Real Men?

This past week we have been witness to many things. Superstar Chris Brown beats his girlfriend and All Star Alex Rodriguez admits to taking steroids. Both events have caused serious discussions in certain circles and blogs about the severity of both events. It just makes me think about how we view the role of masculinity in society.

Lets view both acts as what they are, Chris Brown, for whatever reason wanted to asserted his male dominance or a female and A-Rod wanted to assert his dominance over the baseball diamond. Does that make them real men? Does a real man feel that he has to dominate another individual, or sport, or industry?

Men seem to measure how much of a man they are by the size of their penises. I want to state that obvious fact because I know when growing up I would always hear jokes about how big some one’s dick was. I would always ask myself if that was really necessary? The fact is that many males equate how manly they are by the number of women they can sleep with. While that may be fine to them, these may end up being the same men that women end up avoiding in clubs because he is too old to be there. The male ego is a very fragile one and once it is broken it is hard to repair. Those who have issues with self esteem or confidence have a hard time dealing with those issues.

In college, I would here about who real men were. Apparently these are guys that step and stroll and are a part of a Fraternity. They would be able to tell you who was a real man and who wasn’t. While I understood exactly what they meant by the sacrifices they made to become the men representing those organizations, I was sure if that was something that I wanted to aspire to. So again, I am left think what is a real man?

Lets start with best man that we know today: President Barack Obama. No one will question his masculinity. How is he a real man? He is a leader with vision that provides us hope. He is good husband with 2 beautiful daughters. An educated man that can take you out at a debate or break you down with a crossover. Clearly that is not a hard one to follow, but many men cannot compare.

So I will go with something simpler. A single father who raises his only son. Works tirelessly at his job to make sure that he can afford college for his son. He makes mistakes along the way because he doesn’t want raise his son in the same way his father raised him, with violence. His son graduates and the next chapter in his life is spent dealing with cancer that he contracted from working late hours in manholes that contained asbestos. I would say that my father is a real man.

A real man to me is a man that can lead the way when times are difficult. A real man is man that will not let an obstacle get in his way of achieve a goal. A real man makes mistakes and is ready to pay for them when the time comes. A real man also acknowledges these mistakes and learns from them while being able to cope with it. A real man does not need to assert his control on other people because he is confident in himself. A real man knows the difference between gentle and firm.

Once you recognize those traits. You will know who the real men in your life are. They are not perfect in any way, but they will always leave an good impression on you.

The Media Loves Steroids

When I wrote yesterday’s blog, I thought to myself that perhaps I am the only one who shares my sentiment on when will all this steroid crap in baseball will be over. In speaking with my co-worker (who is a Yankee fan) he believes the same thing. We are we going down this road again?

My feeling on the subject is this, the only industry that benefits from any of this is the Media. Sports Illustrated will sell more magazines, ESPN will get more viewers, and Sports Talk shows will sell more advertisements. If you think that I am just blowing smoke rings, I understand. But, how is that this article mysteriously comes out a week after the Super Bowl, which just happens to the be the week before pitchers and catcher report to Spring Training?

I know how this is going to play out. We hear about this all Spring and Summer. Names will come out every so often and people will scoff and be disappointed. Fine. But, this will never end. At least not until they hang Barry Bonds.

What gets me is that Baseball was all but dead by the end of the 90’s. If it wasn’t for Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire in that historic home run chase, we may not be enjoying the same sport. No one complained about the home runs and no one complained when the Yankees dominated during those years. So the issue is why complain now? Major League Baseball had no sanctions on any of this stuff until 2004. They turned their backs.

I still do not like Alex Rodriguez. But, I commend him for admitting taking an enhancement. I do not believe that makes him any less of a player. I am a firm believer that steroids can not make you see the ball better, cannot make you hit it better, cannot make you dive for the ball at the right moment, cannot make you slide the right way, and cannot make you catch/throw the ball more accurately. No one can prove what steroids does in terms of performance. The only thing we know is that it makes you recover faster. Who would not want that?

I am not saying that people need to take steroids, however, none of us really know what that pressure it is, to succeed at a high level. Then you have to take into account that these athletes make millions of dollars and need to perform to justify that pay. So what now? Do you mean to tell me that no one in NBA or NFL are not taking them? Where are those Sanctions?

Back on the MLB Steroid Train…

I should be happy about this, but I am not. I stuck answering this question: when does it end? Clearly I am a New York Mets fan, clearly I am not fond of the Yankees, and if you know me well enough then you know I cannot stand Alex Rodriguez. He is arrogant, an asshole, and a liar. I felt that way before this new steroid allegation. I should be excited that he is finally being brought down a notch. But, I am not.

The fact of the matter is, I am huge baseball fan. I live for the sport. I can watch any team play. I am normally in 2-3 fantasy leagues. I can talk all day about baseball. This whole steroids nonsense once again is not good for Baseball. I thought we were past this? Clearly we are not. Reporters feel that this is an issue that needs to be brought up again and again. For what? So that baseball fans can be more upset and not watch America’s Pastime? You would think that the media would understand that many fans don’t care all that much.

Granted, you don’t want a cheater to be on your team but, in 2003 just about everyone was using some form of enhancement. The owners didn’t care, the manager didn’t care and the majority of fans did not care. So here we are back to where we were several years ago when Barry Bonds broke the home run record.

If you read the right articles you see how many people still blame Barry Bonds of all of this. For those who do not know, there was no real testing for steroids until 2004, which was around the time of the Balco investigation that has taken a life of its own.

My feels on the subject is that we need this to end. This can of worms, that has now been re-opened by Sports Illustrated, needs to emptied. Nevermind the fact that A-Rod’s name should have never been leaked in the first place. But, now we might as well hear all of the names that are on the list of 104 players testing positive in 2003. Nevermind the fact that those test were confidential. The person who leaked these names has endangered the existing and future contracts between the players association and Major League Baseball because that confidentiality was breached.