June 1, 2011

Big fun in the Cleveland sports world, Tressel's out and OSU and LeBron begins to close in on his dream. Jim Tressel was done in by two things. (I doubt his transgression would have been enough by itself.) The first was the incredible venom spit forth by the media. The last time I saw such concerted nastiness was when Sarah Palin ran for office. I remember certain members of the media even criticizing her for having her fifth child, Trig. (He has Down's.) It's amazing, really, to the depths the media will go. Human decency has simply ceased to matter. (I keep seeing the ESPN hip police, shiny suits, in my dreams!) It's an ugly world.

The second thing that brought him down were his books. That kind of "I'm a totally new man since I've been saved" perspective is dangerous because, as a colleague of mine has put it, it has all the nutritional value of fast food religion. The emphasis is on "me," not on the One who makes all things new. Someone once said that the only two things we can claim are our fallen wills and our sins. We are good, yes, but disordered. It's literally a mercy that any growth happens. When Tressel embraced the above, he left himself open for the season. Had he, like St. Paul, claimed his weakness instead, he might have endured. (The two problems are connected, of course. The media is simply a secular version of this Puritan mindset.)

As far as Lebron goes, God bless him. I won't be able to celebrate with him when he wins, but he's worked hard, endured much, as everyone who's even gotten to lift the trophy has. I actually find myself rooting for him a bit--as I did for Manny and Thome after they left. A bit of Cleveland goes with them.