Sports not for those with weak stomachs

There are moments in sports that make you want to vomit, but that desire to vomit can emerge in a few different ways.

Sometimes sights or sounds make you sick. Sometimes a favorite coach or athlete has been revealed to be a scumbag (sorry kids, it happens), and sometimes a really exciting game ends in a way that is unsatisfying or unsavory.

The last instance occurred twice this weekend. On Sunday night late in the fourth quarter of the Saints-49ers game, the 49ers’ Ahmad Brooks drew a roughing the passer penalty on a strip-sack of Drew Brees that would have iced the game for San Francisco. The Saints went on to kick a field goal, which tied the game, and eventually they won on another field goal as time expired.

On Monday night, the Panthers defeated the New England Patriots 24-20, but the game ended on a controversial pass interference call on the Panthers’ Luke Kuechly that was waved off by the officials.

Both instances left football fans nationwide clutching the Pepto-Bismol and wondering what happened. It is just not fun when a yellow beanbag, a balk or two shots at the free throw line decide a game. Nausea ensues.

Nausea also ensues any time a big time player or coach does something off the field that leaves fans gasping for air. When Penn State and Joe Paterno were rocked by scandal, almost everyone was in disbelief. JoePa was college football’s granddaddy for four decades. The revelations drew very public protest, which was simply the gut reaction of fans that felt incredulity and sadness at the actions of their favorite coach.

When morals are compromised, a bad taste lingers in the mouth of those observing, and what happened in State College, Pa., is a perfect example of that.

In addition to committing moral missteps, athletes can also inspire turbulent stomachs with their tendency to eschew team loyalty for monetary gain. Most famously, in “The Decision,” LeBron James melted the faces (imagine “Raiders of the Lost Ark”) of everyone in Ohio with the words, “I’m going to take my talents to South Beach.” LeBron did nothing to deserve prison or moral reprimand, but he left many basketball fans queasy thinking about his motives to leave his hometown and massive fan base.

The final widespread cause of sickness is gruesome injury. Most college basketball fans will remember Louisville’s Kevin Ware, who broke his leg in a horrific way during last seasons’ NCAA tournament. CBS showed two replays of the injury and stopped there, soothing the worries of most people who watched the game live.

Another instance of a painful injury came this football season, when Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legaux destroyed his knee in a loss to Illinois. Watching the game live was enough to make most of the Illinois student section sit down with greenish faces and grimaces.

Fans watch sports for fun and for entertainment, and obviously, it is not perfect. Someone will always be upset with the result, but as long as the result is clean and fair, most people are just happy or mad. When fans begin to feel personally disturbed, sports cease to be fun.

It’s just a shame that sometimes things don’t work out the way we want them to. Now excuse me, I have to go find a bucket.

Peter is a freshman in Media. He can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @pbaileywells22.