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Lions Around the Dorm

atdThe Around the Dorm opener will pit newcomer Robert Morris against seasoned veterans Michael O’Donnell and Bobby Olivier. New Sports Editor Garrett Rasko-Martinis will be testing the contestants with questions concerning the growing number of baseball players facing steroid allegations, Brett Favre once again opting to return to the National Football League, and the moral dilemmas surrounding Michael Vick’s reinstatement.

1. Over the summer, several more Major League Baseball players have been accused of failing their 2003 steroid test. At this point, would baseball be better off keeping the records sealed, or just getting it all out in the open?

MO: First of all, this is not baseball’s decision. The federal government is in possession of these records, and it’s their decision whether or not to withhold the information. Nevertheless, baseball needs the name dropping to stop. Just when the public thinks the names are going to stop coming out, another pops up. The survey was supposed to be anonymous, and as each performance enhancing drug (PED) user surfaces, the public becomes more enthralled and wants more names. If cut off right now, people will eventually realize the releases are over, and will focus on baseball once again. This is not a problem that is going to be fixed overnight. Unless it continues to somehow illegally leak, as has happened over the last few years, baseball would very grateful if these positive tests did not come out for the world to see.

RM: It makes absolutely no sense to pick and choose what players will be exposed the public for their use of PEDs. Baseball fans have already seen one of the greatest pitchers to ever play the game in Roger Clemens, and one of the greatest hitters in Manny Ramirez, both named in the report. Lives, reputations, legacies and the integrity of the game have already been tarnished with the release of some names. It is now the MLB’s obligation to make all the findings public and would serve in the best interest of fans to just try and move past this dark cloud. It would be better to release all the names to the public so that every time a strikeout is tallied in a scorebook and a homerun is hit, baseball fans don’t have to ask themselves if the athlete is clean.

BO: This whole “who was juicing and who wasn’t” thing is just like a band aid. Rip it off, release the list and have everything out in the open, or leave it on and seal it for good. But for God’s sake, make a decision. This slow, painful process of learning about various superstars and Jason Grimsley enhancing themselves to improve their game is only hurting the MLB and everyone associated with it. But, because there will always be leaks in one way or another, let’s just get it over with and see that list. Nothing shocks anyone anymore regarding who tested positive. The list cannot hurt the sport much more than it already has, and then we can finally move on.

GRM: Robert and Bobby said they think it would be better for the list to be public, even if it isn’t legally possible, and I too agree. So whoever got their ATD answers to me first wins. Bobby gets a 3 for submitting them on Friday at 11:00 a.m, Robert gets 2 for sending them five hours later. Mike receives the 1 because the name-dropping isn’t going to stop unless the perpetrators  are caught.

2. It’s a different summer, but it’s conclusion is just the same – Brett Favre is once again coming out of retirement. Does it tarnish his legacy that he keeps mulling retirement, just to re-enter football a few weeks later?

MO: I wrote for The Signal about this last year and said that when he came out of retirement the first time and played for the Jets, that it did not destroy his legacy because all he wanted to do was play football, and that was obviously not going to happen in Green Bay. This time around, I think his legacy is slightly more tarnished. Don’t get me wrong, Favre will still be remembered as arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. However, he may now be remembered as the guy who betrayed his loyal Cheeseheads by joining the hated Vikings, liked the attention of being in the spotlight, or had the worst decision-making skills in history. No matter how you spin it, Favre has made people think about him more now as something other than a great quarterback and a model human being.

RM: Retirement is nothing new to the sports fan. Athletes have retired and returned throughout the history of sports. It is a part of sports, and the business that is sports. The great Michael Jordan had two retirements himself, Roger Clemens retired at least four or five times, and the hockey great Mario Lemieux also had more than one retirement. Lance Armstrong, Muhammad Ali and George Foreman are all big names who have retired and returned, and yet Favre has been labeled a “prima donna” by many media outlets. In a league filled with athletes who have been in prison, are under house arrest and have made more court appearances then Brett Favre has changed his mind, how can we seem to be so angered at a man who just can’t seem to step away from a game that has done so much for him, and he’s done so much for?

BO: Although Favre’s signing with the Vikings garnered the “sigh … really?” response from a good chunk of sports nation, it does not tarnish his legacy. Sure, the way Favre has gone about retiring and returning has been exhausting, but I have to respect that after all of his time in the NFL and everything he has accomplished, Favre still finds that desire to compete. The records speak for themselves, and no matter what shenanigans Favre pulls in the future, the way he is regarded as an all-time great and tenacious competitor will — or at least should — always stand. And honestly, who doesn’t want to see Favre return to Lambeau Field in the dead of winter to take on a franchise he brought back into the spotlight so many years ago?

GRM: Mr. O’Donnell gets the 3 on this question. Favre still has all the records, but he’s destroyed the part of his legacy that labeled him a hometown hero. Bobby gets 2 for mentioning how intriguing it’s going to be when Favre returns to Lambeau. Robert gets 1 point for downplaying the impact of Favre’s flip flopping.

3. Michael Vick’s NFL reinstatement has been met with a great deal of protest by animal lovers across the country. Does Vick deserve this second chance, or should Roger Goodell have prohibited Vick from playing?

MO: As much as it pains me to say as a dog lover, Michael Vick does deserve a second chance. Despite the backlash the NFL and the Eagles are experiencing for this reinstatement, this is a good move by Roger Goodell. Not only did Goodell provide a solid initial punishment of an indefinite suspension along with his jail time, Vick also has to wait until Week 6 at the latest in order to have a shot at playing. Goodell made his mark by laying down the law, not only with Vick but also with Plaxico Burress. Goodell encouraged Burress to admit his guilt to the gun possession charges, and because of this, Plax will be allowed to return to the NFL when he is done serving his jail time. If Vick ends up reforming himself and being a positive role model in the community, that could mean positive publicity for the NFL. This will all be forgotten if Vick plays well. Does anyone think about Kobe Bryant and his rape charge anymore? Hardly, and the same will happen to Vick, pending he plays well yet again.

RM: We all have made mistakes in our life. I certainly do not condone what Vick did, and I will never be the Vick fan that I once was, but I do fully support him getting a second chance to turn his life around. Vick served his time in prison. Perhaps I am naive but I do like to believe that people are inherently good at heart and he is sorry for his mistakes. Tony Dungy has fully supported Vick’s reinstatement and said that he believed Vick to be sincere in his regret and apologies. My hat is off to Commissioner Goodell. He has done a superb job in cleaning up the league and once again, I strongly feel he did the right thing in allowing Michael Vick a second chance.

BO: Let’s get something straight. Michael Vick screwed up. We know it, and he knows it. Just like any criminal, Vick wants a second chance to redeem himself after his incarceration, so give him that chance to shine. He’s most likely not going to be the that missing link that makes or breaks the Philadelphia Eagles on their quest for a Super Bowl appearance, so let the guy get his snaps and get back to his life. Roger Goodell made the right call by letting Vick back into the league, and for the animal rights protestors, I’m sure there’s plenty of other criminals committing canine atrocities around the world. Go bother them. All I’m saying is give Vick a chance.

GRM: Robert gets the 3 here because I completely agree that Vick did his time and deserves a second chance. Bobby gets 2 for saying the same thing, but in a less interesting way. Mike gets a 1 because no matter how good Vick does in football, the animal rights activists will still hate him and you can’t compare Kobe to Vick. Kobe’s rape allegations were just that, allegations, and Vick admitted to his crime.

Bobby opens up the season with a victory,  7-6-5


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