We live in a society of hypocrites. A society where each new headline citing a major sporting figure testing positive for performance enhancing drugs is met by the public’s passionate outcry against cheaters, liars and frauds that ruin our beloved games.
You saw the story today: Denver Broncos Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller’s reported violation of NFL policy, which had everyone immediately assuming drugs; and the story last week about the positive test of Tyson Gay — the most relevant and accomplished U.S. sprinter — along with celebrated Jamaican sprinters, Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson.
And don’t forget the issues with Major League Baseball, whose public pronouncements of the sport being as clean as ever is now diametrically opposed with the lurking, ominous dark clouds of the Biogenesis investigation. Today’s suspension of Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, the 2011 National League Most Valuable Player, is the latest example that the sport is far from clean.
Quite honestly, it’s about time that we, as a society, make the painfully obvious admission that it’s time to change.
It’s time for drastic measures.
It’s time to legalize Performance Enhancing Drugs in pro sports.
The nobility of efforts to create a level playing field and the stiff punishments levied have done absolutely nothing to curb the rising tide of steroids and doping.
PED’s, as much as we hate to admit it, are as much a part of our sporting culture as a $10 beer at the ballpark, our incessant gossiping about the party habits of Texas A&M’s Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, or our wondering what lucky rascal is Boo’d up with Anna Kournikova or Serena Williams.
If you’re convinced that the only athletes juicing are the ones that get caught, you probably also think Eddie Murphy deserved an Oscar for his fantastic work in Norbit, Holy Man, and The Adventures of Pluto Nash.
So if the talk is about really leveling the playing field, we might as well make a 180-degree mental paradigm shift in the direction of actually elevating the playing field, by any means necessary.
Because doesn’t everyone ultimately want their athletes and teams to perform at the highest level? We scream at people who cheat in order to perform better, but you’ll encourage your homeboy to have more than a few happy-hour cocktails to help him get suave’d up enough to walk up to the smokin’ hot lady with the goddess body at the end of the bar.
You mean to tell me that online-dating is not performance enhancement, where often socially awkward and repugnant-looking folks — through the anonymity of the internet — get a chance to choose among hundreds of duped dating partners?
How about text-messaging, where the corniest among us are emboldened enough to send pictures of their private parts as a last-ditch effort to score some cheap, instant, meaningless and sad hook-ups in the wee hours of the morning?
Professional sports is about watching the best athletes in the world performing at their absolute best, is it not? Do you remember how exciting it was when Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire were chasing Roger Maris’s single-season home run record? Major League Baseball certainly doesn’t forget how its merchandise flew off of shelves faster than it took Charles Ramsey — who helped rescue those three woman held in captivity in Cleveland — to become an overnight celebrity.
Teams have no problem shooting their players with painkillers at halftime so they can go out there and help the team win – fractured bones, torn cartilage and joint sprains be damned. So why should we be losing our collective minds if players are actively searching for the best chemists to give them a competitive advantage?
Our whole society is based on and embraces performance enhancement. It is part of the very fabric of America. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t be smothered by the unavoidable avalanche of Cialis and Viagra ads in our sports magazines and throughout the televised coverage of our games.
Because if Viagra and Cialis ain’t some performance enhancement, I don’t know what is. If we don’t mind having to explain to our children while watching our games, as I have, what an erection is, why it might last for more than four hours, and that an erectile dysfunction is not a dinosaur, why should we mind if some athlete is ruining his health and shortening his life-expectancy in search of the home run title or a 2,000-yard rushing season?
Some women enhance their ability to gain favor by wearing flattering clothing, high heels, fancy accessories, make-up and occasionally maybe even a wonder bra from time to time, right?
And that’s acceptable, because we want to see them looking their best, and not like Charlie Sheen fresh off a bender all the time, if that happens to be what they look like in their natural state. Am I wrong?
And Hollywood and the music business are even worse than sports. They have more silicone, liposuction, chemical peels and butt and breast implants fueling our billion-dollar fantasy/entertainment industry than idiotic reasons why Skip Bayless hates on LeBron James or Jason Witless, I mean Whitlock, blames the Sugar Hill Gang and Jay-Z for Aaron Hernandez’s alleged psychotic behaviors.
We embrace others for gaining wealth and celebrity they don’t deserve, don’t we? Just examine our fascination with reality television, and talentless folks, like the basketball wives, gaining fame because somebody decided that it was a good idea to televise the train-wreck and petty shallowness of their lives. Or how about the human Barbie Dolls conducting halftime interviews, or doing sideline reporting, so that the network’s ratings can be enhanced?
What in the Cock-A-Doodee sense does it make for us to be hypocritical enough to get mad at the Lance Armstrong’s and A-Rod’s of the world?
They’re simply doing things the American Way. We’re a country of cheaters and shortcut takers. So instead of running from it and being appalled at the chemical enhancement of our athletes and games, we might as well just legalize doping, embrace, accept it, move on and stop pretending that we really care.
Because when you really think about it, all we care about are our knockouts, home runs, bone crushing hits, touchdowns, championships, highlights and world records.
And some Viagra too.