,000 miles away from those teams–and are a passionate sports fan.

All of these people know the words to Glory, Glory. Well, not sure about the guy on the far right, he’s from Oklahoma, but everyone else, yes.

I have no idea what libation was in this glass, but for the purpose of this post, I am saying it’s Long Island Ice Tea.

Young, we start them young. Of course my kids will probably wind up at USC (west) but that doesn’t mean this girl will.

Yes, fall is finally here. And even though the weather in beautiful San Diego rarely acknowledges seasonal changes, I still do. And today I got to hunker down with people who know what that means. Life is good.

Go Dawgs!

Down at ‘Ole Del Mar

After six years of living in San Diego, yesterday, I finally righted a wrong. The wrong? I had never visited the Del Mar Race Track. Never. You don’t not visit the race track if you live in San Diego. Opening Day alone is akin to a national holiday. Everyone goes. And while there, they try to out dress and out hat each other.  The date is circled and re-circled on calendars all around the county and beyond. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really get the why of that until I went myself. The race track, as I now understand, is an experience. One that everyone who visits San Diego or lives here really should have–at least once.

While the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club (the race track) is thoroughly modern, it retains a 1950s old Hollywood vibe. I could almost feel Frank Sinatra’s presence. Almost…

Top photo: View of track from Stretch Run Grill seats.
Bottom photo: Jockeys entering paddock before race.

Horse racing is definitely the focus at Del Mar, but I appreciated the fact that there were a lot of things to do in between races. And, If you don’t want to bet (which I didn’t) it is still a very exciting atmosphere to be a part of. I enjoyed: socializing (was with group of female bloggers), people watching, walking around the beautiful grounds and rooting for the horses that my friends were betting on. Oh, and I ate and drank too–which is always fun.

Top photo: Not going to lie, it is really exciting when the bugle sounds the “Call to the Post.” 

Middle photo: Theresa from Rock on Mommies and Mary from The Mama Mary Show, socializing–what else?

Bottom photo: People watching is first rate at Del Mar. It was fun watching strangers congratulate and commiserate.

I didn’t bet, but I did pick up a few betting tips at the track:

Don’t select horses based solely on their names. It is tempting, but I witnessed that plan backfire last night–over and over again. As a matter of fact, we were told it is best not to pick a horse that you haven’t seen first. Apparently, things like whether or not a mare’s ears are standing straight up–matter. If you can’t see the horses, read the booklet the track gives you when you walk through the turnstiles–there is expert analysis in that booklet–so use it.

You don’t have to blow the bank to feel like a winner. I was with women who were thrilled (thrilled!) to have won just $5. That might not seem like a lot (because it isn’t) but it didn’t matter, winning is winning!

And finally, if you need help, ask for it. I found the staff at the Del Mar Race Track to be very friendly and helpful. I don’t know about other tracks, but Del Mar appeared to be fully staffed and everyone I encountered seemed to genuinely enjoy their job–which is always a plus!

Top photo: Mo Cheese, turned out to be less.
Middle photo: Research is key–study the booklet!
Bottom photo: I meant to check to see if this jockey won last night–don’t think he did, but you’ve got to love his sense of optimism!

Disclaimer: I attended the Del Mar Race Track as part of a Girls Night Out blogger event. I did not pay for admission or parking. No one told me I had to write this post; I did so, because I truly had a great time and wanted to share it with you.

All photos in the post were taken by me and are mine, but I’ll loan them to you if you ask nicely.

Fabulous and fun bloggers are from left to right: Beth, Mary, Theresa, Suzette, Christina, Sugar, Sondra and Me. Not pictured: Katie.

My History with Hockey

I haven’t really gotten into the Olympics this year.  I’ve watched a few events here and there but not wall-to-wall coverage as I’ve done in the past.  Part of the problem is that by the time the events air here on the West Coast, I have already heard or read about who won and that takes some of the fun out of it for me. I will, however, be watching the hockey game between the U.S. and Canada tonight.  Olympic hockey has, and probably always will be, must see TV for me.

My father was a huge hockey fan.  When I was growing up, professional hockey was always on the TV in my house.  For a time, we had season tickets to the Richmond Robins of the AHL and spent many nights inside the Richmond Coliseum rooting them on. Even though my earliest and probably fondest sports related memories can be traced back to watching the AAA Richmond Braves, I think it is hockey that cemented my desire to become a sportscaster.  Not professional hockey though. Olympic hockey.  Specifically, Olympic hockey circa 1980.  I knew enough about hockey back then to really appreciate, certainly better than most my age, how special the gold medal victory by the U.S. team in Lake Placid was.   Additionally, I got to witness the joy my father, a long time hockey fan, living in the South, where hockey was not definitely not king, felt.

I still have my Miracle on Ice scrapbook, the one that 30 years ago, at the age of 12, I excitedly filled with newspaper clippings and the commemorative Olympic issue of Sports Illustrated.  Today, the memory of those games and the improbable victory by the underdogs from the U.S. does not mean as much to me as does the fact that I shared it all with my dad.  Looking back, I now think about how wonderful it was to see him in his element.  The rest of the country was finally on the same page as he when it came to hockey.

It is rare that children think about what makes their parents happy.  Children are after all egocentric by nature. It is the parent who does the cheerleading.  In 1991, my dad stayed up late watching the Atlanta Braves battle it out on the West Coast with the Dodgers to see who would win the division.   He was not a Braves fan, he grew up rooting for the Mets.  I, however, was living in Georgia and was a huge Braves fan, so by extension, he became one too.  Similarly, he donned Georgia Bulldog gear, and wore it proudly, though he was a graduate of Columbia.

So tonight, when the U.S. hockey team takes on Canada, I will not only be rooting for the red, white and blue, I will be remembering and honoring my dad’s love of hockey.   I will be cheering for the U.S., yes, but I also will be cheering for my dad and the fact that one of the many wonderful things he shared with me was his love of sports.

Before Sid Slid

A friend asked me if I was going to have a Super Bowl party on Sunday.  I told her no.  I have no desire to host a Super Bowl soiree unless the Falcons are playing in it and even then, I’d probably pass on throwing a party because I’d want to be able to actually watch, and hopefully enjoy, the game.  The Super Bowl is a breed unto itself when it comes to sports championships as it is not held in the home stadium of either of the teams that are playing.  I get why that is, but think the lack of access for the fans–those who bleed their team’s colors–takes a lot away from the atmosphere of the game.

I have never attended a Super Bowl.  I have, however, been to a World Series and can easily proclaim that experience among the most exciting I have ever had.  When I think back to the Atlanta Braves of 1991 and their worst-to-first season, I have to pinch myself to believe I was actually there! And when I say there, I mean for not just the World Series but also for the NCLS games that were played between the Braves and the Pirates.  Well, all the games that were played in Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. Well, all the games with the exception of one.

The one game my husband and I did not attend was played in the afternoon.  At the time we were working on the CBS television series In the Heat of the Night and we couldn’t get off of work that particular day.  We sold our tickets to an actor on the show (he apparently was free) who took his son with him to the game.  The cast and crew members who were from Georgia had a great time celebrating the fact that the Braves made it to the NLCS by defeating the Dodgers, whom most of the actors and L.A. based crew were actively (and obnoxiously) rooting for.  During that homestand, I remember seeing a Braves fan holding what would become one of my favorite signs of all time, it read: “Tommy, your chances are getting Slim Fast.”  Some of you will remember that Tommy Lasorda, the Dodger’s longtime former skipper, was at one time a spokesman for Slim Fast.

Back to the World Series–the Braves vs. the Minnesota Twins.  Corny as it might sound, the atmosphere was nothing short of electric.  The now annoying Tomahawk Chop was in its infancy and the crowd was doing it spontaneously and non-stop. Flashbulbs were popping.  The Braves of 1991 played with hunger, passion and belief!  They donned their rally caps and stood on the steps of the dugout to get a better look at the action.  They were young and for the most part unknown. It was during that worst-to-first season that the chemistry finally clicked, magic finally struck.  Atlanta, after many years of drought, was no longer thirsting for a winner.  Well, not quite.  In the end, the Braves lost that series, which is still known as one of, if not the, greatest of all time, in seven games. They won all that were played in Atlanta, however, and two of those wins I witnessed first hand.

So, while the Saints are about to play in their first Super Bowl ever, I am thinking back to the first appearance by the Atlanta Braves in a World Series.  As I sit here remembering, I cannot believe that this happened almost 19 years ago!  Don’t know about other Braves fans, but I feel bad about taking the World Series title in 1995 and the 14 consecutive divisional titles for granted. I am thirsty again!

Beat on the Brat

What is Andy Roddick thinking?  The Australian Open is barely into the third round of play and he is already making news because of his temper.  Yesterday, Roddick, who is known for both a wicked serve and loud mouth, yelled at chair umpire, Fergus Murphy, for calling a ball out that was later ruled in by the Hawkeye shot-spot system.  To his credit, Roddick did wind up apologizing for his profanity-laced tirade, but in my opinion, damage was done.  There is nothing wrong with debating a call, but as we saw last year with Serena Williams’ at the U.S. Open, when the debate includes profanity and gets personal, not only does the athlete in question usually lose but so do the fans of the game.

I grew up in the 1970s when John McEnroe routinely blasted umpires for what he thought were bad calls. And to be fair,  most of the time they were.  I must admit, that as a kid, I found McEnroe’s tantrums (you can add Jimmy Connors and Ille Nastase to that list too) entertaining and often, I tuned in just to see him lose his cool. But back then, I wasn’t really a fan of the game.  Now, as both a fan and a player, I find these outbursts to be boorish and slightly embarrassing when done by an American.  Tennis, thanks in part to the success of the Williams sisters, is no longer primarily viewed as a country club sport, played only by country club type folks. And that is a good thing. When the professional players act like entitled brats they set the sport back by reinforcing the elitist tag, and that, in my opinion, is a bad thing.

As an aside, it will be interesting to see what type of punishment Roddick receives for losing his cool.  Serena Williams was fined $82,500 for threatening the line judge at last year’s U.S. Open and she was quoted this week as saying she did not believe that a male player, under similar circumstances, would have received the same penalty. “In tennis I think we’ve been able to do really well with having fought so hard to get equal prize money,” Williams said. “I think that’s really good. But I think we still sort of, say, live in a man’s world. Some incidents can bring you back to life and back into reality.”

I like to see Americans win, but as time goes by, care less and less if Andy Roddick is one of them. I prefer to root for the good guys, those who don’t reinforce the unflattering stereotypes. In a nutshell, I no longer find the bad behavior entertaining. How about you?  Are you watching the Australian Open?  If so, I’ve posted a poll below, please let me know who you think will win it all.   I’ve included the top five seeds plus Roddick who is seeded seventh.  Personally, I am rooting for John Isner.  If not him, I hope Nadal wins the top prize.

On the Outside Looking in.

In case you haven’t heard, the San Diego Chargers won the AFC West and are in the playoffs.   This is understandably big news in my neck of the woods.  So big in fact, that companies are holding contests to see which individual employee or division can display the most Charger spirit.  The mayor has installed two 40-foot-long lighting bolts (they can only be seen night) on the outside of  San Diego’s City Hall and declared yesterday “San Diego Super Charger Day.”   Fans are wearing their bolts gear everywhere and all the time.  The people of San Diego are excited!  Me, not so much.

Don’t get me wrong, I think all of this is great.  I am genuinely happy for the people who are over-the-top excited about the possibility of the Chargers playing in the Super Bowl, I just find it a bit weird to feel like an outsider looking in.  For almost 20 years I resided in the state in which the teams I root for are located.  In case you are new to this blog, that would be Georgia.  It is odd to be such a passionate fan myself and to have such a huge event taking place here tomorrow–the divisional playoff game between the Chargers and the Jets–and not to feel, well, passionately about it!

Over the course of a year I expend a lot of energy (probably too much) keeping up with the University of Georgia’s Bulldogs (not just football either), the Atlanta Falcons, the Atlanta Hawks and various professional tennis players. It is probably a good thing (for my heart at least) that I can once in a while assume the dispassionate view.  I know that is true intellectually.   However, being someone who truly enjoys the adrenaline rush that occurs when the team I follow is involved in a playoff or pennant race or a championship quest,  I feel a bit left out.

It is times like this when I am most aware that while I love living in San Diego and will probably do so for the rest of my days, I won’t ever cut my emotional ties to Georgia.  When the Padres play the Braves, I will be at Petco Park sporting my hat with the pink A.  On the rare occasion that the Falcons make the trip west to San Diego, as they did in 2008,  I will be there too, rocking Norwood’s number 32.  Other than that, I wish all the San Diego teams well and I do hope the Chargers make it to Miami.  If they do, I will be very excited for their fans and I’ll probably get to attend a darn good party.

Who would you like to see in the Super Bowl?  And if you are a transplant, how do you handle rooting for your team(s) from afar?

If at First You Don’t Succeed, Cry, Cry Again.

The tears Tim Tebow shed immediately after his team lost the 2009 SEC Championship Game were, no matter how I felt about them, of the Gator variety. Tebow clearly, and understandably, feels passionately about his team and the University of Florida and was devastated by the loss. The tears produced (squeezed out?) by Mark McGwire yesterday during his mea culpa interview with Bob Costas, however, were crocodile all the way.  I don’t go looking for these athletes-who-cry stories, honestly, I don’t.  But when they fall into my lap, I feel compelled to take a closer peek.

As you probably know by now, McGwire, while willing to shed a few tears and apologize, wouldn’t acknowledge that his increased strength and ability to hit  a record number of home runs was a direct result of habitual steroid use.  Maybe that’s because on the surface at least, Mark McGwire does not seem to be terribly bright.  After all, he willingly put steroids into his body, for at least 10 years (his account), and then lied about it over and over again and while testifying under oath.  Well, apparently you don’t have to be a doctoral candidate to figure out that after repeatedly failing to garner more than 24 of the required 75% of the vote needed for H.O.F. induction something had to be done.  And that is what this is all about, getting back into MLB’s good graces and eventually into Cooperstown.

While I am not sure about Mark McGwire’s level of intellect, I do think he must take the rest of us for fools.  Why else would he believe that we would so easily forgive him?  Certainly not for saying stuff like, “I wish I had never touched steroids. It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era.” Well, if that’s true, why did it take you so long to ‘fess up?  Why?  Because it finally dawned on him that only by apologizing would he garner remarks such as these from Baseball Commissioner, Bud Selig, “I am pleased that Mark McGwire has confronted his use of performance-enhancing substances as a player. Being truthful is always the correct course of action, which is why I had commissioned Senator George Mitchell to conduct his investigation. This statement of contrition, I believe, will make Mark’s re-entry into the game much smoother and easier.”

And there you have it, if he acts contrite, sheds a few tears, goes on a “I have sinned” tour (remember Jimmy Swaggart?) all will be forgiven and the doors to MLB’s Hall of Fame will eventually be open to him.  I for one hope that never happens.