Houston Texans Linebacker Brian Cushing recently tested positive for a performance enhancing drug. The Associated Press even revoted on his rookie of the year honor as defensive rookie of the year. Some changed their vote, some did not.
The most glaring part of this debate is the absence of perspective. Think about this…if you had the chance to take steroids and move up about four rounds in the NFL draft to become a first rounder, and you could make about $10 million more then why not do it? That one decision could affect the rest of your life. The decision could affect your family’s financial outlook for generations to come. If you get caught, like Brian Cushing, you only get a four game suspension, but you get to keep your massive signing bonus and outrageously large contract.
In an age where it is no surprise when another athlete gets caught, it seems like our sports culture has already created an even playing field without regulation. Meaning, they are all using. But how much do we really care? We loved it when we thought Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa were hitting homerun after homerun with sheer uncontaminated strength. Looking back, that is still one of the greatest seasons I can remember with or without steroids. Regardless of drug use, I wish I could relive it again.
American sports resemble cycling more and more. The only thing more clear than using steroids helps athletic achievement is that those who did not use in this era should ultimately be commended. Actually, commendation sounds empty compared to what they deserve.