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A trio of tragedies in our world of sports
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To state the obvious, it's an embarrassing time of the year to be involved with sports.

As most of you already know, there is a major scandal brewing in each of our three major sports in this country - football, baseball and basketball - and no matter what the outcome is for each disgrace, it will be a no-win situation for everybody.

Instead of analyzing which NFL and college football teams will dominate this season, or how the Atlanta Braves are going to make a run at the postseason, or even which NBA teams have the most potential to win a title next year, the world is left with dogfighting allegations, alleged steroid use and illegal gambling by an official.

No matter where you go, you simply cannot escape it, and we are subjected to it like Peter Parker was succumbed by the black stuff in "Spider-Man 3" this summer. These dark stories have grabbed a hold of us and has refused to release its grasp, especially if you are the commissioner or merely a fan of the game.

Unless you altogether stop watching television - CNN, Fox News, ESPN, The Tonight Show, The View or whatever - it will not be going away any time soon.

Let's start with the most sacred number in all of sports: 755.

Most are familiar with the scrutiny San Francisco's Barry Bonds has undergone concerning steroid allegations during his march to becoming baseball's all-time home run leader. It's an undying topic that has been going on for several years now, despite whether or not Bonds has been the target. (Believe it or not, there have actually been players found guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs; however, you never hear their names mentioned.)

Steroids have been around baseball for quite some time now, leading many to label it the "Steroid Era." It was just a matter of time before the topic became as popular as it is today. And now the moment has arrived for everyone to really pay attention because it involves the greatest record in all of sports.

Since the federal grand jury that is investigating Bonds has been extended for another six months - with the U.S. Attorney's office confident that it will have enough evidence to secure an indictment as early as September - this will not end well.

Amidst all the speculation Bonds and Major League Baseball has endured, Bud Selig arguably has the easiest job among commissioners right now. But it starts with him as to what will become of this ever-growing mess. which leads to our next scandal.

By now, the majority of the public is familiar with the Michael Vick controversy and his indictment regarding alleged dogfighting. As a result, it prompted NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to order Vick not to attend training camp, which began on Thursday.

Personally, I believe in due process; therefore, I'm not here to convict Vick unless he's proven guilty in a court of law. But after reading most of the indictment online, it does not look good for No. 7. And according to statistics, over 90 percent of federal indictments eventually lead to some sort of conviction.

Without question, the NFL has taken a major hit this year. Not only does Goodell have to deal with Vick - football's most exhilarating player - but earlier this year he had to suspend players like Adam "Pacman" Jones, Chris Henry and Tank Johnson, among others, for troubles off the field.

Again, whatever the outcome is regarding this state of affairs will be a loss for not only the NFL and Vick, but also for fans, activists and dogs just to name a few. How could anything good possibly come about pertaining to this? All it has done is weaken the most popular league in sports.

But none of these inexcusable incidents are more disastrous for its league than the NBA betting scandal; that's a horse of an entirely different color, which is apparently excluded from Crayola boxes because I've never colored with one.

On Tuesday, NBA commissioner David Stern solemnly addressed that former referee Tim Donaghy was a "rogue, isolated criminal" for fixing games. And upon hearing the facts, I couldn't think of two better adjectives than what Stern used to describe him.

As a result of Donaghy's dishonorable deeds, the National Basketball Association will never be the same again. Not only does this add credibility to theories that some games have been fixed, but from this point on fans will always speculate about a questionable call by an official.

What separates this case from the others is that Donaghy messed with the integrity of the game, meaning he put teams in jeopardy of losing to fulfill his own selfish and financial needs. Although steroid and drug abuse, in turn, also affect the truthfulness of sports, Donaghy - and possibly others - has tainted the genuineness and veracity of professional basketball.

On a much lighter and more positive note, I am thoroughly looking forward to the upcoming high school football season, especially following each of the local teams and their progress. Enough of the negativity surrounding the wide world of sports. (Heck, even the Tour de France has had its fair share of problems lately.)

Not only will I anticipate Alcovy's first win in school history, Eastside's potential to win region and even what the offensive and defensive schemes Newton will use under its first-year head coach, one thing is certain: the summer of shame has almost ended.