Here are 3 reasons why being a pro athlete isn’t all it’s cracked up to be
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At times, just about everybody thinks it would be wonderful to be a pro athlete.
Ah, to be out there just having fun, “playing’’ for work. Gotta be better than making cold calls, selling widgets, crunching numbers, right?
Here are three random hazards of the sporting trade, three currently relevant items that might not make you give up your daydream, but could at least give you a new perspective on your “dull’’ life.
1. OK, so theft is basic and can happen to anybody. But when you’re a big-time jock, thieves always seem to be eyeing you, and when you get stuff stolen, it usually is expensive and full of sentiment, if not sacred grass stains.
I’m speaking, specifically, of Bears first-round draft pick Roquan Smith, the linebacker from Georgia, who was in Athens, Georgia, over the weekend when a bunch of his belongings were stolen from his 2018 BMW X5. (That is a $60,000-plus car, FYI.)
Gone were Smith’s Rose Bowl and National Championship jerseys, and his athlete of the year trophy from the University of Georgia. According to the police report, “These items are of great sentimental value to him and were very hard to determine worth. It is possible those jerseys are worth up to $40,000 apiece due to Mr. Smith’s clout at UGA and soon in the NFL. However, Smith stated that those belongings are priceless to him.’’
Also stolen were a Bose Bluetooth speaker, four pair of Bose headphones (One for Roquan, three for the other Bears linebackers?), two watches — Michael Kors and KYBOE (one for each wrist?) — a pair of Costa sunglasses and a pair of Nike shoes.
And the cherry on top? Also stolen was Smith’s newly issued Bears iPad, which contained the team’s playbook.
The Bears have said they’ve electronically wiped clean the password-protected pad, so we’ll guess no mad scientist had time to hack the contents and sell the info to Mike Zimmer, Mike McCarthy or the spawn of Al Davis.
Still, dreamers, you can’t lose — or have stolen — what you can’t afford or never had. Just saying.
2. If this next one becomes too painful to read and you skip ahead, I’ll understand completely.
Against the Cubs on Saturday in St. Louis, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina was behind the plate when Kris Bryant foul-tipped a 102-mph fastball from pitcher Jordan Hicks, which struck Molina in what has euphemistically been referred to as the “groin region.’’
Or, as a White Sox coach once hollered out at a free-agent tryout at old Comiskey Park when a kid got nailed by a ball in similar terrain, “He got it in the clang-clangs!’’
Oh, baby. The official statement from the Cardinals was the eight-time All-Star catcher suffered a “pelvic injury with a traumatic hematoma.”
Molina might as well have been shot with an elephant gun based on how he went down. He underwent surgery that night and will miss at least a month. The good news, according to Molina’s older brother, Bengie, himself a former catcher, is that doctors were able to save “both testicles.’’
Just typing that last word hurts.
“It was hard to see,’’ said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, who was a former catcher.
Yeah, well, I’d rather see it than feel it. I think it is safe to say every guy on this planet has at some point gotten his clang-clangs rung one way or another and will agree that for a spell — even one second is too long — the pain of the eggs cracking is like nothing else. A thumb hit with a hammer? Pshaw. A torn ACL? Not close. A knockout punch? At least God lets you go to sleep for awhile after that.
Yadier, our prayers, if not our loins, are with you.
3. This is a rough one, too. And it has to do with Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford, who hasn’t played since a loss to the Devils on Dec. 23.
Described vaguely by the Blackhawks as an “upper body injury,’’ Crawford, 34, clearly has an issue that centers above his shoulders. Speculation is that he might have vertigo or post-concussion syndrome or even some complex mental disorder brought on by the game and its blows.
The concern now is that he may not be ready by next season. Or ever.
The Blackhawks fell apart without Crawford. Stanley Cup-winning goalies do not pop up often. Maybe we can’t see what’s ailing Crow, but we know how hard he will be to replace.
And we know for sure he is suffering.
Legendary Sun-Times sports columnists Rick Morrissey and Rick Telander are co-hosts of a new podcast called “The Two Ricks: Unfiltered.” Don’t miss their gritty, no-holds-barred takes on everything from professional teams tanking to overzealous sports parents and more. Download and subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts and Google Play, or via RSS feed.