Anabolic Ambivalence

December06/ 2007

Another “have to write about it” issue presents itself.  Being the only sports commentator NOT to pen some raucous rant about The Mitchell Report is a passing thought but since dozens of you are already inquiring I will give it a go. …. I go back to my column in early September on how I enjoy college football. …. And a Cutcliffe comment.

 Baseball was always my favorite sport TO PLAY.  As I reluctantly yielded to Father Time I hung on for decades for the possibility of “taking infield” just one more time.  I understand the nuances of the game better than any other of the major American sports.  I love the pace of the game and the chess-like strategies.

As a spectator I would rather sit in a MLB ballpark and watch a MLB game, with 1-2 good buddies, than any other spectator experience ….. the sights, sounds, smells of a MLB ballpark trumps all others for me.  Yet, I have had no interest in attending local minor league games in years despite two within 20 miles of me. …… For the full monty sports experience I choose college football head/shoulders above any other.  It’s that “color & pageantry” stuff.

The only sports I am willing to pay my own money to see in person would be either MLB or college football.  I would decline free ducats to an NBA game unless I would be going w/ special friends in which cases where we were going would not matter.  The same w/ NHL.  The company trumps my lack of any interest in the game itself.

I have never in my life “Bet” on a sports event of any kind.  I would not know how nor do I care to learn how.  I have also never ridden a camel or shot a bazooka.

And, as any loyal BLSays reader darn well better know ….. I do not validate my self-worth thru the vicarious success of ANY SPORTS TEAM. …… now, having established that I am admittedly an “odd duck” sports fan” ……..

I am terminally Ambivalent to the point of Apathetic whether or not athletes use steroids or any performance enhancing drugs.  In a perfect world they would not, but “perfect” left the room when Eve ate that apple.

Up until 10-15 years ago one of my favorite “sports” to watch was Professional Wrestling.  I’m talking the pre-McMahon version.  NWA with Gordon Solie and Ric Flair and Dusty Rhoads and The Freebirds and The Wrecking Crew etc going back 30-40 years.  Killer Kowalski. The Von Erichs, Brute Bernard, Skull Murphy, Slave Girl Moolah ….

Unlike Lewis Grizzard’s mamma, I knew it was “fixed”.  I also knew that it was “fixed” so sometimes the hero won and sometimes the villain won but there would always be a rematch next week.  I loved the faux drama and over-the-top histrionics and the entertaining talent of the performers.  Who won and why never mattered so long as I left “entertained”.  I carry that “just entertain me” attitude today relative to 99% of any sport I watch.  That 1% is the rare situation like Mizzou was in recently.  Even then I was fine 5 minutes after the game.

The upcoming bowl season will glorify 100s of “student-athletes” who can’t spell anything harder than ESPN …. If you spot them the ESP_.  Nobody “gets tough” or “cracks down” about that.

The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders were neither virginal nor pining away for me.  I have adjusted and appreciate them regardless.  Mizzus is always whining that so-and-so actress / celebrity has “had lotsa work done”.  I say “…. and that’s bad WHY?   

 Bud Selig at his nerdy namby pambiest can’t hold a torch to Avery Brundage and his Olympian hypocrites over the years.  East German he/she’s wearing jockstraps and beards !!!  Ball players could carry hypodermics in their back pockets and shoot up between pitches and be “purer” than The Olympics were for the entire 20th Century.

I thoroughly enjoyed Mark McGwire’s home run derby w/ Sosa.  The revelation that both were “juiced” does not cause me to go back and unenjoy the experience.

Nasty weather that I am not properly dressed for effects my “enjoyment” of a game far more than worrying if one team/player has some illegal advantage over another …. Whether “my team” has the illegal advantage or the opponent.

For the same reason I do not fixate over “the crooked referees”.  They are human.  They are capable of making errors.  Sometimes my team benefits from their mistakes, sometimes not.  To rant that they “are out to get us” would cause me to check myself into a mental hospital for treatment of acute paranoia.

I enjoy sports events for “the event” not the outcome.  I care during the ebb and flow of the game but I hardly ever care afterwards.

Baseball is a lot about “records” and the supposed sanctity of those records “matters” to many.  Do not count me among the many.  There are waaay too many other variables that are conveniently ignored to get all torqued about steroids and their effects on “records”.  The height of the pitcher’s mound …. The designated hitter …. 162 game season …. Bigger, better gloves ….. ballpark configurations …. Scouting techniques …. Videos to study …. Nutrition and exercise science …. Ad infinitum.

1,000 yard rushing seasons are still counted although there are 16 games now instead of the 9 that Jim Brown had.  Again, we conveniently discount so many other variables why selectively choose which variables should matter?

I have never cared about Pete Rose other than he came across as a total fool and quite stoopid jackass in his assorted revelations over the years.  I cannot abide fools and jackasses whether they are “juiced” or not.  Mark McGwire came across as a fool in his appearance before the congressional committee.  Roger Clemens might end up doing likewise in this current brouhaha.

A lot of NBA players come across as arrogant fools.  Ergo my disinterest in what they do.  Yes, a lot of my NBA disdain involves that cultural chasm we discussed in that other column.

How will we ever know whether players are juiced or not?  Because “they say so” ???? PULeeze …. “I did not have sex with that woman, Ms Lewinski.”  Enuff said.  We always believe “our guys” when they deny a miscreation.  We never believe “their guys” when they deny misdeeds.  That is “logic” I can’t abide.

Bud Selig can not be as profoundly unimpressive in person as he always comes across on TV.  Nobody could be that profoundly unimpressive …. Could they?  Expecting Bud to clean up anything or “get tough” is as absurd as expecting John Edwards to get tough with Vlad Putin.

I did not quit on baseball after any of the various strikes or other fan unfriendly events.  I cared as much as I normally do …. Which is pretty far south of “avidly” despite my admitted preference for the game itself.

What does it say “for America” that baseball might be full of cheaters?  What does it say “for America” that Congress has umpteen more cheaters, scallywags, scoundrels and bottom feeders than baseball could ever have.  And that doesn’t count 50 state governments that are all dirtier than the back of Hell’s refrigerator.

When ballplayers “cheat” they hit big towering home runs.  When elected officials cheat they steal $$$, violate the public trust, break their marriage vows and make us want to hit them in the face with a shovel.  I never wanted to hit Rafael Palmiro with a shovel like I really would like to hit Teddy Kennedy with a shovel and with a ball bat and with the shovel again.  I’d like to see Jason Giambi put Harry Reid in a headlock and squeeze til his little pin head explodes.  I guess that’s enough of those examples, huh?

If Hillary had the Home Run record I might be concerned.  That Barry Bonds has it does not bother me at all.  I don’t like Barry because Barry acts like a jackass, not because he doubled in size overnight.

A first baseman with bulging biceps is preferable to a Congressman with access to a campaign fund or a nubile intern.

I appreciate that many of you may be disheartened about all this steroid bizness.  It certainly is hard to explain to youngsters that “cheaters don’t win” if, indeed, often they do.  Little boys will “copy” their clay-footed sports heroes like little girls copy skanky pop tarts.   Maybe we put “juicing up” in that victim-less crime pile with prostitution and marijuana.  There can’t be criminals if there is no crime?

Personally I hope that Brian Roberts can be vindicated.  He is a friend of a close friend but he definitely did “blow up” during the off-season a few years ago.   If Brian is guilty is UNC in the lead with TWO drug cheaters ….. Marian Jones & Brian?

Is there a Carlyle (Speciman) Cup for the ACC school with the most drug cheats? …. Yes, that IS definitely a “money line”!


It never bothered me that Milli Vanilli faked their songs.  I set the expectations bar pretty low for athletes, entertainers …. and “the help” at fast food restaurants.


Arthur Blank started Home Depot.

  Obama has The Oprah ….. Mike Huckabee has Cordell Walker/Colonel Braddock (aka Chuck Norris).  That defines the differences in Liberals and Conservatives on more levels than anything you will ever read.   Sleep well tonight …. “The Oprah” is standing guard! bwahahaha ….

   David Cutcliffe (one “t”, one “l”, one “c” in the middle, two “f’s”, and one “e”) is a good choice for Duke as a “football guy”.  But nothing in his background prepares him for even a “revised” academic attitude on Methodist Flats.  UT has more thugs on work release than Duke has season ticket holders.  Ya think Alleva showed him those visitor restrooms ….  Checkerboard the Wally Wade end zones and “EVERYBODY GO LONG!” …. and it might help if Archie and Mrs Manning breed a few more QBs…… Prediction:  Cutcliffe will be misspelled by the loonies even more than Guthridge (“Gutheridge”) or Doherty (“Dougherty”).  

   “Gang of 88” meet Phil Fullmer’s good friend David Cutcliffe = KABOOM! Which will be greater ???? …. the # of Duke faculty squirrels going BONKERS over Cutcliffe …. or the # of UNC squirrels writing indignant missives about Butch’s ransom payment? ….. A LOT OF BONKERS SQUIRRES for sure over both ….

   CONGRATS to “North Carolina’s Team” – The App State Mountaineers.  A Three-peat ending to a dream season.  BUT …. Charlie Cobb and Chancellor Peacock have to be embarrassed by the jackass behavior of their fans at the end ….. shameful & stoopid.


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