When my dad was diagnosed with cancer, my mother-in-law was kind enough to send me the Livestrong guidebook. I read it while sporting my bright yellow Livestrong bracelet. It was a couple days later that the performance enhancing drug scandal surrounding Lance Armstrong broke out.
I’m not a cycling fan, but it hurt to know that Armstrong had cheated. After all, his book had just given me some additional hope that I needed. He still had to overcome cancer, which is no small feat, but he had cheated to get where he was in his athletic career.
We are now on the brink of, what could be, the largest PED scandal in history. It’s bigger than Lance, Marion Jones and Barry Bonds all put together. The MLB is looking at suspending 20 or more players for their ties to Biogenesis. And it’s not just the sheer number of players that are looking at suspensions, but the prominence of the athletes involved. Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and Nelson Cruz are all under investigation.
I’m tired of the cheating. I hate that every time Usain Bolt wins another gold medal, I automatically question whether or not he is on steroids. Even though I’m sick of hearing about doping in sports, I think I’m part of the problem.
I can relate to that little kid from the Incredibles who sits on his bike out in front of Mr. Incredible’s house. He patiently sits until Mr. Incredible asks what he is waiting for. The little boy’s response simply being, “I don’t know, something amazing I guess.”
Every time I watch a game, I want to see something incredible. Nay, I want to see something that has never been done before. I want to see someone break the all-time home run record, run the fastest time in Olympic history or win consecutive championships. I want to witness the best there ever was.
Each time my favorite teams lose, I complain about how the players are not doing enough for how much they are getting paid. I expect when you are making millions of dollars, you need to be perfect day in and day out, knowing full well that is simply impossible. I don’t want to just see incredible players — I want to see a super human.
I also don’t think I’m alone. Whether we go to a Broadway performance or the newest top box office movie, we want to see something great. Each time a sequel comes out, whether it is a book or a movie, I expect it to be better than the last. If it isn’t, a lot of times I drop it and never look back.
Society has become so accustomed to continual progression and innovation, and we don’t just want to see it in sports. I fully expect the iPhone 6 to have teleportation technology because the only cool thing the last version of the iPhone could do was talk. The bar has been set high, but it is constantly being set higher.
I’m not bailing out A-Rod here. If he did use PED’s then he deserves to suffer the consequences. I just think that high expectations may be a contributing factor to this problem. We want to see greatness, and we want to see it now. If you’re like me and don’t get what you want, you call for someone’s head.
I don’t think anyone likes a cheater, but we all want to see something amazing — and some athletes are willing to stoop low to satisfy those expectations.