You guys realize we’re the dopes here, right? That buried inside all of the head-shaking ados about performance enhancement, it only happens because we demand it. We demand that the exceptional human beings we watch accomplishing athletic feats, progressively and continually become even more exceptional.
If one baseball player hits a zillion homeruns, we need the next one to come along and hit 700* more. If it’s not stronger, more, bigger, faster, more defiant of gravity, we’ve feel like we’ve already seen it. Snooze. We don’t want ordinary fast. We want a 10.75/100m fast.
But even though these athletes are exceptional human beings, they are still ultimately constrained by the very fact that they have a human body. Physiologically there’s only so much more, more, more they can actual give us. Short of bringing back the arenas of lions and vomitoriums, the show we pound our fists for can’t go on without performance enhancement.
“Yeah, but if they do it, they’re still cheaters! They still did bad!” Maybe. But without attention there are no sponsors, and without sponsors there is no way to support athletics as a career. You have to not only be beyond superlative, you have to LOOK like a product to survive.
We have created this business of sport. We demand an ever-more-impressive show and pay our price of admission in branded cereal accordingly.
“Nobody wins when an athlete decides to cheat with dangerous performance enhancing drugs, but clean athletes at every level expect those of us here on their behalf, to pursue the truth to ensure the win-at-all-cost culture does not permanently overtake fair, honest competition”
Win-at-all-COST being the point. If we’ve maxed out what the body can do cleanly, will we still keep watching? If not, we better be ready to pay no attention to the dope[ing] behind the curtain.
(He sells sunscreen, but eesh — he’s only 40? Maybe he didn’t get any free samples.)