Thursday, August 6, 2009

Toug Guy Syndrome

One of the most iconic sports photos of the past 15 years is the photo of Nolan Ryan with Robin Ventura in a headlock. The reason the photo is so cherished and sought after is because it displays an aging Ryan in the twilight of his career absolutely manhandling the much young Ventura as if it was an easy task. This photo was a symbol of Ryan's career as he never backed down and was known for being a tough guy. Unlike today's pitchers who simply back pedal, throw their glove, and wait for teammates to intervene Ryan welcome batters who dared rush his mound. Nolan Ryan was a tough guy.

Prince Fielder is not.

Last night His Royal Fatness got beaned by Guillermo Mota in the 9th inning of a game in which the Dodgers were beating the Brewers 17-4. Fielder was clearly upset but instead of taking any serious action he opted to grin like a moron and walk to 1st base. Incident over right? Not even close. Fielder decided his best course of action would be to try and rush the Dodgers locker room after the game as if he was going to bust the door down and lay waste to the whole room. Fielder did this because he suffers from a disease common in modern athletes, TGS, otherwise known as Tough Guy Syndrome.

Instead of rushing the mound and dealing with Mota like a man Fielder instead chose the route in which he would look like a tough guy, by trying to take on security and needing to be held back by teammates, but would never really need to engage in any sort of physical contact.

Fielder is not the only one who suffers from TGS however as today it is an epidemic that is sweeping across professional sports.

Football players, basketball players, baseball players, and worst of all hockey players suffer from TGS. They all try and pretend like they are tough guys who will hand out severe punishment if they are messed with but in the end they are all Cotonelle soft.

One recent moment which will serve as a perfect example of TGS was the 2009 NBA Finals. The participants were Pau Gasol (a lanky Spaniard) and Mickael Pietrus (a Frenchman). Gasol went up for a dunk and Pietrus fouled him from behind. Gasol stepped forward and bumped chests with Pietrus who stood his ground with no retaliation. Now you may be sitting there thinking 'what's wrong with that?' Let me tell you.

You don't bump chests with another man and start swearing at them unless you are going to actually do something otherwise you look like a punk. Yes it proves that you have seen enough movies and rap videos to have learned how to ACT tough but not to actually BE tough.

If you aren't going to actually do something about a situation then don't react at all. Either walk away and be the bigger man or throw a punch and let people know that you don't suffer from TGS but in fact you actually are tough.

It is not just Frenchmen and tall lanky white guys that suffer from TGS though. TGS can affect people of any shape or size. Look no further than the NFL for proof. These so called 'tough guys' who threaten one another verbally on the field and constantly let people know that they are not to be messed with are the same men who cry to officials when calls don't go their way and sulk to reporters about playing time, bad calls, and their role within the team.

Professional athletes put on a front to try and pretend that they are 'hard' or 'mean' when really they are just overpaid cry babies who's last goal in life is to get into a physical altercation where they aren't wearing their pads or equipment.

Prince Fielder is yet another tragic victim of TGS and as sure as I breath not the last.

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