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The Jack LaLanne Principle

A couple of weeks ago a number of football players from the football team the Minnesota Vikings were revealed to have been part of a cruise on Lake Minnetonka where great quantities of alcohol were consumed and some of the players had sex with prostitutes. Or maybe it was all of them. In response, the front office has published a code of conduct for them, because apparently the players didn't know that getting drunk and having sex with prostitutes is considered wrong. Thank God it's in writing, so that they don't have to figure out these gray areas for themselves.

Actually, it's totally beyond me why stories of athletes misbehaving like this even make the news. This is what these guys do. Always have. Remember Babe Ruth - one of the greatest baseball players that ever lived? Hey, real choir boy, wasn't he? Or how about Ty Cobb? he murdered somebody, or was reputed to, but again - no choirboy. Or how about ... oh, never mind, I could go on forever and ever and ever with examples.

But, you know, athletes are role models. We should expect them to display exemplary behavior. Right?

Says who?

I sure hope no young child is looking up to these people and using them as a basis for living. In fact, I dare say that most kids are way too smart to do that. They know better. Athletes may be appropriate role models if you're talking about throwing a football, or learning how to do a lay-up, or kicking a soccer ball or other sports stuff. You can certainly look up to them when it comes to the dedication and fortitude that's needed to be successful in sports, but as for the rest of it: most of them are just young idiots with money.

When I was going to school in Minnesota we had 'student' athletes. I remember one series of basketball scandals where some of the basketball players had been sort of raping women on the road, or near to it, since the women were too drunk to quite know what was going on. When these guys were arrested, it was revealed that the graduation rate for U of M basketball players after five years was ten percent. And that was high for a big ten school at that time.

About that time there were a couple of football players - the Golden Gophers - who were thrown out of the special football dormitory for doing stuff like throwing animal parts around and crucifying cats. In the dorm rooms. One of those guys had his college major declared as wild life management. I'll bet! Just look at how great he already was at managing wild-life.

The football players especially felt that they should be priveleged since they were bringing so much money into the university, especially the alumni money, though none of these athletes that I know about was doing it for free out of the goodness of their hearts. And to top it all off they were rated as the worst team in the nation. Thanks, boys, I appreciate it.

In a Playboy interview about this time the fitness expert Jack LaLanne (ninety, now, and he can kick your butt) was asked how it was that pro-athletes could party so much and still perform on the field. His reply was that since they were such superbly conditioned athletes in the first place they could get away with it and he pointed out that: 'The more money you put in the bank, the more money you can take out of the bank'.

Me and some other guys I used to work out with came across this quote and took it to mean that if we worked out hard then, ergo, we should also be partying hard. Saint Jack told us it was the right thing to do, after all. We compounded our gross and purposeful misunderstanding of his words by labeling this as 'The Jack LaLanne Principle' and thus when we were out on the town on a Friday or Saturday night (or Monday, or Tuesday, or Wednesday ...) we said we were using 'The Jack LaLanne Principle'.

I feel a little embarassed about that now. Mostly I hope Jack never, ever hears about this.

He'll kick our butts.


About the Author: Steve Sommers is the author of Breakfast with the Antichrist. His new novel, Rexroi, along with the best of Australian Science Fiction - is available as an ebook at www.rspublishing.com.au, OR if you ABSOLUTELY need to turn pages when you read - at www.lulu.com/content/306670




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