I have no idea what I’m going to do in February. It is a brutal month. Football is over, baseball hasn’t started yet, and the NBA is dead to me after Al Jefferson’s injury. Sure the Wild are in a fight for a playoff berth, but most people’s level of excitement for the NHL is about equal to my level of tolerance for an inconsistent strike zone.
It’s sad to think that the most exciting sporting event that occurred last weekend was pitchers and catchers reporting. Sure it was the NBA’s all-star weekend, but when the best dunk consists of 12 misses before Pau Gasol finally learns how to pass the ball properly, it can hardly be considered a stirring sports moment.
And what was up with Dwight Howard? How exactly do you go into a phone booth— a NBA sponsored one at that— for 20 seconds and fail to actually put on your cape? And then, after all of that, he only dunked on what appeared to be an 11-foot hoop. The record is a foot higher than that.
It was more theater than anything else, and poorly done theater at that. I guess there was some semi-interesting news this week, what with Alex Rodriguez admitting he took performance-enhancing drugs during his time with the Texas Rangers. Honestly though, I don’t really think it’s going to make much of a difference as to how people view Rodriguez.
The only reason anyone was rooting for him was because he is on pace to smash Bonds’ home run record, and we’d prefer our unlikable superstars to be clean, thank you very much. His admission wasn’t surprising and I didn’t find it particularly disheartening.
The only confession I would find truly crushing were if Ken Griffey Jr. admitted he had taken some form of performance-enhancing drug. If that happens, I say scrap the whole era and put it on par with the time before baseball was integrated. Actually, scrap the whole era anyway—asterisks for everyone.
While the Rodriguez admission and the wild charges he flung at his accuser were downright silly at times, their ridiculousness paled in comparison to what Bud Selig recently told Newsweek. According to Selig, he is completely blameless when it comes to the rampant use of steroids during his time as commissioner.
He blames the players and the unions for the problem. I mean, it’s not like the owners benefited at all from having beefed-up, home-run slugging superstars popping up left and right. I’m sure Peter Angelos wasn’t thrilled at all when Brady Anderson hit 50 home runs in 1996—more than double what he hit in any other year. But apparently it “annoys the you-now-what” out of Selig when he is criticized for
something he played a fairly substantial role in.
Maybe I’m just fortunate to be a Twins fan. During the explosion of steroid usage in the late-’90s Minnesota was pathetic. If there was a single player on the team using PEDs, they were doing it wrong. Frankly I’m sick and tired of hearing about who did or did not take steroids. I say either steroids for none or steroids for all. But, because there isn’t anything going on now, all we hear about is unfounded speculation.
Hopefully as teams begin to start their Spring Training games there will be something else to discuss. Even if PEDs continue to be the topic on every baseball writer’s mind, we’re only a short period of time away from more interesting events on other sporting fronts.
The playoffs will start soon for hockey, the NFL Draft is on the horizon, and the best of them all, March Madness, will soon be upon us. In short time, I’ll be watching so many “One Shining Moments” and buzzer beaters I’ll become so excited that I’ll burst like Chris Simms’ spleen, can’t wait.