What An Opportunity

Heroes

In Sports on June 5, 2013 at 3:17 am

“Everyone talks about 755. No one really mentions 762.”

I was watching the Yankees-Indians game on Monday night. ESPN had the game and the Yankees played well. 7-4 win for the Bombers spurred on by Mark Texeira who sent a “tex message” (get it?) to the upper deck for a grand salami. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Yankees play well and get the win. Yet, it’s the words of the ESPN anchors that stuck in my head after the final out.

The conversation between the anchoring team inevitably touched on how well the Yankees have played with so many players on the disabled list. Eventually that conversation got to Alex Rodriguez, one of the multiple players on the D.L., and how his acknowledgement of using performance-enhancing drugs will probably eliminate his Hall-of-Fame potential. The anchors touched on how poorly Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Roger Clemens, and Barry Bonds performed on their Hall-of-Fame ballots and how this fared for the tainted history of baseball. “Everyone talks about 755. No one really mentions 762.”

There’s so much of me that wants to get into an argument weighing the pros and cons of these players’ careers. How everyone was using PEDs and how it was, more or less, a level playing field. How we can’t place morals on athletes. I mean, it’s not like the substances were banned. They were banned in writing but not enforced. I mean, if you steal something and nobody knows, did you steal? For me though, this is a loss of faith.

Faith is funny because we mostly think of religion. Rightly so but still…we think of religion. But deep down, I think most of us have someone we looked up to. Someone we put our faith in. We spend so much of life trying to figure ourselves out. Then someone comes along who kind of embodies what we want to be and we believe in her/him. Even if it’s not a direct comparison, we admire hard work, dedication, focus, etc. We want that. We see the best in others and that drives us to be the best of ourselves.

But what happens when the people we believe in repeatedly let us down? This is not a figment of humanity. This is not “I’m sorry and I will do all I can to your role model”. This is purposeful, calculated lying and cheating to gain an unfair advantage and circumvent established rules. We can argue the semantics of a level-playing field but isn’t there an inherent sense of wrong? What happened to that whole idea that if you ate your vegetables and listened to your elders, you would be a great athlete like him or her. You could do well in school and you could do well in the sports arena after school. What happened to that?

Look, I understand that everyone’s human. Sometimes I think our society views athletes as pillars of moral standing that embody all that is good. I mean, there are some that are…there are some that are not. I guess I’m just tired of being lied to. I’m tired of athletes saying they didn’t and then it comes out that they did. Then everyone’s backtracking, redacting, and can’t comment further on the topic.

This jaded cynicism doesn’t really do anything for me. I have my idols and those I believe in. I am learning everyday who is going to be there in the long run. Who I can really believe in. I do not thank them enough. However, I feel there is a generation of young children that will have a better knowledge of performance-enhancing drugs than any generation before them. This is probably the way of the world. The generations of the future live in a world that was only a dream for their descendants. Yet, I think this jaded cynicism robs a child of one of the most important notion of life: hope. pure, invincible hope.

These players lost faith in their ability. And in turn, I have lost my faith in them. I don’t think that broken bat is the only thing that is shattered forever in the minds of some young fans out there. Then again, I don’t know what the future brings. Maybe in 20 years, I will be watching ESPN and the anchors will mention an anecdote they have noticed:

“Everyone talks about 755. No one really mentions 762.”

 

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  1. The argument it wasn’t banned at the time, does work because it was always illegal.

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