Anybody who knows anything about me knows that I’m a sports nut. Likewise, ESPN is one of my favorite television stations.

Something that is beginning to bug me more and more is the ongoing steroid debate. Personally, I don’t care which professional athlete uses steroids and which one doesn’t. But I think all steroids should be made illegal in the United States, whether they’re being used by a Major League Baseball player or by a freshman in high school.

In my book steroids just aren’t right, and shouldn’t even be allowed in our country.

Another argument I’ve always made, and one that has proven to be less popular with people of the athletic type is the debate that performance enhancing supplements should also be made illegal.

I would make the argument that if anybody should be allowed to use these supplements, it would be the professional athletes. But even then I’m not sure I like that idea.

Contrarily, a late-night talk-show host recently had the host of an ESPN sports commentary show on. He brought up an idea that I don’t promote at all, but it at least made me laugh.

His idea: If we’re going to make steroids illegal in professional athletics, but not crack down on those who use them, why not make steroids completely legal?

I don’t like this idea at all, and I’m not suggesting it by any means, but think about it. If you were to pay for a ticket to a professional sporting event, and pay for all the junk food that goes with it, would you rather see a guy hit 50 home runs in a season, or would you rather see somebody hit 500 big flies in a season.

Steroids would add a whole new element to track and field. Imagine seeing somebody run a mile in 2 minutes instead of 4. Football would probably be made illegal if steroids were completely legal due to the danger factor.

While it’s kind funny to think about what the sports world would be like if steroids were made completely legal, it’s also scary. Too many athletes would abuse steroids and either end up as a big hulking mess, or they would die due to overdose.

While watching a guy hit 500 home runs in a season might be fun, I’d personally much rather watch a sporting event where everybody is on a more level, natural playing field.

If somebody wants to spend his or her entire life in the weight room to gain advantage, I have no problem with that. Give me a good clean matchup between people who work hard, and I’m happy.

I think professional sports organizations have a lot of work to do to combat drug abuse. Yes, to me steroids are drugs.

Major League Baseball, the NBA, the NFL and the NHL all claim to be cracking down on steroid use. But I think it’s all a matter of making the press and the public happy. I think there’s a lot that goes on behind closed doors that the public doesn’t know about.

While I’m not going to boycott all sports until they are completely steroid-free, I will continue to be skeptical of what I see and hear on television.

On an unrelated topic, I’m going to take advantage of the rest of my space to put in a plug for the Marion County Fair, which is going on this week.

Yes, I have connections with the fair board, but rest assured no one put me up to this. The fair board has made several changes to this year’s fair in an attempt to please as many people happy as possible.

Several livestock shows have been moved to the evening with the hope that more of the public will show up.

As a past livestock exhibitor, I would love to see as many people as possible at livestock shows at the fair. Sure, it might not be an action-packed show, but it’s something you don’t get to see every Friday night on the athletic field. On top of it all, it’s free.

There are kids out there that have worked hard to get their livestock ready to show the public. If you find yourself out at the fair, stop by and check out the livestock shows. If nothing else, I bet you learn something.

As unbelievable as it may be, when I write my next column, I will have just started my sophomore year as a Pratt Community College Beaver. If things work out as I’d like, my title as editor of our school newspaper will lead to better Horizons columns for you to read.

Have a great August!

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