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February 17, 2013

Legendary sports stories then and now

The way America covers its sports heroes has changed dramatically over the years. It was a mythmaking profession for generations. Now cynicism and scandal dominate the headlines.

Here’s how some major stories might have been covered today vs. in years gone by:

Babe Ruth’s ‘called’ home run

Today:

TMZ, with the help of Google Maps, shot down the fraudulent claim that Babe Ruth “called” his home run yesterday vs. the Cubs in Game 3 of the World Series. A Windy City stripper told TMZ exclusively that the Babe devised the outlandish claim as a cover-up. The married slugger was actually pointing to a girl he wanted to ask out on a date. Google Maps confirmed he was pointing at a young woman not a far-away seat.

Before:

Babe Ruth, the greatest slugger the game has ever seen, finally outdid himself.

The Sultan of Swat quieted his critics in a fashion our grandchildren’s grandchildren will be talking about. Yesterday in game 3 of the World Series, he pointed to the nether reaches of Wrigley Field, boldly predicting a round-tripper. While the Cubs and their boisterous fans mocked the portly power hitter, the mighty Babe lived up to his theatrics with a towering homer run.

Manti Te’o plays

after two deaths

Today:

Hopelessly naive or cunningly egomaniacal. Those are the only possible two descriptions of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, who is caught in a bizarre web of deceit which has embarrassed the linebacker, the university and the sport.

Before:

His girlfriend and his grandmother are in a better place. And the two, who passed away within six hours of each other, have to be weeping tears of pride about the performance the love of their lives put on yesterday.

The sports world is weeping with them.

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