Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Steroids ands Sports

I try to keep this blog centered on religion, but I do sometimes comment on sports. I have an ongoing fascination with the media frenzy over professional sports players and steroids. Congress even had that spectacle earlier in the year where several major league baseball players came and testified. Of course, you have probably heard all this. Mark McGuire pleaded the 5th. While I think it is obvious that McGuire took steroids (look at pictures of him in his first major league season and then pictures about 2 to 3 years later-it ain't na'tral), McGuire got a lot of bad press for pleading the 5th. Personally, my opinion of McGuire actually went up after that because McGuire at least had the decency to plead the 5th, which is his right, and not look those senators in the eye and lie to their faces [cough]Raphael Palmeiro[cough].

Not that I am defending steroid use...I certainly am not. As a former coach of various sports, I think if professional sports are serious about getting rid of it, I say a Zero Tolerance policy will do it. You get caught, you are out of the game. forever. period. But that's a separate issue. What does interest me in this whole debate is the collective hand wringing the media and various people do about steroids and "our children." Nothing can whip the media into a frenzy quicker than anything to do with children.

I see this as a tempest in a teapot, honestly. I can say, speaking from my experiences as a coach, that steroid use is the logical conclusion to the culture of rabid sports fans and "win at all costs" philosophy. I can tell you some horror stories of stuff I have heard fans yell at players on the field or in the ring. I find it interesting that we do not have more of that NBA player running into the stands and going ballistic more often. There are a lot of good players and fans who are honest and play for the love of the game. But quite honestly, I think a majority of sports fans want two things: they want to win and they want to see the big play (500+ foot homerun, 50 yard touchdown pass, whatever). If the only way we can win or make the ESPN play of the week is through perfomance enhancing drugs, in this sports culture, the ends justify the means for a majority of fans and some players and coaches, especially if no one "gets hurt." Hear no evil, see no evil. Until this attitude changes, I do not see a lot of people taking the steroid problem seriously.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled Archer programming...


Susie said...

good comments, archer. i've been waiting for the tempest ever since steroids came up in the State of the Union address a couple years ago and my guy Tom Brady was there as a "special guest" so the camera could focus on him while the President talked about steroids in sports... it just seemed out of place for a speech as big as the State of the Union.

BrotherBeal said...

I agree - zero tolerance is a perfect solution that would send a powerful message. Give everyone a week or so to come forward, and after that if you're caught you're out. I'm especially tired of baseball allowing its players to run its reputation through the mud whether by lying, offering questionable testimony or even stonewalling on the issue. As the last professional sport I feel is worth watching, MLB is certainly not doing much to keep itself clean.