I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir on this one, but the more I look back at the last few years of San Francisco Giants baseball, the more I feel that the San Francisco Giants should be looked to as an example of all that is still good in North American sports.
Even when you look at the situation that arose around BALCO, I think that lends more support to the point.
Despite the fact that the NFL is the clearly the most popular league in America, I believe strongly that baseball is still America's game. My reason is that it's still a game where size largely doesn't matter (pun intended), and as Texas Longhorns baseball coach Augie Garrido has said, "it's a game that tries to hurt you."
(DISCLAIMER: I'm from Texas but grew up a Giants/49ers fan b/c of my grandpa from San Mateo)
Equality of opportunity still exists in baseball, and it was what our country was founded on. Little guys like Marco Scutaro and David Eckstein (cringe) can still be MVPs. As a Christian nation (whether you want to admit we are or not, I'm Jewish, FYI), the idea of suffering is a large part of our collective identity. Overcoming adversity is a big part of who we are, and that plays into this concept as well. Baseball is largely, in my opinion, more about avoiding and overcoming mistakes than almost anything else. It's also about overcoming suffering in an abstract way. If you fail 2/3s of the time at-bat, you're still one of the best out there.
Barry Bonds is still the greatest baseball player I've ever watched in my lifetime (I'm 31). But the fact that we couldn't win with him (and that Kent guy) but we did with the 2010 and 2012 cast, to me is an American success story. It wasn't the ginormous 17-time MVP that won us a World Series. It was guys like Cody Ross, Marco Scutaro and Barry Zito. You could write a whole book on Zito, who to me is the most interesting and "American" story of our championship run in 2012. It was a true story of a fall from grace and a rise from the ashes. As much as he has given me a headache pretty much for 99 percent of his Giants career, I think he's one of the truest Giants today in a lot of ways. He may never be halfway decent for us again, but to me, last season made his contract worthwhile (it's not like I'm paying for it).
I don't really read a lot of national sports news, so maybe people around the country have seen what I see and have embraced it and I just didn't notice. But in a country of poorly behaved, (in my opinion) generally overpaid athletes, with the majority of powerhouse teams buying championships today, I think this is an example of the right way to do things in American sports that should be broadcast much more nationally.
I guess the time to have reported this story is past and gone, but if it wasn't broadcast to the rest of the country, and I'll go out on a limb and suspect it wasn't, I think our national media did not only a disservice to the institution of professional sports, but to our nation as a whole.