Laugh It Off?

Yesterday, I had the TV on ESPN to see what was going on in the world of sports.  One story caught my attention.  It had to do with Chad Ocho Cinco's fake bribe of officials in a game on Sunday.  I have always thought that some celebrations should be allowed in football.  I like a good touchdown dance just like the next guy.  Sometimes, the celebration gets pushed over the edge.  I think that now there are many people who are just trying to put on a show and see how far they can push the limits.  chad-johnson

In the latest chapter of Ocho Cinco's antics, he tried to take a $1 bill to an official to mess around and get a call his way.  I know that he was joking, but there are some things that are just better not to be joked about.  I believe the one thing that stood out to me came not from Ocho Cinco, but the guys on ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption".  Mike Wilbon said that the NFL should just get a sense of humor and not be so uptight.

I will agree that a sense of humor is a needed thing in life.  I will admit that I have laughed a few times at the celebrations of one Ocho Cinco.  What I disagree with is making light of something that is clearly wrong.  Bribery is something that has corrupted far too many institutions and people.  When we get to the point of just laughing it off as "no big deal", then that's the open door for it to become mainstream and part of our culture.

It has been a wish of mine for a while now that those in the spotlight (actors, athletes, etc) would face the fact that there are hundreds, even thousands, of young people that are looking to them to provide an example.  I know that they didn't ask for that (Charles Barkley), but it is part of the job.  You can have fun and do some very funny things... just make sure that it is not pointing others in the direction of clear wrong.