Sunday, July 24, 2011

Steroid Outrage

As everyone knows, steroids in professional sports is a common and widespread problem, effecting the integrity of the sports they infest.  It is long past time that more be done to crack down, better and more effective testing, harsher penalties, etc. but I'd like to discuss an aspect of the steroid problem that doesn't get as much attention, and that is arguably bigger than any other single aspect.  I heard recently that in prosecuting Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, the federal government has spent roughly sixty MILLION dollars.  Thats right, sixty million dollars to prosecute a couple of people who most likely did indeed use steroids to improve their baseball performance.  At a time in which our nation is going bankrupt from tremendous amounts of Washington spending, isn't it great to know that we've blown through 60 million dollars to possibly put 2 baseball players in jail for using steroids?  I would answer that in the negative.  For me, that is the single greatest outrage in the entire steroids scandal, that Washington has wasted some 60 million of our dollars on these two prosecutions.  If they are indeed as guilty as they seem, ban them from baseball, kick them out of the hall of fame, levy fines against them, whatever seems most appropriate to the folks in Major League Baseball, but why are Washington politicians wasting our tax dollars on something that is none of their business? 

I'm an International Chess Champion, I don't use steroids and even if I did it wouldn't effect my performance, because Chess is a game of the mind, not the muscles.  But what if it did improve your performance?  Would Congress get involved in chess too?  No doubt it would, if it gave the politicians a chance to get on TV and 'look tough' by going after cheaters.  Cheating is bad, and terrible, and anybody who does it should be punished appropriately, but people cheating in a game is a matter for the folks involved in the game, not Washington.  The politicians love to grandstand for the cameras, and waste our money trying to get themselves votes.  I say let Washington focus on things that they should actually be doing, like keeping us safe from the terrorists, and balancing the federal budget.  Leave steroids scandals to the sports authorities to take care of.  Its their job, not Washington's.   

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