It’s Time For The Sportswriters Of America To Gather The Wood

By Desi Cortez
Updated: December 17, 2007

” I would like to point something out so that we’ll understand each other better. I don’t want you to think in the statements I made that I’m being disrespectful towards you as white people. I’m being frank. And I think that my statements will give you a better insight on the mind of a black man than most statements you get from most people who call themselves Negroes, who usually tell you what they want you to hear with the hope…that will make them draw closer to you and create a better possibility of getting from you some of the crumbs that you might let fall from your table. Well, I’m not looking for crumbs so I’m not trying to delude you.”

— Malcolm X

DENVER — It’s time for the sports writers of America to gather the wood, and erect another cross… for Roger Clemens.

It’s time to start questioning the certain hall-of-famer’s conception of what’s right and what’s wrong — his ethics and personal values. What type of home was Clemens raised in? Who told him it was OK to cheat? Did he get it from his mother, or from dad?

If he cheated, and it appears he did, well, we’re going to have to look at his childhood — where the roots of such a character flaw as “cheating” is formed. His neighborhood, the schools he attended, little league sports – perhaps his coaches condoned breaking the rules. Maybe even his church — all possibly failed in establishing guidelines and boundaries for the superstar to abide by.

Alas, one must question his intelligence. What dumbass cheats ….for nothing. The press had already anointed him long before Superman juice had permeated the diamond.

Let the word-smiths begin the dissection of his personal life, the relationship he has with his kids, his wife, because after all, a man who’d cheat at baseball, be unfaithful to this nation’s official pastime — could very well be unfaithful to his wife.

Right Roger? Of course it is. You can’t trust a man who cheats, and by all indications, Rocket Roger…cheated. If you cheat at work, cheat at play, you’ll cheat at marriage.

Let’s jump to a few extreme conclusions, adopt them as the most likely scenarios, that’s what ‘s been done with Bonds. Let’s not stop with questioning Clemens’ credentials, let’s attack his character, or lack of…

Before Clemens had reached the milestone of 29, he’d already amassed an MVP and three Cy Youngs, his reputation was well earned and intact, but, for whatever the reasons, later, as a man in his late 30’s, he calculated he needed to cheat. Perhaps for the fame, maybe for the fortunes he could, and did amass. Who knows?

And, we may never really understand the “whys” because sportswriters across the US will remain reluctant to open this particular can of worms, out of their reluctance to destroy the myth of yet another Great White Hope.

There needs to be a tsunami wave of journalist and broadcasters who do loudly demand – Clemens ought blow his own head off – at least retire in utter shame, and refuse his name be even considered for the Hall of Fame. I would expect such dramatics for Clemens – he’s a cowboy. He understands his actions have forfeited his place on the mantel, next to Mantle.

No, instead, what’s going to play-out in these extra innings: the sports media will be forced to conduct not the witch-hunt Bonds or Mike Vick was the victim of, but instead a long, fact finding mission will begin. One where empathy and sympathy will drape the coverage. The tragic motivating factors will be revealed to the nation of sports citizens as slow and easy as a unwilling press corps can crawl.

Clemens won’t be nailed to a cross like Barry or Vick, no, he’ll be placed on a soft leather couch and the doc will sit down beside him and ask him not – “why did he do it”, but rather, “who” failed him as a boy, “who” let him down, “what” tragic event has led to his need to cheat?

Can we at least admit this; both players, Clemens and Bonds – stand as reflections of a era, the “Me”, “I” generation, which adopted the “get rich or die trying mentality,” long before 50 came on the scene. When 50 was less than a quarter, maybe even a dime, back in the late 70’s and early 80’s, my generation became infatuated with wealth, power, and upper, upper middle-class status.

Hell, in all truth, we all became obsessed with being small “a” aristocrats.

Ronald “666” Ray-gun officially began the third gilded age. When the B-movie actor went into the White House; Barry, Roger and myself were all young men in high school, and I vividly recall watching this nation transform itself into a country where all that glittered…was gold.

Preppie kids morphed into Yuppies and Bubbies, who had no desire in changing the world like their parents did back in the 60’s. No, we merely wanted what Al “Scarface” Pacino desired… the world, and all it’s riches.

As time goes by, my generation, both Black and White, will be known for our excesses, our desire to super-size our cars, our homes, our meals, our vacations, and thus-ly, our asses.

We’re the folks who’ll be remembered because of our girth, and the generation of children we produced who’re not proficient at reading, writing nor ‘rithmetic, but they can rap, text message and pole-dance like the devil in a blue dress….

The senseless and selfish mall shootings and now church shootings, reflect a wonton disregard for life which easily surpasses the gangster drive-bys in their random savagery.

We, the first Black folks with a shot at the American Dream, we want it all, the cake, cookies, pie, ice cream…..the vacation home, the 246 inch, screw plasma, we want actual blood flowing thru our nickle-flat screen TV – installed in our stretch hummer if possible. Life’s more complicated than merely accumulatin material possessions.

Clemens, Barry and all the rest are simply signs of our times – greed. Somebody go grab the OJays hit “For The Love of Money. It is all about greed, defining one’s self, not by the relationships with our loved ones, but about stockpiling associates, folks you trade business cards with in case you may need them later in your personal pursuit of clout and power.

And power is like sex, a man can never have too much of either.

If your willing to stick a needle in your gut, or drink some concoction comprised of a wild babby Bermah bull’s testicles, the breast milk of a Siberian Yak, and some green sh*t a scientist concocted in a basement lab…. then yeah, we’ve got problems as a people. America’s priorities…. upside-down and inside-out.

We need to go back to the lab, with a pen and pad, and re-think our goals as humans. Do we want to live our lives by Al Davis’s creed; Just win baby win!? Still, in light of it all, the question is; will Clemens be treated like Tom Brady and Matt Lienhart? Both have inclined to be just my babies daddy? Both have fathered kids, and scrambled on. And the press has slighted both. Why? Like Roger…..they’re Great White Hopes.

Responsibility, accountability and answerability – purportedly the trademarks of American culture, aren’t applied when were talking about some of the very few top-tier white players in pro sports. In the end, when all is said and done, what will the story tellers in the land of sports writers hold Clemens to the identical scrutiny Bonds has had to endure? Clemons name is mentioned 84 times in the document. You fellas have a lot of work to do, you’d better get started right now, I’ll get the batteries so you can turn that flashlight on and shove it up Clemens behind…