Mark McGwire took steroids.
This is not shocking by any means, but apparently when McGwire admitted this today, it became huge news.
I found it interesting that this news came the day after "The Simpsons" celebrated its 20th anniversary, because that show actually summed up the Steroids Era years before we knew such a thing existed. In 1999, McGwire made a guest appearance on the show, in an episode where Bart discovered MLB was spying on the entire world. McGwire showed up to alleviate everyone's concerns (and also steal the data) and said this line:
"Do you want to know the terrifying truth? Or do you want to see me sock a few dingers!"
Back then, McGwire could have been addressing baseball's leadership, media and fans. We didn't want to know the "terrifying truth". We just wanted to see him break the home run record.
Trust me, I was at Spring Training in 1998, and you could see that McGwire's body didn't resemble anything a human could do naturally. His biceps didn't even fit into his jersey. I didn't give a flying fuck. I saw McGwire hit five homers in person that spring, then saw him hit his 50th of the season at Shea Stadium (and his 51st, in a double-header that day).
It wasn't until Barry Bonds -- someone the media loathed to begin with -- starting jacking homers at a McGwire-esque rate that anyone complained about steroids being bad for baseball.
Between McGwire, Bonds and others like them, all the hallowed baseball records are fucked anyway. Multiple NFL players, including a punter, have been busted for PED use in recent years. Hell, even Rashard Lewis, one of the NBA's spindliest players, got busted. I'm fairly certain the percentage of athletes using some kind of PED is much higher than testing shows. And, as Bob Knight pointed out on ESPN today, what exactly is the line between "helper" and "banned substance". As he pointed out, Gatorade enhances your performance. In the season opener this year, Adrian Peterson got an IV drip at halftime and went out and had a huge second half. Isn't that "performance-enhancing".
There are two main reasons to be against PED use: health issues and competitive balance. So rather than banning them, why not regulate them? Doctors already prescribe HGH for multiple valid reasons. And with league-regulated distribution, there wouldn't be competitive balance issues either. There wouldn't be any terrifying truth to hide anymore. So we could just sit back and watch players sock a few dingers, no strings attached.