Olympics

Favor scandal not funny, just dreary

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Jen Floyd Engel

Jen Floyd Engel, selected as the top columnist in the 2012 Associated Press Sports Editors annual contest, started working at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1997 and became a columnist in 2003 before joining FOXSports.com. Sports opinions? She's never short of them. And love her or hate her, she'll be just another one of the boys. Follow her on Twitter or like her on Facebook.

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Suzy expensive Favor.

Just did them.

And the NCAA will be proud to know Suzy definitely went pro in something other than sports.

Suzy Favor Hamilton

STUNNING TRUTH

See Suzy Favor Hamilton's career as a three-time Olympian and a high-priced escort.

Suzy Favor Hamilton’s name demands jokes. And her story, that of an attractive married mother, three-time Olympian and motivational speaker who spent the last year “escorting” men for $600 an hour, has every metric for a big Google splash — attractive, blonde, sex, scandal, B1G, Olympian, prostitution. So, of course, Twitter was ablaze with Suzy Favor Hamilton talk almost instantaneously. What is funny is it was mostly by people who, before Thursday’s Smoking Gun story, had no idea who Suzy Favor Hamilton was.

Being a whore, um escort, gave her more fame than being an Olympian ever did.

My first thought when my bosses asked me to weigh in was this is another example of athletes struggling with handling adversity because being an athlete meant they rarely had to do so. This is BS, though. The reality is I am so sick of Suzie Favor Hamilton and her many incarnations — Bobby Petrino, Tiger Woods, Kristen Stewart. Bill Clinton, David Petraeus, Kobe and on and on. All of y'all bore me with your selfishness. It is not newsworthy to be a Dear Abby cliche — a selfish cheater willingly putting your immediate gratification ahead of your kids and families.

We have spent a whole week talking about hugging our kids more tightly, about being reminded of what really matters, of nothing being more important than family. This is so very our society right now, to focus on the once-in-a-lifetime tragedy and ignore the daily tragedies we are creating in our own lives through infidelity, through financial irresponsibility, through selfishness.

Is the Favor Hamilton scandal slightly less salacious when you realize she had a husband? A kid? It is not quite so funny when you realize the collateral damage she inflicted. I recently read a line about parenting in "Daring Greatly" by Brene Brown that struck a chord with me.

Image: Marla Runyan hels Suzy Favor Hamilton (© Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Suzy Favor Hamilton fell to the ground during the women's 1500-meter final at the 2000 Olympics after slipping toward the back of the pack.

Shaun Botterill

“The question isn’t so much, ‘Are you parenting the right way?’ as it is: ‘Are you the adult that you want your child to grow up to be?’ ”

This has to be a resounding “no” for Favor Hamilton. Say this for the former Olympian, she did not bother with The Cheater’s Handbook, Athlete Edition — deny, deny, deny, then radio silence, then a very public stop by rehab for sex addiction followed by a forced apology, then basking in whatever fame comes from this “scandal.” Favor tweeted in quick succession a long, very personal explanation of guilt, of why, of shame, of sorrow.

@favorhamilton: I realize I have made highly irrational choices and I take full responsibility for them. I am not a victim here and knew what I was doing.

@favorhamilton: I was drawn to escorting in large part because it provided many coping mechanisms for me when I was going through a very challenging

@favorhamilton: time with my marriage and my life. It provided an escape from a life that I was struggling in. It was a double life.

@favorhamilton: I do not expect people to understand, but the reasons for doing this made sense to me at the time and were very much related to depression.

I very much believe her. I do not know her particular demons, but we obviously have a broken individual here, a woman willing to sacrifice the love and respect of her daughter and her husband, friends and family, for $600 she did not need and sex that brought shame. There is an old adage about you are only as sick as your secrets. And anything based in lies and deception is likely to be bad for you.

There is a bigger point here, bigger than how a seemingly decent former athlete finds herself in Vegas and L.A. using an alias and prostituting herself. There is an emerging trend of athletes seemingly unable to deal with off-field adversity and unwilling to ask for help.

Ben Roethlisberger

TOP SEX SCANDALS

From Mike Tyson to Tiger Woods, take a look at the biggest sex scandals in sports.

Just recently, Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent did not call a cab. Chiefs wide receiver Jovan Belcher did not seek help for what reports say were escalating depression issues. Favor Hamilton trying to heal herself at $600 an hour.

@favorhamilton: As crazy as I know it seems, I never thought I would be exposed, therefore never hurting anybody.

@favorhamilton: I have been seeking the help of a psychologist for the past few weeks and will continue to do so after I have put things together.

@favorhamilton: I cannot emphasize enough how sorry I am to anyone I have hurt as a result of my actions and greatly appreciate the support of my family

@favorhamilton: and those closest to me. I fully intend to make amends and get back to being a good mother, wife, daughter, and friend.

I am sure she means all of it. And I hope she does.

Yet I find Favor Hamilton and her many incarnations not interesting in the least. Not only did she go pro in something other than sports, she simply became another tired cliche in a society that has far too many already.

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