EXPECTING LIFE

Thursday, September 29, 2005

THIS IS WHAT

we are paying congress for? To hold a hearing on steroid use in sports is, at best, ok. I understand children are starting to use steroids, and instead of blaming parents, we should blame sports stars. They are the ones who take the kids to the mall to buy the stuff, and they are the ones who pay for it. Certainly, we can all agree that parents should not be blamed for their kids actions. What do people think: the parents are supposed to guide the actions of the kids? Stupid. Actors, musicians, and sports figures do that.

But seriously, cleaning up our national pastimes is a good idea. I am not sure how important it is for congress to get involved, but if they must. IF THEY MUST. At least they should be going about it the right way.

Sen. George Allen, R-Va., made a not-so-veiled reference to Bonds, who has denied using steroids: "As far as Hank Aaron is concerned, if a certain player breaks his home run record, it's not a question of an asterisk. ... There probably ought to be an 'RX' next to it."

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? What in the hell happened to due process? Is Bonds taking steroids? I don't know. The truth is, no one except Barry Bonds knows. The guy has NEVER ONCE tested positive for any banned substance. Not once. They indict him because, over the past 8 years, he has gained 70 lbs, mostly of muscle. Do the math on that. Less than ten pounds a year, or less than one pound a month, of muscle mass added. Balley's Fitness promises better results. They say it is because he is over 40 and hitting home runs. Karl Malone, who is a physical monster, got better and better as he aged, posting his best numbers late in his career. He also lowered his body fat each and every year he was in the league, including the two years he was over 40.

Somehow, the rules are different in baseball. Forget that Maris, and Ruth and Aaron before him, was on all sorts of illegal substances, had to play less games, farther apart, against slower balls with harder bats, and none of them but Maris played at night. Forget that technology is keeping people healthier and safer longer, allowing them to play more full careers and be more effective until they are past middle age. Forget that science and healing has started to catch up with potential. This guy MUST be on juice. There is no other answer, right?

The truth is, this is all because Bonds stands to break Hank Aaron's home run record. Remember the asterisk for Roger Maris? This is the exact same thing. This is the last of the hitting records to fall, and "purists" don't want to see it go. Even though it is good for baseball, and records, for this and every other damned thing to be broken. And they don't want to see it go to a guy who HATES the media. He isn't America's sweetheart. Sound familiar? Sounds like Maris to me, too.

But Malone was set to break the all time scoring record in basketball, and no one cared. Kareem Abdul Jabaar didn't go to a congressional hearing to say he thought the mailman was on the juice. Why?

Perhaps the reason here is that the same people who hold on to baseball as America's pastime (when statistics prove it is, and has been, football) are the same old farts we have running our country. The same who think that public opinion stands as law. The same who think the FCC is the rule, and free speech the exception. The same who want us to hold on to old fashioned "values" of do but don't talk about it, talk, but don't listen, and listen only to me.

They need to learn a lesson from their past, when they were the young fans of a sport threatened to be torn apart by the then old farts, who didn't want to see some dumb average joe break babe ruth's record, and ended up making a mockery of the record books for thirty years. They need to be aware that baseball has barely survived the last few controversies, and the strike before that, and that people will only care about this until they stop talking about it. They need to know that the records are what keep the people going, and that the fans are only (sometimes literally) in the stands for Barry Bonds.

They need to be kissing this guys ass, not trying to kick it out of baseball.

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