Friday, April 18, 2008

Three Points For Honesty

Thomas Jefferson once said, "Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom." But Guster sang, "Fiction is where genius lies." Regardless, these three folks are are either really, really wise, or total geniuses.

Miguel Tejada must be a really honest guy. Sure, he was OK misleading his other teams throughout his career about his age (and apparently his real name), but it was just eating him up inside that he was lying to the Astros about it, so he decided to come clean and get it off of his chest. He said he wanted to be a man, and that he feels so much better. Well I just think that's great. And I know you cynics out there will say that he only came clean yesterday because ESPN was airing an interview in which they confronted him with the lie and he angrily stormed out of the room. But I am sure it came from the goodness in his heart.

That kind of integrity is to be commended. Like when Jason Kidd said earlier this season that he wanted to be traded from the spiraling Nets because his absence and the players they receive in return could help the Nets franchise. Never mind that he had a no trade clause and would only go to a contender. He loved his team so much, he wanted to see them succeed with or without him. I am sure he checks in with his old teammates and fans regularly.

And then there's the case of good 'ole boy Clay Bennett who loved Oklahoma so much that when he left his home and businesses behind to go to Seattle to buy the Sonics, he only pretended that he would work in good faith to keep the team there, when in reality he apparently always had it in mind to pick them up and deliver them back to the Sooner State. His lie wasn't a lie. It didn't count because he was being true to himself. Never mind that people have come out of the woodwork to purchase the Sonics in order to keep them in Seattle. Never mind that Oklahoma City is next on the NBA's expansion list and Bennett would almost certainly be the owner of the new franchise. Clay has to be honest to his own personal dream of dragging a bad team to his old home, no matter how many untruths (but not lies) he has to tell, and no matter how many fans' hearts he has to break. I think you have to respect that.

In an era when people will seem to do anything to make a buck, it is nice to see these bastions of honesty, integrity and honor shining like beacons in the night to show us all the way to conduct ourselves. They don't fire guns in fights outside of nightclubs, or get arrested for DUI, or use steroids (well...except for Tejada). They don't get embroiled in gambling scandals, or get busted for drug possession, or beat their wives (well...except for Kidd).

Thank you for showing us the way Miguel, Jason and Clay.

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