The Big Lead acting like schmucks again on the subject of cheating

Wrap your minds around this gem:

The NCAA investigation that's been going on since 2006 is supposedly close to an end. Pete Carroll fled to the NFL where he'll be free from sanctions. So will USC lose its National Championship? Will Reggie Bush lose his Heisman? Does it matter? These things happened. Writers need to stop acting like anyone besides writers care. Brian Cushing, Reggie Bush, what's the difference?

Dear The Big Lead,

Lots of people outside of the writers at the Atlanta Journal Constitution, which is who TBL is referring to when they say "writers," care as to whether or not USC is sanctioned for cheating. These people are called "fans." Some of these fans are people who root for USC. Others are people who root against them. If you ever attend a USC v. Notre Dame, you'd know that's a sizable number of people.

If USC is found guilty of violations, that's a pretty significant black mark on Pete Carroll's career there. Sure, he might have avoided "official" punishment by bolting USC for the NFL, but if guilty the cheating taints everything he accomplished there; his legacy, if you will. If they cheated, and that cheating directly, or even in some cases indirectly, resulted in them winning National Championships, then the titles should be taken away from them.

I think we all realize that the event that was the National Championship Game happened. Two of those events resulted in USC winning titles. However, the people who watched those games, and, more importantly, spent hard-earned money to attend the game, went into them thinking the playing field was reasonably level. It wasn't crooked recruiting or under-the-table payments that gave USC the 2003 and 2004 BCS Championships. It was that USC was simply the better team. They had done a better job playing, coaching, and recruiting than the other team within the rules.

Those last few italicized words are important.

Now, if USC violated those rules, then the championships they won are no longer legit. It means they voided the competitive "spirit of the game," and thus their right to be referred to as National Champions. Therefore, those rights (and the shiny trophies that go with them) should go to the team that followed the rules.

The same goes with individual awards. Contrary to your thinking there at TBL, fans want to see cheaters stripped of awards. They want to see the homerun record returned to Roger Maris. If Reggie Bush cheated, they'd want to see his Heisman Award taken from him and given to someone like Vince Young, who (likely) did not violate NCAA rules by taking money or gifts to play in NCAA games. They want to see Brian Cushing's rookie of the year award given to someone who doesn't have illegal muscle drugs pumping through his veins. Why else has there been backlash against the AP voters who re-voted to give Cushing his award even though they knew he cheated? Fans want to see the cheaters busted and kicked out of the sport while the people who, in general, followed the rules get rewarded.

If they don't get that, then fans have a tendency to stop watching the f*cking sport. See NBA and MLB for references.

So, no offense TBL, but you have a habit of viewing things only through the binoculars of an annoying New York sports fan, especially one inclined to root for the Jets (which makes you both annoying and lacking in basic hygiene).

In the area west of the Hudson River, which pretentious New Yorkers, like yourselves, often refer to as "wasteland," we kind of care about this cheating stuff. Why else do you think people STILL want to see the New England Patriots stripped of their three rings because of Spygate? That crap happened three years ago and people continue to talk about it! If we Colts fans found out tomorrow that Peyton Manning has been juicing since his rookie year, I tell you that just about every Indy fan from Seymour to South Bend would line-up to throw stones and gasoline cocktails at Peyton's house. They'd drag him out in his bath robe, stick his head under a guillotine, and chant "Cut that meat!"

Fans. Don't. Like. Cheating.

They want to see cheaters punished. A good way to punish cheaters is to strip them of awards and titles. It sends a strong message by tarnishing the legacy of the person or institution that enabled or participated in the cheating. And what is sports but a long, prolonged, detailed narrative of a person or organization's legacy? And if a governing body such as the NCAA or the NFL refuses to punish the cheaters, then what happens is the infectious disease known as "apathy" will set it, and fans will stop viewing sports as spirited competition and more as mindless entertainment on par with reality shows.

What about this don't you guys understand? Is sports nothing but a money machine to you? If that's all it is, you guys are f*cking sad.

Sincerely,

-Sanctimonious Colts Fan (aka BBS)

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