Tuesday, December 13, 2005

+ = $50,000

Today's sports story revolves around a common theme in today's culture: man's inhumanity to other men. And I'm not talking about fights over parking spots at the mall.

No, today's story actually took place on November 7th, when the Chicago Bears' 293 pound center, Olin Kreutz, got into an altercation with 320 pound Bears tackle, Fred Miller. November 7th, incidentally, was evangelist Billy Graham's 87th birthday, but I digress. On that day, the aforementioned Kreutz and Miller visited a North Chicago shooting range on the invitation of the Chicago FBI. What better form of community outreach than having two recognizable Windy City sports stars pumping lead into concentric circles? Obviously, a toy drive just wouldn't have brought the community together in quite the same manner.

What follows is a little unclear...according to reports, a fight between the two burly linemen brokeout during a barbecue with FBI employees following a round of shooting. Was the argument over who got more killshots on the target or who got the last chicken wing? Who cares. The result was Fred Miller needed surgery for a broken jaw and missed a start for the first time in 110 games, and Olin Kreutz ended up with 13 stitches resulting from a gash in his head. Oh, and both players were fined $50,000 (Kreutz said he would appeal, Miller declined comment---possibly because it would have required him to open his jaw).

Chicago Tribune editors were basically handed manna in the proverbial news desert, able to finally use the headline NFL Gives Jaw-Dropping Fines. But beyond that, there were no winners (Chicago did end up winning the game the following week without Miller, against the hapless 49ers). Why must men fight, teammates no less, especially after a wonderful day of barbecuing and repeatedly firing pistols to simulate killing a perpetrator? If they had known what the extent of the fines would be, would these gargantuan men have faught over who got to kiss the cook at the barbecue? And what kind of coach would allow such a field trip to the North side? Where's the Love-ie, Coach Smith? If the Bears end up winning it all, will we be hearing a new rap tune, "The Super Bowl Scuffle"?

To recap: Jeff Kent riding a motorcycle? Stupid. Aaron Boone playing basketball? Dumb. Olin Kreutz and Fred Miller brawling at a shooting range during the middle of the season? Moronic (note: I am more than willing to amend this answer to "Perfectly Fine" if these two men are card-carrying NRA members).

Random aside: Do you think while Stan "Tookie" Williams was receiving his lethal injection at midnight, OJ Simpson was asleep, dreaming of whether to bring out the lob wedge or the sand wedge for his approach to the 18th at Pebble Beach? Congrats to Reggie Bush...let's hope he turns out more like Charles White or Marcus Allen, if you know what I mean.


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