[Kamikaze] Pump It Up | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

[Kamikaze] Pump It Up

I've been an athlete all my life. Since I can remember, I've participated in organized sports, whether it was soccer in elementary school; baseball, basketball and track in junior high school; or football in high school and briefly at Jackson State.

Competitive sports is a national pastime. There are entire channels dedicated to it. Any day, anytime, you can always find a "game" of some kind on television. And I do.

My first love was baseball. Starting at the tender age of 8, I spent my summers playing right off Lakeland, just yards away from Smith-Wills. It was there that I fielded grounders by day and waited for an autographed ball from former Jackson Mets' Darryl Strawberry or Lenny Dykstra by night. I recall watching two of my favorite players, Will Clark and Rafael Palmeiro, represent my state in the College World Series. I swelled up with pride as they showed the world that these "Mississippi boys" included some superior athletes.

For the non-ESPN watchers, Palmeiro, who suits up for the Baltimore Orioles, tested positive recently for steroids. Steroids, which can add muscle mass at a faster rate than the human body can on its own, are banned by all major sports. They say it gives the user an unfair advantage—more power, more speed. In a congressional hearing earlier this year, Palmeiro emphatically denied that he ever used the supplement but now must serve a 10-game suspension and stands to lose a great deal of money in the process.

My point is this: Leave Palmeiro alone. (OK, he shouldn't have lied, but what public figure hasn't?) Not just him, but leave Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and anyone else caught up in this ridiculous steroids scandal alone, too. For months, baseball players have been plastered on front pages all over the country as if they've been caught selling secrets to Al Qaeda. Even The Clarion-Ledger had "Raffy's" suspension on the front page.

"Purists" call it cheating; I call it hogwash. Besides the obvious physical problems that could occur from the misuse of the supplement, there's no proof that taking steroids can actually improve your game—on any level or in any sport. I've played against "huge" opponents on the field. Regardless of their obvious size advantage, some of these guys couldn't hit a beach ball with a tree trunk.

Sure, steroids make you bigger, but they are no substitute for real talent coupled with practice. If these athletes feel like they can improve their game by taking steroids, so be it. To me, it doesn't taint their numbers or their reputation. Ty Cobb was a known racist, and Babe Ruth was a drunk. Ironically, being drunk seemed to help Ruth's game, but I don't see anyone bringing his numbers into question. I am in favor of drug testing, but for marijuana and cocaine only. I am all for helping athletes fight any addiction, whether it be for alcohol, sex or even gambling. However, we've made this steroids issue the red herring of the sports world. As an athlete and avid fan, I could care less, and I think most of the world agrees with me.

I love towering home runs—the longer the better. Whatever means by which athletes do it, that's their business. If they want to possibly ruin their insides, that's their business. Just keep me watching. And that's the truth .... sho-nuff.

Previous Comments

ID
70577
Comment

You cannot be serious. To the contrary, without there being ìproveî that steroids do not give any advantage whatsoever, no true sports fan should ever condone steroids being an accepted part of any sport. Moreover, true sports fans would never marvel and revere athletes that potentially perform well because they are ìjuicedî. God given talent is what differentiates talented athletes from their fans!

Author
K RHODES
Date
2005-08-11T00:09:44-06:00
ID
70578
Comment

Some view the music business as a sport, do you think they should start drug testing hip hoppers and rockers for marijuana and cocaine? You say, "Whatever means by which athletes do it, thatís their business.... but then you say, "I am in favor of drug testing.." a bit hypocritical are we?

Author
Jocelyn
Date
2005-08-11T07:06:21-06:00
ID
70579
Comment

the music business is NOT a sport ma'am. It's a business!! And its up to the corporations that put out the music to decide if they want to test their artists. Personally it doesnt matter to me because I don't do either. Marijuana and cocaine don't enhance an artist's performance either (although some will foolishly say it does). Yes, I'm in favor of drug testing, I just think the steroids issue is just being blown outta proportion. that simple. Sports is in the entertainment business too. Networks and Team owners spend millions to get fans to watch their product. Numbers are important to them. they strive to put a product on the field that people will watch at home. They arent trying to get the die-hard fan who will watch regardless. They are trying to get the non-sports enthusiast to watch too. More scoring, more excitement, means better ratings. It's all about money in the end with them. If you were a true sports fan, you could browse all of the major sports and see that comissioners in all the sports have begun implementing rules that will increase scoring and speed up the pace of the game. When I played organized sports, I wasn't juiced. and that's how I personally preferred it. that worked for me. I didnt feel I needed it. but there may have been some that did. thats them. simple as that. Bottom line, if they were juiced, it didnt do em much good.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2005-08-12T08:43:05-06:00
ID
70580
Comment

But your idol Rafael Palmeiro used a DRUG(steroids) to inhance his abilities and you're fine with that.? I agree that players shouldn't need ANY form of drug to enhance their game but it bothers me that you forego reason to appease your taste. Raphael took DRUGS....if you thought so or not. this business about testing only for marijuana and coke is biased reasoning...Steroid use is a deadly issue...a little joint after a game is nothing compared to what a steriod can enventually do to your heart. now watch this: I butchered your next comment, but in good taste. I just replaced certain words with words that pertain to the music industry. and then you tell me...is the music business a sport also? Music is in the entertainment business too. distributors and label owners spend millions to get fans to watch/buy their artists. Numbers are important to them. they strive to put a artist on the radio that people will watch at home. They arent trying to get the die-hard fan who will watch regardless. They are trying to get the non-music enthusiast to watch/buy too. More music, more excitement, means better sales. It's all about money in the end with them. If you were a true music fan, you could browse all of the major labels and see that label heads in all the major labels have begun implementing rules that will increase output and speed up the pace of the music game ;o)

Author
Jocelyn
Date
2005-08-12T14:05:31-06:00
ID
70581
Comment

Ok...point taken but I havent heard of anyone robbing or killing to get steroids. Havent seen any athletes winding up homeless on the streets because of steroids. Folks arent stealing from their family and friends to get money to buy steriods. It's simply not the same. Its athletes who feel they need an edge. I havent seen any studies that can prove to me a little joint here and there is harmful and likewise, havent seen any studies that say, if used CORRECTLY, sterioids are harmful. It's not an issue because SOMEBODY is still making money selling the supplement. It's not illegal to the public, its just cant be used by athletes. Palmeiro is guilty of breaking the rules of baseball period (whether I agree with it or not). He was punished. Move on.

Author
Kamikaze
Date
2005-08-15T08:59:37-06:00
ID
70582
Comment

Kamikaze, I am usually totally with you on this, however I COMPLETELY disagree with your statments in this article. Whether it's been proven or not that steroid actually affect the performance of an athlete during a game; there is a such factor as IT IS AGAINST THE RULES. Bottom line, as a respected figure in this city for you to come out and indirectly support the use of steroids will only add to the confusion of the children who are able to read this article. The fact of the matter is the teams/coaches/leagues frown upon the use of this drug. For whatever the reason. It is not handed out to all athletes. If it was acceptable why aren't they handed out with the uniforms during practice. To say, it's okay because I am a fan of this particular athlete and he's only hurting himself is a bit selfish. And I resent the fact, as a fan of yours, that you would actually put a statement of this sort in publication. Teaching children that although steroids are not to be used, it's okay. Although you face loosing your spot on the team and although you'll face public scrutiny for using this substance, it's okay as long as you are a good athlete who will bring in money and win games. I am completely sickened by that idea. That's like saying you are expected to be in school when the bell rings and ready to learn, but if you happen to be late because you are making money or you miss class because you were at football practice...that's exceptable. Is that what you want us to teach our children. The fact of the matter is, choosing to do steroids is WRONG. And I think you should have given more consideration to publishing an article of this sort, because I now have to reconsider the idealistic manner upon which I have become a fan of yours. I can not see how a lover of the children could (although your opinion doesn't concern me) actually print something like this that just blatently disrespects the entire idea of RULES AND REGULATIONS....never mind the law.

Author
Queen601
Date
2005-08-15T10:35:08-06:00
ID
70583
Comment

Kamikaze, I am usually totally with you on this, however I COMPLETELY disagree with your statments in this article. Whether it's been proven or not that steroid actually affect the performance of an athlete during a game; there is a such factor as IT IS AGAINST THE RULES. Bottom line, as a respected figure in this city for you to come out and indirectly support the use of steroids will only add to the confusion of the children who are able to read this article. The fact of the matter is the teams/coaches/leagues frown upon the use of this drug. For whatever the reason. It is not handed out to all athletes. If it was acceptable why aren't they handed out with the uniforms during practice. To say, it's okay because I am a fan of this particular athlete and he's only hurting himself is a bit selfish. And I resent the fact, as a fan of yours, that you would actually put a statement of this sort in publication. Teaching children that although steroids are not to be used, it's okay. Although you face loosing your spot on the team and although you'll face public scrutiny for using this substance, it's okay as long as you are a good athlete who will bring in money and win games. I am completely sickened by that idea. That's like saying you are expected to be in school when the bell rings and ready to learn, but if you happen to be late because you are making money or you miss class because you were at football practice...that's exceptable. Is that what you want us to teach our children. The fact of the matter is, choosing to do steroids is WRONG. And I think you should have given more consideration to publishing an article of this sort, because I now have to reconsider the idealistic manner upon which I have become a fan of yours. I can not see how a lover of the children could (although your opinion doesn't concern me) actually print something like this that just blatently disrespects the entire idea of RULES AND REGULATIONS....never mind the law.

Author
Queen601
Date
2005-08-15T10:35:20-06:00

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