Perhaps I'm an old stiff in my beliefs, possessed by a hardliner born in the 1930s, but I can never excuse cheating.
Although I have always cheated in video games, and frankly in many cases printed out all the cheat codes for a game I just purchased, that is different. Cheating is universal, but it carries different weight in the many fields where one can cheat.
Cheating in school is wrong, but it's forgivable based on the fact if you cheat your way through education you'll end up proving your lack of worth in later life, we have all come across people in certain fields we can only wonder how they got the job they did, because they're clearly not fit for it.
Such is life, it's the people you know, and sports is no different in that aspect, it's why some subpar Quarterbacks keep their starting jobs while others can only warm the bench and only dream of starting a single game.
When it comes to cheating, in the athletes world, it is the worst kind.
When you cheat at a card game, and you get caught, you'll probably get dragged out of the casino, or owe your friends a big favor.
When you cheat in a sports game, you show yourself as an outsider to the arena of all sports, why are you there, why don't you just leave?
It's one thing to try and fail, it's another to cheat and succeed, only to be found out as a cheater.
I'll parlay this to more common social situations, you're at a house party and you try to get a date, to cheat at getting a date a guy may lie about his job, that's a pretty big fib, a lesser one is his interests, what books he reads, and what people he knows. On the other side of a coin a woman may lie about her interests, or her availability (not saying men don't lie about being single, just bare with me) and that's cheating too.
Now to stop for a second and acknowledge what you already know, it's only cheating if you get caught, and this is true by default, not by any ethical standard, just like if you try to sell an item for more than it's worth, it's not stealing the person's money if they can afford to pay you that price.
But it's the consequences that matter most, if a good guy at heart who's unemployed lies to a woman about having a job and she finds out two months later he does not, the consequences may be the guy finds out the girl cares too much about money, if she leaves him, and if she doesn't, then no actual harm was done.
Now if a husband cheats on his wife, he's pissed on the marital arrangement now hasn't he?
If I cheat in a tennis match against a friend by calling clearly in balls out 80% of the time and get caught, I can laught it off, if I however get caught taking a stamina booster in a national tournament, then I'm a disgrace to the sport.
And rightfully so.
It was just a year ago that I found myself weighing 220lb, mostly fat on a 5"11 height frame. My weight stayed over 200lb until about March when I started to exercise like I hadn't in years. I weighed in at 170lb on the dot only a few weeks ago. Upping my muscle as well to 180 recently.
Meeting some people I hadn't seen in months I was complimented on my appearance and on some personal conversations asked if I had taken any steroids.
Now I laughed this off and said no, just a lot of vegetables and fruit, and no doritos since God knows when, also leaving the alcohol to special occasions.
But this just cemented society's perspective on steroids in modern day, I get the vibe that most people agree it's bad, but not that bad.
Having several friends who had taken steroids at one point of their lives, some that still do, cheating to get physically fit is becoming more and more socially accpetable, and that's a warning sign I cannot ignore.
Having heard a lot of boxers in the low ranks, and many athletes in general take steroids to build their muscular frame and then stop the drugs when they begin entering tournaments, that do mandatory testing.
This makes my ears burn every time, it seems steroids have gone from a horrible poison some lazy athletes take to get a short term physical high, to, do it as long as you're not getting tested.
What has happened?
And then it all goes back to social construct, people nowadays are more forgiving than ever, and yet safety comes first.
Growing up as a kid I was told to tell teachers if I saw a kid do anything bad, I never did, and throwing snowballs was not allowed as some kids might get hurt, so we did it all when the teachers weren't looking.
But let's get serious, nowadays a crime like rape is watered down and so hard to prove you almost need video evidence to land a guy in prison.
And how does this relate to sports? A pro athlete who fails a drug test mises a third of his season of play?
Yes, I did just make a reference to Manny Ramirez, but it goes far beyond that.
The NBA and NFL still don't have legitimate and continuous drug testing in place, and they should, and for any MLB fan who tries to excuse Clemens, Bonds or Rodriguez by the notion that "they only cheated for a few seasons and had already accomplished so much clean," I look down on you.
First of all, nobody knows how many seasons guys like Clemens or Rodriguez took steroids, because testing only came to light rather recently, it hasn't always been there, and just because a husband cheats on his wife once in a ten year marriage doesn't make him a mostly good husband.
Cheating is taking away credibility, not only from yourself as a person, but from the activity you are cheating in, be it exam time at University, a coach at your friend's place or on the court (choose one).
If cheating is ever forgiven in sport, then why should criminal law hold precedent over society? Because sports is just for entertainment? But aren't job just for buying shiny new trinkets?
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