Sports Does Matter

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Article 'Why Sports Matter' by Wilfred Sheed

Wilfred Sheed’s article Why Sports Matter focuses on how sports have changed over the past 150 years. He emphasizes on the importance of sports in people’s life and underlines that it can significantly shape their lives for the better. Sports can help people to understand what they can do and to know what they want to be. This implies that sports build up character and prepare one to fight for what he or she wants to do in life. Cheating and CHEATING by Joe Posnanski is an article that explores cheating in baseball game, which has been there since the game started. He believes that there has never been a fair baseball game. Players have been using steroid, amphetamine and other preparation sin order to cheat since the baseball game was first introduced. This paper shows comparison between Wilfred Sheed’s and Joe Posnanski’s articles on sports analyzing their ideas and the style of writing.

Sheed’s presents an article that is more of a scholarly journal. His ideas are not supported by opinions from other writings or researches conducted. He bases his ideas from his personal perspective and only uses his own observations and anecdotes within the work. For example, in paragraph 4 of his work, he writes his personal observation about the Notre Dame Team. He argues that sports can define culture of a nation and supports his argument by using his personal observation on culture and sports in Trinidad and Britain (Sheed 489). Although Sheed is able to convince his readers that there is change in sports, there is need for him to use research evidences. However, for any argument, it is vital to use substantial evidences from researches and not only personal ideas and observations.

Article 'Cheating and CHEATING' by Joe Posnanski

On the contrary, Joe Posnanski portrays his credibility by using ethos such as names of players and their achievements in a certain year. It illustrates that he presents clear facts about baseball history. Being a recognized writer for sports and being honored twice because of his excellent work in sport writing, Posnanski’s work has shown a lot of reliability and sincerity in the way he convinces his readers. For instance, in his article, he points out that in 1954 Willie Mays was a great player and led the league because of his excellent striking skills. He also won an award at the same year (Posnanski 553). All these facts are able to convince his readers that his argument about cheating in baseball may be true. The use of quotes from Mays also helps provide real evidence for his argument.

Additionally, Posnanski uses facts to enhance his logic appeal, which makes his arguments look real and sincere. This appeal helps readers to connect his written ideas to real life situations and problems facing other baseball players. His idea of mentioning that Mays was born in 1965 and he was the best striker even when he was 34 years old, gives the reader a good reason why he claims that players of baseball game cheat (Posnanski 553). The time period makes things realistic, therefore, the argument looks relevant. This makes his readers understand why he thinks that there has been cheating in baseball even when the game was not very popular.


Ideas exemplified by the two writers have both similarities and differences. Sheeds’s article, Why Sports Matter illustrates the idea that sport is a crucial factor when it comes to defining an individual or a nation. It is like a culture to a country; therefore, it is not only important to the nation, but to its people as well. Initially people thought that being active in sports is a waste of time and energy, but they now realize that it is pivotal component of life (Sheed 489). They have realized that the benefits of sports almost outweigh its demerits. Sheed adds that people can now experience the feeling of depending on other people’s hard work for victory or failure is associated with sports. People appreciate sports players which motivates players to perform better and achieve the best results.

On the other hand, Posnanski in his article cheating and CHEATING explores that cheating is associated with baseball game. Although the game is pastime for almost all of the Americans, it has been associated with scandals and cheating since it started. The writer emphasizes on the cheating that has been going on in this game. The use of steroids and amphetamine that enhance players’ performance during the game is considered as cheating (Posnanski 553). Such additives help the players to endure their performance without getting fatigued and it is definitely an advantage for the team. It is unfair when such players compete with those that do not use these drugs. They win a competition not because they have excellent skills but they boost their bodies with drugs, which are illegal. With the use of clear evidence, Posnanski supports his arguments to convince his readers that such kind of cheating in baseball really exists.

Although the two writers differ in the ideas they pose to readers, they have a similarity in the way they both discuss the problems that are intrinsic in sports since it was introduced. Article by Sheed explains how sports activities were seen insignificant in one’s life. Preachers believed it was devil’s work because they believed that people were wasting time which they could devote serving to God (Sheed 489). Employers also considered sports as a waste of time, especially when workers played during their time off. These are some of the problems that hindered people from engaging in sports. They were afraid of playing since players were not fully appreciated by the society.

The Problem of Cheating in Baseball

Posnanski also illustrated the problem of cheating in baseball. Illustrating the evidences, he explains the problem of cheating as being fueled by the players’ who are obsessed with fame and achievements in the world of sports. The writer is convinced that the use of drugs such as steroids has been there since the baseball started so as to enhance players’ performance (Posnanski 553). This is unfair to players that cannot afford the drugs and only depend on their skills for victory. Therefore, the writer tries to address this problem and find the solution to make the baseball game a fair one.

Posnanski work is more convincing than Sheed’s work, as Posnanski has expressed his thoughts based on the real situations and facts that had occurred in sports. It is heard to deny that his notion about cheating in sports is not relevant. Conversely, Sheed’s work is not so effective since his ideas are based on his personal views. The fact that it lacks other outside research makes it hard for the reader to completely trust in his argument.


In conclusion, it is true and evident that the two articles illuminate the various problems the sports have faced with since it began. There have been problems that have been facing sports over the last few years. While Sheed expresses disapproval of sports by the society is the problem that had hindered players to engage in different sports. Posnanski argues that the main problem the baseball game has been facing for a long time is cheating. However, Joe Posnanski brings out his ideas more effectively than Wilfred Sheed due to the excellent use of facts.