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Steroids has shifted America’s Pastime

February 8, 2009

The United States of America has been known for adopting baseball as its national pastime.  In the last decade, the NFL has taken over the roll as “America’s Pastime”.  What was major league baseball thinking when they began investigating steroid use throughout the league?  There are certain doors that should remain closed, and that was definitely one of them.  The NFL has always run a smooth operation.  Of course there has been a fair share of off the field issues revolving around violence.  There have also been numerous steroid allegations against many current and former NFL players.  However, what makes the NFL so genius is the ability to deceive the perception of the masses.  Shaun Merriman, one of the best young linebackers in the NFL, was suspended four games due to positive steroids testing.  He might have lost the respect of players throughout the league, but fifteen years from now will he be prevented from being enshrined in Canton because of steroids?  Slim to none.  On the other hand, lets take Mark Mcgwire.  He was on top of the world in 1999 when he hit 70 home runs, breaking Roger Maris’s, 61.  The record had held for 38 years, and McGwire was on top of the sports world.  Thanks to the government getting involved in steroids, I would be very surprised to see McGwire ever be selected to the Hall of Fame.  The MLB might as well wipe out the last decade of baseball.  This time period will be looked back upon as the steroid era, and it is a shame.  Why mess with a perfect picture?

     The media portrays the ultimate male as muscular, and tough.  At the same time they portray males to be smooth and have an aura of confidence about them.  This depicts NFL players.    Football players are the most marked athletes because they are looked at as the alpha male.  This is why violence is so prevalent off the field.  As much negative press that this violence brings to the NFL, it remains consistent in its ways. Sunday is a holy day to many, and I am not talking about going to pray.  The NFL has become a religion, and  has been placed at the pedestal of professional sports. (In the south Nascar is definitely at the top of the game)

     The days of father and son bonding at a Dodgers game over some crackerjacks and hot dogs can now be looked at as an American Folktale.   Its been over sixty five years since Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, and presently only 9.2% of Major League Baseball is African American.  The reason that number is so low is because of the new generation’s attraction toward the spotlight.  An up and coming young African American athlete is going to choose football, or basketball over baseball because those sports are in the spotlight a lot more.  Game winning touchdowns and last second three pointers are a lot more thrilling to the younger generation than a hit and run.  Even home runs are portrayed nowhere near as glamorous as slam dunks.  The media has played a significant role in the downfall of baseball.  The 1990s was a bumpy time in the MLB, as it began with a bang, and ended in the same token.  All dynasties come to an end, and the Yankees falling apart led to instantaneous downfalls throughout baseball.  An era changed when Luis Gonzalez hit a game winning single off Mariano Rivera in game seven of the 2001 World Series.  Baseball transitioned from a great American tradition, to a sport filled with scrutiny and uncertainty in the future.  African American athletes or lack there of in major league baseball is just one example of how times have changed.  Hopefully in the future, professional sports will look at the steroid mess in baseball as a lesson on why not to scrutinize their players.  Isn’t professional sports a business?  Athletes are paid to be entertainers, and they are taking steroids for the fans entertainment.  Leave steroids alone, and enjoy the former America’s pastime, baseball.

 

By Mikeyrolls

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