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  1. #1
    Pope Of Greenwich Village SuckaInA3Piece's Avatar
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    08.28.17 @ 03:27 PM
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    Default Sports and alcohol

    Here's a very good article by David Aldridge, who writes for the Philadelphia Inquirer. I'd love to read everyone's thoughts on sports and alcohol, as I'm sure it's touched most of us here. We've all been to games where our good time was invaded by some drunken douche. And there's been plenty of alcohol related deaths in pro sports in my short lifetime. Given the recent death of Josh Hancock, I thought this might lead to an interesting discussion.

    Read and discuss..

    David Aldridge | Athletes grab spotlight on alcohol, but it's us, too
    By David Aldridge
    Inquirer Columnist

    If you had good seats Monday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills, you were treated to two hours of solid entertainment. No, not the Bulls and Pistons in the NBA playoffs, but the guy who thought it was hilarious to scream not especially funny insults at Ben Wallace at the top of his lungs.
    That Wallace - who is nicknamed "Body" with good reason - could break that guy's face with little more than a hard stare didn't come into play; this was Bizarro Kabuki Theatre, where a pencil-necked geek fancies himself just as rough and tough as a guy who can bench-press Sweden.

    Anybody else guessing beer muscles were involved?

    And then, all too often, hundreds of these geeks, fueled by alcohol and resentment, get behind the wheels of their cars and drive. It's a scene played out in dozens of arenas and stadiums around the country, not to mention thousands of bars, millions of homes and hotels, maybe a newspaper office or two. Or 10.

    Or a baseball clubhouse.

    When do you think we all might get serious about alcohol?

    Those of us in sports now have a hook on which to pontificate, because St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Josh Hancock died at the wheel of his rental vehicle last week, driving at almost twice the legal limit for alcohol in Missouri when his car slammed into the back of a tow truck. It does not appear that Hancock was unfamiliar with hard living.

    The hook is even juicier because Cardinals manager Tony La Russa had been charged in a rather unsavory DUI during spring training, having fallen asleep at the wheel of his car in March, with the car nearly going into an intersection. The Cardinals didn't publicly discipline La Russa. And when details of Hancock's death began leaking out, La Russa admonished reporters for asking Hancock's teammates about his lifestyle.

    We got 'im on hypocrisy, boss!

    But you know what? I don't care what La Russa said. Nor does it matter that the Cardinals franchise was built on beer, having been financed for four decades by the Busch family, whose name adorns the team's new ballpark just as it did the old one - or that I have never witnessed people so drunk so early in the morning as Cardinals fans during the World Series in 1987.

    Because Hancock's death is no different from hundreds of others that occur, anonymously, every day.

    Should it matter that Hancock was a reasonably famous athlete, or that his boss tried to protect him? Would it be any less tragic if he was a CPA on the way home from an office party?

    For every Pelle Lindbergh, there is an anonymous father. For every Tim Crews, the Cleveland Indians pitcher who was killed, along with teammate Steve Olin, when Crews drove his boat into a dock during spring training in 1993, there is a car full of teenagers on their way from the prom.

    Nationally, 16,885 people were killed in alcohol-related accidents in 2005, the last year full statistics were available, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of those deaths, 30 percent involved a driver with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or greater.

    Many of us drink too much, and then exercise even more horrible judgment by thinking we can guide a 11/2-to-2-ton vehicle traveling at moderate to high speeds without killing someone - including ourselves.

    Me, too. Mostly in college, when booze was one of the four main food groups (with pizza, chips, cereal). I distinctly remember one night, after an on-campus party, when I prayed to God to steer the car across town back to my parents' house. I shudder to think of the lives I could have ruined by being such a jerk.

    As a nation, we condemn those who abuse cocaine and other drugs. As sportswriters and fans, we get up on our high horse about steroids, and call Barry Bonds a cheat, and feel smug and superior. And then we go get smashed while watching sporting events sponsored seemingly exclusively by beer and car companies.

    Subliminal message much?

    Athletes, though, are especially vulnerable to feeling bulletproof. They are almost always bigger and stronger and faster and tougher than everyone else in their universe - save other athletes - with cat-quick reflexes that have saved them time and again. What's another challenge?

    So it doesn't matter if the NBA was covering its corporate rear or merely trying to be responsible when it told Golden State Warriors coach Don Nelson this weekend that he couldn't bring beer to his postgame news conferences anymore.

    One less endorsement for the High Life is fine by me.
    "It's always a Catch-22 situation. They hate you if you're the same, and they hate you if you're different."
    ~Eddie Van Halen~

    "The perfect woman has an IQ of 150, wants to make love until 4 in the morning, and then turns into a pizza."
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  2. #2
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    While I support the Cardinal's idea of banning beer from the clubhouse, does this mean that pennant winning celebrations (full of champagne) are going to be outlawed as well?

    What's glossed over in sweeping changes such as the one proposed by the team is the fact that everyone has an inherant responsibility to their fellow man in all of this. Why not stop beer sales at sporting events altogether? At least some teams (Dolphins included) stop beer sales after halftime at NFL games. How dumb. People have been partying since 11 am (with stuff they brought with them), the game started at 4PM and they are somehow going to sober up by the time they stagger to their cars after the game?

    Look, one can not legislate morality. Prohibition (not to mention today's "war on drugs") is generally regarded as a failure, remember? As long as there are sportsfans gathered anywhere, there will be booze and blatant stupidity. "Beer-buses" that take folk to the games are great, except that these people then get back to the depot/bar and then attempt to drive home.

    Banning beer from a game is shortsighted and does little to address the problem. All it succeeds in is lessening the possibility of lawsuits for the stadium/team owner when some irresponsible, drunken fuck-wit of a sports fan wipes out a family innocently driving their mini-van on their way to church services. Oddly enough, he survives, they fail to do so.

    Until folk are willing to grow up (or use taxi's or limo services) this mindlessness will continue. People still drive when their license is taken away as a result of DUI, and many continue to do so drunkenly. That act in and of itself is (pardon the pun)...sobering.
    Last edited by chefcraig; 05.09.07 at 12:47 PM.
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
    George Bernard Shaw

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk atomicpunk5151's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 11:10 AM
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    It is all about moderation and most importantly not being stupid.

    I will have a beer while watching a game no big deal. If I have to many, well I am responsible enough to have someone else drive.

    If you drink to much and try to drive you are an asshole, hopefully you have some friends to kick your ass before you get behind the wheel. There are to many stupid people in this country.

    If you get to fucked up and start yelling at a game, well then your a jackass. But you are not driving, so you are just annoying and that is about it.

  4. #4
    Hot sauce on everything Red's Avatar
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    12.17.17 @ 07:07 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefcraig View Post
    Banning beer from a game is shortsighted and does little to address the problem. All it succeeds in is lessening the possibility of lawsuits for the stadium/team owner when some irresponsible, drunken fuck-wit of a sports fan wipes out a family innocently driving their mini-van on their way to church services. Oddly enough, he survives, they fail to do so.
    Most corporate/organizational entities are realizing, if they haven't, that giving alcohol use the old wink just isn't good policy anymore. My uncle drove a beer truck back in the 70's; everyday when he came in from his route, there was a keg set up in the warehouse, help yourself. He got two DUI's in one night. My hometown newspaper once ran a front page story when one of their own employees was arrested for DUI following the company Christmas party. Maybe they had it both ways in that instance, but most other companies can't. But what it all comes down to is $$$$$ and liability, as you alluded to above. The lawyers and insurance people have their influence over the team, and they will do more to dictate what a team does than morality ever will. Of course, the beer revenue folks have their say as well. Ownership will have to decide if they want a safer, more mature, family-friendly environment (i.e., listen to the insurance folks), or if they need the beer money to pay that new shortstop who bats .228 and wants $8 million.

    Providing alcohol to your team, that's just stupid. Really, really stupid. I just think the money, liability and marketing aspects set the standard, rather than morality or demanding character or any of that stuff.

  5. #5
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    12.18.17 @ 05:32 AM
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    I don't really know what can be done. I don't like to get rip-roaring drunk that often, but I can tell when I'm starting to feel the effects of alcohol and since high school I've never dared to get behind the wheel of an automobile even when I was only feeling slightly buzzed. And I hope I'm not an asshole when I'm mashed.

    But some people are (might be that they're assholes before they drink, too). I was at a Dolphins game about maybe 10 years ago and there was this dude sitting next to me that was plastered right from the moment he arrived - he was loud and obnoxious and ready to take on anyone around him (especially if he didn't think they were from the United States) and I was just waiting for the brawl to begin and hoping I wouldn't get buried in it. He left at halftime and they announced that alcohol sales were done and I thought that would be it, but no, he showed up halfway through the 3rd quarter with maybe a half-dozen cups of lemonade I think it was, and proceeded to pull a small bottle from his pocket and top them off. As his obnoxiousness continued, he finally was ejected from the stadium (well at least the seating area - I hope they didn't make him get in his car and drive), but my afternoon had been pretty much ruined by having this asshole near me. I don't know - I go to a game to enjoy the game, and I got no problem with having a few beers (if you want to spend that kind of money) and I got no problem if you want to get a little rowdy, but to get shitfaced and be obnoxious - no thanks.

    But what can they do to prevent that? Sure they can stop selling alcohol - but that's only punishing the folk that wants to have a beer or two, as someone who's going to a sporting event to get drunk will probably bring his own. And how can you police who's leaving drunk or not - have everyone pass a checkpoint and breathalizer on the way out? Not sure that would go over too well! As long as their is alcohol, there will be alcoholics and asshole drunks, but we saw how well prohibition worked. I guess the only thing we can do is try to continue to educate, and make the sentences for drinking offenses severe.

    Sad though how it's the non-drinkers that usually go in the accidents. Remember that ball team whose bus went over the ramp in Atlanta and some of them died? Had a couple of drunks do a similar thing here in Orlando a few days ago, and they all walked (staggered?) away.

  6. #6
    Atomic Punk jrk5150's Avatar
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    It's a form of homicide if you kill someone driving drunk, so it should be treated as attempted homicide if you're driving drunk. You start looking at 5 or 10 year jail sentences for the first offense, you'll get drunks off the road.

    How about putting those little breathalyzers on every car that's sold, and figure out how to retro fit them and require them to be on every car on the road. And have severe penalties for anyone tampering with them. If your car won't start, you can't drive drunk.

    You put those two things into play, it'll save a ton of lives...

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrk5150 View Post
    ...How about putting those little breathalyzers on every car that's sold, and figure out how to retro fit them and require them to be on every car on the road. And have severe penalties for anyone tampering with them. If your car won't start, you can't drive drunk.

    You put those two things into play, it'll save a ton of lives...
    Problem being all one need do is pay someone $5.00 to blow in the tube, and presto: You're on your way.

    Naturally, for an additional $20.00, one can purchase a "happy ending".
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
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  8. #8
    Atomic Punk jrk5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefcraig View Post
    Problem being all one need do is pay someone $5.00 to blow in the tube, and presto: You're on your way.

    Naturally, for an additional $20.00, one can purchase a "happy ending".
    You going to do that for $5 when if you get caught you're going to jail for 5 years?

    Besides, don't think guys coming off hummers by prostitutes are what we're worried about. We're talking about people coming out of bars, or games, or family barbeques, and how many people are going to do that when the penalties are so severe?

    It's a matter of culture - if you make the penalty severe enough, you take it out of mainstream culture. You'll always have drunk drivers, just like you'll always have armed robbers and murderers. But you'll have less of them.

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrk5150 View Post
    You going to do that for $5 when if you get caught you're going to jail for 5 years?

    Besides, don't think guys coming off hummers by prostitutes are what we're worried about. We're talking about people coming out of bars, or games, or family barbeques, and how many people are going to do that when the penalties are so severe?

    It's a matter of culture - if you make the penalty severe enough, you take it out of mainstream culture. You'll always have drunk drivers, just like you'll always have armed robbers and murderers. But you'll have less of them.
    Lighten up, I made a joke. The fact is, no matter what the penalty, people commit crimes, or has this escaped you?

    The mindset is what needs to be changed. This demands a complete overhaul of the manner in which people are educated about the result of their irresponsible actions in the first place. It's naive to think that people won't drive drunk because they may get caught. Thought, particularly rational thought, goes out the window in cases like this.

    Look, how many laws are on the books, with strict penalties? Sure this is a deterent to crime, yet the fact remains that crime still exists. The same notion applies to booby-trapping a vehicle so the impaired driver supposedly won't be able to start it. Forget it, as cars are stolen everyday, and in cases like this, it's the actual car owner (with his keys in hand).

    My original comment point's out the lack of logical thinking involving such a deterent as this exudes. To anyone having seen close-up what drunken nitwits will do, this should be obvious.

    By nature, folk disregard responsibilty for their actions, and even contemplating the outcome of their deeds is beyond their comprehension. People tend to think for the here and now. Instant gratification is rule. The actual thought of paying for it rarely, if ever comes into question.
    Last edited by chefcraig; 05.11.07 at 08:42 AM.
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  10. #10
    Atomic Punk jrk5150's Avatar
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    Lighten up? Hunh?

    No problems - and I'm talking about what you're talking about. It's a cultural attitude change that is needed. But you can't legislate that. What you can do is put the penalites so high that rational people, even ones behaving irrationally, will take measures to prevent engaging in that behavior.

    People want easy. If you make it hard to drive drunk, it'll cut down on it. I even said it won't prevent it - some people break laws, it's a given. We've got the technology to attach breathalyzers to ignition systems, use it. Is it fool proof? No, but that, combined with very severe penalties, ought to take a lot of the "casual" drivers off the street that are otherwise upstanding folks. And those that are habitual pieces of shit will end up in jail for a long, long time. Which is probably where they belong.

  11. #11
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrk5150 View Post
    ...And those that are habitual pieces of shit will end up in jail for a long, long time. Which is probably where they belong.
    Amen to that, bro.
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
    George Bernard Shaw

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    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    It would help, for sure, but again, if someone is thoughtless enough to contemplate getting behind the wheel drunk (or just too drunk to realise that they're too drunk) then they won't think twice about getting someone to blow in the tube. But it would cut down on people that just don't realise how drunk they are.

    Unrealistic, but another way could be to require any establishment that serves alcohol to have a fenced-in parking lot, with a hired attendant to make sure that before you leave that parking lot, you're sober. Same thing with the party busses. When you get back, your car is in a fenced-in lot and you have to be sober before you can leave. But this would only work in my butterflies and candy castle world. People that know they are going to get drunk, and don't want to be inconvenienced by having to pass a sobriety test to leave the premises, will just park remotely and walk. I guess you could just administer sobriety tests at the door, but then you'd have a lot of arguements with people that would be insisting that they walked there. Short of closing all the bars and only allowing alcohol to be consumed in the home, I don't know what the best answer is.

  13. #13
    Atomic Punk jrk5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy007 View Post
    then they won't think twice about getting someone to blow in the tube.
    At that point, we'd be looking at someone who is sober having to make the conscious decision to actively participate in allowing a drunk to drive away. With, by the way, similarly severe penalties for aiding and abetting a felony.

    I'd rather rely on someone sober than someone drunk to make that decision anyway, it's a bit more likely it'll be a rational decision.

    Foolproof? No. Nothing is. But it's a step in the right direction to get the idiots off the road.

  14. #14
    Hang 'Em High
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    Quote Originally Posted by atomicpunk5151 View Post
    It is all about moderation and most importantly not being stupid.

    I will have a beer while watching a game no big deal. If I have to many, well I am responsible enough to have someone else drive.

    If you drink to much and try to drive you are an asshole, hopefully you have some friends to kick your ass before you get behind the wheel. There are to many stupid people in this country.

    If you get to fucked up and start yelling at a game, well then your a jackass. But you are not driving, so you are just annoying and that is about it.
    I think it was about stupid when you drive drunk, and, sppped, and are haolding a cellhphone in one hand, when you suddenly come upon an unexpected situation on the road.

    You can't outlaw stupid.

    But you can regulate hands-free cellphone usage.

    And, in a safer world, you can elimate dangers, such as alcohol from anything but use in the home, period.

    Sounds extreme, doesn't it.

    Well, don't count on it, with more poeple crossing our borders every day, that consider drinking beer as part of their culture and religion.... the laws are likely to go the other way in the next 20 years.

    America as we know it is vanishing, and it's replacement is a South American model of lots of rich, and lots of poor, and not very much in the middle. Check it out... It's coming to every town soon...

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  15. #15
    Sinner's Swing! Wickett's Avatar
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    07.19.17 @ 06:30 AM
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Rover View Post
    I think it was about stupid when you drive drunk, and, sppped, and are haolding a cellhphone in one hand, when you suddenly come upon an unexpected situation on the road.

    You can't outlaw stupid.

    But you can regulate hands-free cellphone usage.

    And, in a safer world, you can elimate dangers, such as alcohol from anything but use in the home, period.

    Sounds extreme, doesn't it.

    Well, don't count on it, with more poeple crossing our borders every day, that consider drinking beer as part of their culture and religion.... the laws are likely to go the other way in the next 20 years.

    America as we know it is vanishing, and it's replacement is a South American model of lots of rich, and lots of poor, and not very much in the middle. Check it out... It's coming to every town soon...

    um... ok.. so I THINK you're saying that we're going to hell in a handbasket in part because of the Mexican's love for cerveza?? or did I miss something? Lord know's we've done pretty well historicaly in the USA managing our alcohol
    Don't drink the Jim Jones punch. They're called theToxic Twins for a reason...

 

 

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