I remember as a young child being forced by my mother to leave countless epic battle’s of basketball that were raging in my front driveway and being told to take a shower and get ready for bed. Alas, the fate of a young kid with school the next morning but with the competitive fire of a pro.
Of course, the next best option was for me to go inside and turn on the TV and find whatever game I could possibly catch for the night. I never discriminated. It didn’t matter if it was basketball, football, baseball, hell even golf, I just wanted to be able to watch these iconic figures in their element and maybe pick up on something and learn a new skill or two.
You have to understand, to an eight year old boy, professional athletes are invincible, like Superman himself. So how sad and pathetic is the fact that ten years down the road, the first question that comes to people’s minds when thinking of pro athletes isn’t, “How good can this kid possibly become?” but rather “Is that truly him and his skill alone, or has he had to use steroids to improve?”
I’m willing to bet one hundred dollars that if you were to turn on any major news broadcast and watch the sports report that a story involving cheating, lying, fighting, or the use of performance enhancing drugs would flash in front of your screen. This isn’t the same sport’s scene that our parent’s and grandparent’s grew up watching and emulating. The media has just as much influence and in some cases even more over the public than the athletes themselves.
You sometimes have to sit and wonder when watching an athlete whether or not he’s selling himself as an athlete or a product. What happened to the love of the game? The grind, the struggle, the fire to go out daily and give everything of yourself to improve daily in whatever it was that an athlete loved?
Barry Bonds, Marion Jones, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and countless other iconic athletes have either been found to have used performance enhancing drugs or been accused of it. It seems like almost all baseball players from the mid-eighties to present day have been injecting themselves full of bullshit so that they can go out in front of a crowd and play it off as God given talent and hard work. How sickening.
What message are today’s kids getting from this? Has anyone ever thought of the effects on a child who’s just found out that his idol and hero has been cheating, and therefore lying to that child? What if the kid thinks that it’s ok and begins thinking about or starts using steroids to enhance his athletic performance as well? It’s a horribly disgusting thought that seems to have been pushed to the side by the notion that “everyone was doing it.”
So does that make it right? HELL NO.
It’s not fair to the other athletes who go about improving the right way, and who put countless hours into their craft and are overshadowed by the supposedly great players who are cheating behind closed doors and hiding behind their attorney’s statements.
Most importantly, it’s not fair to the kids.
Sports is one of the most valuable tools that children all across this nation have to help keep them off the streets and away from violence and drugs. It’s sad to think that a child who’s been betrayed by his hero could possibly give up sports for good and turn to another path that could lead them down a road of misery.
The greatest athletes of all time all had the same traits in common. Work ethic and an unnatural desire to be the best at everything they did. Think about waking up one morning and hearing from a news report that Woods, Jordan, Ali, A-Rod, Bird, Magic, Manning, Montana, and Hank Aaron all used steroids. Sports would never be the same.
That’s what thousands of kids across this country have been waking up to every day for the past five years. So to all you steroid using, pathetic imitation of a real athlete, small testicle and back acne, I love “creatine” users, you should remember that The Sultan of Swat, the Great Bambino himself Babe Ruth knocked out over 700 homers jacked up on...hot dogs and beer.