Summary: Third in a four part series of looking at the birth of Christ through different eyes
Now, all of you know about my self-admission of being a naturally competitive person. I have stood here in the past and I have told you about my desperate attempts to beat Anne at Scrabble...about how I stretched the rules just a little bit on a couple of occasions...and if the truth be told I am not the only one who has resorted to trying to unlevel the playing field and trying to gain an advantage.
Just this past Thursday we learned the results of what is being called the "Mitchell" report. For those of us who are baseball fans it was a pretty dark day. Former Senator George Mitchell concluded his almost two year investigation into the game and released his conclusions and one of those conclusions was that steroids have become a big problem in the game of baseball. Now, for most of us who have been following the sport for the past couple of years that was no big shocker but...what did come as a surprise was some of the names mentioned in connection with that investigation. Some came as no surprise...they were names that had been mentioned already in this scandal and I won’t repeat them here because I try to use this pulpit as an opportunity to build up and not tear down....but, all the same....some of these names were familiar and had been linked before...but others had not even been mentioned. Shocking names...some of the best in the world...players who without these performance-enhancing steroids...would have easily been Hall of Famers...but it wasn’t enough...they had to go even further. It is awfully funny what competition will do to you.
Let’s take this a little further and look at an example where someone not only attempted to get an advantage over the competition but tried to eliminate them all together...who here remembers the names of Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding? Sure...most of us do....but I guarantee you that very few of us would know those names today had it not been for the events of January 6, 1994. For those of you who don’t remember let me briefly remind you of who these two ladies were....they were both figure skaters...and they were both competing to be the top figure skater in America at that time. They were also both competing for a spot on the 1994 Olympic team. On January 6 of that year Kerrigan was attacked....hit in the leg with a club...in an attempt to knock her out of the competition. Investigation led to the arrests of more than one person...to include Harding’s ex-husband. She later pled guilty to obstructing the investigation...and the reason that I mention her name is because she has already mentioned some culpability...the names in the Mitchell report are still only accusations. Harding has maintained that she had nothing to do with planning the attack contrary to the statements of other alleged conspirators...but here is the point. Regardless if Harding had anything to do with it...one of her supporters...whether it be her ex-husband or her bodyguard...saw Nancy Kerrigan as competition and sought to eliminate that competition....they didn’t just seek an unfair advantage but instead looked to totally get rid of the opposition.