A fine mess ...
After watching part of the congressional hearings on drug and steroid use by professional athletes, I can only think of Oliver Hardy's complaint to Stan Laurel in so many of their comedies -- "It's a fine mess you've gotten us into" -- but this mess is neither fine nor funny.
I have been a baseball fan ever since I was a toddler, and the recent disclosures made by so many players, coupled with the evasive maneuvering by others, leaves me with so my questions and a very bad smell in the air.
The most recent spectacle of Roger Clemens and his accuser is like an ugly cherry on a rotten cake.
Given the totally contradictory testimony of those questioned, we are left with one clear conclusion: Someone is lying big-time. But whom do we accuse? It would be impossible for even the most accomplished detective to sort through all of the various assertions of those who are accused or suspected.
I've also seen the effect that the steroid craze has had on young athletes. I have been questioned a few times by aspiring athletes who want to bulk up as to how to do it and not get caught. The message they are absorbing from all this is to cheat, lie and disregard the long-term consequences.
I spoke to former All-Pro lineman Lyle Alzado before he died. He weighed about 160 pounds and had no hair and not many teeth left. He knew that he was dying and asked me to tell any kid who would listen not to follow his path. I shed more than a few tears that evening. Lyle was a good dude who made some poor choices.
I hope all the professional leagues make a concerted effort to get their franchises to provide role models who shun performance-enhancing drugs, something that I always avoided.
The youth of our nation deserve no less.
photo credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP