Wednesday, June 11, 2008

From Clueless to Conspiracy Theory

By John McMullen

(The Phanatic Magazine) - I overheard an Alicia Silverstone wannabe proclaim the NBA dead today.

This after the latest allegations from disgraced referee Tim Donaghy.

In case you missed it, the Villanova product and former West Chester resident alleged in a letter filed by his lawyer that the NBA routinely encouraged refs to call bogus fouls in order to manipulate results.

Of course Donaghy, who pleaded guilty last year to betting on games and faces up to 33 months in prison, failed to provide any names.

That's not surprising since the crux of this story is a desperate man trying to save himself.

One of the great fallacies among your average do-gooder is that "people are basically good."

Gimmee a break...

At the root of it all, we are all animals and survival at all costs is in the basic code of our DNA. When you grow up in a society that glorifies wealth, part of that survival instinct turns into selfishness.

And that's how people morph into gluttonous, intemperate, narcissistic, self-aggrandizing monsters like Donaghy or Philly's favorite identity thief Jocelyn Kirsch.

Make no mistake, I'm not claiming NBA games haven't been fixed. Scandal in sport has been around forever and no sport is clean. But, increased media scrutiny has made things better than ever.

Boxers will always take dives and tennis players will always tank matches but, in the major sports, you will never see a wide-ranging conspiracy unless you're Oliver Stone.

Common sense is the most underutilized tool in the American lexicon.

If David Stern ordered Joey Crawford, Steve Javie, Bob Delaney and Company to fix things, why in the world is this the first time since 1987 that the league's two marquee franchises have faced off in the finals?

Even Jerry Fletcher couldn't answer that question.

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