The Daily Dose/January 7, 2016
By Gaylon Kent
The Writer's Shack
Notes from around the Human Experience...
HERE WE GO AGAIN: We go through this on a regular basis: a professional athlete is accused of using a performance enhancing drug (PED). The athlete denies it and eventually someone gets to the bottom of it.
Hut, Hut Hike: The latest to go through this is Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Whether he did or not use human growth hormone (HGH), or have it shipped to his wife, we will leave to others. It is beyond the scope of this column. We should not be surprised news like this continues to pop up, however and it is about time we stopped getting our shorts in a knot over it.
Yeah, This Should Go Over Well: The time has come to allow athletes to put whatever they want into their bodies.
Broad, Historical Perspective: Athletes have been looking for an edge since they started passing out olive wreaths in ancient Greece. Our favorite example is early Tour de France riders who slammed brewskies to hide the pain attendant with riding bikes over mountains. This will never end, either, as long as there is money to be made, titles to be won and adulation to be heard. It's the way the world is built because us humans have always tried to surpass ourselves.
Dry, Technical Matter: To expect an athlete not to use every available means to improve themselves is folly. We continue to establish that no matter the resources governing bodies expend athletes will continue to look for an edge and, honestly, it is not reasonable to expect anything else. Professional athletes are in the business of getting peak performance out of their bodies and they will do whatever is necessary to do it because their window to earn a living as an athlete is relatively short.
People talk about banning PEDs creating a level playing field but how true is this? Is an environment where some get caught and some don't, where some play by the rules and some do not play by the rules particularly level? No, it's not. Legalizing PEDs levels the playing field.
Fly In The Ointment: By and large us fans don't seem to care. Sure, some climb their pedestal and get their shorts in a knot, but we are still going through the turnstiles and turning on our televisions and streaming online in record numbers.
And we're not idiots. Anyone who really believed baseball's home run explosion in the 1990's was caused by hitters who only ate their Wheaties probably still believes in the Easter bunny. We didn't care. Heck, we embraced it.
One More Thing: PEDs do not dispense talent, either. I take a pre-workout supplement and all I will ever be is a hack, recreational weightlifter. All a PED does is help an athlete get the most out of the talents they were issued. We should allow them to do that.
Did You Really Think You Were Going To Get Out Of Here Without Some Official Writer's Shack Policy?: The time has come to let athletes put whatever otherwise legal substances they want into their bodies. If it really bothers us, and we've already established it doesn't, we will go spend our time and money watching other things.
GREAT MOMENTS IN EMERGENCY RADIO COMMUNICATIONS: People that tend to these matters adopt CQD as the emergency for the newly emerging medium of radio on this date in 1904. It was derived from the telegraph distress signal of CQ, though it would ultimate be replaced by SOS.
I Regret That I Have But One Life To Give Chasing UFOs: Kentucky Air National Guard pilot Thomas Mantell, 25, crashes his plane near the Kentucky/Tennessee border on this date in 1948 after briefly chasing a suspected UFO.
Mantell was no kook. Well, maybe he was, but he was a decorated pilot in World War II, having earned both the Air Medal (with three oak leaf clusters, signifying following awards) and the Distinguished Flying Cross, neither of which are passed out with the rations. Still though, he thought he saw something from the planet Zeltron and took his plane above 20,000 feet, where he passed out due to a lack of oxygen, his plane falling back to Earth.
Oh Hell: It is generally, though not universally, believed that Mantell was chasing a weather balloon.
Well, OK, One More: The Los Angeles Lakers extend their NBA-record winning streak with their 33rd consecutive win on this date in 1972, defeating the Atlanta Hawks 134-90.
The Lakers had held the record for almost a month, having broken the old record of 20 - set by the Washington Capitols (5-0 to end 1947-48, 15-0 to start 1948-49) and the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks - back on December 12th, also against Atlanta.
Irony Rush: The Bucks would break the Lakers streak a couple of nights later in Milwaukee.
Oh Yeah: The Lakers consecutive game winning streak record still stands, not only as the NBA record, but as the record for North American major league sports.
I Did Not Have…Well, Yes I Did: The United States Senate begins the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton on this date in 1999. In December Clinton had been impeached on one count of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice, stemming from his relationship with Monica Lewinski.
Hot, Opening Day Action: The festivities got underway with the presiding officer, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, supervising the formal presentation of charges against President Clinton and the swearing in of participants.
Dry, Technical Matter: The Senate initially passed on the question of whether or not to call witnesses. Later in January they would pass a motion allowing witnesses to be called, however they ended up accepting a videotaped deposition from Lewinsky.
Get Out Your History Books: The Senate acquitted Clinton on both charges.
As Long As Your History Books Are Out: Clinton was the second president to face trial in the Senate, joining Andrew Johnson, whose main crime was not being Abraham Lincoln. His impeachment consisted mainly of some malcontent Republicans getting their shorts in a knot over Johnson's violation of a law that was unconstitutional to begin with.
Unlike Clinton, who was acquitted by a comfortable margin, Johnson came within one vote of being removed from office.
More Official Writer's Shack Policy!: We think it's good neither Johnson nor Clinton were convicted. Removing a president of the United States for anything that was not completely Nixon-esque would not have been good for the country at either time in its history.
Thought For The Day: They couldn't understand it and they could…They had their food and water right there, but what was that open space? - Charles Bukowski, Post Office
Answer To The Last Trivia Question: There was not a Trivia feature last time, silly!
Today's Stumper: Who was President Clinton's defense counsel in his impeachment trial? - Answer next time!
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