Stories Boggle The Mind

WHEELING – Against better judgment I often find myself being quite the negative person. I can honestly say I do my best to not be such a Debbie Downer, but the more you look around this world, the more difficult a task it becomes.

Let’s just take a peek at some of the things that have happened recently in sports.

  • Prominent University of Connecticut booster Robert Burton is demanding the school return his $3M donation because he apparently doesn’t like the selection of Paul Pasqualoni as its next football coach.

Really? Is this what we’re dealing with these days? Since when does giving an institution money put you in charge?

Reportedly, Burton has given the school more-than-generous donations in the past, which is to be commended. But that doesn’t give you the right to chastise a decision, then openly pout when it wasn’t the one you would have preferred, despite the fact you’re no more qualified to make such a choice than I am.

Some people, and Mr. Burton is obviously included, think having more money than someone else makes you more important in society and suddenly smarter, to boot. If he was so worried about who the football coach was going to be, perhaps he should try to become the school’s athletics director, or better yet, it’s president. Those are the folks who get paid to make these types of calls.

Generally in these situations monetary support puts your name on a school building, most often an athletic facility. You have every right to tell someone where and how that money is to be spent, just not who can do the spending.

  • Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler suffered a severe knee injury in last Sunday’s NFC Championship Game and was openly ridiculed by players from around the league on the Internet for not gutting it out.

It’s a shame that we are so quick to cast judgment and can’t take the time to let all the facts come out before starting to foam at the mouth. I’m a big believer that, if you have never won, you don’t have room to talk.

Guys like Kirk Morrison, Maurice Jones-Drew and others definitely fall into the category of keep your mouth quiet. Drew, especially, should have known better because he missed the last two games of the season with a knee injury, despite the fact his Jaguars were in the running for the playoffs.

We’ve also heard commentators talk about Cutler’s demeanor on the sidelines after being injured, and Steve Young even went so far as to say it looked like the former Vanderbilt star didn’t care.

Excuse, me? We’re to the point where we all have to act a certain way or we don’t care? No two people handle the same situation the same way.

If you want to say he’s an overrated quarterback, then fine. There are facts to support that case. But to question a guy’s toughness because he didn’t play on a torn MCL when you can’t do the same, is weak.

  • The Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby was roasted recently because of his outspokeness concerning headshots in the NHL, after he suffered a concussion following a pair of questionable hits. Well let me ask this: How many of us have not openly questioned something until it somehow involved us?

Just because Crosby is the NHL’s best player doesn’t mean he has to talk the most and take up every cause known to man. He’s earned the right to pick and choose and shouldn’t be called a whiner and a crybaby when he does.

Either you want the guy to talk, or you don’t.

Speaking of headshots, if the NHL really wants to get serious about that aspect of the sport, it will ban fighting. Is there a more egregious headshot than taking a punch to the skull?

Mind you, I don’t want to see fighting outlawed. But it’s time this joke of a league stops talking out both sides of its mouth and sits down and figures something out. Otherwise, you’re going to see the game’s best players sitting on the sidelines more.

Shawn Rine can be reached via e-mail at