For What It's Worth: January 11th

(WICHITA, Kan.)

For What it’s Worth on this January 11---  Can you imagine how many steroid users there are in the NFL Hall of Fame?  But it’s the sanctity of the Baseball Hall that seems to move us.

Is it simply the numbers of the game?  Growing up, I could debate with my father the batting merits of Babe Ruth and Willie Mays using the same statistical measurements.  Decades may have separated them, but they are linked by the unchanging standards of greatness.  They are standards that all baseball fans know—standards that are passed from one generation to the next, seamlessly—without need for explanation.  Baseball numbers are wonderfully rounded: hit .300, win 20 games, drive in 100 runs, hit 40 homers—these aren’t standards that have changed over the years.  They’re numbers that we had come to count on, to depend on, to trust-- until the steroid era.

It’s bad enough that guys like Bonds, Clemens, Sosa and McGwire cheated the game of baseball—but to cheat its fans of the once seemingly eternal wonder of that game is worse.  For many, baseball is the thread that helps tie generations together.  I see my parents about twice a year, never is there a time when we don’t discuss baseball.  It doesn’t matter where we are, or at what time of the year.  My mother will always rib me about the Red Sox and I will question what she can possibly see in the Seattle Mariners.  My father will quiz me on the latest player movements, offering unsolicited opinions on it all. It is what I do now with my children and what I hope, one day, they will do with theirs.  Maybe I’m naïve.  Maybe it was sometime before players started taking to the needle that baseball lost its innocence.  But, at least, I always felt like I could believe what my eyes were telling me.  The ‘steroid era’ took that away.  I will never look at the game in quite the same way and I don’t know if I can ever forgive that.

At some point, the Baseball Hall of Fame will have to deal with this era of baseball.  The Hall is as much a museum as it is shrine to the game.  Future generations need to know why steroids caused such distress to baseball and learn from our mistakes, only then can the abusers start to repay the game.
 
 You mean it's not always about football?

The so-called ‘Catholic 7’ reportedly met with officials from Fox this week in New York City.  It’s believed that the network is floating a 12-year deal worth $500 million on the contingency that the seven Big East defectors (DePaul, Marquette, Villanova, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Providence and Georgetown) add five additional schools to a newly formed league.  This would put Creighton squarely in their sights and while CU Athletic Director Bruce Rasmussen claims that he’s had no discussions with anyone, it won’t take long for the phone to ring. Presuming an even split, the rough math on that deal would provide each institution with about  $3.5 million a year, or about $42 million over the life of the contract.  Mind you that’s just for television revenue, it doesn’t take into account the assumed revenue sharing the league would do with multiple units they’d expect to gain from each NCAA Tournament.  How could Creighton possibly pass up such a chance?  And what are Wichita State officials doing to protect their interests if, or when, such a move is made?

Tomorrow in this space—

Previews for a huge weekend.  The best two days of the season in the NFL and the state’s big three all back on the hardwood. 
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