Ladies and gentlemen, I have made a decision to address a very serious subject. In light of Alex Rodriguez admitting to using performance enhancing drugs, or PEDs, I have decided to come out clean about my own use of PEDs.
To all my fans, I must admit to never having used any type of PED in my life. I know, I know, staying clean all these years has finally come back to bite me. I am not interesting, I am not celebrity worthy. I'm a skinny guy who can't hit home runs.
Wow! That really takes a load off my chest.
I am, of course, being sarcastic, but it has been a very interesting time for everyone, not just sports fans. I, as you know, am a baseball addict. I love the game, and the past several years have been a circus. Who's using steroids? Who's not? Who cares? Who is Bill Selby?
Well, let me answer those questions for you. First, no, not every Major League ball player uses steroids. Second, those who aren't are the guys that should be seen as the real heroes of the game: Cal Ripken Jr., Greg Maddux and Ken Griffey Jr., just to name a few. Third, it appears that more people than not do care, but I am in the growing minority of folks who are tired of hearing about it. Lastly, if you don't know who Bill Selby is, you are lucky.
What I find truly disturbing about this steroid trend isn't on the top stages of professional athletics, but the fact that only three states in the United States test their high school athletes. Three! Outside of Illinois, Texas and New Jersey, no other state tests student athletes for steroids.
I was a student athlete many years ago, and to toot my own horn, a pretty average one at that. I played football for a high school with a tradition of winning and high expectations. In that time I knew of not one person using steroids. Did people take it when I played? I'm sure, but I didn't see it, and I didn't know of it. However, it seems like as time goes by it is becoming a more common problem, and as long as the kids continue to perform at a high level, then we can turn a blind eye.
The major problem is that most people, not just teenagers, are completely unaware of the negative effects using these types of drugs can have on a person. I know of a young man, whom I will not name, who used steroids during his playing career. (Again, not during my time in high school). This young man was as gifted an athlete as I have ever seen, and about 10 years after his final snap of high school ball, he was dead.
The question comes up, would you risk your life for a few moments of glory? And many people would say that they would, but it is a real problem that needs to be addressed. Testing at the high school level is a necessity in order to save the health and, at times, the lives of some of these kids.
Every level of sports needs to start instituting harsh punishment for individuals who are caught using steroids or other banned substances, and that will hopefully curtail some of the problem.
Joshua can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and he promises to be less serious next time.