Colorado and Washington legalize marijuana – How will the NCAA, NFL, NBA, and MLB respond? #election2012

On Tuesday approximately 114 million Americans exercised their fundamental right to vote but in addition to selecting our next Commander-in-Chief in several states Americans were left to decide on an issue that may be of great interest to the NCAA, NFL, NBA, MLB and other professional sports franchises played in the United States. The issue that I am speaking of is the use of marijuana which was legalized for recreational use in Colorado and Washington. Both of these states are home to the BIG 3 in pro sports as well as college programs with ties to the BCS.

Each of the three major sports industries have stiff penalties for their players if they test positive for using banned and or illegal substances.The NCAA also has issued stiff penalties to its players for testing positive and being found with a banned substance in their possession. A number of players with promising professional careers have found themselves dismissed from their schools and out of the league due to their addiction to marijuana. However the legalization of marijuana poses an interesting dilemma for the universities and sports franchises in these two states.

In light of this new law will these billion dollar sports franchises make the necessary changes and align with these new laws? Although it is unlikely that these professional sports leagues would ever make a state by state exception the thought of a player being suspended or dismissed from a college for smoking marijuana in a state where its legal would open a petrie dish of problems that no commissioner would want to deal with. I can already envision the NFL or MLB players associations challenging such suspensions causing a media frenzy of momentous proportion.

The struggles of students with promising professional futures has been well documented and frequently made headline news: Tyrann Mathieu of LSU, Da’Rick Rogers of UT, Greg Reid of Florida State, Michael Dyer of Auburn, Isiah Crowell of UGA. These talented players seemed destined to shake the hand of the commissioner after being drafted in the NFL but due to their addiction to marijuana a pro career for some of them already appears highly unlikely.

In the world of recruiting where coaches are always trying to get an edge I wonder in the states where the use of marijuana is legal will recruiters use this to their advantage to get 5 star players to sign with their schools? Although many would consider such a ploy to be unethical some may consider it no worst than giving the prospect money or buying their family a house. The world of recruiting is a ruthless business where nice guys always finish last so any advantage is always maximized. However, such a recruiting ploy would require these institutions of higher learning and the NCAA to revise drug testing policies.

At the moment the legalization of marijuana for recreational use is a problem that the sports industries and the NCAA can ignore but if more states begin to change their policies the time may come where the world of sports would be forced to follow suit. Two dominoes fell on election night and I am sure that the NCAA, NFL, NBA, and MLB took notice. Will the other 48 eventually follow suit? In the realm of sports there will never be a boring moment. Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark (like my fan page on facebook @Eat Drink Sleep Sportz)

Euro Cup 2012: Spain Wins, Mario Balotelli of Italy world icon in losing effort #italianchosenone

With the NBA season over and the NFL and college football still months away I presumed that I would spend my Sunday watching Season 1 & Season 2 of Breaking Bad. But after reading the New York Times piece about Mario Balotelli, the talented but enigmatic striker for Italy’s National Team I found myself scrolling through highlights to find out about the EURO 2012 soccer tournament that was being watched in every home and pub around the world.

While Americans were anxiously awaiting the MLB All-Star Selection Show (yawn!!!) or start of NBA free agency (Dwight Blackmail), the rest of the world was glued to the television to see one of the most athletically gifted footballer in the world attempt to unseat a Spanish National Team that is being hailed as one of the greatest teams of all times. Their dominance on the national stage is equivalent to the Dream Team with MJ and Magic whose average margin of victory was nearly 60 points per game in the Olympic.

Millions tuned in to watch Mario Balotelli, either to witness his antics or to see an amazing highlight only a few footballers in the world could replicate. Although Balotelli was the reason I gave my Breaking Bad disc set a rest after twenty minutes I completely forgot that he was on the field.

All my attention and focus immediately went to the unselfish play of the Spanish National Team. Their precision passing was truly a thing of beauty, each pass was so crisp and there was never a wasted motion. It became evident that this team was operating as one mind, everyone was aware of where they needed to be and there was never any sense of panic or concern. The Spanish goalie could have taken a nap because the ball rarely made it pass midfield minus the few lobs of desperation that was brief and non threatening.

Although Balotelli got all the headlines leading up to the EURO Cup Final once the final whistle sounded it was the Spanish team that was the victor after a dominant performance over the undermanned Italian team, 4-0. Once the game concluded I realized I had watched the greatest soccer team in the modern era who dominance can neither be questioned or contested.

In addition, I also learned about the great Mario Balotelli, who appears destined for greatness, the ‘Italian Chosen One’, so much pressure for a young only 21-years old. Stay tuned… I know I will. – A. Denmark (@eatdrnkslpsprtz)