Hate is such a strong word, so I'd better be careful how I use it.
I won't say I hate New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez because it's just not a nice thing to say. But, man, I sure do hate what he represents, which essentially is everything that's wrong with sports.
Lying, cheating, unbelievable arrogance, unchecked greed, a disturbing win-at-any-cost mentality and an astonishing lack of accountability -- they're all there.
Currently, the injured third baseman, who admitted to taking performance enhancing drugs while with the Texas Rangers, is in baseball's doghouse for his involvement with Biogenesis of America, a closed anti-aging clinic in Florida.
Based on evidence collected from an investigation of Biogenesis, Major League Baseball is threatening to come after A-Rod with a triple-digit fastball. A significant suspension is inevitable and it's possible he'll never again step on a big-league field, at least not as an active player.
Rodriguez, 38, signed a 10-year, $275 million contract with New York in 2007 and he's still owed slightly less than $100 million. Although he hasn't played in a big league game this season he has been angling to do so while the Yankees it seems have been angling just as hard to keep him off the field.
It's a soap opera. The whole thing is really quite slimy, although is anyone surprised?
What used to be about sportsmanship, skill and pure competition now has much more do to with greed, greed and, of course, greed.
And so here's where I stop, at least for a while. Rather than go on in my indignation about the sorry state of sports, I'll turn this column around right now.
Let's get positive, shall we?
Earlier this month local golfer Jeff Powars, 54, made a terrific run at the 115th annual Utah State Amateur at Midway's Solider Hollow Golf Course. It was downright inspiring to watch him not only play with, but beat, much younger golfers in the tournament's matchplay bracket. He wound up reaching the quarterfinals before losing to eventual-champ Cole Ogden.
Days later he picked on guys closer to his own age and earned a third-place finish at Utah Senior State Amateur.
Powars, a junior high school administrator, is easy to root for. He's a genuinely nice man whose love of golf takes a back seat to love of family.
A California native, he started playing the game at age 4 and eventually turned it into an offer to play collegiately. However, he chose to accept an academic scholarship to USC, where he was a walk-on with the Trojans.
He and his wife, Margie, and son, Michael, moved to Utah 23 years ago and quickly became fast friends with the Schneiter family, owners of Schneiter's Riverside and Schneiter's Bluff golf courses.
He's a down-to-earth guy, so it's unlikely Powars sees himself as particularly remarkable. But he is and not just because he can swing a sand wedge. Beyond that, he's a devoted husband and father who makes time for golf when he can.
See, Michael, 25, is completely disabled. He lives at home and receives constant support from his parents.
"He's 100 percent disabled, in a wheelchair," Jeff said. "He still lives with us, we still take care of him full time. Our life is geared around taking care of him and saving our money and not getting into trouble."
Jeff said he and Margie are focused on Michael's future, making sure he'll always be taken care of.
"But it doesn't stop us from doing anything, it doesn't stop us from playing golf," he said.
It wouldn't be completely accurate to say golf is a distraction or a diversion for Jeff. While he does spend a lot of time working and caring for Michael, the course isn't necessarily a place he goes to escape the challenges of life. Instead, it's where he goes to have fun, just like anyone else. He plays when he can, sometimes taking vacation to play in events like the State Am.
The important thing to remember is that golf isn't who he is, it's something he does ... something he loves.
And love is such a strong word.