Archive for the ‘Mark McGwire’ Category

Do You Care About The Juice?

February 10, 2009

No, for once, this isn’t about Orenthal James Simpson.

I mean A-Rod and Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds. I mean Chris Benoit and Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior. I mean Mike Webster and Lyle Alzado.

As sports fans, I’d hope we’re all way past the point of giving athletes–on any level–the benefit of the doubt anymore when it comes to the use of performance-enhancing drugs. I mean, here we had arguably the greatest baseball player of my generation up on ESPN this afternoon confirming a news report–as well as our long-held suspicions–that he was all ‘roided up. Yet, to Homerism, the most striking part of the interview was that I was more interested in seeing how A-Rod handled Peter Gammons’ questions than I was stupefied by his juice-y admissions.

But all of this goes college football, too. We hear stories about former Ohio State Buckeye Alex Boone hulking out and ex-Oklahoma Sooner Dusty Dvoracek beating the tar out of his supposed friend. Are we really supposed to believe these behemoths are just drunk, or maybe having a bad day?

The dirty secret of steroids in baseball has always been that we just don’t care. Oh, I mean, we say we care about people cheating. And we certainly enjoy calling out synthetic prima donnas like A-Rod and straight-up assholes like Barry Bonds for brazenly defying our standards of fair play, even when the de facto rules have changed.
But, we also know that chicks dig the long ball. I don’t think I’m the first to asset that “Baseball” turned a blind eye to swelling heads and tape-measure shots in the name of getting fans back in the seats in the mid-’90s. And Homerism doesn’t think he was alone in scrambling to find a TV when he heard Sosa and McGwire were up to bat.

Chicks dig the long bomb, too, though. As college football fans, we love our team’s players. What we love even more, however, is watching them perform at the highest levels of their abilities. And when do we love them the most? When they’re winning. 
If performance-enhancing drugs are as prevalent in college football as they are in professional baseball–and Homerism’s completely unscientific opinion is that they are–do we even care? Do we want to trade 4.4s for 4.6s? How about measuring arm strength in 17-yard outs, instead of 20? Conference titles for clean “student athletes?”
Sounds kinda boring to me.
(Homerism would love to hear his reader’s thoughts on the subject.)