Preferential treatment should take back seat to equality and fairness

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 8, 2005



Treat people the same.

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These are good goals to strive for in personal relationships as well as in business.

Therefore, I think it is time to make some rule changes.

It is time to stop preferential treatment of one group over another.

Turn your TV on to a basketball game.

You’ve seen this scene a thousand times.

A poor soul (if it’s an NBA game, then poor is used figuratively) is standing at the free-throw line, looking down at the ball that he is dribbling, waiting to get his rhythm before he takes his shot.

As he looks up toward the basket, he finds himself facing a sea of opposing fans that are waving back and forth anything that is not nailed down.

In addition to this, they are yelling at him at decimal pitches that would make Pavarotti envious.

But he (or she) stands there and goes on and shoots.

Baseball has its similar moments.

You see the batter digging his cleat into the batter’s box.

The pitcher, only fifty nine feet away, will soon be hurling a hard object at nearly ninety miles an hour at him.

Once released, the ball will be at home plate in about one second.

It can curve, slide, knuckle, drop, or be straight.

Full concentration is needed for the batter to have any chance at hitting the ball.

But thousands of home-team fans are distractingly yelling at him, as well as the catcher and other opposing players.

The batter stands firm, however, non-complaining, and swings away in the middle of all this chaos.

Football is the same, except maybe worse.

Watch what all goes on in the stands and on the field when an opposing team sends out their field goal kicker to try and win the game with five seconds left.

Now consider golf and tennis.

Don’t even think about trying to clear your throat during Tiger’s backswing.

And God forbid that someone’s camera should click during an Ernie Els’ putt stroke.

If you do either, the PGA Security forces are on you quicker than you could say “Osama Bin Laden.”

The same dormancy is expected of you at a tennis match.

If Andre Agassi is tossing up the ball to whack a serve, you better not say squat.

Just sit there.

Tell me why should golfers and tennis players be treated differently than those that play basketball, baseball, and football?

Now be honest with me.

Wouldn’t you just love to see the orange-and-blue-haired ‘John 3:16’ man jumping up and down and waving his poster-board during Tiger’s swing.

And wouldn’t it be great if Phil Mickelson could scream….”Choke you bottom-feeding scum bucket tall goon” at Ernie Els while he is putting.

(Believe you me; this would be mild compared to what some linebackers holler at running backs during football games.)

And in tennis; wouldn’t it be great if Venus Williams could yell something in German at the Russian Sharapova during her serve?

And wouldn’t the game be more enjoyable if fans could scream at Agassi while he is serving like they do at Shaq when he is attempting a free-throw?

So, I think it is time to revisit these arcane rules that ask both fans and opposing players to take “vows of silence” during golf and tennis matches.

If basketball, baseball, and football players are asked to perform their feats while total bedlam is prevailing around them, then so should golf and tennis players.

Sure, its added pressure.

But it’s the equal and fair thing to do.