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Monday, February 23, 2004


STEROIDS ON ESPN POLL A SAD COMMENTARY 

More than half of respondents in on-line poll said they would take steroids to boost a baseball career.

I know that on-line polls are not a pure scientific sample but ESPN.com gets such large numbers on its poll results that I deem it to be a pretty good measuring stick of what the American sports fan is like. Of course, it tends to be predominately young and male but Americans of all stripes are sports fans nowadays so it's safe to assume that many women and older people log on the ESPN site, as well.

Tonight's poll question asked,
"If you were a career minor-league baseball player, would you take steroids if it was the only way to get to the majors?"

My personal answer was an immediate and resounding, "NO." When I clicked my choice, I braced myself for the percentage that voted "YES" pessimistic that it would be higher than an acceptable number. However, I was dumbfounded when the tally scrolled across my screen.

YES 56.4%
NO 43.5%

Total Votes: 107,011

I am a big sports fan and I too had aspirations, while growing up, of one day being a professional athlete. However, I soon realized that I didn't have the ability and the talent and accepted my mortal status as a lowly gym rat. But, as I grew older I wasn't too impressed with what it took to be a professional athlete. Athletes can play with a ball and that's it. Life offers so many more exciting, thrilling and fulfilling opportunites than the drudgery of playing the same game over and over. I love sports, of course, but to me it's not the ultimate lifestlye that the meida loves making it out to be.

There is no reason to sacrifice your health, dignity and self-respect by cheating in order to play professional sports. Where is the introspection with these fans and the athletes who actually use steroids? A man should say to himself, "I gave it my best but there are others better than me and I wouldn't be able to look myself in the mirror if I had to cheat to make my way onto the team." And the player who is very good doesn't need steroids to be great. You are considered a great baseball player if you 39 or 73 home runs.

The poll results were pathetic and embarrassing.

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