Thursday, December 22, 2005

Shameless.

Professional Tennis player Mariano Puerta was slapped with an 8-year ban a couple days ago for a second steroid infraction. The first infraction was for the ingestion of clenbuterol, which was supposedly for asthma, and the second was for etilefrine, supposedly from drugs his wife was taking. Regardless of whether he will end up remaining guilty as charged, the current ruling is based upon the fact that as a professional athlete, he has a responsibility to remain vigilant in ensuring that he isn’t exposed to any anabolic steroids that could give him a competitive advantage over the rest of the field.

In Austin last week, there was apparently some sort of tiff between some members of the Longhorn football team and other guys that were out partying downtown. Armed Robbery? Trash-talking? We’ll find out.

Regardless of guilt or innocence, though, both of these situations piss me off. Puerta might not have taken steroids – but then again, if he didn’t, why does he have the biggest traps in tennis? And why did he come from nowhere to kicking ass and almost finishing in the top 10 in 2005? If that was truly the result of hard work, you’d think he’d be particularly sensitive to the eye of scrutiny upon him, not only due to his surprising results, but also because of this: “Puerta is one of six Argentine players caught up in doping cases in recent years.” (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/tennis/
12/21/bc.ten.puerta.doping.ap/index.html)

Back to my beloved Longhorns. Perhaps these stories are merely the result of someone trying to get attention – after all, those pictures of Matt Leinhart accompanied by the “he is a womanizer” e-mail proved to be completely false (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2005/writers/
arash_markazi/12/16/hot.read/index.html). But regardless of whether the Longhorn players or the other guys started whatever took place, nothing changes the fact that one of the guys hanging out with the players supposedly had a gun.
Now, if I’m Cedric Griffin, I’m the happiest guy in the world. It’s my senior year, and my team is undefeated. We’re going to the National Championship. I’m going to graduate in May with a college degree (yeah, yeah, I know, but here comes the best part…). Best of all, I’m about to make MILLIONS of dollars per year. I’m going to make so much money that I can wipe my ass with $20s, maybe even $100s if I’m feeling saucy. So why would I do something as stupid as getting involved in a heated argument where there’s a firearm present?

Maybe these guys are actually innocent, and I’m way off base. Maybe they’re victims of the media, or victims of their own family and friends’ mistakes. Or maybe they just have no shame.