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Jewish World Review
Don't we all cheat at the game of life?
Floyd Landis, the disqualified winner of the 2006 Tour de France bicycle race, has admitted that he was taking performance-enhancing drugs. For those of you who don't follow the sport, it's a three-week race with cyclists biking more than 100 miles a day, many of those stages taking place in the mountains. It's a race that makes the Ironman competitions seem like a lazy afternoon of lawn darts and croquet. Floyd Landis won the Tour de France with, for all practical purposes, a broken hip. I watched it the day he pulled away from the lead group and rode straight up a mountain. It was one of the most astounding feats of endurance ever seen.
Now that he's admitted taking drugs, I just have two questions. Where can I get some of that stuff Floyd was taking, and why aren't they giving it to everyone? What are we, stupid? They keep saying it's bad for you, that it will stunt your growth, make you impotent. Yet every night we can watch athletes who have admitted taking PEDs and Human Growth Hormones. They're playing pro ball long after their peers have dropped out, they're dating starlets, they're making babies and tons of money. Gee, I hate to see them wreck their lives like that. What were they thinking?
Whoever makes PEDs should be advertising them every night on the news.
"Tired, sluggish, don't have the energy to fill the dishwasher? Ask your doctor about Makesmefeelgood. Warning, may cause high energy levels, increased attention from the opposite sex, a longer life span and a raise in pay. Should you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately and ask for more." Isn't this the exact same thing the "legal" drugs claim to do?
Calling something a performance-enhancing drug makes it sound unsportsmanlike. But isn't food a performance enhancer? It would be hard to play football if you weren't allowed to eat any protein for a few weeks before the game. Food obviously boosts an athlete's performance, yet the International Olympic Committee refuses to ban it. Or should the athlete with the healthier diet be banned while the one who eats bacon-flavored ice cream gets to play? What about water? Doesn't that up your game? Yet they give it to all the athletes. At marathons, runners are encouraged to drink performance-enhancing water. Those good-for-nothing cheats.
Don't all the years Floyd Landis trained and competed count for something? You could shoot me full of crack cocaine and amphetamines and zap me with a cattle prod and I still couldn't have done what he did in the Tour de France. I couldn't make it up that hill in a car. Maybe he wouldn't have won the race without the drugs, but it's not like he coasted to the win. While he was out there training day after day, riding thousands of miles a year, others sat around the house eating snack chips and calling sports radio talk shows to complain about athletes on dope.
"I've lost all respect for them," says the guy who can't climb a flight of stairs without stopping to smoke another cigarette.
These are the same fans who go to baseball and football games and eat platefuls of unhealthy nachos washed down with staggering amounts of beer while sitting around for four hours with no more exercise than going to the bathroom. Wow, what a bunch of health nuts they are. They would never use dope. Except that stuff they take for their cholesterol, the stuff they take for their diabetes, the stuff they take for their lower-back pain, the stuff they take for their gout and the stuff they take for their ED. Isn't Viagra a performance-enhancing drug? Isn't that cheating?
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Jim Mullen is the author of "It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life" and "Baby's First Tattoo."
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