In the past month, Manny Ramirez has been suspended 50 games for illegal drug usage, and Michael Phelps has finished his suspension for marijuana.
Athletes are put under such high scrutiny in an era where everything negative is highlighted and put all over the media. (i.e. ESPN ran a full show related to the Ramirez suspension.)
How familiar does this sound:
-Last year, J.C. Romero was suspended around this time for 50 games for illegal drug usage.
-NBA C/F Chris Andersen returned from a marijuana-related suspension.
Now this isn't to demean anyone, but I really feel sports is quickly becoming a deja vu' story. The names change, but the stories seem to replay over and over again.
That's not to say that it's always bad. But we sometimes remember the bad moreso than the good.
Some people know where they were when Roger Clemens was first indicted in the Mitchell Report and testified before a Congressional subcommittee.
In addition, other events such as the Brawl at the Palace and the shooting of Sean Taylor bring such painful memories, just to name a recent few. Those are the ones where the images stick out so much.
But to this day, we are still shocked at things such as steroid accusations in an era where a lot of ballplayers have either been suspended or blasted by former players for illegal usage.
So why do we watch when everyone might be doing steroids?
I'm sorry for killing any happy moods you had by the previous few thoughts.
But I'm one of those fans that feels that the good in sports can usually outweigh the bad.
I appreciate the underdog, and the clutch, and the impossible. Those are the moments that make us press on through the negativity.
Those are the moments that create excitement.
Those are the moments where dreams of a young kid begin. Kids that want to become the next Brett Favre, or LeBron James, or Alexander Ovechkin.
I'm not saying to block out the bad. For the sake of an era where steroids and contract holdouts are at a high, we shouldn't be surprised that something like this is happening.
It's reasonable to hold some athletes to a high standard, because they are role models.
The stories may be the same, but the magnitude of the names are the difference.
We all don't want to think of our athletes as cheaters and criminals. The harsh truth is that some are, and even though its a minority, they are some of the most polarizing names in sports.
Guys like Ramirez, Vick, Clemens, and Pacman aren't exactly nobodies.
These penalties and horrible happenings shake fanbases to their core and create divides.
But really, are we surprised that this stuff happens? The names can change, but ultimately the story never does.
But ultimately, we must remember that glory trumps degradation in the end.
Glory brings new heroes.
Degradation knocks the hero off his pedestal and scars his legacy forever.
As we watch, remember this quote from 2000's Gladiator:
"What we do in life, echoes in eternity."