What is it with old people that causes them to believe all the problems in the world are the current generation’s fault and that, back in their day, none of these problems existed? It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: the older you get, the more the current generation sucks.
Recently, The Machine was at a family function doing what The Machine does best (crushing beers and talking sports) and the subject turned to steroids and performance enhancing drugs. Instantly, the old people started right in about how the integrity of sports has been ruined by these cheaters, that the records being broken (you know, the records that were set by their sports icons) should still be recognized as the real records, and that any awards should be taken away.
Case in point: Melky Cabrera, the latest pill-popper and distinguished Tuesday Teabag recipient. Melky recently won the MVP of the All-Star Game, and helped to secure home field advantage to the National League in the World Series [let’s put aside that fact that deciding home field advantage by the winning team in the All-Star Game is the Dumbest. Thing. Ever.] Unanimously, the old timers agreed that Melky should be stripped of his MVP Award, that Barry Bonds should have an asterisk next to his home run total, and that Roger Clemens should not get in to the Hall of Fame. Thank God The Machine was there to put these people in check.
The Machine: “You know it was your generation that introduced steroids to sports, right?”
Old Person: “Yeah, but not to the extent it’s being used now.” Came the expected reply.
The Machine: “So you want to make a big statement about cleaning up sports, right?”
Old Person: “I don’t like where this is headed.”
The Machine: “So let’s take away the Steelers four Super Bowls from the 70’s and Willie Mays’ two MVP awards.”
Old Person: “What the fuck are you talking about young man!”
And therein lies the problem. You can’t just set 2003 as the date by which you start taking away results. And it’s just as stupid to go further back in time. And you can’t just blame the last decade as defiling the integrity of sports. What happened, happened. Steroids weren’t illegal in the 1970’s (neither was HGH in baseball until 2005). Perhaps they weren’t “illegal” but everyone knew it was wrong. And please, can we stop with the notion that this is our fault? The Machine’s willing to bet that more professional athletes used steroids in the 1970’s than today. Steroids weren’t newsworthy then like they are now. Nobody gave a shit…kind of like nobody gave a shit about wearing seatbelts or listening to good music (seriously, the Bee Gees?).
Look, The Machine gets that being old sucks but come on people, have some perspective. Your sports idols and heroes were just as corrupt, meatheaded, and obsessed with getting an edge on the competition as ours are. And, as long as we have professional sports in this country, there will always be people that will lie and cheat their way to the top. However, The Machine’s convinced that the next generation will be worse than today’s. Kids these days…