This post won’t go down as my funniest, but I still think that you should read it.
With the MLB season just starting up and Clemens once again taking the stand, echoes of past steroid conversations bounced around my brain and brought up some old feelings. I started out trying to write a silly take on the Clemens trial, but as I wrote, more than that started pouring out… I couldn’t fight it. This is what I ended up with. One man’s humble take on the current state of Major League Baseball.
With all of the steroids controversy in baseball over the years, sports fans have been forced to expand their knowledge of legal terms, for better or worse.
The separation of church and state is one of the staples of American culture. Maybe we need to institute the separation of sports and state. Hear me out.
Sports are great on their own. They give us something to care about. They make every day of the week more than just another day of the week. They transcend the barriers of age, language and gender. They evoke emotions that only those we love closest can tap into. They unite us all, once strangers, under a single banner of fandom. “I don’t know you, sir, but for the next three hours we are brothers in arms. We are united for reasons bigger than ourselves. We. Are. Fans.”
So, after that inspiring speech about the majesty of sport, we have to talk about how professional sports, specifically Major League Baseball, have lost their way and betrayed those of us who’ve invested so much of ourselves into them.
The goal of the athlete is to be the best. To win. It’s a pure desire in and of itself. It’s the natural instinct of every human being to be the best they can, but we’ve perverted this nature. The gods of money and power have injected their venom into a pure idea, and our stadiums and our athletes and our fans have suffered.
I say we cut out all of the BS. Let’s stop elevating our athletes to demigod status. Let’s revere them for the right reasons, and not let a dollar amount be what defines players as great. Let’s save the term “star” for the hollywood types and stop caring what grade Mark Sanchez’s girlfriend is in and what god Tebow believes in.
Let’s let them be athletes. And if they cheat to get ahead, let’s let them settle it amongst themselves like the tribes of old. Let order be maintained by members of the tribe, not by the people who write fat checks from their summer homes in the Hamptons. They don’t know what it’s like inside the dugout and the clubhouse after a tough loss. They don’t deserve the right to dictate tribal law.
I don’t care if Roger Clemens did steroids. To be honest, he had to, to keep the game fair. It was a glitch in the system, not in the individual character of certain athletes. They had no real choice. Let’s take some of the responsibility ourselves too. Our insatiable appetite for victory was fuel for the fire. It’s good to have your team lose sometimes. It makes the wins all the more sweet. You appreciate victory more when you’ve tasted the bitterness of defeat.
If Clemens lied under oath, that’s between him and the court. But as far as whether or not he used steroids… let’s stop taking it so personally. He doesn’t owe us anything. He was just trying to do his job the best he could in a system that only gets self-righteous when the press cameras are rolling.
If anything, we should praise him for throwing that broken bat at Piazza.