Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Why Wisconsin Sucks

Yesterday, Milwaukee Brewers fans showed why Wisconsin is the worst state in the Union. They gave a standing ovation to 2-time PED cheater (and character assassin) Ryan Braun. For those of you who have missed baseball for the past year or so, Braun initially came under suspicion when his B urine sample tested positive for PEDs. Braun Summarily attacked the character of the urine sample handler. Braun dodged that bullet.

Then, in the middle of last season, Braun was found to have a relationship with the now infamous Biogenesis Lab in Miami (where Braun went to college). Biogenesis was found to have supplied numerous MLB players with undetectable PEDs and testosterone laced lozenges. Braun was suspended for 65 games.

Now, Braun makes his triumphant return to the sound of cheers from his sycophants. Brewers fans, and any person riding the fence on the PED issue, you can't have your cake and it it too. You can't boo Sosa, McGwire, Peralta, and others that were suspected of using PEDs and then turn around and give arguably the second most notorious PED offender (behind Alex Rodriguez) an honor usually reserved for returning war heroes and great Broadway performances.

But that underlines the very fanatical and irrational nature of the fan. As long as the guy or gal is wearing the laundry of my team, I'll absolve that player of anything, even murder. However, if it's another guy or gal in another team's laundry, and God forbid it's a heated rival like the Cardinals, then that player becomes the worst person in the world and the very embodiment of evil incarnate in the world.

I myself have gone back and forth on this issue. I became an invested baseball fan in the summer of 1998, when Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire had the entire sports world held captive with their seemingly (and suspected) super human feats. I am also guilty of yelling "A. Fraud" when Alex Rodriguez comes to the plate or "Fraud, Fraud, Fraud" when Braun steps into the batter's box at Wrigley Field.

I finally came to the conclusion that I don't care either way. Clean or not. PEDS or not. The hardest thing in all of sports (other than playing quarterback in the NFL) is to hit a 95 MPH fastball or spot a slider right on the outer third of the plate all while, I don't know, playing more games than any other major sports league in the world! If there was a pill out there that could unlock even 3% more of my brain capacity, thus insuring me fame and fortune in my career, I'd take two!

Professional sports on the macro level, and baseball on the micro level, is a multi billion dollar, highly competitive venture. A professional athlete has a very narrow window of time to cash in on their talents. Couple this with the fact that young, talented players are always on your heels, I can understand why a professional athlete would do everything they can to get a competitive edge. Let's not forget that MLB and the MLB player's union weren't too concerned with PEDs in their sport when the turnstiles were spinning like the Wheel of Fortune.

Scenes like the one depicted in Milwaukee essentially show the fickle nature of people in general. Whether it's a disgraced athlete, corrupt politician, or a family member or close friend accused of a serious crime, there's nothing a well developed PR campaign can't combat.

And when you're talented and the fans are on your side, you don't even need PR. You have everything that you'll ever need. A blind, unthinking herd of sheep looking to be amused.

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