Living in the Real World

Just marked the sixth month point in my switch from news to sports — and I finally have noticed the biggest difference in covering the two. I would tell you, but let me cite some examples and allow you to make your own conclusion.

1. An employee uses a homophobic slur at work and then fails to apologize to the person he insulted.

2. An employee under contract starts talking to another company about a job – and then shakes you down for a raise – and gets the raise.

3. An employee gets paid millions of dollars and his contract is guaranteed — and he still has the nerve to not attend work unless he gets to renegotiate his contract.

So what would you do as an employer in these cases? If you live in the real world — like me — you would probably fire the offending person in all three examples. But in the world of sports which I covered for a decade, these folks would not only keep their jobs – but likely received no ill will from the organizations that employ them.

Welcome to the fantasy world of pro sports — which offer a fun house mirror of reality. A world where bad behavior is not only tolerated, but often celebrated. Only in pro spots can you give your employer the proverbial finger — and still keep your job. I think I like covering the real world much more.

BTW — the three examples are Joey Porter, Rich Rodriguez and any generic unhappy athlete.

A quick note before I bolt for the weekend:

It’s nice to know we are ahead of the curve in Western Pennsylvania. My blog about using the phrase “Merry Christmas” and politically-correct battle its generated received much buzz and many e-mails from you. Thanks. This morning, it finally made its way onto “Good Morning America” and I think the outcome was pretty much what I told you: If you know the person’s faith, pay homage to it but if I happen to innocently wish you a “Merry Christmas” please don’t get offended. Just enjoy the well wishes for what they are – a chance to spread the joy of the holiday season.

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