“Winning”<<at this moment, a very large, very cynical part of me wants to associate “winning” more with Charlie Sheen than with some of the big “role models” and star “athletes” of this time period. Honestly, Sheen’s “tiger blood” seems more legit than these other jokers and their doped up bodies. Sheen isn’t exactly a traditional hero by most standards, but neither are these “athletes” tarnishing not only their own reputations but also of their sport. What happened to accepting that you weren’t good enough to make it in the bigs and letting guys who could hack it play? Why resort to cheating and making a fool of yourself, your sport, and in some cases your country? (Rhetorical question–I know money and fame are the obvious answers.)
Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, Jeremy Giambi, and many guys from that time may or may not have taken performance enhancing drugs during their prime, but so many players did and so many strong rumors exist that it has hurt far too many of these great and I think even the sport. (Remember how NOBODY from this era got picked up ball the Hall of Fame recently?) I grew up idolizing the guys of that time–wanting to be like them…being impressed by the bombs they hit up into the upper deck. Everybody on my team had a poster of at least one of those players back then and now many of us realize we idolized alleged cheaters .
Now rumors come out today that Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, and Gio Gonzalez allegedly have been hitting the performance enhancers after they witnessed first hand the chaos that these drugs cause. I’m holding out hope that they are innocent. I really truly am. I want to believe that their success (well, I can use success to refer to a few seasons ago in A-Rod’s case) was all their own. I want to believe in talent again without having to question it.
What happened to the notion of working hard? What about being talented or accepting that YOU AREN’T ATHLETE ENOUGH TO MAKE IT SO GO HOME?! Maybe it’s the whole “everybody gets a trophy” theory that’s ruining people these days? These “athletes” who are cheating in baseball, swimming, biking…whatever sport really are taking away valuable media time and playing time that should be spent on players that are genuinely good. I don’t know who really is cheating and I don’t believe in making unfounded allegations, but I do believe in staying so far away from trouble that nobody could ever associate you with it. Granted, nobody is an angel, but I think players should keep the game pure and keep their dirty deeds off the field. I’m not sure what it will take to bring a sense of purity back to sports, but I can only hope that fan reaction will be enough for now. Tiger blood, PEDs, blood doping…it all seems like a hot mess at this point that needs to come to an end. If I hear a Manning partakes in any cheating, I might have to give up sports for good.