Drug Testing in sports has been a topic I’ve been discussing since the early 90’s. One of only 2 segments of my standup act that has survived from the beginning and my thoughts on our misguided priorities on drug testing is one of them. While the clip I have here is an evolved version of the original, the same theme is there. (Let me also note that I tried it both ways, and I early on discovered to say I was a fan of the team that most people in the audience rooted for. Otherwise, there is booing, the audience gets distracted, and I lose momentum. The performance took place in Chicago. Figure it out.)
I’ve discussed my specific feelings about baseball and steroids many times when I was at the Juice Blog. For those of you that haven’t read those offerings, here it is again. If it happened before drug testing for steroids was instituted, I don’t have any problem with players who used PED’s. Actually, I question players who didn’t, as being the best player should be your ultimate fucking quest.
Now do I think steroids are a good thing? Not generally, but since the players weren’t being tested and at the same time them knowing that a sizable percentage of their peers were using, I really wonder why almost every player didn’t give them a try. Now I would have had major respect for a non-user of PED’s coming out in the press to push the issue with the union and the owners, but with few exceptions the discussion of the topic was the 800 pound gorilla in the room for MLB.
So now we come to Alex Rodriguez. I always figured he was someone who could have used, as his physical size
was great. Add in that he seems to be attracted to women who might be PED users and it just seemed to fit his MO. I’m just really tired of the whole gotcha game that the press and the courts have played with baseball on the subject. Pro basketball players weren’t tested for steroids until 1999 and I can think of no team sport where using steroids would have helped more. Look at the players physical growth in the nineties. What about the size jumps by players like Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, etc.? Once again, I don’t care if they used either, but why is it that everyone wants to play a gotcha game with baseball, while ignoring basketball and football? It comes down to homeruns. Well, just like with Barry Bonds, I judge a player first and foremost, against the players of his generation. ARod is the best player I’ve ever seen. He should be a first-ballot guy, just like other players with questionable backgrounds who made it like Ty Cobb, Mickey Mantle, etc.
By the way, if you want to read the best recent article on what is going on in the PED field, check out my former writing partner and the guy to read when the topic of sports medicine is discussed, Will Carroll at Baseball Prospectus. Here is the link to a story he did with one of the leading figures in the steroid field, a cat who goes by the moniker, Dr. X. I will just include this one exchange that really describes why I think most fans are complete hypocrites on the issue.
Will: McGwire may not be here to talk about the past, and while we may never know about his usage, theories abound. I wanted to test one of mine. “I’ve always been convinced that McGwire started using not to get big, and certainly not as early as what Canseco said, but to try and recover from the plantar fasciitis.”
He (Dr. X) didn’t hesitate. “Wouldn’t you? People want athletes to be noble and fall on their swords instead of taking drugs and getting over injuries, yet they take their Lipitor and Viagra to get over whatever ails them. Sports is the only job in the world where you’re denied access to medication that can help you recover from job-related injuries. Yet somehow, cortisone shots are noble. Schilling gets a cortisone shot, plays through the pain, and is a hero.”
Now let me get to Michael Phelps. I can get that an advertiser like Kellogg’s would dump him, as the company is trying to sell their crack cereal to kids. Let’s go down the list of the pure fucking sugar cane in a box that the cereal people offer.
- Apple Jacks
- Coco Crispies
- Corn Pops
- Fruit Loops
- Frosted Flakes
- Honey Smacks (formerly sugar smacks)
Now, which do you think is more damaging to our society. Sugar filled cereal or pot? I’ve gotta give my vote for Kellogg’s being the biggest pusher. Here is what Consumer Reports found when they looked at popular breakfast cereals.
There is at least as much sugar in a serving of Kellogg’s Honey Smacks and 10 other rated cereals as there is in a glazed doughnut from Dunkin’ Donuts. Two cereals, Kellogg’s Honey Smacks and Post Golden Crisp, are more than 50 percent sugar (by weight) and nine are at least 40 percent sugar.
Remember this is one serving, as most kids eat 3 or 4 servings per sitdown. The shit they are serving is lethal. Don’t you think they know, I mean Smack is in the motherfucking title. Have you seen the average 2nd grader walking into school in the morning? Most of these little fuckers are wired up like Andy Dick at a celebrity roast. Easy on the Count Chocula, Mom and Dad, and your little tweakin’ vampire wouldn’t have as much need for his ADD meds.
Once again we miss the bigger issue. Michael Phelps, who is arguably the greatest Olympic athlete of all-time, was able to have this type of success, even though he likes to take a tug off the weedstick every once in awhile. I mean how long are we going to be castigating people who smoke weed? Barcack Fucking Obama admitted he was a fan for awhile and he is President Mack Daddy now, so the whole concept that it clouds your mind and keeps you from achieving anything should be old news. Since I’m not a fan of inhaling smoke, I’ve only inhaled pot about 20 times in my life, but I completely understand it’s charms. And don’t give me the gateway drug excuse. Ask any pothead if they drank booze before they did pot and almost without exception they will tell you they did. Anything can be a gateway drug to someone with an addictive personality.
Finally, let me say I think Subway is making a big fucking mistake in dropping Phelps. They should publicly point out their disappointment with him, have Mike apologize and let it go. By doing this they would gain goodwill among all the pot smokers in America. They are an important consumer, as potheads are big players in helping fast food companies bottom line. Have you heard the term MUNCHIES. Fuck man, those White Macademia Nut cookies make my mouth water like ARod at a Ms. Olympia Competition.
One of the 10 best rock songs of this decade was the Von Bondies C’mon. Well after a long absence, they have a new record which features their Hoodoo Gurus with a Motor City sound.