Sports 101 Blog

Sports 101 is hosted by Eric Pedigo and Mark Gram Sunday mornings 9am - 11am on Sports Radio 1450.  It's a discussion-based sports talk show that spans any and all sports.  Eric and Mark offer up their opinions, ideas, and observations on all of sports' most intriquing topics.  Whether you love it or hate it, agree or disagree, Eric and Mark love to get your take. 

So call the show at 217-529-1450 and weigh in on whatever the guys are tossing around.  

Mark Gram
Springfield, Illinois
High School: Quincy High School
Loves: Illinois sports, St. Louis Cardinals baseball, reading, and politics

Eric Pedigo
Birthplace: Chatham, Illinois
High School: Glenwood High School
Eric is a Chatham native and Glenwood graduate.  He and his wife Amanda live in Glenarm with their three children.  Eric started hosting a sports talk radio show on the internet in 2005. In 2008, he began co-hosting Fantasy Football 101 with Adam Stark, Mark Gram, and Nicorelli. Eric can be heard every Sunday morning from 9-11am on Sports Radio 1450.

The Sissification of Sports

This one is for the real men out there.  This is for men who have dirty hands and sore backs, men who shoot guns and don’t drink lattes, men who clean fish and talk about truck parts.  Tell your old ladies to clean something up and fix you a snack while we stroke our beards and talk about these sissies who are ruining our sports.  In the old days getting clotheslined going across the middle was just part of the game.  We weren't worried about head or neck injuries; we just let men be men.  Nowadays a flag gets thrown every time a guy gets his makeup smeared.  No contact after five yards, no hand-checking, no hits to the head, no hitting a defenseless receiver, so what’s next?  In five years guys probably won’t even be allowed to burp or scratch.  This girly garbage these days doesn't even look like sports.  We might as well put skirts on these guys and have them compete in beauty pageants every week.
Writer’s note: The preceding was heavily coated in sarcasm.  Unfortunately they don’t have a font for that.
                The truth is sports are evolving in both how they’re played and how they’re run.  As fans, we need to evolve in how we view them.  We spend so much time talking about how great things used to be that we overlook how great things are right now.  We complain nonstop about how these rule changes are ruining our sports without even noticing the positive impacts they’re having.  Aren't sports better to watch when the best players are playing?  Of course they are.  So why would we want franchise QBs taking potentially threatening shots to the head?  As fans, we should want the best players to stay healthy and provide us with the best product available.  And as decent humans, we should want player safety to continue after they retire.  Of course they know it’s a dangerous profession going in, but so is firefighting.  Should they not try to improve the safety of their job either? 
                The perception is that players today aren't as tough as they used to be.  The truth is that players are competing against stronger players than ever before, so they have to be tougher.   We think that it’s easier for receivers to get open now because defenders can’t touch them after five yards.  We’re convinced that players can get to the rim much easier now because defenders aren't allowed to hand-check anymore.  What’s really happened is defenders have been forced to play actual defense.  Defense in most any sport is about moving your feet and getting your body in place to make a play, not about using your hands to grab and hold in an effort to slow guys down.  By not allowing guys to take defensive shortcuts anymore, they've been forced to step their game up and play actual defense.  End result: defenders are much better now than they've ever been, because they have to be.  The thought that LeBron would struggle getting to the basket if Gerald Wilkins was hand-checking him is laughable.  And the notion that Calvin Johnson would have a tough time getting open because Darrell Green held him up 8 yards into his route is equally absurd. 
Today’s athletes are bigger, stronger, and faster than ever before.  They hit harder, take harder hits, and are harder to defend than previous generations.  Athletically, sports as a whole are on a level we've never experienced before as fans.  So if you want to keep thinking that sports and athletes are getting soft compared to the old days, you go right ahead and think it.  I’ll keep enjoying the amazing displays of athleticism whenever I can.  But now, I've got to get baking.  There’s this cake recipe I found on Pinterest that I've been dying to try out.  Stay manly.

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02/16/2013 10:24PM
The Sissification of Sports
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