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The good sports, and the cheaters
Posted: 17 July 2011 05:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I must admit, cheating in sports doesn’t bother me; The use of steroids and the like is not nesscesarily bad IMO (except for heath reasons maybe). Like Doug said, cheating has been here forever. I dislike team sports itself- the idea that playing sports is manly, and good life training, and teaches people how to cooperate with others is laughable. They’re only games and entertainment. Many pro athletes strike me as being jack asses who think they deserve special treatment for their mistakes because they are pro athletes.

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Posted: 18 July 2011 05:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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mid atlantic - 17 July 2011 05:55 PM

I must admit, cheating in sports doesn’t bother me; The use of steroids and the like is not nesscesarily bad IMO (except for heath reasons maybe). Like Doug said, cheating has been here forever. I dislike team sports itself- the idea that playing sports is manly, and good life training, and teaches people how to cooperate with others is laughable. They’re only games and entertainment. Many pro athletes strike me as being jack asses who think they deserve special treatment for their mistakes because they are pro athletes.

Yes, they’re only games and entertainment; that’s what’s great about them. Your attitude seems to be black and white with no room for much else. You don’t like sports at all. You have no respect for athletes whatsoever.

Of course, you are correct. Many pro athletes are jack asses. And many lawyers, accountants, janitors, engineers, and business persons are jack asses. And it is certainly true that many CEOs and MDs think they deserve special treatment for their mistakes because they are CEOs and MDs.

As I said earlier, anyone who loves sports is likely to despise cheating of any kind. You don’t like sports at all, so cheating isn’t likely to bother you. Perhaps if you enjoyed sports, cheating would be a life lesson you say sports don’t teach.  tongue wink

Not liking sports is fine, but much of your reasoning sounds like prejudice, not rational thought.

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Posted: 18 July 2011 05:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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traveler - 18 July 2011 05:05 AM
mid atlantic - 17 July 2011 05:55 PM

I must admit, cheating in sports doesn’t bother me; The use of steroids and the like is not nesscesarily bad IMO (except for heath reasons maybe). Like Doug said, cheating has been here forever. I dislike team sports itself- the idea that playing sports is manly, and good life training, and teaches people how to cooperate with others is laughable. They’re only games and entertainment. Many pro athletes strike me as being jack asses who think they deserve special treatment for their mistakes because they are pro athletes.

Yes, they’re only games and entertainment; that’s what’s great about them. Your attitude seems to be black and white with no room for much else. You don’t like sports at all. You have no respect for athletes whatsoever.

Of course, you are correct. Many pro athletes are jack asses. And many lawyers, accountants, janitors, engineers, and business persons are jack asses. And it is certainly true that many CEOs and MDs think they deserve special treatment for their mistakes because they are CEOs and MDs.

As I said earlier, anyone who loves sports is likely to despise cheating of any kind. You don’t like sports at all, so cheating isn’t likely to bother you. Perhaps if you enjoyed sports, cheating would be a life lesson you say sports don’t teach.  tongue wink

Not liking sports is fine, but much of your reasoning sounds like prejudice, not rational thought.

It is prejudice, true enough.

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Posted: 18 July 2011 05:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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mid atlantic - 18 July 2011 05:16 AM

It is prejudice, true enough.

smile I love honesty! Thank you.

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Posted: 18 July 2011 07:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Well the whole point of a sport is that you have a set of rules, and you play by the rules, a game is a set of rules.  What would Tic-Tac-Toe be without rules, just people racing to draw more exes and ohs.  What would poker be without rules, just people racing to grab the royal cards.  So in baseball you hit the ball, drop the bat, run to first, then second, third base, then home, these are the rules.  You don’t ignore the ball, walk to around all the bases with the bat and beat the crap out of anyone who tries to stop you!  Rules are what sports are supposed to be about, that’s part of the challenge, the rules make the sport difficult, lets see who can play well within the difficult rules.

Not that baseball is the best example of a rule based game, even baseball has institutionalized cheating, players are allowed to “steal” bases.  Even they call it stealing, making it sound like a crime.

Without rules the ball games would just be reduced down to a bunch of guys standing in a field playing with their balls and attacking each other.  Now who wants to watch something like that?  rolleyes

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Posted: 18 July 2011 07:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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jump_in_the_pit - 18 July 2011 07:16 AM

Well the whole point of a sport is that you have a set of rules, and you play by the rules, a game is a set of rules.  What would Tic-Tac-Toe be without rules, just people racing to draw more exes and ohs.  What would poker be without rules, just people racing to grab the royal cards.  So in baseball you hit the ball, drop the bat, run to first, then second, third base, then home, these are the rules.  You don’t ignore the ball, walk to around all the bases with the bat and beat the crap out of anyone who tries to stop you!  Rules are what sports is supposed to be about, that’s part of the challenge, the rules make the sport difficult, lets see who does can play well within the difficult rules.

Not that baseball is the best example of a rule based game, even baseball has institutionalized cheating, players are allowed to “steal” bases.  Even they call it stealing, making it sound like a crime.

Without rules the ball games would just be reduced down to a bunch of guys standing in a field playing with their balls and attacking each other.  Now who wants to watch something like that?  rolleyes

That’s right. Cheating ruins the whole thing.

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Posted: 18 July 2011 09:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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And if the players are really hurting themselves: taking harmful drugs, ignoring concussions, sprains, breaks, and other injuries, cheating with “unnecessary roughness” or “high-sticking” against the disliked players to try and drive them out of the sport… do you really want to be a part of that?  Do you really want to buy tickets and trademarked clothing when you are certain that the money will go towards hurting the players?  What about the innocent players who are following the rules despite a pervasive environment of institutionalized cheating?  Don’t we care about protecting good sports from the cheaters?

You know the old saying, make love not war.  I hear they have re-opened the old Lupanar in Pompeii, Italy to the public… you know, for tourism.

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Posted: 18 July 2011 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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jump_in_the_pit - 18 July 2011 09:07 AM

And if the players are really hurting themselves: taking harmful drugs, ignoring concussions, sprains, breaks, and other injuries, cheating with “unnecessary roughness” or “high-sticking” against the disliked players to try and drive them out of the sport… do you really want to be a part of that?  Do you really want to buy tickets and trademarked clothing when you are certain that the money will go towards hurting the players?  What about the innocent players who are following the rules despite a pervasive environment of institutionalized cheating?  Don’t we care about protecting good sports from the cheaters?

You know the old saying, make love not war.  I hear they have re-opened the old Lupanar in Pompeii, Italy to the public… you know, for tourism.

Those things are just as true of the stock market, but I’m not going to cash out my 401K. If I stop enjoying sports, then the cheaters win. Cheaters eventually get caught or disgraced, usually. I support sports precisely for the fair players. And I agree with the make love not war quote. In fact, my license plate is a Vietnam Veteran plate personalized with LUVNOW.  smile

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Posted: 18 July 2011 10:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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jump_in_the_pit - 16 July 2011 08:53 PM

Damn! Roger Clemens of the NY Yankees on trial, but the trial thrown out.  Michael Vick of the Eagels the ring leader of a dog fighting ring, convicted.  Untreated concussions even in high school football.  Such a constant stream of reports suspecting and finding steroid use, and human growth hormone use in professional sports like the NFL, MLB, international cycling, and more.  Even reports of drug use in the Olympics. 

Is it me, or is all of this coming to a climax?  I do like to watch a game once in a while, but this is getting ridiculous.  When I hear of Jeter hitting 3000 in his career, I have to wonder what the reports will say about him in a few years?  I think that there are a lot of bad attitudes in professional sports, I hope that a few of them are actually honest and well intended, its just starting to seem like the drugs are the norm in sports. 

I hope that they aren’t taking the attitudes like, “Second place is the first looser!”, “Walk it off!”, “If it dosen’t kill you, it makes you stronger!”, “Winning is everything!”, but I doubt they will do that.

What do you think, humanists?

I’ll throw a curveball in here (pun intended) and ask what constitutes cheating.

Obviously, cheating is no more or no less than breaking agreed-upon rules.

But do the rules make sense? In terms of some performance-enhancing drugs, I don’t think so. Every athlete trains, eats, and does whatever else they can to attain an advantage to win, and this is pretty much accepted. We don’t punish marathon runners for conducting high-altitude training, even those it gives them a big advantage over those who can’t. We don’t punish weight-lifters who take protein supplements. We don’t punish chess players who injest caffeine.

What I think SHOULD matter in sports is using practices to gain advantage that are distinctly harmful in the long term. Clearly, some steroids are. (Not all are, if used with proper medical attention.) In this case, the problem isn’t gaining advantage at all, but protecting people from being stupid and deliberately hurting or killing themselves, despite the furtherance of athletic prowess not being worth someone’s life and health. I think that this is often exactly the case with why some drugs and other practices are banned, but sometimes the rules just don’t make sense. For example, some applications of steroids aid greatly with recovering from injuries; why not use them then?

Not to mention that some of these ‘banned’ practices may, in fact, hold great potential for improving the quality of our lives as we age.

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Posted: 18 July 2011 12:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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I agree Trombone. And I think we are still along the learning curve WRT using some steroids safely.

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Posted: 18 July 2011 08:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 18 July 2011 10:45 AM

I’ll throw a curveball in here (pun intended) and ask what constitutes cheating.

Heh, I’ll take a swing at it.  smile

TromboneAndrew - 18 July 2011 10:45 AM

Obviously, cheating is no more or no less than breaking agreed-upon rules.

Sure, sure.

TromboneAndrew - 18 July 2011 10:45 AM

But do the rules make sense? In terms of some performance-enhancing drugs, I don’t think so. Every athlete trains, eats,

Sure, sure.  Who doesn’t eat food, exercise, practice to improve skill and ability?

TromboneAndrew - 18 July 2011 10:45 AM

...and does whatever else they can to attain an advantage to win,...

Now you’re taking the idea to extremes, and as always, that dosen’t make sense in reality.  Athletes have plenty of limits, they are human so they sleep, eat, age; the playing season is limited; the game time is limited; the variety of players is limited; the playing field has boundaries; there are equipment limitations (18” of pine tar on a solid wood bat in baseball, etc.); doing “whatever else” is not at all true of the athletes, although at the extremes, they are not unlimited; nor is anyone at anytime.  This is a common logical error, take the idea to extremes and then suddenly anything goes, but that is not reality.

TromboneAndrew - 18 July 2011 10:45 AM

... and this is pretty much accepted.

Not true.  “Whatever else” is against the rules of sports, steroids are against the law (I hear), and the ordinary people know nothing of the injections.  I for one am completely surprised that any of them are taking injections.  big surprise  I doubt most of the fans even really know what a steroid is.  Do you understand it TromboneAndrew?  Do you have medical training?

TromboneAndrew - 18 July 2011 10:45 AM

We don’t punish marathon runners for conducting high-altitude training, even those it gives them a big advantage over those who can’t. We don’t punish weight-lifters who take protein supplements.

Punish runners for breathing air (thin as it my be)?  Punish weight lifters for eating food (pure macronutrients necessary to avoid overdosing on the micronutrients when they eat so many calories)?  Of course we don’t. 

TromboneAndrew - 18 July 2011 10:45 AM

We don’t punish chess players who injest caffeine.

Do they do that?  Sounds like a drug to me, although that is a perfectly legal one.  The steroids are criminal, not merely against the rules.

TromboneAndrew - 18 July 2011 10:45 AM

What I think SHOULD matter in sports is using practices to gain advantage that are distinctly harmful in the long term. Clearly, some steroids are. (Not all are, if used with proper medical attention.) In this case, the problem isn’t gaining advantage at all, but protecting people from being stupid and deliberately hurting or killing themselves, despite the furtherance of athletic prowess not being worth someone’s life and health.

I agree that the athletes need protections and limits because they foment a culture of excess and recklessness.  A culture that I can’t stand for even a second.  I say that out of caring, if we outsiders don’t limit them, certainly they won’t limit themselves.

TromboneAndrew - 18 July 2011 10:45 AM

... but sometimes the rules just don’t make sense. For example, some applications of steroids aid greatly with recovering from injuries; why not use them then?

Well why not limit today’s athletes to all of the same technologies available when the sport began?  If we are going to compare athletic records, then fair is fair, and today’s athletes shouldn’t have any technological advantage at all over the ones of the past.  That’s why Major League Baseball uses wood bats today.  smile  I would, of course, allow modern safety equipment: helmets, pads, cups, and such.

Of course, the rules are just arbitrary and made-up, they don’t really have to make sense, because its only a game.  What sense is there in the knight on a chess board moving in an L path?  What sense is there in having nine innings in USA baseball, but seven in international baseball?  These rules are arbitrary standards, they don’t have to make sense, because its only a game.  smile

TromboneAndrew - 18 July 2011 10:45 AM

Not to mention that some of these ‘banned’ practices may, in fact, hold great potential for improving the quality of our lives as we age.

What is the point of improving with technological advantages, why not play the game as it was originally intended?  Banning one technology (aluminum bats, drugs, spit balls, artificial limbs) and allowing others (spiked shoes, artificial turf, banked racing curves, soft tires, etc.) is totally arbitrary and makes no sense.  Why not ban all technological changes for the players, except for safety equipment, and keep the games as they were originally intended if you want to reduce the arbitrary aspects of the games?

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Posted: 19 July 2011 12:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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jump_in_the_pit - 18 July 2011 08:38 PM
TromboneAndrew - 18 July 2011 10:45 AM

...and does whatever else they can to attain an advantage to win,...

Now you’re taking the idea to extremes, and as always, that dosen’t make sense in reality.  Athletes have plenty of limits, they are human so they sleep, eat, age; the playing season is limited; the game time is limited; the variety of players is limited; the playing field has boundaries; there are equipment limitations (18” of pine tar on a solid wood bat in baseball, etc.); doing “whatever else” is not at all true of the athletes, although at the extremes, they are not unlimited; nor is anyone at anytime.  This is a common logical error, take the idea to extremes and then suddenly anything goes, but that is not reality.

TromboneAndrew - 18 July 2011 10:45 AM

... and this is pretty much accepted.

Not true.  “Whatever else” is against the rules of sports, steroids are against the law (I hear), and the ordinary people know nothing of the injections.  I for one am completely surprised that any of them are taking injections.  big surprise  I doubt most of the fans even really know what a steroid is.  Do you understand it TromboneAndrew?  Do you have medical training?

TromboneAndrew - 18 July 2011 10:45 AM

We don’t punish marathon runners for conducting high-altitude training, even those it gives them a big advantage over those who can’t. We don’t punish weight-lifters who take protein supplements.

Punish runners for breathing air (thin as it my be)?  Punish weight lifters for eating food (pure macronutrients necessary to avoid overdosing on the micronutrients when they eat so many calories)?  Of course we don’t. 

TromboneAndrew - 18 July 2011 10:45 AM

We don’t punish chess players who injest caffeine.

Do they do that?  Sounds like a drug to me, although that is a perfectly legal one.  The steroids are criminal, not merely against the rules.

Now you’re taking criticism to extremes. All those limits you describe are set in rules - either specifically for the sport, or by nature. I don’t see how people aging or sleeping has any significance against my point. Also, altitude training is not just running in thin air. It is using that environment to increase the amount of red blood cells in the blood, which provides a significant advantage to endurance athletes; the similar advantage to taking protein supplements is obvious to weight-lifters and athletes in sports which require strength and explosiveness. These practices clearly ARE benefitting the athletes beyond just exercising skills and otherwise living normal lives. There isn’t a clear distinction. It even gets to the degree of building special anti-pressure houses for marathoners to live in so that they don’t have to move to Colorado to get the benefit of the altitude.

TromboneAndrew - 18 July 2011 10:45 AM

What I think SHOULD matter in sports is using practices to gain advantage that are distinctly harmful in the long term. Clearly, some steroids are. (Not all are, if used with proper medical attention.) In this case, the problem isn’t gaining advantage at all, but protecting people from being stupid and deliberately hurting or killing themselves, despite the furtherance of athletic prowess not being worth someone’s life and health.

I agree that the athletes need protections and limits because they foment a culture of excess and recklessness.  A culture that I can’t stand for even a second.  I say that out of caring, if we outsiders don’t limit them, certainly they won’t limit themselves.

Then you don’t really understand being an athlete. Some are certainly reckless, but those kinds of personalities self-destruct. Athleticism requires a great deal of discipline and intelligence to properly prepare at the highest levels.

TromboneAndrew - 18 July 2011 10:45 AM

... but sometimes the rules just don’t make sense. For example, some applications of steroids aid greatly with recovering from injuries; why not use them then?

Well why not limit today’s athletes to all of the same technologies available when the sport began?  If we are going to compare athletic records, then fair is fair, and today’s athletes shouldn’t have any technological advantage at all over the ones of the past.  That’s why Major League Baseball uses wood bats today.  smile  I would, of course, allow modern safety equipment: helmets, pads, cups, and such.

Of course, the rules are just arbitrary and made-up, they don’t really have to make sense, because its only a game.  What sense is there in the knight on a chess board moving in an L path?  What sense is there in having nine innings in USA baseball, but seven in international baseball?  These rules are arbitrary standards, they don’t have to make sense, because its only a game.  smile

TromboneAndrew - 18 July 2011 10:45 AM

Not to mention that some of these ‘banned’ practices may, in fact, hold great potential for improving the quality of our lives as we age.

What is the point of improving with technological advantages, why not play the game as it was originally intended?  Banning one technology (aluminum bats, drugs, spit balls, artificial limbs) and allowing others (spiked shoes, artificial turf, banked racing curves, soft tires, etc.) is totally arbitrary and makes no sense.  Why not ban all technological changes for the players, except for safety equipment, and keep the games as they were originally intended if you want to reduce the arbitrary aspects of the games?

Oh, come now. This argument has been thrown out for as long as there have been sports. If we were to strictly adhere to the original intent of games, there would be no curveballs or forward passes.

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Posted: 19 July 2011 04:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 19 July 2011 12:57 AM

If we were to strictly adhere to the original intent of games, there would be no curveballs or forward passes.

... and spitballs would still be allowed!  smile

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Posted: 19 July 2011 05:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Yeah, I wouldn’t have a problem with spitballs. Rules are arbitrary but they generally do make sense (no, not always). In sports, rules create a level playing field. That’s clearly important in any competition. I love sports because they are physical - and often-times mental - competitions. I love chess, bridge, and many other games because they are mental competitions. Competition is part of the human spirit. It’s fun. I am all for getting rid of the cheating, but I don’t know how you do that with our species in any endeavor.

I believe sports generally do much more good than harm, and I haven’t even mentioned the obesity epidemic (well, now I have).  cheese

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Posted: 19 July 2011 08:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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The professional athletes do try to promote a good image of themselves, and some of that is true.  But they also have a very bad reputation with lots of people, many people don’t want to be associated with dog fighters, drug abusers, “anything goes” abusers, and murderers (in the early NFL, many players were killed I hear).  These cheats and crimes should have never happened if players and officials had honest intentions, and should certainly not have been so tolerated as they were.

traveler brings up the obesity crisis.  I don’t see professional sports contributing anything towards solving that.  Instead of that, I think that exercise is good and that there are lots of people who want to play the games for fun and health, not for the type-A attitude of win win win at any cost and “anything goes”.  I think that if we had more opportunities to play amateur sports, sports without any of the cheating attitudes being permitted, then it would be popular and it would help with the obesity crisis.  Sports are fun, they are good exercise, there is no reason why they can’t be done safely and in ways that encourage everyone to play, without eliminating people.  Its just that you have to separate out the “no limits” attitudes, that’s all.  The way it is now-a-days when you do see amateurs exercising, they’re hardly ever in with a group, they’re almost always alone.  Why would that be?

My comprehension of sports is just fine, I simply don’t have a reckless attitude.

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