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Mary Pitt: Shut Up And Play Ball!

Shut Up And Play Ball!


by Mary Pitt

Ho.....Hum. A goodly portion of the populace of these United States, as well as all the news readers on the telly are up in arms and totally consumed with the news that another over-grown, muscle-bound Gargantua of the ''sports world'' has admitted to the use of various medications in order to increase his size and strength in the pursuit of star-qualty performance. Say what?!? This is a shock to all lovers of sports as a preparation for real life? Is it really a surprise that these "grown men" whom we have set up on a pedestal as heroes for our children to emulate and to regard as heroes should "let us down" in such a manner?

Is there an American alive today who does not realize that these "sportsmen", from the tiny gymnast to the denizens of the World Wrestling Federation are the pit bulls of humanity, bred, born, reared, groomed, and drugged for their role in competing with each other in the modern-day Roman circus of professional sports? The life work of these gladiators is to become as big, as strong, and as proficient at their chosen trade as is humanly possible. As children, they are passed through the education system because of their sports prowess in order to maintain their precious "eligibilty" and many are recruited to "go professional" right out of high school without undergoing the ordeal of attending a few college classes before getting on with their real purpose in life.

Of course, they can always use a little assistance in growing larger, tougher, faster, and that help is available in the form of pills, powders, and injections which will accomplish that goal. So what if the many medications available to this end may burn out the brain, or shrink their testicles, or cause "behavior problems? It will, at least, increase the quality of crime in the country as these super-wealthy "super-humans" lose control and rampage, raping, killing, and enjoying all the perks of their exalted station in life! We suspend all the rules for these people and excuse the "human failings" because they are our millionaire "heroes"!

Of course, the burning question is this: "What shall we do to bring this drug abuse by professional athletes under control?" Rules and regulations have not worked, nor has "random" drug testing. The simple and truthful reason, that it is wrong and in violation of their contracts with their owners and the American people, appears not to be sufficient for these people to control their ambition to gain the advantages despite the side-effects and the long-term damage to their own lives and health.

Perhaps we should turn for answers to the old and revered American sport of horse racing. A winner in that endeavor is instantly drug-tested and violators will have their victories cancelled and a drug-free winner rewarded. Of course, it may be a bit complicated to line up the whole roster of the winning team at football in the dressing room with their little cups, the syringes, and the swabs in order to assure an "honest game", but that may what is required in order to save the lives of our sports heroes, as well as the lives of those around them.

The alternative would be for us to break our national addiction to watching grown men play children's games all day on Sunday and every holiday. We sit like couch potatoes, with a remote in one hand and a "cool one" in the other, glorying in the mayhem on our television sets and pointing out to the little kids that they could be like that if they work hard and play skillfully. We boycott sponsors who dare to intrude a little tits-and-ass into the advertising because it is obscene, while waiting for the next session of obscene violence to take place on the "field of battle". They will watch, spellbound, as one of the super-hyped contestants breaks out of his cage and attacks an on-looker in a rage.

Meanwhile, their fathers and their big brothers, their sisters, and mothers, all of whom are more appropriate heroes, are participating in an even greater obscenity in the desert a half a world away and many will never return. We need to look beyond the "spectacles" with which we are regaled and demand that the news programs return to their job of reporting the affairs of the world, honestly and accurately, rather than dwelling on the scandals that are generated by these uncontrollable faux-heroes before whom society appears to be helpless.

How about exercising a little "family values" here. Hmmmm?

*************

Mary Pitt is a septuagenarian Kansan who is self-employed and active in the political arena. Her concerns are her four-generation family and the continuance of the United States as a democracy with a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people". Comments and criticism may be addressed to mpitt@cox.net .


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