Big news in the sports world these days.
Last Friday, the colorful character they called the nicest guy in tennis, Bud Collins, died. Bud helped me in my broadcast career, as he did countless others. You will search far and wide to find anybody who had a bad word to say about the constantly upbeat Bud….or to find anybody who can remember Bud ever having a malicious word to say about anybody else.
RIP Mr. Fancy Pants
The glorious career of 40-year-old superstar quarterback Peyton Manning has come to an end, the fairy tale ending complete, Peyton going out with a Super Bowl triumph recently his. He cried at his retirement words today, clearly defined by the game he has honored and played so well all these long twenty years. You set the bar, Peyton. We will not quickly forget you.
And today, in a highly unusual and I feel truly honorable move, legendary tennis champion Maria Sharapova announced that she will soon be suspended from her sport for taking performance enhancing drugs. When was the last time an athlete took the humble stance and admitted to doping? It’s always: “Not me. Must be a faulty test. Never in my life.”
But Maria stood tall today. She owned up to a big mistake. She apologized to her fans, to the sport itself. She did make a mistake but she gained a degree of admiration from me today by owning it.