Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in. A special "Hey" goes out to Hazel Mae if she is checking in.

Has everyone had enough of the tragedy that occured in the home of the Benoit family? The story has dominated the sports pages (and crossed over into news section), has been a main story on late night sports highlight shows, been the main topic of discussion on sports radio shows from dawn til well into the night, and the topic of discussion around the office and any coffee shop you walk into.

Everyone has an opinion on the tragedy and not surprisingly it is focused on "why" Chris Benoit murdered his family and then took his own life. At 7:00 am this morning I asked "why" - after listening to everyone talk about it today, I've decided its time to stop asking "why". How can you possibly try to rationalize a man committing the ultimate atrocity - taking the life of his child - other than to say that he was insane?

I've heard blowhard hosts of sports radio shows attributing it to steroids or "roid rage", I've heard people who have time to wait on hold for an hour just to voice their ill-informed and ignorant opinion on this tragedy (they all talk about the perils of steroids - I wonder how many can actually spell the word), I've seen newspaper reports delving into the personal lives of this family on the premise of trying to understand "why" this happened; invariably every story contains references to steroids in the home, as if this is the only possible explanation.

I wish people would stop trying to figure this out, stop trying to make sense of it, and stop trying to come up with a reason - the talk invariably leads to people trying to understand why or what made Chris Benoit commit this atrocity; the talk has almost trivialized the life of his wife and son...they have become words in the discussion (wife, son, rarely a mention of their names) instead of two very real people that lost their lives to a man that had lost his mind.

If you think I'm over-reacting, just listen to these call in shows. The call always starts with an comment on Benoit, then switches to steroids and roid rage; after a few seconds of discussion, the host or the caller talks about the culpability of Vince McMahon and the WWE. Gone are the thoughts of Benoit's wife and son - now these "sports fans" want someone to do something about drugs in professional sports (sports entertainment). They are sick and fed up with these dirty cheaters and want someone to come in and clean up sports - and they want it done NOW dammit. The discussion turns to drugs in baseball, football or heaven forbid (in Canada) hockey. These arm chair athletes, these wannabe sports announcers, these would be sports reporters have it all figured out - serious drug testing procedures to get the cheats out of sports to prevent (bring it back to Benoit now) "things like this happening again...cuz its all steroids you know what I'm saying?"

All this anger directed at drugs or at a few people who have used (or suspected of using) drugs and not one person says "I'm not going to watch it anymore." I'm waiting for the day when fans realized that they do have a say in how things work - if people are so incredibly outraged with the drugs and cheating in professional sports - why not just stay away until they get the message? Fans who pay for tickets, who turn on their televisions to watch sports, who buy the merchandise are in effect saying "we love what you do". Taking away the revenue streams that run professional sports franchises would make league's rethink their drug policies and enforce them in order to clean up the sports we profess to love/hate so much. The anger is directed at the perceived inaction of men making and generating billions of dollars, but the fans who complain the most end up going to the park (its almost like make up sex), buying the shirts, and watching television.

In and of itself, I don't really care if athletes use drugs, nor to I try to understand why they do it. The records they are breaking in no way impact or affect my life, therefore I feel no real need to protect "the integrity of the game". It is what it is - a game, the fact that people take something like the "sanctity of a home run record" (or any other record) so seriously is sort of ridiculous when you think about it. Who appointed these people "guardians of the game"? What gives them the right to decide who is worthy of breaking any record?

What I do know is that those who choose to take the path of taking performance enhancing drugs are more driven and committed to what they want to do than most of us could ever be - they are willing to sacrifice everything they have to reach their goal. How many of those armchair athletes would do that?

This probably doesn't make a lot of sense - starting off with the tragedy that befell Chris Benoit's wife and son to performance enhancing drugs in sports; actually, maybe it does make sense. Neither are connected; so don't erase the lives of the Benoit family by passing it off as "roid-rage". A player charging the mound, swinging his stick and hitting another player in the head, throwing a punch at another player - that could be passed off as "roid rage" - killing your family and yourself is something all together different. A little respect for the people in that house that night...that's all I'm saying.

I'm Out.


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