A new breed of terrorist

They have been living and walking among us for years and we have never suspected a thing. They go from town to town, traveling in cells (sometimes referred to as their “entourages”).  

They are quick to blow things up, causing pain and misery to innocent bystanders, all to further their own cause. They aren’t afraid to take hostages: cities, groups of people, or otherwise.
Of course I’m referring to a particular breed of self-indulgent, superstar athlete. What did you think I was talking about? 

Excuse me for my pejorative use of the word “terrorist”, and if you aren’t a sports fan you won’t really understand where I’m coming from on this one, but some modern day athletes are nothing more than terrorists, simply put.   

In a summer that has seen more than its usual share of athlete terrorism, it’s truly unfortunate that we all have to bear witness to such egregiousness.  

We had it all this summer.  Legendary careers are being blown to smithereens. What could have truly been one of the greatest NBA careers of all-time sold out for an easy road to an NBA Championship, and yes, I’m one of those people who believes that every snap Brett Favre takes wearing something other than a Green Bay jersey is an abomination to a phenomenal career, one of the best I’ve ever seen.  Many fans, not just Cheese Heads, would agree with me.   

I wasn’t merely being funny when I said that these terrorists take hostages either.  
How many years did Brett Favre take Green Bay fans and management hostage with his multiple impending retirements? He did the same to the Jets, and then the Vikings this off-season.  

For years, fans, teams and management alike have been subjected to this unabated coercion from Favre, the ringleader of the terror athlete insurrection. 

While Favre’s “terror as usual” persona clouds the airwaves every summer, I have to anoint this the “Summer of James”, if I may get Seinfeldian with my analogies.

Never have we seen such disregard for a city or a team as what we saw earlier this summer.  What Favre does every year is expected, what Lebron James did this summer reinvented the idea of athlete terrorism.   

Lebron James was Cleveland. When he came and built the foundation of his legacy, it was as if the city had begun a new chapter in its existence.  After seven years, though, enough was enough.   

For months, James strung Cleveland along.  The summer of 2010 will be known for a long time as the greatest free agency off-season in NBA history.  Many expected James to stay in Cleveland, as he was a native son and the team was able to offer him more money than any other competitor.

Instead, he played them like a fiddle for an entire off-season. He knew full well he was going to Miami after making a pact with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh during the 2008 Olympics to somehow fix it so they would all be on the same roster.  

The best part was his hour-long telecast dubbed “The Decision”, which took place in Cleveland with Cavs fans filling the room, where he ripped the heart out of a city and its fans.  
Down came the fifty foot murals on the sides of buildings and in went the “23” jerseys into the discount bins. 

So why do people like Favre and James betray their teams and legacies?  Why hold cities ransom?  Is it about money?  

No, because terrorists aren’t in it for the money.  They have more money than we will see in our lifetime.  To me, they are afflicted by the “God Complex”.

Stars like Favre and James move on, they want to build something new.  Instead what they end up building is nothing more than controversial sub-chapters in otherwise stellar careers.

While “terrorist” may seem like a bit over the top or over-dramatic when describing these athletes, it doesn’t change the fact that that is what they are.  

They took cities and fans hostage and when they got their ransom demands (to move on to another franchise), they detonated the bombs on their careers anyways, leaving nothing more than shrapnel of glorious memories past.  

These decisions cannot be undone or rectified and ultimately it is their legacies, not the fans, which will suffer the most.