Steroids + Sports = Sense
Posted by hilariousandhandsomesportsguys on March 25, 2010
Let us begin this journey with a story that may or may not be entirely fabricated:
Boogie aka “Boo” McSmigglesmuffin dominates the NFL today. Boo has continued the same routine since he entered the league several years ago. Boo wakes up to the piercing siren of his alarm clock and stumbles into his bathroom to take his morning pills. He tosses back a couple aspirin to help stop his throbbing headache from the alarm clock, swallows a Ritalin to off-set his attention deficit disorder, downs several anti-inflammatory pills to ease the pain of last week’s game and chews his gummy Flintstone’s vitamin. Boo’s diet is carefully planned by his personal dietician/chef that has implemented all of the latest advancements in nutrition to optimize his performance. Boo heads to practice, where he takes advantage of the team masseuse and the state-of-the-art oxygenation chamber to quicken his recovery time. The team trainer injects Boo’s knee and shoulder with cortisone to ease the pain he experiences from his past surgeries, which fully corrected devastating injuries. At practice, he has been given the best equipment that money can buy and he takes full advantage of it. After practice, Boo heads to the weight room where a trainer has developed the most cutting-edge training regimen available. Then, to wind down his day, Boo hits the showers with his protein shake in hand, where his buddy will inject him with growth hormone and anabolic steroids.
When did Boogie McSmigglesmuffin engage in improper performance enhancement?
a. Alarm Clock
d. Flintstone’s Vitamin
f. Masseuse/Oxygen Chamber
g. Modern Equipment
j. Weight Lifting
m. I have no freaking clue!
The Performance-enhancing drug (PED) debate in sports isn’t even a debate really. Overwhelmingly, people agree that PEDs should not be used in sports. PEDs make for a good news story though. They have ruined the careers of athletes, made them despised by the masses, and even wiped their names from the record books. PEDs are bad and everyone agrees – except me. In typical fashion, I’d like to know why. Why are PEDs, like HgH, pro-hormones, and steroids, the ugly, step-kid in sports. It’s obvious that lots of other things can, and do, enhance the performance of athletes. Modern advances in surgery, medicines, equipment, diet, and exercise all have the potential to enhance an athlete’s performance. So, why did these few drugs get singled out? Let’s look at the most common arguments against PEDs to see if they are really evil.
It’s All About The Kids:
Really? Does this even deserve a response? Yes, kids may see athletes using steroids and want to try them. Yes, kids, for some mysterious reason, make athletes their role-models. But just like Sir Charles told us – athletes aren’t role-models, and if they are your child’s role-model, then you got bigger problems then steroids to worry about with that kid. Athletes have far worse habits that they are teaching kids than getting big muscles. Tiger has taught kids how to pick-up skanks. Jordan and A-Rod gave us all an in-depth lesson on infidelity. MJ, Barkley and AI teach advanced courses in gambling addiction. Ben Roethlisberger teaches Trolling Bars 101, and we could actually put together a full-sized, course catalogue of hilarious, yet disturbing courses that athletes teach kids (Don’t steal this idea, it’s mine). Get ready to ban strip clubs, alcohol, and slutty girls from sports if it’s really all about the kids.
PEDs Are Illegal Dummy:
The problem with this argument is that most PEDs weren’t illegal until recently. In the early 2000s many of the athletes taking pro-hormones and HgH could have very well been taking them legally. Moreover, many PEDs can easily and legally be obtained by a doctor’s prescription. Even though they were legal, athletes that used them are being crucified by everyone. So this can’t be the real reason PEDs have become the bad guy.
My Mom Said PEDs Will KILL YOU:
Uhhhhh – No. Of course, if you hook yourself up to an I.V. of steroids like a WWE wrestler then yes you will probably kill yourself, but if you are binge-drinking cough syrup you will probably also kill yourself. So, the overdose argument doesn’t fly. Stick an absurd amount of anything in your body and bad stuff will happen.
The reality of the situation is that there are no medical studies that prove steroids cause long-term harm to users. None. Zero. Not one. PEDs have been around for decades and demonized the entire time, yet none of the tests have ever shown steroids to explode hearts, cause cancer, spark spontaneous combustion, or any of the other rumors that your grandmother has told you.
Now side-effects, yes, there are definitely short term side-effects, but every drug has an immediate risk with their use. Let’s look at those side-effects:
Depression, mood swings, heart palpitations, loose bowel syndrome, loss of libido, blood clotting, cataracts, Hypertension and Osteoporosis
Oh wait, that was birth control pills. Sorry about that. Here they are:
Ulcers, micro-bleeding, stroke, vomiting, nausea, asthma
No, no, my mistake that was Aspirin. Here they are for real:
Acne, mood swings, liver problems, gynocamastia aka man boobs, virilization, stunted growth, temporary sterility
Clearly, every drug has side-effects. Just like any other drug, these side-effects can be minimized by proper administration by a doctor. The user accepts the risks because the benefits of using the drug outweigh the potential problems. If someone wants to be stronger, faster and recover from injury quicker, then PEDs offer incredible benefits. Well then, if PEDs don’t kill you, unless you OD on them, and PEDs don’t cause long term damage when properly taken, then why are we singling them out in sports? It shouldn’t be health concerns.
It Makes Your Muscles Big – Artificially:
Lots of things make your muscles big. Protein Powder makes your muscles big. Eating more can make your muscles big. Lifting weights make your muscles big. Exercise makes your muscles big. Yeah, PEDs help immensely, but you could drink steroids out of a gallon jug and nothing would happen without hard work. The point is that there is a whole host of supplements, exercise techniques, and dietary regimens that also help increase athletic potential artificially, and they are not banned. So it can’t be our answer.
PEDs Just Aren’t Fair:
This seems to be the biggie. “It’s cheating.” Everyone loves to preach about fairness anytime the PED discussion pops up. It usually comes in two parts. First, PEDs are unfair to all the legends of the game because the records become meaningless, and second, PEDs are unfair to current players because they will have to use them to stay competitive. Let’s look at them one at a time.
Fairness to the record books is a complete joke. The record books were soiled years ago, and it is truly impossible to legitimately compare modern records with the past. Rules have drastically changed. The fields and courts have changed. Modern equipment gives today’s athlete more of an advantage than any drug could ever dream of delivering. Claiming that Barry Bonds ruined Hank Aaron’s homerun record because of steroid use *cough* – excuse me – alleged steroid use may be overlooking several other contributing factors. I’m sure smaller fields, watered-down pitching staffs, lower mounds, superior bats, modern balls, smaller strike zones, and technologically advanced scouting reports had nothing to do with more homeruns. Naaahhh, it was all his big biceps.
Babe Ruth thought alcohol, hotdogs and sex was the pinnacle of athletic training. Today, a team of dieticians and trainers make sure athletes’ bodies can perform at optimal levels. Just a few decades back, a blown knee or torn shoulder signaled the end of a career. However, the modern athlete is practically a cyborg by the end of their career. They have surgeries that not only save their careers from ending, but extend them and allow them to perform far beyond what the body could natural do on its own. If anyone ever tries to make the “unfair to the records” argument, please laugh in their face.
That leaves fairness to current players as the only possible reason that PEDs have become the super-villain in sports today. Is it really unfair to athletes’ peers though? Athletes like John Kruk think it is completely unfair that some athletes took advantage of PEDs benefits, while guys like him were afraid of the side-effects. Really? You don’t think putting down the beer and mixing in a salad would have helped you out any? Maybe a trip to the weight room and a few minutes on the treadmill would have helped a little too, right? But while some athletes were taking advantage of those performance enhancers, you were also afraid of their side-effects – namely, sweat, discipline, hard-work, soreness.
PEDs aren’t magic. The athletes taking PEDs have to bust their tails in the gym to see results. They just offer a very useful benefit to athletes at the cost of some side-effects, but this is the case with anything. Is it unfair if one guy practices longer than another or spends more time watching game film? Guys going home early could argue they are being cheated. They want to spend more time with their families and their home life will be ruined if they work as much as someone else. Well, that is a benefit-risk situation that you have to weigh. It’s not cheating though. Some guys may live in the weight room and consume tubs of protein powder. It’s not cheating just because you don’t like getting sore or are afraid of injuring yourself in the squat rack. You decided that the positives of difficult training didn’t outweigh the negatives that come with it. Having a surgery to continue playing a sport involves monumental risks, but this is not cheating. In the same way, I struggle to see how the risks involved with PED use are so dangerous that it scares people into being lesser athletes.
So when did Boogie McSmigglesmuffin cross the line into improper performance enhancement? Are there stronger arguments against PEDs that I missed?