“I hit the city and I lost my band
I watched the needle take another man
Gone, gone, the damage done.”
Neil Young- “The Needle and the Damage Done”
Add “Sugar” Shane Mosely to the growing list of athletes who allegedly supplemented hard work and countless hours in the gym with more ‘scientific’ training methods designed to improve his performance.
For those keeping score at home we’ve recently had boxers, wrestlers, football players, track and field athletes (pause for breath), cyclists, swimmers, weightlifters and pretty much every Major League ballplayer except for the Twins Nick Punto accused of, or proven to be, using performance enhancing drugs to get an edge on the competition. Now, how there is a competitive advantage when everyone in sports except batboys and cheerleaders are doping is a discussion for another time.
To be fair, I’m sure not all athletes are injecting steroids or HGH or rubbing ‘the clear’ and ‘the cream’ on their bodies. But you know what? I don’t care if they are.
I couldn’t care less if they all become medically enhanced super-humans.
There is simply no way this ‘cycle’ of doping is going to end. Not when there is no universal method to test for performance enhancers and not when there is no universal punishment for those caught cheating. Between organizations that fostered the environment for cheaters and users (baseball) to organizations that are so splintered, shady and fractured that they can’t agree unanimously on champions and contenders (boxing), what hope is there for sports organizations to come together to acknowledge the issues, develop appropriate testing and agree on punitive measures?
So open the doors and let them all use. Let’s see the merging of natural human ability and scientific knowledge come together to increase speed, strength and performance all the way around. Why should we care whether there are long term repercussions for the health and well being of these athletes? Why should any organization purport to care at all for these athletes when these athletes clearly don’t care about themselves?
Besides, what right do many of us have to question what these athletes put into their bodies as we sit there game after game chasing down trans-fatty cheese products with alcohol based beverages, breaking only to go have a smoke or throw another dip between our cheek and gum?
I pay good money to go down to The Jake and to Browns Stadium to watch borderline criminals play already at this point. On Sunday I got to watch Ray Lewis and Jamal Lewis and Eric Steinbach do battle. All of these guys have had run-ins with the law in the past few years and one of them spent a recent off-season in prison. I may also have a chance to catch Barry Bonds’ last game as a Giant if I get home in time. Why not allow me my ultimate money’s worth? Let these guys inject whatever they want into their bodies and give me a show. Let me see collisions between Lewis and Lewis that would make a traffic cop cringe. Let me see a pitcher throwing 112mph fastballs and let me watch Bonds hit that pitch 630 feet into McCovey Cove.
We don’t know if what we’re seeing now is real. Bring us some clarity.
I don’t care what happens to these guys after they’re done playing their respective sports and they retire to live out the remaining 12 years of their drug-shortened lives. Especially if they’re willing to not care.
I have no problem with Barry Bonds disappearing forever right now, much less in a few years when he’s not hitting baseballs out of ballparks across America.
‘That’s not a very socially redeeming outlook’. You might say. ‘What about his quality of life, his health and his family’?
Let’s be honest. If Barry Bonds’ life is shortened by three years, what have we truly lost? What if it’s 10 years or 20 years he’s taking off his life? Is allowing Bonds to freely to inject whatever he cares to put into his body going to make him more surly or miserable as he ages? Will it make him even more bitter and unpleasant? Are we losing years off his life when he turns his time and attention to medicine or to science? His one redeeming quality in life is his ability to hit a baseball. His family hasn’t seen him for years when you take into account the time he spends away for spring training, road trips and dalliances with women who are not his wife.
Where’s Bill Romanowski today? What’s he doing? Is he healthy and happy and spending quality time with his family? Anybody care? How about Lyle Alzado? Do you miss him and think about him on Sundays when you’ve got a dime on St. Louis getting 3 points? Me neither.
Shane Mosely hits people for a living. Aside from that contribution to society, I’m not sure what other redeeming qualities Mosely has exhibited. Let him load up. Let him hit people harder and let him be fresher in the late rounds so we ensure ourselves action when other guys would be slowing down. I guess to be fair we should also be sure to give his opponent access to the same drugs Mosely pours into his body. We certainly don’t want to make a mockery of things or give an appearance of impropriety in boxing. Imagine sitting in the arena at the MGM Grand or watching the PPV broadcast at home and seeing two guys who look like they starred in “300” throwing bombs at each other all night. The loser gets carried out on his shield and buried at a Don King-owned burial ground for a nominal amount of cash.
‘But what about the kids and the well-being of future generations?’
If your kids and the majority of children in this country are emulating Barry Bonds, Marion Jones, Jason Giambi and Bill Romanowski then they’re already lost. And so are we. If those kids aren’t being talked to by their parents and their teachers about honor and discipline and health and making the right choices in life and instead are picking out the dopers and the cheaters to emulate then what’s the difference whether we take it to the next level, legalize everything and watch the fireworks? At least they won’t be worshiping cheaters and liars. They’ll watch these guys die off prematurely and maybe common sense and survival instincts will cause them to rethink the situation.
There’s absolutely no control or order now. Let’s stop the charade and throw open the doors to a new era in American sports. We’re so close right now. A lot of people worked very hard to develop these synthetic chemicals athletes are using to shave a hundredth of a second off their 100m time. A lot of people spent a lot of time and a lot of money to develop procedures to increase healthy red blood cells that athletes are using to increase their dead-lift by 10lbs.
I’m told there are even legitimate medical uses for a lot of these products. Think of what we might develop as a by-product of increasing Marion Jones’ hurdling ability.