Monday, May 28, 2012
I was feeling a bit guilty about how I may have been cheating a little with last week’s column by sliding in a three-year-old article instead of submitting one that I had started from scratch but then I read the definition of cheating as: “referring to an immoral way of achieving a goal. It is generally used for the breaking of rules to gain advantage in a competitive situation.” So, I guess, in that sense, I wasn’t really cheating because it wasn’t like I was taking steroids or blood doping or using someone else’s writing or anything like that and all I really did was submit some old material for a new deadline. Lazy?…maybe…kind of …but immoral?...no…cheating?…I don’t think so.
If I was feeling guilty for using some old material then I certainly got over that by Googling some real cheaters. Of course, when I think of cheating or cheaters the first thing that comes to my mind is what the definition above states-“to gain advantage in a competitive situation”- like Tour de France cyclists or track stars and baseball homerun hitters juicing up to gain some competitive edge but if you Google “cheaters” the first thing that comes up is marriage or relationship infidelity. You know, Tiger Woods or Bill Clinton or Henry VIII or Arnold Schwarzenegger or Prince Charles or...never mind, we could be here all night, I think you get the picture.
And you don’t even have to be a celebrity to get your mug on camera because of your infidelity either, there’s actually a Reality, (only the producers really know what’s real), Show called “Cheaters” where cameras follow suspected cheaters and “out” them to their mates which usually ends in massive amounts of swearing, face slapping, drink throwing, crotch kicking, almost real apologies and almost real people performing all kinds of non-family-like entertainment. Of course I am using the word “entertainment” loosely here but there must me a market for this kind of stuff because they are working on their 12th season right now?! I know! So if you are thinking of foolin’ around on the ol’ spouse tune in to a few episodes of this “entertainment” to see how NOT to do it!
Enough with the infidelity, let’s get back to the sports cheaters. I’m pretty sure that the first time anyone played any game of any kind someone was thinking of a way of cheating to win and there have been way too many examples of cheating in sports but I’ll narrow down a few of the more blatant ones and some of the denials are more immoral than the actual cheating acts. Or that’s my view on it anyway.
I’ll just throw some of these out to you instead of rating them because they’re all pretty bad:
Ben Johnson-Canada’s hero for two days in the Summer of 1988-until he tested positive for steroids after winning a Gold Medal in the 100m dash in the Seoul Summer Olympics breaking our Canadian hearts.
The 1919 Chicago Black Sox-Eight members of the team, including super-star Shoeless Joe Jackson, were involved in intentionally losing games in return for oodles of cash from gambling gangsters when they lost the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds.
Strange but true-Dora Ratjen was a German athlete who competed in the 1936 Olympics in High Jump. Dora was actually Herman, a man who was coerced by the Hitler youth into tightly binding his genitals and competing against women. And not very well either apparently. He/she finished fourth. Maybe the genital binding had something to do with the poor performance.
Stranger but true, too-Rosie Ruiz is probably the most famous marathon cheat of all time. Ruiz “won” the 1980 Boston Marathon in a then record time of 2:31:56, but it was later discovered that she had simply registered for the race and then jumped out of the crowd close to the finish line.
Baseball’s Steroid Era-There are over 130 baseball players who have admitted to, have been suspended for or have been implicated by other steroid users to using steroids or HGH (human growth hormone) to enhance their performances. Prior to 2006 Major League Baseball did not have a specific drug policy to deal with performance enhancing drugs, nevertheless, in keeping with the true definition of the term, any player who was “juiced” while playing was, in my mind, cheating.
“But human nature dictates that there will always be cheaters. That's inevitable. Where there's money involved and glory, there are going to be people that cheat, and there will always be ways to cheat.”- David Millar (1977-)