One of the first things I read this morning is that Brian Cushing retained his Associated Press DROY award after testing positive for a performance enhancing substance. In an unprecedented move, the AP stripped Cushing of his award and then re-voted, with Cushing being eligible for the award in the second voting. Sure enough, the sports writers voted Cushing the award a second time.
Between the time the award was stripped and the re-vote, I noted that there were, astonishingly, several writers saying that they would vote for Cushing again. This is perplexing to me. Using a performance enhancing drug is cheating isn't it? Therefore, Brian Cushing was cheating, wasn't he? I don't get it. But, to my astonishment, it seems that those who would overlook cheating were in the majority.
Is this an indicator that the line for acceptable behaviour has shifted? And shifted toward the immoral side? (I can hear the comments "Who are you to say what is moral". If you don't think cheating is immoral, give me your best argument) When I think of this I think of a bell curve: On one end are the virginal angels, the people who don't drink, don't smoke, don't lie (ever), are at the head of the line to get into heaven. On the other side are the lying, cheating, stealing dritbags at the head of the line for a warm afterlife. Between these two groups, the numbers swell, gradually at first and then bulge to the peak. This peak would be the mean for acceptable behaviour. If you were actually looking at a bell curve, it would be clear: "Oh, there's the line for acceptable behaviour". But there is no bell curve and so the line is kind of a fuzzy gray area. So, if you could actually quantify the line, most peoples behaviour would flirt with line, sometimes going over in minor ways.
The gray area is the difference in thinking between two average people. Most of society would be average. So in society, there will be some who think white lies are okay and those who think it is okay to lie to get what they want. I won't argue the fine points here, but I was pretty sure that cheating was on the wrong side of the behavioural line. Has it shifted so that it is now in the gray area? Has the line shifted so far that cheating is acceptable? Is there a plausible argument for cheating in this day and age?
Pete Rose was banned from Baseball for gambling, not cheating. But, there was a strong chance, a viable argument, that he may have cheated. We are talking just the possibility of cheating here. Banned. For Life. Recently, the Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was caught actually cheating. The subsequent investigation by the NFL was anything but transparent and a lot of fans were left grumbling and unsure of the depth of the infraction. Did Belicheck get banned for life, suspended for a year, even suspended for a few games?...Not even close. He got fined a fraction of his yearly salary and was allowed to continue coaching. Now the Brian Cushing incident.
Here's what I see. If you make enough money, you can pay to cheat. Belichick did it. Now Cushing is going to do it. And in Cushing's case the press has given him a resounding round of applause for cheating. "You cheated and got the ROY award? Well done!"
In Cushing's case, someone, the head of the AP, stood up and said, "This is unacceptable and we are going to do something about it". Then, the writers also stood up and said, "You're wrong and we'll show you, and the world, that this behaviour is acceptable to many". You know the saying "All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to stand idle"? Well, a good person did not stand by, and got trampled.
Am I wrong here with my rant? Did I miss the memo that said society had voted and cheating was acceptable these days, with a token show of punishment, and certainly okay if you didn't get caught? Can one of you reading this give me a credible argument for cheating (The "everyone's doing it" argument is not a credible argument (unless you heard about everyone stealing and are now supporting yourself through thievery))? If it helps me to understand how cheating can be rewarded, I swear I'll listen.