Jacksonville Sports News, Sam Kouvaris - SamSportsline.com

The Fix

The fix is not in.

The talk about Dale Jr.’s win and Cal’s home run being pre-planned is silly. I guess next you’re going to tell me that the rest of the guys in the Tour de France are laying back so Lance Armstrong can win. Soon, people are going to go through past sports feats and figure out what looks fishy. Are you thinking about Jackie Smith’s dropped pass as some part of a great plot to keep the Steelers winning? Bill Buckner’s miss a conspiracy to keep the Red Sox from winning the World Series?

Come on.

The sports world is full of cynics, people who aren’t going to believe that great feats can be performed. That sacrifices will be made for the team, and that good things can happen through hard work. Why won’t they believe that? Because they’re not willing to do those things themselves. They’re afraid, afraid of failure and “what people might say.”

That’s when cowards become cynics.

As Teddy Roosevelt said, “they are among those who neither enjoy much, nor suffer much, for they live in that gray twilight that knows not victory, nor defeat.” They’ve never been in the arena.

How many owners and sponsors in NASCAR do you think would approve of a race being fixed for one car?

Exactly zero.

Take the drivers out of it, the crew chiefs, and the fact that NASCAR has a shady reputation about the outcome of some races. There’s too much money at stake these days. What would Miller think about letting the Bud car win?

I don’t think there was any great conspiracy to let Lil’ E win. I do think he had the best car, and drivers weren’t willing to gang up on him or go through any great blocking scheme to keep him from going to the front. Somebody could have put him into the wall, but they didn’t at 180 mph.

The idea that Chan Ho Park grooved a pitch for Cal Ripken at the All Star game is really silly. The night before, they were throwing nice little meatballs over the plate, trying to let players hit home runs in the Home Run Derby. Some went 25 pitches without hitting one over the fence. And if Park was grooving one, why did he throw it at 92 mph?

Those two events are the very reason we watch sports. The essence of what keeps our interest from season to season, from sport to sport. Good things can happen in sports.

Let the cynics howl.

Then tell them to get back on the couch.