Roger Clemens Fallout: Much Ado About Nothing

John McCloryAnalyst IJanuary 11, 2008

I used shake my finger at steroid abusers and accuse them of corrupting American sports.

After all, that's what the model fan does these days.

You know how it goes: Athlete A does everything by the book, Athlete B tests positive for 'roids—so the public embraces A and berates B.

But what does it all mean?

Excuse me if the following rant is convoluted and somewhat vague. How ironic that the Great Steroid Debate of the 21st Century is typically convoluted and vague. And how interesting that it usually ends as cloudy as it began.

Because it's all much ado about nothing.

A hefty number of viewers turned into 60 Minutes last Sunday, including yours truly. The 'Roid Rocket sat down with 104-year-old Mike Wallace to engage in a little chitchat.

Even Roger must've raised an eyebrow at the softballs he was being dealt.

Surprise, surprise—Wallace (a staunch fan of the Pinstripes) balked when he could've fired a few heaters. Roger set 'em up, and Wallace, well, aged before our very eyes.

But it warrants mentioning that the 60 Minutes sideshow achieved exactly what it set out to achieve: It entertained the hell out of America.

Move over Barry, there's a new sheriff in town...and he may or may not have injected his bum-bum.

Riveting cinema, indeed.

The Steroid Era has provided future grandparents with a plethora of grandchild-leg-bouncing material.

Grandpa: "Johnny, when I was your age, athletes used Performance Enhancing Drugs."

Johnny: "Performance Enhancing?  Oh, like Cialis?"

Grandpa: (long pause) "Yeah, pretty much."

Hopefully by then, we can all toss our heads back and chuckle at the absurdity of it all.

Is America collectively losing sleep over the war of words between Clemens and Brian McNamee?

Let's hope not.

But it is damn entertaining to watch both men aimlessly point fingers. McNamee and Clemens are acting like a couple of beer-guzzling college kids.

Picture them sitting in their dorm room watching reruns of Entourage when, suddenly, one rips a boisterous fart. Before they can cackle loudly, the hottie across the hall bursts into the room and asks to borrow some laundry detergent—and before she finishes her sentence, her nose begins to twitch at the foul aroma.

McNamee and Clemens—both deer in the headlights—plead their innocence vehemently and point fingers.

That's what this charade is all about—who can place the most convincing blame. In the end, fans we still be asking the same questions: Who did what and when?



Important to the social fabric of America?

Get serious.

We've been led to believe it's a life or death situation, though. After all, Washington D.C. All-Star, George Mitchell, is in charge of CSI Cooperstown and fully submerged in the shenanigans.

Good thing there isn't a war in the Middle East, or we'd really be in trouble.


Make no mistake, we have a right to know who's bending and breaking the rules. I'll admit, the Mitchell Report was a fascinating read—okay, only the part that named names.

But don't tell me you were legitimately offended that Glenallen Hill (gasp) and David Bell (gasp) were former juicers.

PED's were—and probably still are—common in most sports. Obviously, baseball was hit the hardest, but illegal use in football is likely more rampant.

To think all those late hits and locker room meltdowns may have been standard 'roid rage...

Excuse me while I shed a tear.

Veteran golfer Gary Player recently stated that nearly a dozen (to the best of his knowledge) golfers are making use of illegal substances. I want to be outraged that these substances have found their way to the PGA tour, but I can't muster the energy to care.

I mean, should I be shocked? What qualifies as surprising in this day in age?

The best part is, if there ends up being a PED outbreak in golf, another round of finger-pointing will inevitably ensue. And, as always, it will go absolutely nowhere.

Won't that be more fun than a barrel of needles?

The steroid debate has lost all meaning. We can't conclusively state that it has greatly affected our sports rooting lives. Let's lose this feeling of imaginary betrayal that we all have when Joe Schmo tests positive. If the use of PED's really hit us where it hurt, we would've boycotted sports well over a decade ago.

Like I said, it's much ado about nothing.