February 3, 2013

Bill Simmons: Time to say in public what we say in private

On ESPN's Grantland, Bill Simmons finally gets around to pointing out (in "Daring to Ask the PED Question") that in 21st Century America, private conversations and public conversations don't have much to do with each other. (This applies to far more than just the role of performance-enhancing drugs in sports, of course.)

I've been interested in the effects of performance-enhancing drugs since, maybe, the 1976 East German women's swim team wiped out Shirley Babashoff's American team. Steroids and other artificial or natural male hormones have always been more interesting to me than HGH or EPO because the former are related to the sexes, to masculinity and femininity, and thus to the arts and society.

What could be more interesting than a vast experiment in which celebrities artificially up their male hormone levels before our very eyes? What experiment has more fascinating ramifications?

Spectator sports exist largely as celebrations of masculinity. The arts exist, in large part, to celebrate various combinations of masculinity and femininity (see Sexual Personae by Camille Paglia).

For example, 66-year-old Sylvester Stallone has a new action movie out. The role of PEDs in Stallone's unusual career is one that deserves serious analysis that I've never seen it get. Keep in mind that, strange as it seems now, four decades ago, Stallone wrote the most perfect, the most influential commercial movie screenplay since, maybe, Casablanca. He's an interesting guy, yet I've almost never seen anything analyzing the impact of steroids on popular culture.

But let's come back to sports.

Simmons wrote yesterday:
Daring to Ask the PED Question 
If everyone is secretly suspicious of so many athletic achievements in the 21st century, why aren't we talking about it? 
By Bill Simmons on February 1, 2013 
I made a deal with myself a long time ago: My column needed to capture the things I discuss with my friends. Last week, I realized that wasn't totally happening anymore. Something of a disconnect had emerged between my private conversations and the things I wrote for Grantland/ESPN. In essence, I had turned into two people. There's Sports Fan Me, and there's ESPN Me. 
Sports Fan Me is candid, jaded, suspicious of everyone. Sports Fan Me repeatedly gets involved in arguments and e-mail chains centered on the question, "Do you think he's cheating?" Sports Fan Me has Googled athletes' heads and jawlines, studied their sizes, then mailed before/after pictures to friends with the subject heading, "CHECK THIS OUT." ... 
ESPN Me sticks his head in the sand and doesn't say anything. 
ESPN Me occasionally pushes narratives that he doesn't totally believe in. 
ESPN Me didn't have the balls to run two e-mails that you're about to read. 
They nearly landed in each of my last four mailbags. Each time, I pulled both e-mails (and my responses) from those columns at the last minute. 
E-mail no. 1 (from David B. in Concord, North Carolina): "Why isn't anyone questioning [Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl linebacker] Ray Lewis's miraculous recovery from a torn triceps muscle? At age 37, not only did he recover in 10 weeks from an injury that usually takes 6 months minimum for recovery, but, upon returning, he played at a higher level than before he was injured. Are sports 'journalists' incapable of learning from their own mistakes (we JUST HAD both the Baseball HOF vote and Lance admitting to steroid use), or is the sport just bigger than the truth?" 

Come now, Simmons, impugning the spotless character of Ray Lewis? Who ever has a bad word to say about Ray Lewis? (I mean, other than those two guys who got stabbed to death after the 2000 Super Bowl; and they're not here to say anything, now are they?)
E-mail no. 2 (from Ben Miller in Fort Worth, Texas): "Instead of Beyonce, should we change the Super Bowl halftime show to just Adrian Peterson pissing in a cup at midfield? ... 
Sports Fan Me spent most of November and December debating the Lewis/Peterson topics with friends and coworkers, so Sports Fan Me wanted to run those e-mails. ESPN Me overruled him, believing it was unfair to speculate without any real proof … even though ongoing speculation has become as big a part of sports fandom as purchasing tickets or buying a replica jersey. That's the disconnect. 
Before those Miami New Times/Sports Illustrated bombshells dropped this week [about an "anti-aging clinic" and Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees] and we started joking about deer-antler spray, I would have wagered anything that God didn't miraculously heal Ray Lewis's torn tricep. I never actually wrote this. Alluded to it, danced around it, joked about it … just never actually came out and wrote it. I stayed away from Peterson jokes for a different reason: His historic comeback (and historically great season) seemed conceivable. ... 
Then again, I like Adrian Peterson. ... 
Will I look back at Peterson's remarkable season someday and say, "God, how did we NOT know? How stupid were we?" I say no. 
But I don't know for sure. And that's the problem. There is no such thing as "the benefit of the doubt" anymore. Not in sports. Too many people took advantage. All the benefits are gone. 
A few weeks ago, we finished a Baseball Hall of Fame voting process in which nobody was selected. Not a single guy. Keep in mind, the following stars were eligible: one of the greatest outfielders ever, one of the greatest starting pitchers ever, two of the most imposing sluggers ever, one of the greatest offensive first basemen ever, the single greatest offensive catcher ever, a member of the 500–home run club, and someone who reached base more than anyone in history except for 17 players. None of them made it to Cooperstown. Five were shunned because we were getting back at them — they cheated, they burned us, they let us down. Two were bypassed because of circumstantial evidence — we were pretty sure they cheated, and since they never defended themselves that passionately, they were out. The last guy missed out because of our anger toward the other seven guys, and because a few-dozen holier-than-thou baseball writers keep stubbornly protecting a fantasy world that no longer exists. 
Really, those snubs were driven by our residual guilt about what we didn't do during baseball's steroid boom. We ignored their swollen noggins and rippling biceps. We weren't fazed by seemingly inexplicable surges in production, or even something as fundamentally perplexing as a 37-year-old doubles hitter suddenly hitting 50-plus homers. We didn't just look the other way; we threw heavy burlap bags over our heads and taped our eyeballs shut. And because we never stepped up, those enterprising dickheads bastardized baseball and ruined one of its most sacred qualities: the wholly unique way that eight generations of players relate to one another through statistics and records. ...
We look the other way when NFL players are allowed to create any excuse they want for a four-game drug suspension (usually Adderall), or when David Stern tells a reporter that he doesn't see how PEDs would help NBA players (yeah, right). 
We look the other way as the NBA keeps its own little Santa Claus streak going: Of all the running-and-jumping sports that feature world-class athletes competing at the highest level, only the NBA hasn't had a single star get nailed for performance enhancers … you know, because there's no way hundreds of overcompetitive stars with massive egos would ever cheat to gain an edge with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake. ...
PED profiling. 
Think about that phrase again. Hasn't it become an essential part of following sports? Why won't we admit it? ... 
 Some of my favorite ways include … 
• Skip the Olympics (which has much stricter drug testing) in your prime for any dubious reason and you're on the list. 
• Enjoy your best season in years in your late 30s, four or five years after your last "best season," and you're on the list. 
• If you're a skinny dude who miraculously managed to add 20 pounds of muscle to your scarecrow frame, you're on the list. 
• If you chopped down the recovery time of a debilitating injury to something that just didn't seem possible a year ago, you're on the list. 
• If you were really good and really ripped at a really young age, and now your body is breaking down much sooner than it should be breaking down, you're on the list. 
• If you're exhibiting a level of superhuman endurance that has little correlation to the endurance of any of your competitors, you're on the list. ...
The following anecdote is 100 percent true … 
NBA players get tested up to four times during the course of a season. The fourth time can happen at any point from October to June, but once it happens, that's it. So if your fourth test occurs after your 71st game, you're clear the rest of the way. It's a running joke within NBA circles, something of a get-out-of-jail-free card: Once you pee in that fourth cup, you're good to go. Put whatever you want into your body. Feel like smoking enough weed to make Harold and Kumar blush? Knock yourself out. Feel like replacing your blood with cleaner blood so you have more endurance for the playoffs? Knock yourself out. Feel like starting a testosterone cycle because you might have to play 25 grueling playoff games over the next 10 weeks? Knock yourself out. Remember how competitive these guys are. What would they do for an edge? How far would they go? And why are we giving them the choice? 
The following anecdote is also 100 percent true … 
When Bertrand Berry and Ty Warren suffered a complete tear of their triceps, it took them six months to recover. When Arizona left tackle Levi Brown suffered a complete tear of his triceps in August 2012, the Cardinals immediately put him on their season-ending injured list. When Ray Lewis suffered a complete tear of his triceps in mid-October, we thought he was finished for the season … only he returned to action a little more than two months later. During the third month of his "recovery," he made 17 tackles in a double-overtime playoff game in Denver. In 13-degree weather. At age 37. 
So when Lewis's name landed in this week's PED scandal, nobody tumbled over in shock. We wasted the rest of Super Bowl week talking about him, wondering whether he cheated, watching his denial for signs that he was lying, Googling "deer antler spray" and talking about everything other than the game. 
Eventually, the moment will pass, like it always does. Nothing will change.  ... 
Henry Abbott's exhaustive piece on the NBA and PEDs made a fantastic point: Why did FIFA make biological passports (the single best way to catch cheaters right now) mandatory for the 2014 World Cup, but the NBA can't even convince its players to allow blood testing?

By the way, the world's greatest athlete is Lionel Messi, global soccer player of the year the last four years in a row. He took HGH medication as a child to help him grow to over five feet tall. Does Messi abuse PEDs now? I looked for pictures of him ripping his shirt off after he scores a goal, but he appears to be just about the only soccer player  who doesn't. Does Messi not take his shirt off because his torso is unnaturally ripped due to all the PEDs he's taking? Or does he not take his shirt off because he's embarrassed that his torso isn't unnaturally ripped because he isn't taking PEDs? Or (as unlikely as this sounds in a 21st Century celebrity), does Messi not take his shirt off after every goal because he has a sense of dignity and manners befitting the world's highest achieving sportsman?
Really? You're that fearful of what we'd find in your blood, NBA players? If you're not fearful, why allow your representatives to make it seem like you're that fearful? How can you expect me NOT to wonder if you're cheating? Especially when so many other world-class athletes are cheating? Are you really expecting me to believe that Don MacLean, Matt Geiger, Soumaila Samake, Lindsey Hunter, Darius Miles, Rashard Lewis and O.J. Mayo — seven guys with a combined two All-Star appearances — were the only NBA players who ever used banned performance enhancers? ...
I believe that Ray Lewis cheated. I believe that to be true based on circumstantial evidence, his age, his overcompetitiveness, the history of that specific injury, and the fact that his "recovery" made my shit detector start vibrating like a chainsaw. 
I believe in my right to write the previous paragraph because athletes pushed us to this point. We need better drug testing. We need blood testing. We need biological passports. We need that stuff now. Not in three years. Not in two years. Now. I don't even know what I am watching anymore. 
I believe we need to fix this disconnect between our private conversations and our public ones. Cheating in professional sports is an epidemic. Wondering about the reasons behind a dramatically improved performance, or a dramatically fast recovery time, shouldn't be considered off-limits for media members. We shouldn't feel like scumbags bringing this stuff up.

A few questions for readers:

- Which current star athletes appear NOT to be on the juice? 

Last summer I pointed out that tennis great Roger Federer, with his shirt off, looks like Sean Connery with his shirt off in an early James Bond movie, not like some anatomical exhibit like many of his rivals. 

A reader suggested that the L.A. Clippers point guard Chris Paul, an MVP candidate this season, seldom looks absurdly ripped.

And then we're down to golfers like Phil Mickelson ... (Has Tiger gotten over his SEAL Team Six phase?)

- Which famous athletes of the past were on The Juice? The history of the Steroid Era is not at all well understood. We really don't even know when the Steroid Era was.

To me, a couple of obvious candidates are local heroes of my boyhood. A candidate for helping pioneer use of the The Juice in college football might be The Juice himself, O.J. Simpson, who at USC in 1967-68 was probably the most famous college football player of all time. 

Now, you might think that writing an article making insinuations that maybe the character of O.J. Simpson wasn't as pure as we had once assumed wouldn't be that daunting to sportswriters. But, it doesn't seem to come up much.

My other candidate is Wilt Chamberlain. He didn't get any taller, but around the time he came out to L.A. he got a lot wider due to weightlifting. Until Wilt's late career, everybody had assumed that the beanpole look was ideal for basketball players.

With Wilt, he never really thought of basketball as a pure sport or as something where victory should be pursued at all costs because of the sacredness of the game. The NBA always seemed to him to be kind of a cross between professional wrestling, with him as the star heel, and a circus freak show, with himself as the prize exhibit. He liked winning and disliked losing, but not quite as much as most famous athletes. Wilt bored easily and he liked trying new things. I could see him trying steroids, less that other athletes to get an advantage on the other players (although certainly for that reason in part), and more because they sounded interesting and would give him something new to try.

Both O.J. and Wilt were plugged into both Southern California's Olympic track and field scene, with field athletes experimenting with Dianabol from the late 1950s onward (O.J. was part of a record setting sprint relay team at USC), and into the Hollywood scene, where steroids were on the fringes for a long time, although not really coming centerstage in the big money movies until Arnold's Conan the Barbarian (in which Wilt had his most important movie role).

Anyway, I don't have any direct evidence about O.J. and Wilt, but they are potential figures to have played a role in the popularization of steroids, which is one of the major untold stories in the cultural history of the last half century.

119 comments:

airtommy said...

By far the best baseball player not to juice during the juicing era was Chipper Jones. It clearly hurt his career, and not just in the power category. He spent most of his 30s battling through assorted injuries, and HGH would have helped his recovery time a great deal.

kandya said...

who cares? spectator sports already have all these built in biological issues that advantage one man or one race over the other. I say get it over with and let people take whatever dope they want. Winning the gold medal because your body naturally secretes more testosterone or EPO isnt much more noble than winning because you supplemented with some artificial EPO or testosterone.

Anonymous said...

This article says that the 1963 Chargers were teh team that really introduced steroids to football, a claim I've seen in numerous bodybuilding and weightlifting publications.


http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/otl/news/story?id=3866837

You've got to rmemeber that as late as the early 1960s, a lot coaches - older coaches- in football, and most other sports, still discouraged players from lifting weights for fear it would make them "musclebound".

While some athletes - mainly bodybuilders and weightlifters - were using testosterone as early as the 1930s. The 1956 Olympics were the real start of the steroid era. The Soviet team came in roided up, and won a bunch of medals. In 1960, dianabol was offered to members of the U.S. Olympic weightlifting team. Only some of them took it, but the ones who did must have been impressed at the results because it pretty quickly became widespread in bodybuilding and weightlifitng circles.


You

Steve Sailer said...

"This article says that the 1963 Chargers were the team that really introduced steroids to football"

My vague impression is that the two states that were early centers of steroid use were California, with its Olympic, Muscle Beach, Hollywood, and gay connections, and Pennsylvania, where the barbell manufacturing companies were located.

Anonymous said...

Was CASABLANCA really influential? I wish it were, but I can't think of too many films since with the same kind of heart, intelligence, and romance. I think maybe CASABLANCA is the sort of movie that many filmmakers wanted to repeat but realized couldn't be done too many times.

As for ROCKY, Stallone hardly came up with anything new. He mixed CINDERELLA with ON THE WATERFRONT, formula with realism(that was also vogue in early 70s cinema). In terms of its setup, it isn't much different from THE GRADUATE.

One could also argue that ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST was there before ROCKY. Like Stallone's movie, CUCKOO is both part of early 70s New Cinema and part of a new professionalism pushing just the right buttons on the audience.
It is both genuinely powerful and 'smashingly effective'--as Kael called it.

New Cinema of the early 70s was faltering by the mid-70s, but it left its mark on guys on Stallone. So, he kept some of the grit but also offered uplift.

SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER did much the same. All those Italian-Americans.

Anonymous said...

Last summer I pointed out that tennis great Roger Federer, with his shirt off, looks like Sean Connery with his shirt off in an early James Bond movie, not like some anatomical exhibit like many of his rivals.

True, though PEDs like growth hormones can help maintenance and recovery and inhibit tennis elbow and the like.

Anonymous said...

Drug users should invoke 'equality'. If drugs make inferior athletes as good or even better than naturally better athletes, then it has the effect of 'affirmative athletics'.

Anonymous said...

Here is a picture of Messi shirtless. Not ripped.

http://fearofbliss.com/2010/07/16/lionel-messi-girlfriend-antonella-roccuzzo-the-beach/

Here is a picture of Renaldo the second best player in the world. Ripped.

http://cristiano-ronaldo7-real-madrid.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/cristiano-ronaldo-hattrick.html

countenance said...

Bill Simmons: Time to say in public what we say in private

Oh, I thought we were getting permission to talk about race.

Anonymous said...

I know nothing about sports and care even less. Some kind of anvy however would have me prefer that sportsgods suffer for all that they receive and that they juice and fall apart and die young for having outcompeted me.

Not a very noble sentiment perhaps but I like it.

In addition, if drugging for human feats of strength, endurance and the like were encouraged I'm pretty sure I'd start to find such competitions interesting. Seeing body buildingt freaks on magazine racks and the like attracts my attention like a car accident does while extraordinary feats by human beings attract my fascinated approval and curioisty. Combine the two by taking regular homo sapiens and juicing them up with all kinds of chemicals and I assume I'd start to find sporting events more interesting than drying paint.

Also, and apparently this is just me, I genuinely have never - not ever - understood the fascinated adulation with which so many co-gender co-citizens of mine view the subhuman oversexd denizens of the field. When I watch the pure worshipful joy with which so many of my (slightly more athletic) friends speak about some illiterate horndog ball thrower I can't help but hear them squeal with porcine glee as they bend over to present themselves and their womenfolk to these olympian gods of theirs.


dearieme said...

"private conversations and public conversations don't have much to do with each other": a familiar reason why some people hoot with laughter when Americans boast of their free speech.

Anonymous said...

*envy*

I'm proud to both feel and admit my *envy* and desire for schaudenfreude with regard to these folk. In my opinion people with explanations for why they like this envy and dislike for those who so outcompete them are natural slaves. Their position may be a more contented one but I'm proud to not count myself among them.

Again, *envy*.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if critically-minded people like Bill Simmons would discuss culture and politics rather than crap about whether blockhead X, or shit-for-brains Y is drugging himself. What a waste.

FWG said...

Anon@3:39, based on some things I've seen, I'm not sure most iSteve commenters would agree with his sociopolitical views.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Pedro Matrinez juiced. And he totally dominated during the steroid era. Quite amazing.

CJ said...

Must admit I got excited reading the words "time to say in public what we say in private". Rather disappointing that he then restricted himself to sports and related drugs.

The latter do have some cultural interest, as your Stallone point shows. Stallone and Schwarzenegger are examples of cultural figures long involved in the weightlifting/steroid culture. By my count Stallone wrote two influential prototypical screenplays, Rocky and Rambo. (Influential doesn't mean they're good, but those two series of movies are known around the world.)

Any other readers out there who tend to tune out whenever the topics is industry awards? Golden Globes, Oscars, who should get into the Hockey/Baseball/Rock'n'Roll Halls of Fame, United Way Humanitarian of the Year, whatever other self-congratulatory wankfests are out there - anyone else out there who tunes out immediately when these are the subject? Steve is the only thinker I know of who can extract anything interesting from this material.

elvisd said...

The arts exist, in large part, to celebrate various combinations of masculinity and femininity (see Sexual Personae by Camille Paglia)

I'm not surprised that you're familiar with Paglia. Like Jean Baudrillard, she's a one trick pony, but a sometimes entertaining one.

Anonymous said...

>'although cyclists as a group are knowledgeable about drugs they are riding measureably slower this year'-

Says ESPN, like it's good. It's not good.

Not good. It's not good that reduced athletic ability is bragged about. It's not good news that the ankle-kicking, whine to the referee guys are left and the macho go for it's are getting run off.

In ten years, when I need to start juicing to overcome aging, I want a whole army of jock retards out there in front of me, juicing every which way there is. Finding out what works and dead from what doesn't. Physical askesis is their duty as athletes. Shouldn't smart juicers be using estrogen as well as testosterone? More testosterone for guys, five times less for girls, but lots for both.


I hate to see the next evolution of medical biochemistry pissed away on the sinister glamor of crime, police spies, assorted shystering.

Anonymous said...

I've been interested in the effects of performance-enhancing drugs since, maybe, the 1976 East German women's swim team wiped out Shirley Babashoff's American team. Steroids and other artificial or natural male hormones have always been more interesting to me than HGH or EPO because the former are related to the sexes, to masculinity and femininity, and thus to the arts and society.
I knew Shirley was on the same swim team in Huntington Beach before she went to Mission Viejo.

kudzu bob said...

Who cares whether athletes take so many performance-enhancing drugs that they explode during mid-play? Their remains could easily be washed off the Astroturf with high-pressure hoses.

A far more interesting question is why clinicians never use these sorts of drugs to speed up the healing of ordinary people who suffer from illness or injury.

kudzu bob said...

"private conversations and public conversations don't have much to do with each other": a familiar reason why some people hoot with laughter when Americans boast of their free speech.

Gore Vidal once remarked that Americans like to brag about the First Amendment but consider using it to be a form of rudeness.

Anonymous said...

Don't know why you brought up Wilt. He didn't need steroids - he was 7 feet whatever and a track star in college. He muscled everyone out of his way in the 60s and 70s and dunked?

Next you'll be telling us that Shaq used steroids.

Anonymous said...

Except that I'm sure Bill Simmons has conventionally liberal views on just about every political and cultural issue so no it wouldn't be.

Just a quick question to anon weirdo. Do you let anyone you admire mount you and your womenfolk (in your case obviously mom/sister not gf/wife)? Honestly, have you not seen pictures of nerds panting at CAPCOM for glimpses of whomever the heck famous goes to CAPCOM. Weak people are often over enthusiastic in their support of idols. But honestly I prefer their hero-worship to the nihlist I am going to shoot up a Buffalo Wild Wings on Super Bowl Sunday vibe you are giving off.

Sideways said...

Given what happened to baseball numbers in the last decade, it seems that a lot of them are no longer on steroids. But guessing individuals is pointless and stupid.

The large majority of guys caught in the early baseball steroid tests weren't people you'd guess (a bunch of little, bad, glove-first middle infielders, etc). More recently, the guys caught have been much more likely to be good sluggers, so it might be getting easier now to guess names.

Anonymous said...

A 3rd century AD representation of Herakles.

Besides the six-pack you can see a vein popping out of his right biceps.

I'm guessing that the sculptor used some local jock as a model. He couldn't have just imagined all of that. How would he have known about veins popping?

This can serve as a reference point on what can be done naturally.

Steve Sailer said...

Another possibility is that the models for ancient and Renaissance muscle man statues like Michelangelo's David were marble workers, the guys who cut the blocks of marble that the sculptors worked with. Mark Helprin's novel "A Soldier of the Great War" has a scene set in a marble quarry where all the guys hammering away have huge muscles.

But, the most likely thing is professional model / actor/ whatevers.

Shawn said...

Comedian Carrot Top was (is?) obviously on PED, google his pics.

Ex Submarine Officer said...

Any other readers out there who tend to tune out whenever the topics is industry awards? Golden Globes, Oscars, who should get into the Hockey/Baseball/Rock'n'Roll Halls of Fame, United Way Humanitarian of the Year, whatever other self-congratulatory wankfests are out there - anyone else out there who tunes out immediately when these are the subject? Steve is the only thinker I know of who can extract anything interesting from this material.

Me, for one. And even Steve's valiant efforts are usually lost on me.

In this case, I can't think of a subject less interesting for a drilldown into public/private discourse dichotomy.

JeremiahJohnbalaya said...

Another possibility is that the models for ancient and Renaissance muscle man statues like Michelangelo's David were marble workers, the guys who cut the blocks of marble that the sculptors worked with

Another possibility is that many men did hard, manual labor. Particularly if they were slaves, I guess.

Mr. Anon said...

The lights went out at the superbowl. The biggest game - the biggest show - in this sports and entertainment obsessed country, and they are playing in semi-darkness.

Isn't this one of the things that belong on Steve's list of things that shouldn't happen in modern America - like train crashes. Perhaps next year the NFL will think twice about holding the big game in a vibrant chocolate city, with vibrant chocolate electrical contractors.

Still more evidence, if more were needed, of the decline of the U.S.

Auntie Analogue said...


Anyone who expects sports or civil authorities to end athlete juicing is completely out of touch. We live now in the Age of Neo-Barbarism, the Age of Anything Goes Excess. Whatever or whomever makes the most money and makes it the fastest for the globalist power elite is the thing to bet on.

Even those who are supposedly caught and are supposedly "penalized" for infractions or outright lawbreaking are rewarded with amnesty or with the windfall from writing tell-all books or from selling the rights to their story to Hollywood/Media-Pravda. (For example: who knows, or cares about, the retroactively-declared winners of the Tours de France that Lance Armstrong cheated to win? Does anyone know these retroactive winners' names - and are these winners able to, are they going to profit from their victories to the same degree to which Armstrong profited hugely from his temporary hold on the yellow jerseys? Of course they're not. Armstrong, despite his "punishment" and "embarrassment," is still as rich as Croesus and will go on getting richer. The same is true for all the other cheaters and lawbreakers, from juicers to illegal immigrant colonists to the Al Sharptons of the social engineering hustler parasite industry: they will all be rewarded and go on being rewarded while Joe and Jane Average will go on being the Forgotten Man who gets to pay for the privileges awarded to the mercenary cheaters and for all the freebies lavished on favored, gravy-lapping members of La Raza and all the other race-privileged slackers.)

To the globalist power elite (who are the "Who" in the Who-Whom calculus) everyone else is either nothing more than a lowly consumerist member (the "Whom") of the deliberately-created open-borders global cheap labor pool, or is a mercenary (also the "Whom") to pay a small premium to for sensational athletic, pop culture, scientific, or computer performance, whether, or not that performance is boosted by juicing, substituted by lip-synching, enhanced by CGI, fashioned from whole cloth by Media-Pravda, or by any other artificial means.

If you have something more than your cheap labor to sell and you actually have sufficient IQ to be able to know how to sell what you have to sell, then you get to join the globalist elite's revolving-door Praetorian Guard of disposable mercenaries for so long as the something that you have to sell goes on selling (and if you're lucky, the globalist power elite will not have spent the pension fund they were supposed to keep secure for your retirement). Everyone else is and will go on remaining chopped liver.

In short, don't waste your time getting yourself all worked up over athlete juicing or illegal immigrant colonization, because in those instances, and in all other instances for which the Forgotten Man will go on paying through his nose, the fix is in and that fix is going to stay in.

Anonymous said...

"A far more interesting question is why clinicians never use these sorts of drugs to speed up the healing of ordinary people who suffer from illness or injury." - These aren't wonder drugs or miracle cures, they will exact a price later.

Anonymous said...

The San Antonio Spurs big three, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, and Tony Parker are even less suspicious than Chris Paul. They all look just like normal dudes in terms of muscle mass.

Cail Corishev said...

I was impressed with Boomer Esiason today. After Sharpe tossed Lewis a couple "hard questions" so Lewis could call himself one of God's chosen prophets (or whatever he was going on about), Esiason just called bullshit on it and said, "Yeah, he still hasn't told us what he knows about those murders." I wasn't expecting that, in the mutual admiration society that normally passes for NFL analysis.

kudzu bob said...

These aren't wonder drugs or miracle cures, they will exact a price later.

To be sure. But it doesn't follow that the price is never worth paying under any circumstances.

Anonymous said...

How polite of Simmons to leave Michael Jordan and hank aaron out of the conversation.

Truth said...

"By far the best baseball player not to juice during the juicing era was Chipper Jones."

"Dude, do you want to step outside?!?!?"

-Ken Griffey jr.

slumber_j said...

Yeah, I've also been interested in PEDs with respect to East Germany since 1976, when National Lampoon became interested in the topic. And featured it on their cover:

http://cdn1.iofferphoto.com/img/item/146/349/345/fyCB.jpg

slumber_j said...

Sorry: it was the Soviet Union. But you take my point...

DYork said...

Anonymous said...

Here is a picture of Messi shirtless. Not ripped.

http://fearofbliss.com/2010/07/16/lionel-messi-girlfriend-antonella-roccuzzo-the-beach/

Here is a picture of Renaldo the second best player in the world. Ripped.

http://cristiano-ronaldo7-real-madrid.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/cristiano-ronaldo-hattrick.html


Messi looks like hell. But what is he expected to do in soccer? Run a little, jog a little, kick de boal.


And his girlfriend is betraying some possible sub-saharan dna in that Italian gene pool, not meaning to give credit to that idiot Tarrentino.

Ronaldo doesn't look that "ripped". I can get myself in that kind of shape, at least looks wise, and I'm a skinny old guy who grew up on cocoa puffs, ginger ale and pop tarts.

A lot of 1970s kids had that look. It's just being young, fit and with low body fat.

Anonymous said...

A 3rd century AD representation of Herakles.

Besides the six-pack you can see a vein popping out of his right biceps.


I'll bet almost everyone nowadays would say he was juicing if he was from our age. My guess is lots of meat and fish and gross stuff like bread soaked in ox blood and olive oil.

Norville Rogers said...

Meanwhile Bill Simmons "hosts" @ Grantland.com which publishes just about the most blinkered Cultural Coverage of celebrities & bogus news controversies that one might encounter anywhere this side of The Daily Beast--while remembering to mix spray on just enough brainless attitude and bro humor to mask the its heavy daytime-TV stench.

Simmons = Joy Behar with a better memory for basketball stats

Anonymous said...

And then there is the negative correlation between numbers of whites in a state and murder.

Anonymous said...

"A 3rd century AD representation of Herakles".

I agree with the general sentiment here and came to the same conclusion; actually, the statue is (probably) even exaggerated.

Most of the professional jocks you see today do look excessively bulky in comparison to most ancient statues of the male ideal.

Perhaps some races have more endogenous steroids, paralleling, eg, the differential racial incidence of prostate cancer, but even still it looks very suspicious.

Anon.

Anonymous said...

"Simmons = Joy Behar with a better memory for basketball stats"

You are correct.

I read Simmons basketball book and its full of conventional liberal snark about politics and culture. Constant yakking about "racism" and "sexism" shots at Bush and Reagan. The 50s were all about Oppression and Joe McCarthy. The 60s were the noble struggle for Civil rights and the 80s the dark age of Reagan.

ben tillman said...

Which current star athletes appear NOT to be on the juice?

Durant.

Dwyane and LeBron are juicing.

Anonymous said...

Simmons is the worst. Swpl pussy. Yeah Bill, you and you alone are finally mustering up the courage to talk PEDs. I may have to kick his ass when I'm in Vegas next.

Dan in DC

Anonymous said...

A 3rd century AD representation of Herakles.

Besides the six-pack you can see a vein popping out of his right biceps.

I'm guessing that the sculptor used some local jock as a model. He couldn't have just imagined all of that.




Commenters here really crack me up. "Hey man, you can't tell me that Frank Frazetta just imagined all those Conan pictures he came up with! He must have had some local jock - no doubt on steroids - as a model!"

Claude L.C. Bellhouse said...

The wife and I were watching an old Robert Mitchum movie the other day. Mitchum was famous for being built like a professional athlete. He was especially good it seems at fighting, riding horses and picking up extremely heavy things without thinking about it. He was also famous for making women go into a coma when they would see him without a shirt. I know this from reading a really good biography of the guy, "Baby, I Don't Care." He could also act his ass off.

In the movie we were watching he goes shirtless for quite some time, and it's interesting to see what a 1940s hunk looks like. What he looks like is a young Johnny Weissmuller. Big, smooth, well-defined, but NOT like a sideshow strong man. In other words not like Eugene Sandow. Google that name. Ya ain't got the guts.

Anyway along the same lines, when I was 17 in the early 70s I worked as an Opel mechanic at a Buick dealership. There was a man there about 50 who was held in awe by all the other guys. He was an engine rebuilder and had been the European Theater boxing champion whenever it was he was in the army. I didn't know the details. But all the guys told me that this fellow "old as he is" was the strongest guy in the shop. He didn't look remarkable, but I did notice he sort of carried himself funny. But it was because his chest was so deep and his shoulders sloped down from the top of his neck.

And he could fight. I saw him fight a guy in the garage one day who was 20 years younger than him. And it was a real fight. There was a compelling reason for it. The old guy simply hit the young guy in the head and stomach very rapidly about 5 or 6 times. He didn't even take his glasses off.

He looked just like a friendly older man with slightly thinning gray hair and rimless eyeglasses. But his upper body was so perfectly muscled that his shoulders made him appear stooped at first glance. But there were no popping veins or any massive bulk. The weirdest thing was that his forearms appeared larger than his biceps. Like Popeye.

All these guys were just normal fellas who had a lucky build and did manual labor or sports as young men. That's it. It was the luck of the draw. Especially that older mechanic. That guy was totally genetic, enhanced a little by the work he did. But he drank and smoked like I still want to. A lot.

Anonymous said...

Winning the gold medal because your body naturally secretes more testosterone or EPO isnt much more noble than winning because you supplemented with some artificial EPO or testosterone.


Well, yes, actually, it is.

Next you'll be claiming that getting A's by studying hard isn't much more noble than getting A's by having a friend feed you the answers on a concealed earpiece.

Or than getting money via honest work isn't much more noble than getting money by sticking up a convenience store. Because the end result is all that counts, not how you get there, right?

You're a moral and intellectual moron.

Anonymous said...

Classical statues were likely composites of several models and some guesswork. To modern bodybuilding eyes the Herakles statue's legs look underdeveloped, his core looks exaggerated, and his pecs are somewhat small.

Compare to state of the art roids:

http://www.learn-bodybuilding.com/images/bb/kev3.jpg

Anonymous said...

Bobby Julich probably rode the 2001 Tour de France clean. He finished 18th, about 45 minutes back. He was quite likely the best finishing clean rider.

Anonymous said...

So what's going on? A calamitous immigration deal is in the works, and day after day Steve posts about nothing but sports and movies. Is this some sort of meta-commentary on the state of our political discourse?

Anonymous said...

So what's going on? A calamitous immigration deal is in the works, and day after day Steve posts about nothing but sports and movies. Is this some sort of meta-commentary on the state of our political discourse? Or is Steve working on something important offline?

Anonymous said...

Dwyane and LeBron are juicing.

Wade's athleticism is falling off a cliff so he might be juicing out of desparation. But Lebron is not -- he has looked crazy big like that since he was in high school, just a genetic freak. There have been no unnatural changes in his body since he came on the national scene at 16-17.

Kobe was quite public about going to Germany for exotic blood treatments, which may not be illegal under NBA rules but are definitely performance enhancing.

DYork said...

Bodybuilders Through the Ages

Over the past 150 years, bodybuilders have gone from circus sideshows to celebrities, imparting fitness lessons along the way

Truth said...

"Meanwhile Bill Simmons "hosts" @ Grantland.com which publishes just about the most blinkered Cultural Coverage of celebrities & bogus news controversies that one might encounter anywhere this side of The Daily Beast--while remembering to mix spray on just enough brainless attitude and bro humor to mask the its heavy daytime-TV stench."

Now that's funny.

Rick Sanchez said...

Anonymous 2/3/13, 3:39 PM: "It would be nice if critically-minded people like Bill Simmons would discuss culture and politics rather than crap about whether blockhead X, or shit-for-brains Y is drugging himself. What a waste."
-
That's a good idea. I could use the company.

Daybreaker said...

My vote for a great sportsman of the past who was never on the juice: Anatoly Karpov.

He did resort to parapsychology though.

Anonymous said...

the most important aspect of quality play in soccer is leg (and to a lesser extent core) strength. leg strength contributes to explosiveness but is also critical to execution of soccer's ballet-like movements (one leg in the air as the other is carefully brought to contact with the ball for a perfect touch). just a cm off and you have an amateur shank. look closely at otherwise normal-size top players and they all have oversized legs. frank lampard, ronaldinho, and messi all come to mind. in messi's case, years-long runt therapy with HGH injections DIRECTLY INTO THE LEGS in adolescence undoubtedly produced larger, stronger leg muscles, making him the world's best ever attacking player.

the funny thing though, in evaluating player body language for alpha/beta tendencies, is how the #1 alpha male in top european competition is also the one player who suffered through childhood and adolscence as the smallest kid in the class, positively tiny, so small he needed medical therapy with HGH to stave off dwarfism--that's right, lionel messi! bristling with energy, alpha-esque head jerks, instinctive derisive huffs at nemesis christiano ronaldo in the pre-match handshake...I have seen many top players (ronaldo included, xavi, iniesta, etc.) exhibit at least a whisper of the beta, but have never seen messi exude one ounce of self doubt or any approval-seeking or subservient beta cues in years of play. is it the certainty of the "I don't read books" 90 IQ messi, riding a wave of unending confidence after each goal, or could it be some sort of artificial testosterone overload?

Anonymous said...

and when the renaissance men were hammering stone for the david, they didn't switch to abs the next day. they came back and hammered away again using all the same muscles.

Anonymous said...

"So what's going on? A calamitous immigration deal is in the works, and day after day Steve posts about nothing but sports and movies. Is this some sort of meta-commentary on the state of our political discourse? Or is Steve working on something important offline?"

I guess Steve finally figured out how to make blogging really pay. It's the blog that didn't bark.

Seriously, what is there to say that he hasn't already said on immigration? Not that I don't like to read more of it.

irishman said...

The reason footballers don't take their shirts off when they score a goal is that FIFA banned it a few years ago to appease Muslims.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/3083490.stm

I'm hoping that once we're through getting our way on gay marriage that repealing that rule will be next on the homosexual agenda. I think I'll have to raise it at the next AGM.

Cristiano Ronaldo went to Man Utd a scrawny teenager, then about 22-24ish, he got ripped. He is from Portugal and plays in Spain, that's alarm bells going off right there. Same applies to Messi.

I'm pretty sure Wayne Rooney is clean. If he is he is the best athlete in the world.


P.S. I looked at 5 minutes of the Superbowl last night at around 2-3 AM my time. How you people dare call football (you know that kind of football where you use your feet) boring is beyond me. Gridiron and baseball are the most tedious sports I've ever seen.

Addendum. I think the best argument patriots should use to stop those Republican pigs from pissing on their voters is the only kind those bastards understand. A monetary one.

Amnesty would cost 2.6 trillion dollars. Ironically, around the same amount of money as the first ten year cost of Obama-care.

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2007/06/amnesty-will-cost-us-taxpayers-at-least-26-trillion

http://dailycaller.com/2012/07/11/analysis-obamacare-to-cost-2-6-trillion-over-first-full-decade/

slumber_j said...

You people all stick together!! As Steve Sailer might point out, here again we see Steve Sailer displaying crypto-Helvetian solidarity with Soul Brother #1, Roger Federer. A disgusting spectacle, once you know to look for it...

Between their tribal control of the subtext of iSteve and their stranglehold on a huge chunk of the world banking system, these people can't be stopped. But we're not supposed to talk about it. The world burns, but they just count their money and eat fondue while petting their gigantic dogs. Mum's the word, everyone!

Hunsdon said...

Anonydroid at 3:17 said: I know nothing about sports and care even less. Some kind of anvy however would have me prefer that sportsgods suffer for all that they receive and that they juice and fall apart and die young for having outcompeted me.

Hunsdon: Sounds like a personal problem, maybe you should speak with the chaplain.

Anonymous said...

" panem et circenses" ...

Anonymous said...

Yea gay marriage is happening because the gays want it not because the international left wants a wedge against Christianity and bourgeois stability. When it was just a bunch of fat queens and 22 bar tenders the gay rights movement was a joke. But the blacks learned quickly that the institutional push doesn't last forever. Sooner or later the left gets bored, your act gets stale, and poof the NYPD is using racial profiling again. You guys are just like blacks it'll be back to ghetto with you once the left picks its next pet. In fact quelle surprise, I'm pretty sure next on the agenda is Muslims so enjoy the bath houses while you can. Ain't many gays in Malmo. When the next gay super virus hits and all of a sudden Tom Hanks isn't interested I'm sure it will be just as persuasive with Nick Cage.

Anonymous said...

Soccer players don't need drugs to give them brute strength. It is mainly about skill in controlling and passing a ball. They need to be fairly fit but they don't need the level of fitness required by athletes. There are many stories about runners attempting to help soccer clubs train and giving up because the footballer wouldn't or couldn't run far enough.

There is a lot of unanimity about who have been the best players over the decades and they have been all shapes and sizes. The world's best players in the 1950s were Puskas, a short fat Hungarian, and Di Stefano, an Argentinian of ordinary build. Here they are in 1960 when they were still great players :

http://www.thefootyblog.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Puskas-Di-Stefano1.jpg

The greatest player in the 1960s and probably of all time was Pele, a black man who is admired even by soccer fans who would call themselves racists for his great ability and dignity. Here he is with Bobby Moore, captain of England.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/cumbria/content/images/2008/04/02/pele_r_moore_320x470.jpg

The best player in the 70s was Cruyff a skinny Dutchman who smoked a lot. In the 80s it was Maradona , a chubby Argentinian who took drugs.

Anonymous said...

"The lights went out at the superbowl. The biggest game - the biggest show - in this sports and entertainment obsessed country, and they are playing in semi-darkness."

darkball is more fun, though is it racist to say so?


"Yeah, I've also been interested in PEDs with respect to East Germany since 1976, when National Lampoon became interested in the topic. And featured it on their cover:

http://cdn1.iofferphoto.com/img/item/146/349/345/fyCB.jpg"

not enough muscle mass.....

el supremo said...

re: the Hercules statue

In the ancient world Hercules was often depicted as an enormous mountain of a man and was not meant to appear as a human athelete, even one in peak condition. His physique was meant to be extreme, likes his deeds.

The typical classical athelte was not expected to be as huge as Hercules, but rather slimmer - the famos statue of the discus thrower is more of the classical ideal of the atlete, and that is not excessively ripped.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/49/Discobolus_Lancelotti_Massimo.jpg

But as the original poster noted, the classical statues of hugely ripped people like Hercules do show its possible to get the physique without juicing.

Anonymous said...

"Drug users should invoke 'equality'. If drugs make inferior athletes as good or even better than naturally better athletes, then it has the effect of 'affirmative athletics'. "


"One year before the 2000 Olympics, at a small meet in Ringwood, Melbourne, Werner Reiterer-fueled by banned drugs-hurled a discus 69.69 m. Had he repeated that throw at the Games, he'd have won gold. But Reiterer did not compete in Sydney. Instead, he quit athletics, wrote a book about doping-among the most disturbing published on the subject-and dumped it in the host nation's lap just two months before the Opening Ceremony. "

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2056102,00.html


"In this book you will learn the story of a very promising discus thrower who rose up the ranks in Australia and eventually the world. You will learn that when he broke a junior world record, he was treated with indifference by a hypocritical system which perpetuated the problem while simultaneously denouncing it in the media. Werner went to two Olympics as a “natural”, steadfastly sticking to his guns. In the end he gave in because “To go through all the pain and sacrifice, the hard winters, busting your guts morning and night, then to travel the world and be beaten by inferior athletes with inferior technique is very hard to deal with”."

http://www.danielyeow.com/oldsite/positive.htm


""A far more interesting question is why clinicians never use these sorts of drugs to speed up the healing of ordinary people who suffer from illness or injury.""

apparently they are quite helpful to the AIDs patients in regards to loss of muscle mass.

FredR said...

"Spectator sports exist largely as celebrations of masculinity. The arts exist, in large part, to celebrate various combinations of masculinity and femininity"

Superbowl + Beyonce's half-time show.

Anonymous said...

But Lebron is not -- he has looked crazy big like that since he was in high school

You can't assume that high schoolers are clean these days, either. And he didn't look all that muscular in high school:

http://net.archbold.k12.oh.us/ahs/web_class/Spring_10/lebronjames_stevens/images/highschool%202.jpg

BB said...

Soccer requires a combination of stamina and speed, though more of the former . If I were looking for drugs in soccer, I´d test for HGH and EPO.
I imagine everybody has been doing drugs in professional sports for decades, so we might as well legalize it. Or set up different events/championships for drug and non-drug users. Even amateurs dope up. It´s ridiculous. Everybody knows but we all pretend it doesn´t happen. And gang up on the poor chap caught red-handed. Sports is all about drugs today.
There´s no bloody way a human being can go through the current Tour de France schedule without chemical help.

Carol said...

he has looked crazy big like that since he was in high school,

Maybe he started juicing in HS.

NOTA said...

Whether top athletes juice or not is pretty much of no importance in the world. On the other hand, the phenomenon of paid talking heads avoiding certain uncomfortable topics on the air, even though they think and talk about them all the time in person, seems pretty interesting. Indeed, I think this is probably the best place to think and talk about the general phenomenon of media and individual blind spots of this kind. If you start talking about blind spots centered around serious issues (Israeli influence in the US, the black/white performance gap, US war crimes), people get really upset and angry, and the subject tends to shift from blind spots to why you are an antisemite or racist or traitor. Blind spots centered around relatively unimportant stuff (PEDs in sports, which celebs are gay) are probably going to be a lot easier to talk about. And reasoning about those can make it easier to think clearly about those other blind spots.

This is important. The mainstream media provide the picture of the world that you more-or-less have to pretend to believe to fit in as an informed, non-crazy person in the world of ideas. And yet, that picture is riddled with lies and errors and blind spots and made-up stuff. Most of what we "know" about the world comes from that picture, and a huge amount of it is wrong and we mostly don't even realize it's wrong--like some kid who thinks he knows a lot about war because he's watched a lot of war movies.

To my mind, there's a huge amount in common between the way US coverage of the Olympics handled PEDs (often speculating about it for foreigners, ignoring the bulging, Hulk-like physiques of the American girls' gymnastics team) and the way US coverage handles our wars and foreign entanglements (where nothing the US does gets called torture, for example).

Svigor said...

Does Messi not take his shirt off because his torso is unnaturally ripped due to all the PEDs he's taking? Or does he not take his shirt off because he's embarrassed that his torso isn't unnaturally ripped because he isn't taking PEDs? Or (as unlikely as this sounds in a 21st Century celebrity), does Messi not take his shirt off after every goal because he has a sense of dignity and manners befitting the world's highest achieving sportsman?

Haha. This is why I at least skim even when you write about lame topics (sports: WGAF?). Great stuff. Sad that having a GD ounce of sense is "great stuff" these days.

Svigor said...

P.S. I looked at 5 minutes of the Superbowl last night at around 2-3 AM my time. How you people dare call football (you know that kind of football where you use your feet) boring is beyond me. Gridiron and baseball are the most tedious sports I've ever seen.

I shit on all sports from a great height. (Not really, but the bread and circus aspect has gotten too obvious by this point)

And football is objectively more entertaining to watch than soccer. Soccer is much more democratic, more accessible, more "the people's sport." It's practically inevitable that it'd be less interesting to watch. Checkers to football's chess.

I've got no dog in the hunt, and that's my take.

Anonymous said...

"I'm hoping that once we're through getting our way on gay marriage that repealing that rule will be next on the homosexual agenda. I think I'll have to raise it at the next AGM."

Speaking of which...there was a really unappealing Calvin Klein commercial on the Super Bowl last night. A bunch of ripped male models in only Klein underwear.

As a woman, I can tell you the bodies weren't sexy. They had that lithe look that gay men like (sex pac abs or not), and the models were posing in a noticeably "gay way." I'll put it this way--no straight man would pose in that fashion.

I realize gay males watch the Super Bowl they way most of America does, but Klein reaches that audience already, w/o making ads appealing to gays.

Most wives buy their husband his underwear so I suspect Klein's ad team was an attempt to appeal to women, but I think they misfigured.

I'm not one to call gay men names so I was surprised when, as I watched the ad and the body type of the models and especially their posing, "Wow, that's really faggy."

Not a good way to sell underwear.


Svigor said...

Even those who are supposedly caught and are supposedly "penalized" for infractions or outright lawbreaking are rewarded with amnesty or with the windfall from writing tell-all books or from selling the rights to their story to Hollywood/Media-Pravda. (For example: who knows, or cares about, the retroactively-declared winners of the Tours de France that Lance Armstrong cheated to win? Does anyone know these retroactive winners' names - and are these winners able to, are they going to profit from their victories to the same degree to which Armstrong profited hugely from his temporary hold on the yellow jerseys? Of course they're not. Armstrong, despite his "punishment" and "embarrassment," is still as rich as Croesus and will go on getting richer. The same is true for all the other cheaters and lawbreakers, from juicers to illegal immigrant colonists to the Al Sharptons of the social engineering hustler parasite industry: they will all be rewarded and go on being rewarded while Joe and Jane Average will go on being the Forgotten Man who gets to pay for the privileges awarded to the mercenary cheaters and for all the freebies lavished on favored, gravy-lapping members of La Raza and all the other race-privileged slackers.)

When our increasingly semi-literate anonosphere gets to commenting, more of us can sound like Shakespeare in comparison. Nice rant.

Svigor said...

Esiason just called bullshit on it and said, "Yeah, he still hasn't told us what he knows about those murders." I wasn't expecting that, in the mutual admiration society that normally passes for NFL analysis.

Being a dick and having balls (haha) seem to go hand in hand in football TV commentary. Exhibit A: Esiason. Exhibit B: Collingsworth.

Svigor said...

The weirdest thing was that his forearms appeared larger than his biceps. Like Popeye.

It's not weird, just more than you're used to. ;). No, seriously; the gym and the workshop have quite different effects in this context. Forearm exercises are tedious. But tedium is the sort of thing that pays a wage. You use your hands in that kind of environment for years (any job where you repeatedly use your hands to move weight or apply force, really) and you'll get forearms that make the gym guys jealous. It takes a lot of reps so its usually the sort of thing you see blue collar guys getting, while the gym guys skip it. But it's gym guys who you see on TV, not blue collar guys. Historically speaking, the Popeye look is more normal.

Svigor said...

Bobby Julich probably rode the 2001 Tour de France clean. He finished 18th, about 45 minutes back. He was quite likely the best finishing clean rider.

Pretty sure another iStever already suggested "organic sports" where no doping is allowed. This reminded me of that.

Deckin said...

On the tennis front: Federer has started making public jokes about his chicken wing left arm. He also noted, as another commenter pointed out a while back, that he was watching the Lance Armstrong debacle with interest.

One might wonder why now, but then take a look at how Andy Murray seems to have bulked up and leaned out and how Djokovic apparently has zero diminution in his performance even after 5+ hours of running from side to side (frequently hitting unfathomably hard backhands while sliding--on hard courts!--into a full sideways split) and you get perhaps a hint of his motives.

Another detector: When an athlete claims new incredible results from a change in diet--again, Djokovic's gluten free transformation comes to mind.

Is Federer (whose mortality is becoming sadly evident lately) trying to get people to look at this.

Svigor said...

Funny, but looking at forearms might test some theories about who ancients used for models. Naturally buff types would tend to have relatively smaller forearms, while marble-carvers and the like would tend to have larger.

Anonymous said...

I looked at 5 minutes of the Superbowl last night at around 2-3 AM my time.

Are you so bigheaded that your head fits into two timezones?

Steve Sailer said...

In the past, athletes often had the look Svigor mentions. Rod Laver, the top tennis player of the 1960s, had a gigantic left forearm (he is lefthanded), while the rest of him was more normal sized.

Steve Sailer said...

NOTA says:

"Whether top athletes juice or not is pretty much of no importance in the world. On the other hand, the phenomenon of paid talking heads avoiding certain uncomfortable topics on the air, even though they think and talk about them all the time in person, seems pretty interesting. Indeed, I think this is probably the best place to think and talk about the general phenomenon of media and individual blind spots of this kind."

Indeed, but ... double bankshot approaches based on people grasping and applying analogies almost never work these days. It's so much simpler to simply notice who you are supposed to believe are the Good Guys and who are Bad Guys in any particular situation, and not try to apply consistent principles.

Steve Sailer said...

"You people all stick together!! As Steve Sailer might point out, here again we see Steve Sailer displaying crypto-Helvetian solidarity with Soul Brother #1, Roger Federer. A disgusting spectacle, once you know to look for it..."

Yeah, pretty much.

Sideways said...

Truth, I'm not going to assume Griffey was and Chipper wasn't doing PEDs (I wouldn't bet against either of them being on them, actually), but Griffey had a career collapse that, rightly or wrongly, people associate with PEDs.

pat said...

I have the solution to all this - just ignore the use of performance enabling drugs. After all it's only sports.

The real absurdity is shown in this Ray Lewis case. He has come under suspicion because he healed too quickly from a triceps injury. Had he been more "pure" he would have suffered in pain and disability for a longer period. Am I the only one who sees how crazy this is? Apparently Lewis is also a murderer, but no one seems very concerned about that. The idea however that he may have taken medication to shorten his recovery from injury is just too obscene an offense against the Gods of the playing field.

Anabolic steroids are a medical treatment. We should be glad they exist. They reduce human suffering. If they also foul up some sports records, that seems like not too much of a price to pay. After all it's just sports.

The whole problem with "cheating" can be solved overnight - just change the rules. Allow any drugs to be used that anyone wants to use. That would necessitate a host of minor game adjustments but so what? It's only sports. We invent sports to amuse ourselves, if we need to enact rules changes to accommodate social or medical advances, we should just do it.

It may come to pass that we develop a pill that makes you smarter. I guess we can expect accusations of "cheating" scandals among Jeopardy champs. Some academics will be outraged when anyone can do Fields Prize level math by simply taking something found in their medicine cabinet. A lot of Mensa members will probably want new members whose brains have been boosted artificially to only be admitted with an asterisk beside their name.

There may soon be a drug that gives you perfect pitch. I'd take it. The same is true for a treatment that improves your sense of rhythm. All sorts of new drugs and treatments are on the horizon but given the history of the public's juvenile reaction to anabolic steroids in sports, I'm not optimistic.

Albertosaurus

sideways said...

Lewis came under suspicion because someone found a tape of him buying steroids.

Cail Corishev said...

"I'm not going to assume Griffey was and Chipper wasn't doing PEDs (I wouldn't bet against either of them being on them, actually), but Griffey had a career collapse that, rightly or wrongly, people associate with PEDs."

Yeah, remember when the conventional wisdom was that steroids caused more injuries? Players who used them were supposedly trading short-term gains for long-term issues. Somewhere along the line it switched, and being too injury-free or recovering too quickly became the red flag. Different drugs, or smarter users, maybe.

helene edwards said...

WRT Wilt, I think you're wrong about at least the chronology. I read an interview with a player from the early '60's who said at that time Wilt would do sit-ups with a 100 lb. barbell on his chest.

Steve Sailer said...

Chronology is interesting.

My impression is that Wilt was the strongest man in the league in the early days, so his later career physical transformation might reflect a new way to get past the limits of weightlifting simply by itself.

But, this is all speculation on my part. Alternatively, Wilt just got more sophisticated at weightlifting. There were only tiny pockets of sophisticated trainers back then, and I believe Wilt searched them out. For example, he helped recover from his 1969 injury by finding a trainer for who specialized in working out in a swimming pool for high resistance, low stress exercise. That was news back then, although it's common now.

Anonymous said...

"In the past, athletes often had the look Svigor mentions. Rod Laver, the top tennis player of the 1960s, had a gigantic left forearm (he is lefthanded), while the rest of him was more normal sized."

Some people are prone to hypertrophy, others aren't. McEnroe's forearms were the same size no matter what he did, even after taking steroids "unknowingly" for a time.

not a hacker said...

Robert Mitchum

In 1947's Out of The Past, gumshoe Mitchum goes into a Harlem nightclub looking to question a black woman about the whereabouts of a white woman (the unbelievably sexy Jane Greer). To do so, he asks permission of the woman's black boyfriend. Both the woman and her boyfriend have that "I'm so much cooler than you" smirk that's so common among blacks now.

Truth said...

At 37 Griffey Jr. hit .277 with 30 hrs and 93 RBI.

Chipper Jones at 37 went .264/18/71

Anonymous said...

Funny that Wilt, arguably the strongest guy in the NBA for a long time, was always thwarted in the end by the skinniest, Bill Russell. Amazing to modern fans is that both averaged over 20 rebounds per game.

Sideways said...

"At 37 Griffey Jr. hit .277 with 30 hrs and 93 RBI."

At 37 Griffey Jr had a negative WAR. He was, aside from his 2005 season, basically terrible after 2001. He hit decently, but was just about the worst defender in recent memory to play a full season at a position

Truth said...

"Apparently Lewis is also a murderer, but no one seems very concerned about that."

Ray Lewis was never charged with murder, nor is there any evidence that he murdered anyone.

Anonymous said...

I was in the USMC infantry in the late 70's.

Weightlifting was quite popular - the bases usually had excellent (for the time) weightlifting facilities.

I knew lots of Marines back then who were pretty ripped. I never even heard of steroids back then.

It isn't like any of those guys would have been keeping this secret - drug abuse in the military was absolutely rampant, pretty much winked at - this was before pee tests and whatnot. It was all pretty open.

I can't imagine that if steroid use was widespread as were pretty humongous marines, I wouldn't have heard a little something about it. FWIW, I used to lift some, but I wasn't fanatical about it.

Don't forget the other part of the equation to being ripped - low body fat percentage. Going on 20+ mile forced marches in full kit (this was before LAAV's, the pride didn't ride...) will keep you pretty darn slim. Even the most slovenly grunt could barely keep a few extra pounds on.

Anyhow, it is possible, IMO, just a lot more work, to get to a highly bulked/ripped look w/out steroids.

Anonymous said...

for those who follow cycling, Thomas Voekler was almost certainly not doping. You'd see these stages where he'd put in his *every effort* to retain the yellow jersey, puking as he'd cross the finish line, being followed by the likely race leaders chit-chatting with one another as they went up the same hills.

Anonymous said...

How about Alistair Overroids? He got busted for steroids last year by some random testing by Nevada's Athletic Comission. He is 6'5 and at 263 lbs he was at 4% bodyfat. He finsihed off Brock Lesnar with ONE roundhouse kick, which broke three of Brock's ribs ending the fight immediately by TKO. Then he celebrated his win by applauding himself and inviting the audience to do the same.

Anyway, he got busted, got his license rescinded and had to go off. One year latter he appears 25 lbs lighter and with far less muscular difinition - indicating higher bodyfat levels -, and gets brutally KOd by tier-B heavyweight, Andtonion "Big Foot" Silva - the same guy who brutally knocked out former NFL player Travis Browne.

Personally, I think steroids should be legalized. I say let these guys take what they want and let them compete at their best. It's not cheating if everyone else is doing it and you don't have na "unfair"(is anything in life fair?) advantage. I want to see these guys at their biggest strongest and most aggressive. They are like gladiators anyway, so whatever harm the steroids do to them is small compared to all the hematoma and concussive damage they take. Like the ancient Romans would say to the gladiators before they entered the arena:"Vae Victis!"

Anonymous said...

Why in the world are you trying to figure if athletes are on PEDs by looking at how ripped they are? Are we in some time warp? For quite some time PEDs have mostly been about getting faster recoveries or more efficient performance, or blood doping, not being some meathead. Lance Armstrong isn't the Hulk.

Anonymous said...

"Forearm exercises are tedious. "

not in the age of internet porn.

"because the former are related to the sexes, to masculinity and femininity, and thus to the arts and society."

jeez, one would think that women have already won the right to look like men just like men do, it's the 21st century after all.


She just wanted six-pack abs. So, Dionne Passacantando, a 17-year-old high school cheerleader, gymnast, and vice president of her Allen (Texas) High School class, made a decision she regrets. She bought anabolic steroids from a boy on the school football team.

“Nobody frowned upon it,” she says. “It was easier for me to get those than it probably was to buy beer.”

But after injecting herself with Winstrol every other day for five weeks, she became suicidal.


that damn societal conditioning again!


I use the term “physique sports” to encompass bikini, fitness, figures, physique and bodybuilding. There are subtle differences between each competitive class. Bikini girls are the ones seen in most of the fitness magazines. They have a nice 6 pack, and a tight and toned athletic look. Fitness and figures girls are more muscular, with deeper separation between muscles, and a bit more of a “jacked’ look. Bodybuilders pack on as much muscle as they can, and looked striated, vascular, shredded or ripped and physique is somewhere between bodybuilding and figures. Looking at the women bodybuilders, you can kind of tell they must be doing something to enhance their physique, but I was shocked to learn how many fitness and bikini girls were also using physique enhancing drugs, or steroids to be exact!


seriously steve, get on with the times.

NOTA said...

Steve:

I'm sure most people still won't notice the blind spots, but those of us paying attention can learn something about the way our media works (more than just the fact that some stuff is seldom mentioned). Realizing that there are several media blind spots I know about makes me expect that there must be others I've never noticed, and also makes me want to understand how they work and maybe how they can be defeated or at least gotten around.

Anonymous said...

'But after injecting herself with Winstrol every other day for five weeks, she became suicidal.'

Of course, she didn't get a pro to do it the right way.

"Jan, a Miami saleswoman who had recently turned 40, went to Bosch in early 2012 as she struggled to keep up her workout regimen while traveling for work....

Within a month, Bosch had sold her an East German Olympics-worthy regimen: daily shots of B12 mixed with Winstrol, an anabolic steroid; furosemide, an industrial-strength diuretic that forces the body to shed water weight; and regular doses of Anavar, a popular and potent anabolic steroid.

Jan says she was initially freaked out by the regimen — especially the B12/Winstrol mix, which she had to inject straight into her stomach. But she couldn't deny the results. "I felt so good. It was addictive," she says. "Within a month, my arms were hard as a rock, my shoulders were built up — and not in a masculine way. I just felt really good.""

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2013-01-31/news/a-rod-and-doping-a-miami-clinic-supplies-drugs-to-sports-biggest-names/full/

DanJ said...

Lionel Messi does not rip his shirt off to celebrate a goal because he'd get a yellow card from the referee for doing so.

And also because he's a well-behaved and decent guy.

Much as I love you Americans, I've never understood why your athletes act extremely aggressive after winning any sporting event. You'd think they would be happy instead.

Anonymous said...

Marshall Faulk is a great example of a non-quarterback NFL star who was not on the juice. Without a shirt on he looked pudgy, almost soft - we're not talking about a 300-pound OL or DL - he was a ~210-pound RB. He was the best offensive player in the NFL in his prime.

Miss Conduct said...

Hey, would some smart person here be willing to explain to me why PEDs are bad? I understand that they offend our Anglo sense of fairness--this is why they call it cheating--but if every athlete has access to these drugs, aren't we back to genetic advantages possessed by some which make them more competitive? I suppose some athletes might not want to dope, for health reasons down the line, and they would pay for this choice by being less competitive. I used to work with a junior and college hockey player and he said absolutely everyone who wants to make it to the show does it. The incentives are way too huge to expect anyone to refrain from it for any reason other than health concerns.

Clearly some Hollywood actors dope to make themselves more attractive. This somehow isn't considered cheating, and no one wails because they couldn't resist the temptation.

Everyone (every sports fan) enjoys witnessing the results of these drugs. No one wants to turn back the clock on wondrous athletic feats and watch only "all-natural" jocks. Why the moral stigma?

Anonymous said...

"And football is objectively more entertaining to watch than soccer. Soccer is much more democratic, more accessible, more "the people's sport." It's practically inevitable that it'd be less interesting to watch. Checkers to football's chess.

I've got no dog in the hunt, and that's my take.
"

I like both. I'd say football is classical music with soccer as jazz. In the former, every detail is meticulously planned in advance. The later operates within a structure, but is at its height when players have an understanding amongst each other and improvise and combine to make the difficult look simple.

Wonder if Gareth Bale is on anything. Started out like this, now looks like this and does stuff like this.

Anonymous said...

hines ward, james harrison, and multiple older steelers were probably on PEDs. Reportedly they were desperate for anything to give them the edge.

Steve Sailer said...

What about the 1970s Steelers who won 4 Super Bowls?

California and Pennsylvania keep coming up the more I look into the early history of steroids.

Anonymous said...

Steve, please! Four-time champions the 1970s Steelers were rife with juicers. Two words: Mike Webster.

Anon 12:37 cites stories from the Taylor Hooton Foundation website, named for a Texas high school athlete who killed himself. Chris Bell spoke with his father in his PED documentary Bigger Faster Stronger. Dad was the biggest asshole in a movie full of them, and he was in total denial that the pharmacy full of antidepressants that young Taylor was on had nothing to do with his suicide, and that it was all the juice. The two stories cited by Anon are measures from the same song, and something I've observed in my 40 years of weight training: steroids don't make you a jerk, but it's mostly jerks that take steroids; of course, that's absent any financial reason to use, like pro athletes. A juiced guy at my gym talks about his need to increase his Klonopin intake during a cycle!

For a juicer, Manny Ramirez looked pretty chubby without his shirt.

JoeJoe said...

"Steve Sailer said...
What about the 1970s Steelers who won 4 Super Bowls?

California and Pennsylvania keep coming up the more I look into the early history of steroids."

I think it is accepted that the Steelers were one of the first NFL teams to use it wide-spread. I believe Sports Illustrated (or another magazine) did feature story on it a few years back.

Cail Corishev said...

I'm starting to wonder how many athletes will have to come out and tell us that everybody's juicing before we accept that everybody's juicing.

NOTA said...

Cail:

I think we are witnessing a phase change here. I kind of expect that the assumption of near-universal juicing will quickly shift from a common dark suspicion to commonly discussed to a commonplace assumption. And that's an interesting model for other common-belief phase-changes that might happen.

Anonymous said...

Hey it's just sports, people. Who really gives a sh** what they put in their bodies?

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