December 13, 2007
What Happened: Congress released the Mitchell Report, indicting just about everyone in major league ball for performance-enhancing drug use.
What Else Happened: The Yankees signed Alex Rodriguez to a 10-year, 275-million-dollar contract, the most lucrative in the history of baseball.
Why It Matters: On the same day our government condemned doping in the Big Show, A-Rod hit the jackpot. The message? Dope all you want, kids. You may get caught, but you’ll get rich first.
May 2, 2012
What Happened: Legendary linebacker Junior Seau died at age 43. Police are investigating the possibility of a suicide.
What Else Happened: Four New Orleans Saints were suspended for taking part in a bounty program designed to knock opponents out of commission. Jonathan Vilma, who plays the same position Seau did, was banned for the entire 2012 season. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi broke the record for goals in a European club year by scoring his 68th. Two over-40 sluggers (Jason Giambi and Chipper Jones) hit walkoff homers. Angels pitcher Jered Weaver no-hit the Twins. Oh, and the Rangers capped the night off with a triple-OT playoff win over the Capitals.
Why It Matters: Having made 12 Pro Bowls over a 20-year career, Seau was no slouch on the turf. The linebacker and 1994’s Walter Payton Man of the Year was known as a class act who worked with kids and advocated for closer relations between the US and his homeland of Samoa. In short, Seau represented everything great and beautiful about football. And guys who score cash payouts by deliberately injuring other players represent everything that’s wrong with it.