Friday, March 18, 2005

Roid Rage

All over the news everywhere is footage of the congressional hearings about steroids. I have a lot to say about this. And you have a lot to read.

The first question I asked myself is "why are the feds involved?" After thinking a while I have come up with three likely explanations.
1) Either the illegal drugs were transported across state lines, making it a federal issue.
2) All illegal drug activity is a federal crime (Sorry, not up on my drug possession and trafficking laws)
3) Big shot politicians want to look good grilling celebrity baseball players on national TV.

Anyone who has watched the hearings or even the highlights has seen what a colossal waste of time and money it is for everyone. It works like this: congressman chastises player, player denies using steroids, repeat for each witness. Oh sure, Sosa, you never used 'roids - and I'm Shaquille O' Neal.

After trying to sort out the "why" question above, I have been tumbling around the "who cares" question in my head for a while. Baseball is a business like any other. Their object is profit and putting butts in the seats. Certainly Major League Baseball doesn't care if their players are on the next wonderdrug - as long as it sells tickets.

Next time you are at a game look around. Does anyone really care that the players are on 'roids? Doesn't seem so. Most baseball fans, I assume, are like me - we go to the game to relax, have some good food and a few beers and be with friends. Socializing. Like a bar, except with fresh air and a game going on. Sure, there are some that are interested in the purity of the sport and keep score and are concerned about the records and so on. But I think that is the vast minority.

And what about football? You think a lot of baseball players take 'roids? Check out the behemoths playing in the NFL. Absolutely no one cares about that.

So if Major League Baseball doesn't care and the NFL doesn't care and the fans don't care, who cares? I care for the one reason below.

If the drugs are illegal, it is nice to see some celebrity athletes get prosecuted as an example for youngsters. I hope lots of kids will see some of the athletes go to jail and will, as a result, not make that deal with the devil - trading their future health for a small amount of present success on the diamond, court or field.

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