June 26, 2007

Money, Cash, Hoes...

"You've got to take it personal, man."
-Tony La Russa

It seems like such a simple concept in the absence of context. But when you apply Tony LaRussa's words in terms of winning or losing, they make a lot of sense (despite the fact that otherwise he's an idiot).

All we hear about these days are selfish, self-interested athletes receiving huge signing bonuses and free agent contracts that could feed an entire starving continent. But how often do we hear of athletes, coaches, managers, etc. in any sport talking about winning for the sake of winning anymore (I know there are still a handful but think proportionately)?

It comes from a fire within. But unfortunately, the competitive spirit, motivation, not to mention love and respect for the game that pays their bills is forgotten all too often. Instead it is replaced with the love of money and...well, love of "love". Athletes these days increasingly want organizations to "show them the money," and stroke their egos.

Of course, this isn't a problem the Steelers organization often has (thank god). They're fortunate, probably more appropriately - savvy, enough to absorb players who understand the concept of winning and team. Even Joey Porter, upon exiting the Steel City, had no hard feelings. He understood that his time in Pittsburgh was up and he made a "graceful" exit. I bet if you asked him now he'd love to be back in the 'burgh...but the price wasn't right and he knew that. However, that doesn't mean they are immune to it.

My point is (you mean there's a point to all this rambling?), I wish there were more guys who could reinstill a competitive spirit into these spoiled athletes. It's not just about the money, because I know if you ask Dan Marino (yes there you have your obligatory Marino "one that got away" reference) if he could have one thing in the world, I'll bet it would be a championship ring.

It's all about winning...

Now if only LaRussa's nuggets of wisdom could've helped him avoid that DUI...can't win 'em all Tony.


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