Let's put a bounty on some brains

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By Brad Spencer

Sports Editor

Let's see, what have I done that was utterly boneheaded and had to live with in my life?

Years back, I walked into a job interview, observed crutches leaning against a wall and blurted out, "Uh-oh, someone took a bad fall!"

The interviewer had but one leg. I didn't get the job.

In the third grade, I reached over my desk and, with my scissors, snipped a lock of hair from a girl I liked. I only did it because I wanted her to notice me. She did, and so did the teacher and so did the girl's mother and so did the principal. I was never allowed to have scissors again.

Sure, I've locked the keys in my car once or thrice, let slip a few crass words here and there about a great many people, feigned interest in pretty much everything except sports and sex at one time or another, drove too fast, eaten too much, drank … anyway, you get the idea.

But what's up with the recent barrage of high-profile athletes and coaches taking trips down stupidity lane? Mistakes are made throughout life, but these go beyond the mere brain-lapse moments we've all experienced.

Ama're Stoudemire, the tall, stalwart and bespectacled forward for the New York Knicks, punches the glass of a fire extinguisher case. There's no fire. There's just Stoudemire upset over the Knicks losing Game 2 of the playoffs against the Heat. Stoudemire cuts his hand, blood spurts, Spike Lee drops to his knees.

A week before the NBA playoffs, Lakers forward Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest, elbows Oklahoma City guard James Harden in the head. Peace is suspended seven games for violence. Hey Peace, you changed your name to reflect your new outlook on life! Maybe you should have considered Will Bustahead.  

And we come to find that monetary bounties exist in the NFL. Not for a perfectly executed tackle, but for actually inflicting harm on someone. Players and coaches are suspended. "Cart-offs" apparently pay more than "knockouts." At what point did football become Mixed Martial Arts?

A famous football coach in Arkansas goes on a leisurely motorcycle ride. He crashes, bruises his neck, breaks some ribs, and apparently loses his mind. He lies and says he was alone. Fast forward a day or two, and his 25-year-old mistress, someone he had recently hired for a job in the football program, was on the bike with him. That famous football coach, Bobby Petrino, 51, is then fired.

Notre Dame quarterbacks need not crave attention, for they are captaining one of the most popular college football teams in the country. But Tommy Rees, who started 12 games last season for the Fightin' Irish, apparently didn't get all the fightin' out of his system. He was recently charged with one count of battery, two counts of resisting law enforcement and one count of illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor.

Nobody is perfect. Not you, not me, and not these boneheaded athletes and coaches whose brains suddenly went numb. Guess we'll just have to live with it.

bspencer@oakpark.com

Twitter: @oakparksports

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