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|The Jack LaLanne Principle
A couple of weeks ago a number of football players from the
football team the Minnesota Vikings were revealed to have been
part of a cruise on Lake Minnetonka where great quantities of
alcohol were consumed and some of the players had sex with
prostitutes. Or maybe it was all of them. In response, the front
office has published a code of conduct for them, because
apparently the players didn't know that getting drunk and having
sex with prostitutes is considered wrong. Thank God it's in
writing, so that they don't have to figure out these gray areas
Actually, it's totally beyond me why stories of athletes
misbehaving like this even make the news. This is what these
guys do. Always have. Remember Babe Ruth - one of the greatest
baseball players that ever lived? Hey, real choir boy, wasn't
he? Or how about Ty Cobb? he murdered somebody, or was reputed
to, but again - no choirboy. Or how about ... oh, never mind, I
could go on forever and ever and ever with examples.
But, you know, athletes are role models. We should expect them
to display exemplary behavior. Right?
I sure hope no young child is looking up to these people and
using them as a basis for living. In fact, I dare say that most
kids are way too smart to do that. They know better. Athletes
may be appropriate role models if you're talking about throwing
a football, or learning how to do a lay-up, or kicking a soccer
ball or other sports stuff. You can certainly look up to them
when it comes to the dedication and fortitude that's needed to
be successful in sports, but as for the rest of it: most of them
are just young idiots with money.
When I was going to school in Minnesota we had 'student'
athletes. I remember one series of basketball scandals where
some of the basketball players had been sort of raping women on
the road, or near to it, since the women were too drunk to quite
know what was going on. When these guys were arrested, it was
revealed that the graduation rate for U of M basketball players
years was ten percent. And that was high for a big
ten school at that time.
About that time there were a couple of football players - the
Golden Gophers - who were thrown out of the special football
dormitory for doing stuff like throwing animal parts around and
crucifying cats. In the dorm rooms. One of those guys had his
college major declared as wild life management. I'll bet! Just
look at how great he already was at managing wild-life.
The football players especially felt that they should be
priveleged since they were bringing so much money into the
university, especially the alumni money, though none of these
athletes that I know about was doing it for free out of the
goodness of their hearts. And to top it all off they were rated
as the worst team in the nation. Thanks, boys, I appreciate it.
In a Playboy interview about this time the fitness expert Jack
LaLanne (ninety, now, and he can kick your butt) was asked how
it was that pro-athletes could party so much and still perform
on the field. His reply was that since they were such superbly
conditioned athletes in the first place they could get away with
it and he pointed out that: 'The more money you put in the bank,
the more money you can take out of the bank'.
Me and some other guys I used to work out with came across this
quote and took it to mean that if we worked out hard then, ergo,
we should also be partying hard. Saint Jack told us it was the
right thing to do, after all. We compounded our gross and
purposeful misunderstanding of his words by labeling this as
'The Jack LaLanne Principle' and thus when we were out on the
town on a Friday or Saturday night (or Monday, or Tuesday, or
Wednesday ...) we said we were using 'The Jack LaLanne
I feel a little embarassed about that now. Mostly I hope Jack
never, ever hears about this.
He'll kick our butts.
About the author:
Steve Sommers is the author of Breakfast with the Antichrist.
Visit his Website at http://www.breakfastwiththeantichrist.com