Among the nauseating aspects of the
You heard all the details. 'Bron, D-Wade and Bosh got together years ago and made a pact to one day join forces. They signed contracts designed to expire simultaneously. They held Cartel meetings during the offseason, and sometimes during the regular season.
Gag me. Whatever happened to good old-fashioned disdain for the opposition? How good can the competition be when the alleged "rivals" are in business together or planning to join forces at a later date?
At the risk of sounding like a curmudgeon who covered the 1918 World Series (Ruth really dominated the Cubs in that 1-0 game, didn't he?), sports was better in the days before the players all loved one another.
There's a great old tale about an exchange between
The story reminds me of an encounter I had with
Gibson probably would have done that. The legend on Gibson was that he did not speak with his non-Cardinal teammates when he played for the National League in the All-Star game. He didn't want to compromise the competition when everybody got back to work after the mid-summer break.
In Boston we've seen the change in the Red Sox-Yankee rivalry.
Back in the 1970s, the Sox and Pinstripes truly hated one another. You'd never see
LeBron and friends certainly didn't invent coziness in the NBA.
Fraternization sometimes impacts the outcome of games. For instance, when is the last time you saw a runner plow through a catcher en route to home plate? Hardly anyone does this anymore because players are part of a very profitable union and no one wants to do anything to harm a fellow union member. As a result, catchers of this generation have learned to stick their left leg across the base path while they are waiting for a relay throw. There are no more Frank Robinsons to remind the catchers that the path belongs to the baserunner and a catcher risks injury if he puts his body in the path. Today's polite baserunners simply go around, sometimes costing their teams ballgames.
It's the same with the old-time brushback pitch. Back in the day, before
That's all gone now. Players love one another more than they love the teams they represent. The whole sports world has gone the way of LeBron, D-Wade and Bosh. We are not better for it.