By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Sep 19, 2013 at 5:17 AM Photography: David Bernacchi

I have had about the most turbulent year anybody could ever expect to have during the first nine months of 2013.

Health issues have kept me in and out of the hospital and in and out of the mainstream of life. I've missed a lot but I've also been paying attention. And one of the things that I've discovered, once again, is how much I love sports.

I have always loved sports. But I am growing increasingly crazed about how bizarre the world of sports is getting and I’m troubled by where we seem to be headed.

Some examples:

Ryan Braun

The wheels are turning as experts in public relations and crisis management and rehabilitation all try to find a way to make Braun whole again.

It is not going to happen.

Too much of what he's doing seems contrived, creating the kind of thing that you would draw up in a classroom exercise. It has nothing to do with real life.

Ryan Braun calling up fans on the telephone to talk about all the evil things he’s done. "Hi, this is Ryan. Got a sec?"

What do they think we are? Stupid?

I don't even know if it's possible to restore Braun's reputation. But one thing I do know, the artificial apologies that they seem to be creating are just adding fuel to an already roaring fire.

They might as well put him at a table in a Cousins restaurant and every person who comes in to get a sub has a chance to sit down with the disgraced outfielder and talk about cheese steaks, baked or fried potato chips and, oh yeah, performance enhancing drugs.

Dennis Rodman

For some reason, and it’s probably our own fault, we are actually treating this man and his visit to North Korea as a serious piece of business. Rodman has never been serious. He has always been the oddest of ducks.

And now he is visiting North Korea and becoming friendly with their crazy child leader. He is proposing some kind of basketball exchange program with American players against North Korean players.

The problem here is that we are actually treating this seriously. We go to his news conference. We ask him questions. We wanted to know what Dennis Rodman thinks about Kim Jong Un. It would be simpler to figure out what’s wrong with Rodman. The much more important and lots more difficult question is what the hell is wrong with us for taking this whole thing seriously?

Overwrought reaction to average plays

For some reason this seems to be a trend growing ever more popular. You can see it in every NFL game, and it's easy to recognize.

A cornerback or a linebacker or a defensive lineman makes a good tackle. Nothing outstanding. No touchdowns saved but it’s a good, solid football play. Instead of getting up and walking back to the huddle the tackler jumps around, slaps hands, gets in the face of the ball carrier and jumps around as if he is just saved a touchdown on the 2-inch line to preserve a victory in the Super Bowl.

Football is a game made up of lots of ordinary plays and some very special plays. The ordinary plays are just that. Ordinary.

When players act like every play is an end-of-the-world play how can we tell what’s really important?

I asked the question, what do they think we are, stupid?

The answer might very well be yes. They might think we are stupid. And the reason is that we might very well act like stupid people around them. Letting the world of athletes play with our emotions and play with our feelings so that we act like absolute dummies.

This whole thing just seems to be getting out of hand. There’s the world of them and there's the world of us and we all used to be together. Now it’s like never the twain shall meet.

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.