There’s a famous expression- “Cheats don’t prosper”. I’m not sure about that anymore.
“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary”, is definitely true, but just from a sporting point of view I’m a bit confused about “cheats don’t prosper”.
Let’s have a look at a few examples.
Lance Armstrong cheated for a long time and made a lot of money from endorsements. He finally got found out but is still sitting pretty in his million dollar house and has lived an exorbitant life living off his winnings and big sponsorship dollars.
He is a disgrace as an individual and the way he mercilessly ruined people lives is unforgivable.
He cheated. He prospered.
Sean Peyton, coach of the New Orleans Saints (NFL) was suspended for 12 months after Bountygate. He may or may not claim he didn’t know about the scheme or didn’t shut it down properly once he knew his players were given financial incentives to hurt key opposition players during games. He’s the coach of the team and I don’t believe he didn’t know it was happening. If he didn’t know; he should have known.
He sat out his time and then got a new contract. A five year deal worth a reported $40 million. Who knows how long his scheme really went for. In the meantime he won a coveted Super Bowl.
He cheated. He prospered.
Shane Flanagan, former coach of the Cronulla Sharks, was the coach at the time the alleged peptides were being administered to players. Again, did he know? I would assume he did. If not, like Sean Peyton, he should have. He is in charge.
Do you think the CEO of McDonald’s doesn’t know what’s happening in their company? Even Alan Joyce knows what’s happening at Qantas, but that’s slightly different as he masterminded their downfall.
How was Flanagan rewarded for his poor behaviour? He was given a new three year contract.
Hopefully if Flanagan oversees another doping regime, the Sharks can at least win a premiership, so people in the Shire can celebrate something. If you’re going to cheat, at least win!
Do you think Ben Johnson took steroids thinking he wasn’t going to win? Hansie Cronje knew he wasn’t going to win with his betting scandal, but he at least he knew he’d win off the pitch.
Melbourne may have cheated with the salary cap and been found out in 2010, but the fans got to have a beer when their team won the Telstra Premiership in 2007 and 2009. The club would have sold merchandise and it would have helped with new sponsorships.
They cheated. They prospered.
The best example of ‘cheats never prosper’ though, is back in 2009 with the Harlequins Rugby team. It was called ‘Bloodgate‘. I’m not sure why the poor old gate gets caught up in all the dramas, when all it does is open and close. Obviously Watergate was the main gate, but there was Nipplegate (with Janet Jackson) and I’ve already mentioned Bountygate.
In 2009, Harlequins winger Tom Williams came off the field with an apparent blood injury, to allow fly half, Nick Evans to return to the field of play, having been off injured, previously. Evans was meant to kick the winning field goal, but he was so injured, his kick missed by miles. Williams had bitten a blood capsule to make it look like blood and cause the substitution under a blood rule.
People make mistakes and should be given second chances. If they don’t learn from their mistakes they are stupid, not ignorant. I hope Sean Peyton, Shane Flanagan and another coach in a similar situation, James Hird, have all learnt their lessons.