Sports Too Serious
There’s nothing like grabbing a ball and going to the park to meet your friends for some type of fun game. Sports have always been designed for fun … but some people take it to another level. Whether it’s the fans hurting each other, the athletes trying too hard to make it to the big leagues or money corrupting the game, sports are sometimes taken WAY too seriously.
South American Assassinations
If you think the Cameron Crazies are crazy, think again. Most major cities in South America have fans that are deadly crazy. They cheer for their team like they're going to war. They fight at the games with opposing players, they start fires - and sometimes they even kill each other. There is so much violence at the soccer stadiums, most kids' parents won't let them go to watch the games.
The American Football Program
Playing football in the U.S.A. is like choosing to join the army. Not only is it probably the most excruciating and painful training program, but athletes usually have to use steroids or other types of performance=enhancing drugs to make it to the big leagues.
Over the past 100 years or so, there have been numerous tragedies in soccer stadiums across the world. Fans are packed into the stadiums like sardines and then, when tempers run high, fights break out, police cause panic … a human stampede is often the result. Here is a list of all the major stampedes that have killed thousands of soccer fans around the world:
- May 24, 1964 - Lima, Peru: 318 people are killed and another 500 injured in riots at National Stadium.
- June 23, 1968 - Buenos Aires, Argentina: 74 people are killed and more than 150 injured when fans try to leave stadium by closed exit and are crushed by other fans.
- Oct. 20, 1982 - Moscow: 340 are reportedly killed at a European Cup match after fans try to re-enter the stadium, crushing one another.
- May 29, 1985 - Brussels: 39 fans killed before European Cup final when Liverpool fans breach segregation and charge their Juventus counterparts, who are crushed against a wall that then collapses. English clubs serve a five-year ban from European competition.
- April 15, 1989 - Sheffield, England: 95 people are crushed to death when police open gates to alleviate crowding, resulting rush of people onto the already filled terrace. The disaster leads to the dismantling of the fences and the introduction of all-seated grounds in English topflight football.
- Oct. 16, 1996 - Guatemala City: 84 people died and about 150 others were injured during a stampede at a stadium before a World Cup qualifying match.
- May 9, 2001 - Accra, Ghana: at least 123 people died in a stampede after police fired tear gas into the stands in response to fans who threw bottles and chairs on the field. The worst stadium disaster in Africa.
Columbian World Cup Tragedy
In 1994, the U.S. hosted the World Cup and Columbia was one of the soccer teams that was favored to win. However, the team was pressured by Columbian drug lords with death threats - they were told that they had to win, or else! When Columbia was eliminated from the World Cup, the players feared for their lives. When they returned home, superstar soccer player and captain of the team Andres Escobar was shot and killed. Many people thought he was murdered because he scored a goal on his own net, which caused the team to lose one of its qualifying games.
It is no conspiracy that many professional sports leagues are corrupt. When big leagues like the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB make billions of dollars, there are often times when the leagues will do something corrupt to make more money. The NBA is probably the most recent example of this type of corruption, as former NBA referee Tim Donaghy pleaded guilty to federal felony conspiracy charges alleging that he passed along inside information on NBA games. Here are some other examples of corruption in professional sports:
- MLB players (Barry Bonds and Mark Maguire) on steroids smashed home run records to draw millions of fans to watch them play.
- Boxers who throw a fight for gambling purposes
- Referees who make bad calls