Houston We Have a Problem: A Sad Reality in American Sports

“Winning isn’t everything…it’s the only thing.”

This quote that has been floated around sports for nearly a century has been meant to push humans to their breaking point, to train, to sweat, to push themselves just a bit past their breaking point for that ultimate thrill of victory.

Sadly, however, the spirit of this quotation has been irreparably lost, decimated by a society devoid of integrity, bereft of shame, empty of dignity. Whether it be steroids, HGH, blood doping, or countless other forms of “pushing the envelope.”

And with advancing technology, has come advanced ways of cheating others. Online bullying. Hacking. Identity Theft. Fraud. All of these forms of criminal activity dehumanize the victim as no face-to-face contact

It was only a matter of time before this corruption of technology collided with the world of sports. The ultimate one-on-one battle: pitcher vs. hitter, divided by 60 feet, 6 inches. A battle of wits. A battle of wills. A battle of athletic prowess.

Tragically, that battle has been cast by the wayside as news of the  Houston Astros using technology to gain a clear advantage came to light. When the Astros set up a camera with a monitor in their dugout and banged on trash cans to signal the next pitch to their batter, they broke the oldest code in all of sports: fair play. The saddest part of it all is that Joey Cora, a ball player who had to scrap and claw his way to a big league career that required as much mental savvy as it did physical, is the one who crossed the line.

And when players and coaches like Cora and Astros manager A.J. Hinch cross that, they do more than cheat themselves or the opponent. They cheat the spirit of competition.

The human spirit has always been drawn to compete, to compete against oneself and to compete against others in a battle for that elusive conquest: winning. Victory.

And it is this battle of the human will that draws us all to sports, whether it be as spectator or competitor.

Yet, the purity of the human spirit has been lost as players disregard fairness, integrity, sportsmanship, all for the sake of elusive victory.

Apparently those virtues have been tossed into the same cans the Astos used to gain their unfair advantage. Winning the only thing? Now, that is garbage!