Thank God for Barry Bonds

As you may or may not have heard, the evidence in the upcoming perjury trial of Barry Bonds was unsealed yesterday, and includes a number of positive drug tests. And, really, my main reaction was "Oh, thank God."

It's not that I'm enthusiastic about hearing steroids-in-baseball talk again, but the alternative was most likely another day of talk about Michael Phelps's unfortunate picture. Tedious as the steroids talk is, it doesn't usually make me want to punch somebody, which makes it a major improvement over the last three days of "OMG, Michael Phelps smokes the dope!!!!"

I linked Radley Balko's letter a couple of days ago. The only thing I would add to that is to paraphrase Tony Kornheiser's comments regarding the Canadian snowboarder who tested positive for marijuana a few Olympics back: If Phelps smoked dope and still won all those races, they should take away the silver and bronze medals of all the guys he beat.

But as long as the sports media have evidently decided that college basketball is not newsworthy enough to bump a non-story about Phelps (and really, since when do we care about swimmers in non-Olympic years?), they might as well be talking about a semi-story about Barry Bonds.

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"If Phelps smoked dope and still won all those races, they should take away the silver and bronze medals of all the guys he beat."

Well, both Richard Feynman and Carl Sagan indulged in wacky weed. Should we cross out the names on the short list of Physics Nobel Prize candidates for 1965, when Sin-Itiro Tomonaga, Julian Schwinger and Richard Feynman, were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1965?

Or spank the members of the National Academy of Sciences who blackballed Carl Sagan from election?

Excerpts from the funniest page I found on Phelps (approaching 200 comments itself):

Quit crying double-standard over Phelps
by Jason Whitlock

There is no bigger fan of racial double-standards than yours truly. But those of you looking for one inside Michael Phelps' bong are misguided, stuck in the 1960s and worship at the Church of Al Sharp-tongue.

...

Yeah, America gives its marketable, talented and wealthy weed-smokers the Santonio Holmes treatment. We forgive and quickly forget.

Oh, I know there's a pattern of misbehavior with Michael Phelps. The cops busted him driving under the influence four years ago.

Well, the cops pinched Holmes twice in 2006, busting him for disorderly conduct and domestic violence â the charges were eventually dropped after smooth lawyering â and nabbed him ridin' dirty (three blunts) last October.

Mickey Mouse doesn't care, and neither do you.

America's war on drugs is a scam to lock up poor people, a prop to advance political careers and an easy way for corrupt police and politicians to funnel millions of untraceable dollars into their own pockets.

And you really want to play the if-so-and-so-was-black game over a dorky white swimmer pulling on a bong? Are you really that simple-minded?

The black president smoked weed. Rush Limbaugh was a junkie. Brett Favre had a fling with prescriptions. In college, I was Saddam Hussein and Crown and Chronic were my weapons of mass destruction.

I'm not going to be a hypocrite and blast this kid for blowing trees....

Michael Phelps knows how to play the game. He's quick with the contrite, toke(n) apology and he maintains a boy-next-door image....

In seriousness -- why would anyone assume that Phelps smoked up immediately before competition? THC is hardly a performance-enhancing drug. Competing while high would make no more sense than competing while drunk.

By Julie Stahlhut (not verified) on 05 Feb 2009 #permalink

Phelps consumes ginormous quantity of food when training - reportedly like 8-9000 calories a day. Smoking pot can be good for appetite.

Phelps is not in trouble because he is a swimmer, he is in trouble because he sells products based on having a white bread role model image for middle class kids. I don't think Santonio Holmes is selling to that demographic.

If you know what levels of obscure drugs can be detected by the random and regular tests given Olympic athletes, both in and out of season, you would know that he would be careful in any window where banned drugs might be looked for.

But, seriously, who would be surprised that some kid who lived in Ann Arbor happened to be around kids with some weed. I'd be surprised if he wasn't!

By CCPhysicist (not verified) on 05 Feb 2009 #permalink