Get High on Life

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 1, 1999

By Harold Keller / L’Observateur / Febuary 1, 1999

I am continually amazed at what people get excited about. This week, I’mreferring to the news that Josh Booty, after ending two years of emotional negotiations with the Florida Marlins, was placed on the Marlins voluntary retired list, opening the door for him to enroll at LSU and maybe play football.

The sports headline read: “Booty fulfills burning desire to play football at LSU.” One reporter said that patience is apparently one of Josh Booty’sbest virtues.

In his meeting with the press, Booty said, “To be here is a dream come true for me.” His dream evidently started almost five years to the datethat he made a commitment to sign an athletic scholarship with LSU. (Notonly was he a star football player at Evangel High School, but he was also a pretty good Class A baseball player.)The Florida Marlins then offered Josh $1.6 million to sign a baseballcontract. He signed and, according to him, the Marlins sidetracked hisdream. In the interview this week, he said, “I made a commitment to LSUfour or five years ago.” (He didn’t seem to remember how long it had been.)He said that when he signed the contract, he thought it was a great opportunity and took it. (Can’t blame him for that.) “But at the sametime,” he said, “there has been something burning deep inside me to play football at LSU.”Getting back to patience and commitment, the Marlins were not only patient with Booty, but also very generous. Booty was indeed patient. Hepatiently took their money and tried to get out of his contract with the Marlins. The Marlins’ return for their investment was nil. I think Josh’shighest batting average in five years was .160.The word “commitment” was used by Booty several times. Hiscommitment to LSU evidently outweighed his commitment to the Marlins who paid big bucks for his commitment.

In the dictionary, the word “commitment” is defined: to entrust, to pledge.

With Booty’s performance and the fact that for two years he tried to get out of his contract with the Marlins, but keep the money, don’t tell me he was commited to doing his best for something he was highly overpaid.

Yes, Booty had a commitment to LSU five years ago. Evidently, hiscommitment didn’t mean much to him then. According to him, the Marlinssidetracked his commitment. (It wasn’t the Marlins, or baseball, thatsidetracked him. It was the money.)Well, now we have another commitment or, as Booty says, the same commitment of five years ago that was sidetracked.

Another word came to my mind in the Booty saga – deceitful. Thedictionary defines that as: misleading, tricky. I guess that you could sayJosh Booty committed to patiently deceive LSU and the Marlins in the past.

If he can be that deceitful on the draw play as quarterback for the Tigers, they could win a national championship.

Harold Keller is a regular columnist for L’Observateur

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