PEDs in Sports? I Say Let 'Em Cheat

By John Gorman

Melky Cabrera, you’re alright with me. Even if your name is Melky.

When you get back to the game, I want you to start taking whatever it was you were taking before, again.

Steroids. Human Growth Hormone. Adderall. Greenies. Blue Pills. Morphine. Uppers. Downers. Lefties. Righties. Blood doping. Blood cleansing. Blood spiking. By needle or pill or cream or clear. Give me your tired, your poor, your PEDs.

I don’t care if your liver profile looks like a college student’s medicine cabinet on spring break. You want to take drugs? You think they’ll make you play better? I’m for it. Go right ahead.

“But John, aren’t we setting a bad example for our children?”

Of course. But it’s how the world works. People cheat. Don’t believe me? Go to Washington. Walk into a board room. Hit up Wall Street. Peep the Tour de France. Go to college. Students, lawyers, business people, politicians, athletes, coaches, managers, owners, policemen … they’re all cheating. They’re all using whatever advantage they can to get ahead. To get that better grade, to get that killer locked up for longer, to secure they receive the building permit instead of their rival.

Cheating is what we do when we’re desperate. When we’re curious. When we’re in dire need of better, faster, more. We cheat. Why? Because it’s hyper-efficient. Or else it would just be “improvement.”

Besides, what are we really trying to do with our children? Prolong their sense of wonder and naivete until they hit their late teens and realize the world’s a big farcical shark-infested cauldron of steaming crooks and liars?

“But John, aren’t we worried about the health of the player?”

I’m not. The player’s got teammates, a personal doctor, a personal trainer, a team doctor, a team trainer, an agent, a manager, a general manager, an owner, an entourage, a nutritionist, a dietician and a family. If they’re all willing to look the other way, then so am I. If they’re all telling the players “Please don’t do it!” and the players do anyway? They deserve whatever it is they’ve got coming to them.

Look, we’ve had decades to think about concussions in the NFL cutting decades off the end of players’ lives in that sport. AND we’re more lax with our PED policies in the NFL, anyway! So tell me how worried we are about player safety.

“But John, aren’t we worried about the integrity of the game?”

You mean just like we were when we allowed African-Americans to suit up and folks complained about the integrity of the game back then? You mean when we started allowing professional players in the Olympics? Or when we allowed the DH? Or when we eliminated a penalty for the two-line pass? Yeah, I’m scared shiftless.

A rule change is a rule change. Players clearly take PEDs because they (hold on while I consult a dictionary) “Enhance Performance!” It’s science! It’s chemistry! It’s obvious that the quality of the game improves because PEDs are available! People run faster, bike faster, hit balls farther, throw balls faster and more! Athletes become more athletic! Who’s complaining about that?


Do we have any other arguments? Honestly, what are you arguing? Have you ever stopped to think about why you hate the idea of players using PEDs so much? Because precious records that have stood since your childhood will fall by the wayside? Indulge your inner child with memories or YouTube. There, you can remember all from the halcyon days of your youth.

You don’t want players getting an unfair edge? Against whom, exactly? Other players trying to get an unfair edge? Or … is playing the game “the right way”, that old nebulous standby of a loaded statement that’s code for a million other ideological B.S. code words that pretty much mean “I love White People”, really that crucial to whether or not you enjoy sports?

No, what we’re really worried about is not feeling like WE were duped. We hate feeling like we were wrong all along. It’s a selfish media agenda. “I can’t believe I was so wrong to think about [insert player here] as CLEAN! BAD HORRIBLE SCARY [insert player here]. I’m going to write 1,000 words now explaining HOW VERY USED AND WRONG YOU MADE ME FEEL.

As for me, I want to see someone hit 100 home runs in a season in my lifetime. I want to see someone run the 100 in 9.5. I want to see an Indy Car break 400mph on a track. I don’t care how any of this happens. I want to SEE it. I’m cheering for the story. I’m cheering for a team to go 162-0. I’m cheering for a pitcher to break 110mph on a radar gun. I’m cheering for an underdog boxer to bloody a champion so hard in the ring that it looks like an episode of Law & Order SVU.

That’s how I like my sports. Bigger, harder, faster, stronger, higher, wilder. I want greatness and I want excitement. And if your Pollyanna brains can’t wrap your head around people potentially cheating to take it there, then I don’t want you watching with me. I want you to watch in your own private, quiet studio where I can’t hear you whine and moan about “athletes these days” with their money and their Frankenstein bodies. You’re living in the past.

Performance-Enhancing Drugs are the future. And I want to be taken there.

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