The Counterpoint

December 24, 2004


I am on something of a break from blogging due to finals week last week and the current holiday season. Regular blogging should return soon, but I wanted to share this story courtesy of a messageboard I frequent:

ESPN - Shaq plays Santa for 250 kids:

Shaquille O'Neal came to town to play Santa Claus to 250 kids Friday morning, and it didn't matter that the grinning basketball star was no longer a member of the home team.

After eight years as a star with the Los Angeles Lakers, O'Neal will play Saturday against the Lakers as a member of the Miami Heat

But Friday, he was "Shaq-A-Claus" as he pulled up to the Challengers Boys & Girls Club in South Los Angeles in a truck filled with bicycles, Sony Playstations, karaoke machines, sneakers and other gifts.

For several hours, O'Neal and teammate Damon Jones handed out gifts to the crowd. O'Neal bought many of the gifts himself during a Friday morning visit to a Toys-R-Us store.
The steroid scandals in baseball, the Ron Artest incident in the NBA, the ugly Todd Bertuzzi hit that practically ruined what remaining credibility the NHL had left with average fans, and ludicrous over-celebrations in football are all doing more to harm public perception of athletes than help it. Stories like these need to be written more to remind people that athletes are generally pretty good guys.

Kudos to Shaq for his generosity, and Happy Festivus to all.


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