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Parasiliti: Spotlight worth taking a shot in dark

July 28, 2013|By BOB PARASILITI
  • Bob Parasiliti
Joe Crocetta

Uh-oh. Now we did it.

It’s our fault.

You. You. You. And you.

And you over there … wearing the parka. Raise your hand, too.

I guess I’m a major part of it, too.

I didn’t know we had such power. I guess there is strength in numbers.

History has proved that. Think Woodstock, American Idol and Truman’s comeback win over Dewey.

The latter never made the papers back then.

The latest chapter in “Power to the People” is bubbling to the surface.

We are now the reason some athletes’ contracts are printed on prescription pads.

Let’s call it the pharm system. When we give certain athletes the needle, they use it.

That is the rationale of Lance Armstrong.

The deposed king of cycling is attempting to climb the French Alps with his defense in a false claims lawsuit from former teammate Floyd Landis.

According to Armstrong, it’s the government’s fault that it didn’t know he was taking drugs while he was winning his seven Tour de France titles while under U.S. Postal Service sponsorship.

He delivered for the mail, giving the service everything it wanted — a strong, American figure who overcame many hurdles to give the organization a huge amount of publicity and exposure.

Everyone loves a winner … and it was an endorsement worth $41 million.

The USPS should have known their postman was ringing more than twice, needing all the doping possible to pull off such a feat. After all, the reports were widespread that there was rampant drug use in the sport.

There are so many definitions for “cycling” in this case.

So now, 10 years after the fact, Armstrong says it’s not his fault he profited from his actions. The USPS basically gave him its stamp of approval, knowing full well that he was lying. It just waited for him to be caught to apply the brakes on the deal.

And the money, it’s now gone with the Schwinn.

So, let’s take Lance’s reasoning for a spin around the park.

Sports fans love heroes and idols. They relish big plays and amazing feats on the playing field.

Sports — on all levels — is a major talking point in conversations, focus in leisure time and escape from the ordinary. One good highlight on SportsCenter can live forever.

Our thirst to witness greatness must be the reason why Ryan Braun — or is it now Brawn — decided to partake in performance-enhancing drugs. We wanted him to win the 2011 National League Most Valuable Player award.

And now, that the Brewers are without a chance to make the playoffs this season, we are the reason he was suspended from the game this week.

We are the reason that Alex Rodriguez is in baseball limbo for a second time. And then there are more than a dozen more players who reportedly have the password to that same club.

We are the reason that a number of NFL players are being suspended for PED use. We demand them to be faster, stronger and to hit harder. The fans are the ones who demand hard-hitting football.

We are the reason that Olympic athletes — like in track and weightlifting — get banned from competition for getting some chemical help. We are the ones who want to see all those records broken.

Cointinued It’s our fault that guys like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa — to name a few — all needed to find an edge to be the best home run hitters ever.

After all, we don’t spend All-Star Mondays watching the Singles Derby.

Because of all this, it’s our fault that when we see a player having a career year — like Baltimore’s Chris Davis — we have to question if he is doing it on his own.

We know some of these guys are doing these things. Many have been called out, accused of using PEDs, and flatly lied in denial. We gave them a pass.

Now we know why. They were turning their bodies into chemistry experiments to help us fans enjoy sports more.

And they should get mega-contracts, Hall of Fame inductions, endorsement deals and immortality for their sacrifices.

How could we have been so selfish?

How is it we never realized that by investing our time, interest, attention and incomes into watching the top athletes in the galaxy of sports, we pressured those athletes into becoming “shooting” stars?

Someday, we are all going to pay for this.

Uh-oh. We already have.

Bob Parasiliti is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. He can be reached at 301-791-7358 or by email at bobp@herald-mail.com.

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