Chasing History
By Marcy Beasley

While reading an article on the Internet, it dawned on me that this year has been a year for records to be broken. First off there is Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in baseball. I donít think there is a person on the planet who doesnít know about the homerun chase. Then you have tennis player Pete Sampras, who with a win at the US Open will tie Roy Emerson with 12 Grand Slam wins. Finally, thereís Jeff Gordon, during NASCARís 50th year, he has a chance to pass Richard Petty for most wins in a season with 12. Not to mention the fact that he could win his fourth Southern 500 in a row, have three seasons with 10 wins in a row, and win a million from Winston for the third time.

Some would say that all this is bad, that all of this could end the sports as we know it. I for one say it is great. When asked about the homerun chase in baseball, Pete Sampras said, "Records are made to be broken." I agree. This is a great time to be a sports fan. You canít help but admire these guys for going the distance and for the dedication that it takes to do what they are all trying to do.

However, that isnít the case among many fans and members of the media. When a reporter saw the now-infamous dietary supplement pills in Mark McGwire's locker earlier this season, a debate ensued. The supplement is not illegal in baseball, but the debate took a lot of the focus away from what Mark is doing. For a few weeks, you were no longer hearing that Mark hit another homerun. But rather if baseball should have an asterisk by his name should he break the record.

Pete Sampras has been hounded for years because he is "boring" on the court. (Trust me, if you havenít seen him play, he is not boring) They say he doesn't show enough emotion on the court. If Pete gets a bad call, he just stares down the linemen and moves on. He doesnít rant and rave or shout like the players of the past. Pete is all class on the court as well as off; does that make it boring? Should he win the Open this year, he'll tie Emerson and clinch the #1 ranking for the 6th year in a row.

Then you have Jeff Gordon, the two time Winston Cup Champion and current points leader. (In my opinion the greatest racer of all time) Last weekend at Loudon it was shown how people treat champions, badly. Jeff Gordon and his team were "kicked in the face" by rival team owner Jack Roush amid accusations of illegal tires. It has been the talk of the week on the NASCAR circuit. It has even over shadowed the fact of him going for his fourth Southern 500 in a row. People are booing this young man, chasing him from his home, and why? Because he wins and he gets the job done.

All of the athletes are at the top of their game and doing great things for their sport. Yet, the media, and competitors around them are scrutinizing all of them. They arenít being revered and put on a pedestal as they would have been so many years ago. I for one think that is a shame, and congratulate them for what they have done and what theyíll accomplish in the very near future.

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