A lot has been made of “shocking” new revelations about Barry Bonds’s “alleged” steroid use. Should his records be stricken from the books, or have an asterisk put by them? ShouldSelig investigate? Should Bonds, if guilty as charged, be banned from baseball like Pete Rose? What about Rafael Palmeiro, who flat-out lied to Congress about his steroid use? What about Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa? And so on and so on.

Who cares? Why should Congress waste even a second investigating steroid use? Aren’t there a bazillion other more important things they could be doing? Why should the pro leagues go to the trouble of categorizing and screening for performance enhancers? Why invite the controversy, the lying, the arguments with the players’ unions, the cheating on the drug tests?

Legislatures and sports leagues ban certain performance enhancers for two reasons: they create unfair advantages for those who use them over those who don’t, and these drugs present great risks to the users’ health–as well as the health of younger athletes who might juice up to imiate their heroes.

I have a proposal which addresses both concerns.

Phase One: Eliminate the problem of the “unfair” advantage by permitting professional athletes to use any type of performance-enhancing drug as long as the taking of the drug is video-recorded. If you want to use them to gain an edge, feel free—because now, everyone can.

Phase Two: All professional athletes must submit to annual physical examinations for the rest of their lives–and these physicals would also be video-recorded. Think Lyle Alzado’s last days.

Phase Three: Using the most disgusting and disturbing footage from Phases One and Two, create a series of videos to show the effects of steroid use. Update these videos annually. All professional and amateur athletes would be required to watch these videos. These videos would also be broadcast as public service announcements during sporting events, would be available online at JuicingUp.com, and would be programmed into every sports video game.

No more drug-testing. No more lying. No more Congressional investigations. No more unethical “looking the other way” when a popular athlete is suspected of or caught using banned substances. If you want to use them, fine, but be aware of the risks. My proposal saves time and trouble, and would probably be more convincing than current efforts to dissuade steroid use.

Right now, kids see athletes bulking up, running faster, setting records, making headlines, and earning millions every day on TV and in video games, but they rarely see any vivid images of the downside of performance-enhancing drugs. However, if you tell them their chances of becoming a pro athlete in the first place, show them the injections, pill-popping, and other potentially revolting methods of taking steroids, cross-cut with the rotting, withered, shriveling… bodies of sick or dying athletes who juiced up, then kids will have a better basis for answering questions like this:

“Would you rather hit 756 home runs or a have normal, functioning… body?”

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 16th, 2006 at 9:09 PM.

2 Responses to “‘Roids.”

  1. aabrock Says:
    March 16th, 2006 at 9:44 PM

I imagine (unfortunately) that the answer to your question for a lot of young kid would be the former, just due to the “invincibility factor”. I mean don’t kids see videos in high school of graphic car accidents and cancer-ridden lungs? But they still drive too fast, drink and drive, and smoke…

But in the parallel universe where your idea is adopted and players are open about their steroid use, I would watch just to see the extra stat for each player at bat:
Batting Avg: .345
HR: 45
RBI: 123
Steroid : Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone

  1. Vincent Viscariello Says:
    March 16th, 2006 at 9:52 PM

Yes, after seeing videos of car accidents and black lungs people still drink & drive and smoke, but do people drink & drive or smoke less often than they would if they hadn’t seen those videos? In other words, would it be even worse without the videos?

Can you imagine a world where five-year olds are drinking, smoking, and driving while injecting andro? Obviously, Aabrock can not only imagine such things–he endorses them. I oppose drinking, smoking, driving, steroids, and five-year olds. The choice is clear. My name is Vincent Viscariello and I approve this message.