Friday, November 16, 2007

Roid Ages: Everyone's doing it

Unfortunately, this is not a satirical piece. It's not an overblown, Skip Bayless-inspired opinion to get attention or rock the boat. It is a straightforward testimonial to combat this nonsense about Barry Bonds. I can’t see a freaking sports highlight since SportsCenter has called in every analyst to triumph the catching of the “great white wale.” I don't care. I'm pretty sure everyone has done steriods at this point.

While my facts are mostly anecdotal, they shouldn't be quickly dismissed. Growing up in the 90’s, I have witnessed steroid usage firsthand. It is rampant as any other drug in my generation(besides weed), which people over 30 simply cannot grasp.

In high school, I went to a prominent South Florida "football factory" where according to people on the team, half the squad was using steroids. Of the kids that were going to play Division I football, about 75% had dabbled in some from of performance enhancer.

In college, I didn't have the same access to the football team (except for the occasional head coach-lead assault on our fraternity house) but it was well known that most of our frat was on the sauce. A straw polled once revealed that of our 120 brothers, about 65 had juiced at one point or another. It wasn't hidden either. We once had to pause a game of FIFA so one guy could take a syringe to his ass, and lunchroom chatter was often focused on whether "Winnie” or “Deca” was the way to go before spring break. The most fascinating part was that these guys weren't out to make money on lucrative contracts or get called up to the big leagues. They were merely trying to score hotter girls. They were ready to risk their health to go from getting a "7" to scoring a "9" (or in fraternity terms, upgrading from a Chi Omega to a Kappa Delta).

The side effects were obviously obstacles to consider (there were rumors of back-shaving agreements between fellow juicers), but the amount of research they performed was staggering (and very unlike the “meathead” stereotype). It is preposterous to think that athletes don't know what is going in their bodies, as Giambi and Bonds once claimed, because they have researched exactly what to take and how long to take it. This isn't the time of Ken Caminiti shoving whatever he could get into his bloodstream. These guys are informed. Yet the media focuses on persecuting Bonds and turning a blind eye to everyone else. They believe that Paul Byrd's dentist gave him HGH for a thyroid problem and Rick Ankiel was told that he needed steroids for his migraines.

Baseball is using Bonds like kids in high school used their “stoner friend.” Remember the one friend we all had in high school who used to wear the marijuana leaf necklace and constantly had blood-shot eyes? We would have our parents think that he was the way pot smokers looked and acted. Parents would try to keep that kid away, thinking that he was the root of the problem. Meanwhile, the rest of us just used a little Visine and kept our mouths shut.

Bonds is just one of many guys who have used steroids. The others just hide it better.

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