Is It In You?

written December 2005

You know what we need to do with steroids, don’t you? We need to give them to every single athlete out there, and quick too. There are literally tens of thousands of naturally-blessed athletes not getting to their full potential, it’s a real shame. I mean, let’s think about it for a moment, and forget everything the president and Congress has said about it, because, honestly, don’t you feel creepy already by siding with them?

Let’s start at the very beginning, at about the age of two when a gentle parent first glimpses his or her toddler with the unusually tight spiral or cross-over dribble. A father or mother’s first instinct is to help nurture their child’s ability, signing him up for Little League at five and an agent by six. As the little superstar grows up he or she realizes they aren’t like everyone else, that they were meant for bigger and better things. Gregg is only going to be a doctor and Alexa a teacher, but Steven is going to be a professional athlete, which is like being President, except everybody wants your autograph and you can never again do anything wrong. Ever. The little prospect is practicing every day how to convert an allie-oop or honing a home run trot, and before graduating from high school he’s been drafted by teams in the NFL, NBA, the Majors. But soccer? Please.

Steven practices with the very best coaches in the country, plays with the very best college team. His shoes aren’t Stone Age Chuck Taylor’s, but Nike “Thunder-in-a-Sole”s, with actual mini-rockets to help elevate above the competition. Steven’s training gym isn’t a bunch of rubber bands from 1910 and a medicine ball, but the very best body-enhancing equipment known to man, like a hydrotherapy deprivation chamber, because getting to the Sugar Bowl means a new wing for the campus library. Ever think of what Honus Wagner or Bronko Nagurski might have done if their training regiment hadn’t been single-scotch whiskey and a bar brawl at closing time? What they wouldn’t have given for the very best in sports medicine, for warm-up uniforms, heaters along the bench, and a outfielder’s glove that doesn’t look like it had just been killed. These kids really have it all— and good for them. I mean, if turns out your Croatian gymnast coach knows you better than your own parents, you should have the very best career possible, as an ironic runner-up prize for life, while doggedly going for gold. It’s only fair. Besides, the fans want it. With the way the price of admission is anymore, we better see a minimum of seven homers a game, or we’ll storm the owner’s box.

Steroids are merely the cherry on top of this all, the very last way to give athletes every advantage under the sun. Water has been nixed from the sidelines for ages in favor of Gatorade for all the added nutrients if offers. For crying out loud, race car drives and football players wear helmets—how would the old-old-timers feel about that one? Has anyone seen Barry Bonds or some of these other players trod to the plate heavily armored like they’re ready to joust for the honor of a young maiden? And what’s with eye-black? The only fair thing to do is to make steroids a mandatory supplement. Have everyone take it (with random drug tests to make sure they’re all positive) to make an even playing field. If they did that I’d finally pay $100 dollars to see a baseball game, and you would too.

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