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Like most everyone else I intently watched and cheered the incredible feats of McGwire, Sosa, and even Barry Bonds despite the overwhelming evidence he was a jerk. I watched Lance Armstrong's improbable success about a sport that I really don't care about because it was such an incredible story. Since then I've watched the aftermath, was it worth it for the athlete? Here's my take on these athletes. I've ranked then from Villain to the forgiven, the higher the number the more forgiven the athlete.
1.) Lance Armstrong - he has done wonderful things for cancer research, probably more than any other athlete alive. But he's my number one villain based on his actions to destroy or discredit others that tried to tell the truth. The flurry he's up against now seems like an incredible hill to climb. I believe the only reason he is coming out now is because he is facing financial ruin. Was it worth it? Probably so, without doping we might not even recognize his name, but I think he will go down as the biggest fraud of all.
2.) Barry Bonds - I will admit that his personality pushes him up my list, the press isn't the easiest to get along with at times, but he never did anything to improve his imagine. Baseball proved it's disdain for him by MLB teams showing zero interest in his services despite his ability to still put up numbers. Even the Giants had seen enough. The really sad thing is Bonds was probably a lock for Hall of Fame without taking anything, but he was jealous of the Sosa-McGwire show. Was it worth it? Probably not.
3.) Rafael Palmeiro - this ranking might be too high, I always enjoyed watching him play. But I can't get past him testifying in front of congress shaking his finger making adamant statements about how he had never taken anything. A short time later this was proved to charade. Was it worth it, probably not. If he had simply quit a little sooner his legacy could have been completely different.
3.) Roger Clements - Roger is a difficult one to grasp for me. The government's inability to prosecute lately is well documented. They couldn't convict Obama of being our president if he hired a good lawyer. It also doesn't hurt that the individual that has brought evidence against him is a complete lying scumbag. I firmly believe he took steroids, but I also believe he had a lot in the tank without steroids. Was it worth it? Not sure, but I'm leaning towards no.
5.) Alex Rodriquez - he's a "tweener at this point" . What I mean by this is the book is still being written. I believe his early success was natural, but felt the need to do even more. It also appears by the recent stats he cannot perform at a high level without some type of help. By admitting he has soften the blow, but the big paydays and recent lack of performance is probably going to destroy his legacy. Was it worth it? Probably. A bad reputation might be worth half a billion in the bank.
Forgiven (the larger the ranking the more forgiven)
6.) Sammy Sosa - I can't put my finger on exactly why, but Sosa seems to have quiety rode off into the sunset. He doesn't have a very good chance of making the hall anytime soon, but I really don't think he's all that hated. Basically when he was asked difficult questions he pleaded TED "Temporary English Deficit". Maybe it's because he and Mark McGwire provided baseball with some excitement during a time that baseball was struggling. Was it worth it? Probably, Sammy seems to have gotten off lightly.
7.) Mark McGwire - from the Andro found in his locker to testifying in front of congress, Mark, at least to begin with took the fifth. Like Sosa he provided a much needed excitement for baseball during a time baseball desperately needed it. Like Bonds the physical changes that he went through from rookie to retirement didn't create much of a mystery. Remember steroids was only illegal by a gentlemen"s agreement at the time. He's now back in baseball after admitting that he took steroids. Most people believe he's a good guy, his personality and by taking the fifth seem to have helped his legacy, however I don't believe it will be any easier for him to get into the Hall of Fame. Was it worth it? Maybe
8.) Andy Pettitte - for all the athletes out there that is in denial, you need to pay attention to how Andy Petite handled his situation. He stepped out and admitted right away, the press didn't have to dig and the story went away faster than a "barn championship". He found the right way to minimize his use and even played on the sympathies of an injury. I don't know to what extent he took steroids, but nobody has ever recovered faster than Andy. Was it worth it? Probably, HOF elections will tell the test of time.
I'm sure I've missed a few people, or have them a little out of order. But one thing is clear.
If you screw up, own up! We love and adore athletes, we want to forgive you especially if you're a good guy. If you're a butt we sometimes want you to be guilty whether you are or not.
This post has been edited 6 times, most recently by Unnamed Source 18 months ago
If you dreamed you were a sleep and you woke up, would you be awake?
Lance Armstrong has to be the most forgiven. The Livestrong Foundation, although being hurt right now, would've never been in existence. I peronally haven't never donated money specifically to cancer research, but I have bought several "Livestrong items" over other items b/c some monies were going to cancer reearch. (Before I get blasted, I give to other organizations like "United Way", etc...). How much money has been raised this way that otherwise wouldn't have been given? Millions! He has used his evil for good (Robin Hood-esque). I only say evil b/c you used the term villain. The governing bodies of cycling basked in the glory of the attention L. Armstrong brought to their sport. Then they use his tests years later to bring more attention to their sport. They tested him when he was competing. Do you honestly think they just got the results last year when this story started breaking?
This post was edited by blount4bama 18 months ago
I agree it does seem fishy how they went from nothing to a mountain of evidence.
I actually put in a $225 bid for a framed Lance Armstrong autographed photo in a silent auction at the Hornets/T-Wolves game Friday night. It was bid in a friends name 500 miles away, but I still hope I wasn't outbid.
Why they were auctioning off his signature after it was known he was about to admit to everything, I don't have a clue.
This post was edited by Ashevillain 18 months ago
The LA stuff is what movies are made of, wouldnt surprise me if he was blackmailed into admitting he took PED's when he was actually innocent. Think about it. Years later there's a mountain of evidence, but none while he was in competition? Never once tested positive! Jealous teammates (the ugly brother who never gets a hot date, yet always helps his brother get one) suddenly wanting to testify against him?
All I'm sayin is I try to keep an open mind about these things, then again don't listen to me because I'm all for PED's in the pros because it makes for an awesome viewing experience.
"Nobody makes me bleed my own blood, nobody!"
People need to learn some facts about lance armstrong. While he was going through cancer treatments his wife stayed at his side. Once he got healthy and famous he divorced his wife to go with sheryl crow. Not only did he claim he was innocent and did nothing. He attacked people openly who said he doped.
Lance armstrong is a liar, he is also a POS husband and person. He got what he deserved. He also deserves more ridicule. A lot more.
Cheaters suck. The most famous record in sports was stolen from Hank Aaron by someone cheating to get it. Look at the power hitters Bonds, Sosa, McGwire. They went from normal looking athletes early in their careers to cartoon characters with 50 lb heads during the height of PEDs. And I will say I was a huge McGwire fan at one point. And I respect him for admitting use. But the only way he should be in the HOF is with an asterisk.
This post was edited by shawnboy 18 months ago
Never Gets Old
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