Thursday, March 24, 2005

I think every young boy or girl with a ball in their hands dreams of being one of their sports heroes.

When I was this boy�s age, it was pre-game ritual to argue over who got to be Magic Johnson. Eventually, when in high school, I was shocked to find out that my boyhood hero had contracted HIV through extra-marital affairs.

I was surprised for so many reasons. Magic always seemed to me to be a great guy. During interviews, he was articulate and always wore a huge smile.

How many kids on the playground had the same disappointment when the Kobe Bryant case came about? It�s hard for a young person to realize his superhuman heroes are actually human and make mistakes.

Then there is the steroid issue plaguing baseball.

To me, this is a whole lot worse. It�s one thing to realize athletes are people and when they aren�t doing unreal acts of athleticism in the sports arena, they are like anybody else with skeletons in their closets.

But here is the problem. Those unreal acts of athleticism in baseball were exactly that: unreal.


Didn�t happen.

We are learning that sheer athleticism alone did not break so many recent records. It�s becoming apparent that McGuire broke Maris� single-season home run record by cheating. After that, Bonds broke McGuire�s record by cheating.

What kind of message are we sending our kids if these records are allowed to stand?

�It�s wrong to cheat, but the rewards are worth it.�

When Ben Johnson became the fastest man to ever run the 100m in the Seoul Olympics, his gold was taken away, and his record was not recorded after news broke that he was a steroid user.

That is exactly what should happen in baseball if it becomes proven that these players used steroids when accomplishing their �amazing� feats. These guys not only broke the rules, they cheated every other clean athlete who was second place in the MVP balloting. They cheated everybody who filled their stadiums to watch them play.

They cheated every child on a schoolyard somewhere pretending to be them.

Thanks for reading!


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