Rob Taylor: Had Enough? Time for the Team Mom
April 21, 2008
And then there’s the guy who fell asleep during a Super Bowl party.
True story. I saw it happen.
Everyone questioned his manhood. Instead of slapping him up, we strategically placed a bowl of Cheetos. He awoke with an orange face.
We laughed at him, but the truth is – even for fanatics – sports are getting harder to stomach, thanks to round-the-clock news coverage. When the game is over, the soap opera begins. The excesses. The arrests. The gum-flapping. It may have started with Babe Ruth and Mohammad Ali, but their antics pale in comparison to Dennis Rodman, John Rocker and Mike Tyson.
Such talent. Such potential. Such a slap in the face.
It wasn’t always so.
Not long ago, some troubled athletes, like Mickey Mantle (who struggled with alcoholism), were given a pass. The mainstream media gushed about the Yankee slugger’s on-field feats, but not a peep about his nightlife. It was old school reporting – leave the dirt for the tabloids.
Many of today’s reporters, however, know no shame. They drool over the next train wreck, knowing that, for many, money + fame + youth = disaster (and healthy ratings). With a little luck and a well-placed microphone, they take down icons while making names for themselves.
Around the water cooler, fans sound off.
“More money than Donald Trump, but he couldn’t lay off the (fill in the vice).”
“If I were in his shoes …” we all say, shaking our heads.
But I wonder if we would have fared much better if handed $1 million at the age of 20.
Maybe. Maybe not. Still, the influence these “role models” wield on our children is loud and clear.
Good news, though: It is not too late to stop the bleeding, to pull the ace from our sleeves, to dispatch the thunder, to employ the services of the Team Mom.
First introduced by Campbell’s Soup (in TV commercials), the Team Mom ensured that football players ate their soup – the ‘ol lay off the junk food and clean-your-plate routine. She did a bang-up job as “Soup Nazi,” but she was grossly under-utilized.
Second generation Team Moms (TM2s) will have more to say than just, “Soup’s on.” Charged with keeping athletes out of police lineups, TM2s will be trained to play hardball. First order of business: Slipping GPS devices (with audio recorders) into the soup. Able to track athletes 24-7 (via GPS monitoring), TM2s will emerge from thin air, surprising superstars at their weakest moments. Before they know what hit them, Team Moms will launch verbal assaults using familiar ultimatums.
“Your momma may have brought you into this world, but if you don’t step away from the steroid needle, I’ll take you out of it. And don’t tell me that everyone’s doing it.”
“Don’t take that tone with me. How’s your 40-yard dash? Fast, I hope, because if I ever catch you talking smack like that again, I’ll hunt you down like a wounded animal and bring the mouth soap with me.”
“Oh, that’s what your agent told you, huh? And if he told you to jump off a cliff, would you? I don’t want you hanging around him any more. Is that clear?”
“Listen up, hotshot: I’ll treat you like an adult when you start acting like one. Don’t make me come over there and backhand you.”
“And just where do you think you are going at 1 a.m.? You can take your sweet new ride out for a spin with your friends in the morning. Get your multi-million dollar rear end back in bed. Now!”
If Team Momma ain’t happy, ain’t no one gonna’ be happy. If she can’t fix the wayward world of sports, no one can. I wouldn’t bet against her. Keeping athletes out of jail, off drugs, enforcing curfew, making sure that they all have on clean underwear … priceless. Worthy of a 7-digit salary.
Everyone has a story. What’s yours? E-mail me at email@example.com
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