I’m keeping my kidney … for now | VailDaily.com
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I’m keeping my kidney … for now

Ian Cropp

There are very few things for which I’d sell my kidney.

And a ticket to the Cricket World Cup of cricket isn’t one of them. Then again, I’m not from India.

Two weeks ago, Sarun Sharma put up one of his kidneys for sale, hoping to raise funds so he could travel to the West Indies to watch his country compete.

Sharma said he got a passport six months ago just so he could go to the event but didn’t have the money for the trip. So for about $6,800, he was willing to sign away the rights to one of his kidneys.

When asked about his proposed organ sale, he said, “I know several people who are living with one kidney.”

And I bet there are several people who are living with kidney stones, but I don’t plan on putting my intestinal tract up for sale on Craig’s List.

Sports fans never cease to amaze me with their level of insanity.

Just when I thought someone has gone over the edge, another deranged individual goes ahead and ups the ante.

Now, most fans are acceptably passionate about sports. Don’t get me wrong, I love the guys who paint their chests with team colors and brave a snowstorm or the “Cameron Crazies” who camp out for days on end just to get Duke basketball tickets.

But it’s the parents who go psycho at youth soccer and hockey games, maiming referees and drop-kicking 8-year-olds, or the guy who sells a vital organ, who may need to reassess their values.

At most sporting events I’ve attended, when a player from the visiting team sustains an injury, fans give the player a round of applause when he leaves the playing field.

Last month, Manchester United’s Alan Smith broke his leg in a match against Liverpool. Some Liverpool fans then attacked the ambulance that was taking Smith to the hospital. British newspapers reported that people threw stones and bottles at the ambulance and attempted to rock it side to side.

I have full faith that this would never happen if the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez broke his leg in Boston. I feel as if an injured soldier in a combat zone would be afforded better safety.

No player (or coach) is safe on the field for that matter. There are the drunken idiots who run out on the football field, steal the ball from Brett Favre and run around until they get spear-tackled by six security guards. And, yes, there were those two psychos who mauled the Kansas City Royals’ first-base coach.

I guess nobody is safe. In the international spirit of No Child Left Behind, a 42-year-old German man brought the smack down on an 8-year-old last week. The man, from the town of Hassloch, stormed an indoor soccer field and karate kicked a boy after the boy fouled another player. But the black-belt sensei wasn’t done yet ” he kept attacking the kid when he was on the ground and had to be restrained by fellow spectators.

So the more I think about it, the less Sharma’s offer bothers me. He may be a bit kooky, but he fits in the category of acceptably insane passion. After all, his offer was for the love of the game and didn’t threaten anyone’s well-being but his own.

Last year, a large group of Pakistani cricket fans burned an effigy of an Australian official who dismissed a Pakistani player for what he deemed an illegal infraction. (Quick side note: I don’t have a bias against the Pakistani national team ” the burgeoning cricket nation of Namibia is my team.) That crossed the line.

On another ethical tangent, selling body parts for sheer profit is suspect. But what Sharma wanted to do was a bit different. You know how some soccer teams loan a player to another club? Well this is kind of like that. OK, not at all. Let’s try another route. Sharma wanted to use his kidney as a means to an end. He wanted to see India play, and his only way to get there would have been by raising the adequate funds. Kind of like a college loan. Right? What a noble endeavor.

OK, I’ll admit it, Sarun Sharma is my hero.

Oh, and that whole thing about me selling my kidney. Scratch that. I’d donate my kidney to Barbaro if it would have kept him alive.

No, not one. Both.

Sports Writer Ian Cropp has both kidneys and, for the right price, can change that. He can be reached at 748-2935 or icropp@vaildaily.com.


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