Greetings one and all! You are reading Life, Love…Sport (Illegal Substances Edition). We have a lot to cover this week, from Kenny Rogers to Shawn Merriman and everything in between. Will I throw in a bit of hockey perhaps? You just never know what I am capable of (if you got a bit anxious, the answer is yes, hockey will be covered briefly in this edition).

First, I would like you to consider our man of the week, Kenny Rogers. There are several things to consider with this incident- mainly, so what? Everyone in baseball cheats. I think the steroid scandals of the last decade showed us just how easy it is to get away with cheating, and honestly, how boring would this postseason have been if Rogers was his old self? No one in the country cares about a guy who is old and pitches terribly in the playoffs, that’s old news. But if you have a guy who RESURRECTS his career in the postseason, now there’s a story. Secondly, what was Fox doing focusing on Rogers’ hand anyways? Don’t they have better angles to show, perhaps actually watching the play happen then focusing on a hand? This all ties in with an annoying tread in television today, where during a game the cameras will focus on some fan in the crowd or on a patch of grass rather than the play itself. If I wanted to see some 80 year old man, I’d go to the nursing home. I’d much rather watch the game and TV today is taking away from that experience. Lastly, and most importantly, does it really matter what Rogers had in his hands? Would it make you feel any better if it was chocolate cake icing instead of pine tar? With the amount of conspiracy theories being thrown out there, one would think that the fate of the free world depended on the answer. Baseball is just a game.

While we are on the topic of illegal substances, let us turn our wearied eyes to San Diego Chargers linebacker and potential Defender of the Year candidate, Shawn Merriman. He was banned for four games for violating the league’s substance abuse policy for steroids. Merriman made one of the dumbest moves of the year, considering the NFL has the toughest policy on steroid testing.

It is because of these kinds of catches that the NFL’s policy works. If average players know that the stars can get busted for doing illegal substances, it makes it easier to enforce the law, whereas Major League Baseball busted Jason Grimsley, a journeyman reliever. Consider the difference.

Moving on to our most beloved Missouri Tigers! While a loss to Texas A&M severely crippled their hopes of advancing to the national title game, the Tigers still have a chance. With an Adrian Peterson-less Sooner team coming to town this week, Missou has a great chance of being 8-1 in preparation for their crucial (and BCS bowl) defining game against Nebraska. Chase Daniels has certainly made himself a front-runner for the Heisman in 2007. With all the big stories coming out of college football this year, one cannot overlook this stupendous Missouri team that has soared after the departure of Brad Smith and taken coach Gary Pinkel’s ass off the stove.

I promised a bit of hockey coverage, and I intend to deliver. Alexander Ovechkin is once again promising to light up the stat sheet, after his enormously successful rookie season. Not only is he Russian (yours truly hails from the same locale), but he has the knack to make some outrageous goals look effortless, which is a must if one is to get mentioned in Life, Love…Sport. While we’re here, lets throw a bone to the Buffalo Sabres, off to their best start. I predict massive injuries and an eventual loss in the playoffs to Sir Crosby and the Russian Rocket, Evgeni Malkin, showing that the best players still come out of the land of vodka and onion domes.

Now, for something completely different, the time has come for LLS to pick a patron saint. And to that end, I challenge you, my readers to pick a saint for this column. The entry has to be of contemporary nature, after all I was born in the mid-80’s and someone that we could all pray to when times get rough. Send your suggestions to dmaystro@mail.rochester.edu with your name and class year (or if you just read this column for kicks and giggles, your location). The best entry will be mentioned in the next column as well as receive a big, shiny prize! Good luck.

Final Fact:

The combined paid attendance for the last 10 college basketball national championship games: 427,395. Combined paid attendance over the last 10 seasons for Carolina-Duke games: 445,113.

Maystrovsky’s column appears weekly. He is a member of the class of 2009.



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