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Friday, July 19, 2024

Column: Sports revolution

Oh the world of sports.

Lance Armstrong, the man who has created a movement based on the statement “LiveStrong,” has admitted to doping. Apparently he was taking the “strong” part very seriously.

I think I, as an eighth grader, had the right idea. I wore a yellow Livestrong band to be cool. I wore it so much it tore, and I stapled it back together. Then it tore again and I stapled it. This continued until the yellow band just said “Live,” and the only way I could take it off was by cutting it.

I never wanted to believe it when reports surfaced that one athlete after another had done the ‘roids. When the Mitchell Report came out, I downloaded and saved it on my computer saved as “LIES” (yes, all caps), with every intention of reading it and ripping apart George Mitchell for his demonic act of ruining baseball. Then I saw it was 409 pages. To this day, it’s only been opened a couple of times, those times when I’m feeling particularly vindictive.

Still, I always want to believe in athletes. News reports came out that Lance Armstrong was “considering admitting doping.” What does that even mean? Honestly there’s not much more you can reveal if you say that you’re thinking about telling people you used performance-enhancing drugs.

It is pretty sad that my default assumption for players who are having breakout years and are playing well is that they must have taken something. It didn’t use to be like this. But so many have fallen.

Except Derek Jeter. Jeter is the man. Everyone can say what they want, but the Captain is truly a role model for all athletes, in terms of work ethic, integrity and responsibility.

But I don’t have to convince anyone of anything. What I really think we can do is figure out some sports where steroids are encouraged, and therefore the only way juicers would be considered cheating is if they didn’t use any PEDs. In which case they would just be getting destroyed.

I can’t really imagine football being any more manly than it already is. It’ll stay as is.

In order to get back to our roots, we should make stone-cycling. Create tandem bikes carved out of boulders that two riders will ride. They can juice up all they want and pump in a whole bunch of extra adult red blood cells but it’s going to take some serious effort and strength to succeed.

This course will also be up in the Sierra Nevadas through a grueling trail over the mountains. Good luck.

Baseball. Because America’s favorite pasttime is also my favorite sport to watch, I really don’t like it when reports surface about failed drug tests.

So, the only failed drug test in our neo-baseball will be one in which they don’t test positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

Here, we’ll change the dimensions of the field. It’s always so odd to me that a typical center-field wall is about 400 feet, which is a long way to hit a baseball. When I think about it, though, you could golf a pitching wedge over that.

So in the new and improved version of baseball, why don’t we stick the outfield fence at about 40,000 yards, your typical par-four-length hole (instead of 400 feet, we’re going to have 120,000 feet).

Before you start thinking this is insane, I’ll have you know that we are going to make a bat out of vibranium (thank you, Captain America) and make the ball out of whatever material it is that makes Thor’s hammer so heavy. I guess it’d be whoever is fit to hold it or something like that, but using a different definition of fit than they intended, I’m pretty sure any athlete on steroids will be fit enough.

This super-powered baseball would require some omnioculars from the Harry Potter universe because unfortunately fans can’t take steroids to help their eyesight. With a 40,000-yard field, we’re going to have ourselves quite a game.

All of this sounded like a good idea in my head, but now that I’ve written it down, it doesn’t sound so great. But that’s usually how it is for all my ideas.

I guess all of this is an attempt to keep sports pure by quarantining off all the rest into a whole new sport. But it seems like we’re so inherently competitive that, even with the other sport, you’re going to have new ways to enhance performance show up.

It makes you really appreciate the players that achieved these feats without any sort of performance-enhancers that we know of. Here’s to them, whose records are falling, whose names are being knocked down in the record books, who put in the hours to foster their talent and skills.

MATTHEW YUEN has been staying up all night watching the Australian Open this past week. Send him a wake-up call at sports@theaggie.org.


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