I've always been against athletes taking steroids, and I think most people agree with me. But now I'm starting to wonder if this mindset isn't going to change sometime in the near future.
Look at some old photos of professional athletes, film stars (and even our own grandparents) from 50 years ago, comparing those former "he-men and heart throbs" with today's celebrity superstars (and even our own kids). Notice the difference?
The Humphrey Bogarts, Clark Gables and Otto Grahams might not have a chance now if you pulled them out of a time capsule and pitted them one-on-one against the Matthew McConaugheys, Vin Diesels and Tom Bradys of today.
And as cool as your great-grandfather may have been, he's probably not half the physical specimen of his great grandson. Whether it's nutritional changes, medical advancements or our DDT-free water, genes are definitely producing a different kind of human these days.
It has always been a part of human nature to strive to be winners and to do better than what has been done before. The writing on the wall that I see says that someday soon all athletes will be using some type of performance-enhancing technology in this effort to overachieve, and then it will simply be a case of the "best of the best" steroid users competing against each other.
Obviously I'm not implying a Hitler-type of Aryan super-race: I'm talking about all athletes using whatever medically safe (and I stress the word "safe") means necessary to allow them to reach the highest levels possible.
Of course, if that does happen, it will change the whole sports equation--separating the athletes who never used steroids from those competitors who will use any means necessary. The athletes in those two genres will have to be placed in separate leagues and in separate historical record books, contextually.
Whether we like it or not, this may be the future--no matter how much we hate the thought--and we may be forced to prepare ourselves for that possibility and start accepting the fact that it is what it is and what it is going to be.
If this practice does turn out to be the commonplace and accepted, there will have to be a separate place in history for the immortal athletes of the past (the Willy Mays, Rocky Marcianos, Mickey Mantles) who did what they did without the help of chemistry and technology. There's will be a special place indeed.