Athletes egos are ruining professional sports

From Vince Young’s temper tantrum after being benched in Sunday’s game to Randy Moss’s bizarre outburst regarding a catered lunch to Sean Avery’s repeated disgracing of the game of hockey, professional athletes have not been presenting themselves in a positive light lately.

These more recent incidents come as just the most recent reminders of the latest breed of athlete. Today’s professional athletes have become little more than egotistical, self-centred primadonnas, who seem to think they’re above not only the rules, but also their fans and their teammates.

It seems obvious in today’s era of multi-million dollar contracts, lucrative endorsements and worldwide media coverage that these athletes’ egos will become slightly inflated. But it’s gotten to the point that someone needs to remind them that they’re simply an individual playing a sport.

Fans still showed up in droves when Brett Favre made his third return from retirement to the Minnesota Vikings this season. Tennessee Titans supporters greeted Moss at the airport despite his known attitude problems that got him run out of three different cities. And go check how many followers Terrell Owens has on Twitter, who is probably the most famous me-first athlete of them all.

These stars get away with almost anything; the fans are guiltier than anyone for feeding these disgusting egos.

Maybe the fact that this type of athlete is now idealized says more about today’s fans than the athletes themselves. Narcissistic superstars are lauded over and followed every minute of every day, while a pure sporting event like this weekend’s Vanier Cup will go largely unnoticed.

With last week’s passing of legendary NHL head coach Pat Burns, fans should think back to the “old-school” brand of athlete: one of toughness and quiet confidence. And more importantly, one who respects his teammates, opponents, fans and the game.