From today's Times and News-Star
Some people get all the breaks.
And all the headlines.
The rest of us, The Great Unwashed, motor along, breaking the rules, and nobody even notices.
My feelings always get hurt when the sports news is about steroids or “performance enhancing drugs,” which are called PEDs, which we, back in childhood, called PB&Js. If we really needed a boost, we’d eat a whole one. But a foldover would at least get you over the hill.
(I was a strawberry man, preferably preserves instead of jelly. Still am. I still look for the tiny strawberry packets on the table at breakfast restaurants but often have to settle for grape. Life’s no picnic, I tell you.)
For years now I have been on PEDs. Besides PB&J, which was really just a starter kit for the hard stuff, I have advanced to testosterone, Primobolan, cortisone, creatine, castor oil, broccoli and anabolic steroids by the bucket load. You name it and I’ve swallowed it, inhaled it, injected it, or rubbed it in. My buttocks and biceps know every needle within a 100-miles radius by heart, for lack of a better term.
I have used every banned substance (or B.S.) in the book, and would have used some more if I could have gotten my grimy, stingy, greedy little hands on them.
And what do I get for my troubles? Zip. No one even asks to TEST me. What, my urine’s not good enough for The System? I can’t get a test, much less a conviction.
Is my performance that bad? Apparently, the answer is yes. But this is not the same for everyone, as the sports headlines blare. This week, baseball banished a boatload of players for the remainder of the season for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. (Is it just me, or do you think it’s funny that a drug agreement has the world “joint” in it? Redundant, no?)
PEDs worked for them – too well, apparently.
It is a sad day when we start taking a hard-line stance against people who are just in it for themselves, willing to cheat to get a little advantage. Sure, if I get caught it’ll hurt my teammates. But who cares about team? It’s the new millennium. Is TEAM the American Way? HA!
Take your Alex Rodriguez. A star when he was young -- now a very elderly 38 in baseball years -- and he has cheated as if there’s no tomorrow, which there is for him, but only because of the appeal process. Baseball wishes he were as gone as flannel uniforms. He’s lied and cheated so much that even the liars and cheaters of the world are starting to grow tired of him. Others, like me, are just jealous. I aspire to be a spoiled rich kid of 38 and, right now, it does not look like it’s gonna happen. At least he gives me something to shoot for!
Speaking of spoiled rich kids, you can’t breathe air without hearing about Johnny Manziel, Heisman Winner, college student, oil-money rich and controversy magnet. And – gulp -- won’t turn 21 until December. He’s not the first Heisman winner to fumble – Hello, O.J.!– but he’s the first under-aged one to do it with maddening consistency in the new Social Media world. The world changes, same as football rules do. We follow them or suffer the consequences. Hello, Johnny!
The world changes. The only thing that doesn’t is human nature: spoiled kids still come in all ages, and great teammates are hard to find.
Anybody got an extra foldover?