Perhaps, there should be a warning label with this column: Do Not Take Any 'Junk' If You Want To Survive. By 'junk' I mean anabolic steroids, human growth hormones or supposedly muscle-enhancing pills that turn 98-pound weaklings into Superman or Superwoman.
And if you think that only prominent athletes, whose names are in the papers on a daily basis, subject themselves to ingesting this type of "junk," then take another guess.
Your little darlings, both male and female, in assorted sports are aware of easily-obtained "junk" and countless numbers apparently pop those pills, etc. for sleeker physiques and more mental and physical prowess. However, they, eventually, will learn that such "junk" will be equivalent to encountering kryptonite, which always reduced Superman to a mere mortal.
The reason for bringing this up is because it's become the scourge of this generation. Perhaps, in past generations as well. And now those athletes from the '60s, '70s and '80s are finding out just what "hell" on earth really means.
Take for instance, an individual, once described as looking like "Andre The Giant's angry, big brother," has now reached that aging group and laments adhering to the premise of "Better living through chemistry."
"When I was a kid, I wanted to be the greatest athlete of all time," he offered the other day, adding, "so in the 1960s I discovered a new source of power."
From the 160-pound weakling, he eventually bulged to 305 pounds and, suddenly, turned into a mean-spirited individual, who found that his "artificial" muscles and bulk could actually swell his bank account. However, just as quickly as his athleticism skyrocketed, it evaporated.
And with age, he almost shouted: "Stay away from any semblance of 'junk.' It will ruin your body and, possibly, your mind."
However, that advice is missing today, in most high-powered sports circles, which often treats such warnings as so much rhetoric. There was even snickering after one-time baseball star, Jose Canseco, "confessed" in a best-selling book about his "junk" use and implied San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds was one of a bevy of superstars, who were caught up in that so-called "drug culture."
The BALCO revelations also put the spotlight on Bonds and Jason Giambi among others, but also made it clear that to investigate and report on such behaviour could be precarious, for two investigative reporters, Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams (who wrote the book, Game of Shadows) barely escaped jail time for the wide-ranging expose.
The use of designer drugs even reached another level with a breaking story in the past few days and that is "illicit steroid distribution networks" are being targeted on the U.S. East Coast where reported customers have included Los Angeles Angels' outfielder Gary Matthews Jr., former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield and a doctor for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
When pro wrestling went to court in 1994 with such illustrious names as Hulk Hogan (Terry Bollea) coming to the forefront, there were smiles all around and it was treated not with contempt, but with a degree of acceptance, passing it off even as "wrestlers will be wrestlers." Although the BALCO situation met with initial shock, it eventually wallowed in a bog filled with lawyers trying to prevent the names of certain high-priced jocks from getting into the dailies.
However, there's one troublesome aspect in all this scenario: It may get to the point that certain "name" athletes will want such publicity, adhering to the premise of "you can say anything you want about me as long as you spell my name correctly."
It really is just another step in the downfall of today's so-called progressive society.
What is needed, is qualified "counselors" to go into every school and every schoolyard in North America and admonish and teach would-be athletes about the horrific consequences of "junk use," whether it be injectible designer drugs/steroids or pills of any sort.
It certainly might help save a generation.
While this column might be "preaching," hopefully, it might salvage some from the "living hell" experienced by the aging and withering individuals, who once believed they had discovered the secret formula of "better living through chemistry."
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