Our society is getting so mixed up. How in the world did the media become the moral police for our celebrities? Blood sucking paparazzi hound celebrities trying to find "the dirt" on these people. Now really, are these people the most moral upstanding citizens? No. But no one gives a shit about their personal lives, so they escape and string others' dirty laundry on Main St.
So this brings me to two big news stories. First, Michael Phelps:
I know many people have expressed their opinion about Phelps getting caught smoking weed- I'm not breaking any news here. I probably don't have very much new to say either. But let's try:
The first thing Phelps should get reprimanded for is letting someone take a picture of him doing this. C'mon man! If anyone ever shows up to a weed-smoking party with a camera, just kick them out of the group. This goes for regular people too.
Realistically, for people my age, trying marijuana is the norm. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, and I'm not a big fan of people becoming pot-heads (not very fun to be around unless you're in the mood to watch Kung-Pow: Enter the First and eat Toaster Strudel.) I would say at least over half my friends have at least tried marijuana. This doesn't make them bad people, or drug addicts. I have a hard time believing Michael Phelps did a lot of smoking- no one can accomplish what he has while smoking lots of weed. It's not possible.
Yet, you might say, "Tony, what about our childern? He needs to set an example for them!" And I would say, "I guess so, but I'm pretty sure that is why you are around." Parent your kids. Don't rely on celebrities to show them the way. As Charles Barkley used to say, "I am not a role model." No, you're not Chuck. Parents should never use a celebrity as a linch-pin of moral fiber because the kids will ultimately be let down. Instead, show them the ups and downs of life and explain that people aren't perfect, but can accomplish great things when they do work hard and stay focused.
And now we get to Alex Rodriguez. I can't spend too much effort on this because I'm sick of the media robbing my childhood from me. Baseball, the law, and the media ALL looked the other way when steroids dominated in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. Now I remember the Oakland A's winning the 1989 World Series, and now you tell me that steroids were responsible (Canseco/McGwire.) Barry Bonds hit 761 home runs in my lifetime, and they're trying to take that away from me. I was physically there for 749. It happened. I saw it. But the media is telling me that it wasn't legit. Stop trying to take my memories away from me.
I clearly do NOT think using steroids is OK. I am disappointed that it all has happened. However, there has to be some sort of account of the decades that were dirtied by pervasive steroid use. You can't just pretend this didn't happen. Next you'll be telling me the Fab Five didn't get to two Final Fours in 1992 and 1993 for Michigan- aw wait a second...
I'm sick of everyone talking about these players "tainted" stats and records. Ken Caminiti said 80-90% of players were on steroids, and even if that is an exaggeration, there probably was a somewhat level juiced up playing field. Let's educate people now, and make penalties very strict going forward. As for the past, let's let it go. Bonds, McGwire, A-Rod, all of them. I seriously don't care anymore. I can't stand it. We can't pretend they weren't great players- even if they made bad mistakes.
So what is my message today? Is it do whatever you want just don't hurt anyone else? Or is it that I don't care about drug usage? Neither. I would say that Michael Phelps' mistake is not uncommon and we should not chastize him as a society. A-Rod's mistake is also not uncommon among baseball players, and if he comes clean, I think he should be judged less harshly in the court of public opinion. Last, parents, keep it real with your kids, and use your own actions to provide a good example for them. Don't depend on athletes or celebrities to provide solid role models for your kids- that's your job.