About a month ago, one of the great professionals wrestlers of this era tragically passed away.
The Ultimate Warrior, at age 54, died of a massive heart attack. News of his death captured people’s attention around the world, for in his life he had provided positive memories for millions.
He was a legend.
And only a day after his death, CNN’s Nancy Grace decided to interject herself into the story, doing what she does best, which is shamelessly chase tabloid ratings at the expense and judgment of others.
The Atlanta-based “journalist” decided to capitalize on the Warrior’s untimely death by claiming – without evidence and, upon release of his autopsy day’s later, 100 percent wrong – that steroids were somehow involved in his passing. With guest Diamond Dallas Page, Grace went right into it:
“Tonight, claims of drug use and steroids swirling!” Grace exclaimed. “He’s admitted that he’s used steroids!”
“Yeah, back in the day, we all used them,” Page said.
“Whoa! Whoa whoa whoa, you know, we didn’t all, I’ve never used a steroid!” Grace interjected. “I wouldn’t know a steroid if it bit me in the neck!”
You might not know anything about integrity either, Nancy Grace. A beloved entertainer and role model to millions had just passed away, and immediately you falsely insinuated steroids were somehow the culprit in his death.
Back in 2011, I admitted to using steroids during my career in Major League Baseball.
I’ll let my words speak for themselves, when I spoke to radio host Mike Silva on the topic:
Of course, Rocker says now, he tested positive. Because, he says, “Let’s be honest. Who wasn’t (using steroids)?”
When asked if it made him a better pitcher, Rocker said:
“No. Can I throw 3 or 4 mph harder because of it? Yes. Was my breaking ball better because of it? No. Was my command better because of it? No. The reason was (for taking it) with my teammates and their confidence laying on my shoulders, with the coaching staff and their confidence on my shoulders, with the millions of Atlanta Braves fans, I am not going to step on that mound with that kind of responsibility with my gun half loaded. Knowing the people I am going to be facing, I know what they’re doing; I am not coming to the mound half cocked.”
About two years later, some comments I made on baseball being a more “entertaining” game during the so-called “steroid era” became fodder for sports talk radio hosts and ESPN personalities to expend more energy discussing performance enhancement drugs (PED) in professional sports.
Here’s what I said:
“Honestly, and this may go against what some people think from an ethical standpoint, I think it was a more entertaining game. At the end of the day when people are paying their $80, $120, whatever it may be, to buy their ticket and come watch that game, it’s almost like the circus is in town.
“Was there anything more entertaining than 1998 – I don’t care how each man got there – was there anything more entertaining than 1998? …” Rocker said. “Watching Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire chase 61 home runs?”
Which brings me to the main thrust of today’s column: Right now, male actors in Hollywood – you know, those guys trying to be the next big action star instead of making a few bucks playing a brooding teen vampire – are doing everything possible to add a few inches to their biceps, chest and anything else that may be on screen when the shirt comes off.
Men’s Journal, one of the top periodicals, has a long feature story devoted to the topic in this month’s issue: An arms race is brewing among actors, and yet no one is too worried about the integrity of cinema.
Patrick Hruby, writing at SportsOnEarth.com, notes:
Bummed out about Ryan Braun? Let down by Lance Armstrong? Not to worry. The next time your favorite athlete flunks a performance-enhancing drug test, laments the tragic loss of his unborn twin or calls for a thorough investigation of a nefarious masseuse, try this simple trick.
Pretend you’re watching a movie.
Hollywood is juicing. Like, at glow-in-the-dark levels.
Think about this summer’s list of films: actors like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Chris Evans and Hugh Jackman will all appear on-screen in mega-blockbuster roles, all with extremely impressive physiques.
Some might even say, superhuman.
The only scrutiny these actors will receive is from people searching to find what workout they did to gain such mass, what supplements they took and what type of demanding diet they stuck to in the hopes of becoming the ultimate specimen for the big screen.
But all they will find instead is a similar wild goose chase as many engaged in trying to uncover what Bond’s, McGuire’s or Sosa’s secrets were where the questions asked by most interviewers will be responded to with words such as “diet,” “protein,” “creatine” or “amino acids.” I’ve been a movie buff for years and have always been impressed with action stars like Stallone and Schwarzenegger and have always chuckled at descriptions of their workout and supplement routines along with the gullibility of those who are dumb enough to buy it.
Hruby’s article notes Charlie Sheen admitted to steroid use when he filmed “Major League” back in the late 1980s. People got a laugh out of the character he portrayed on film, but any athlete today that used PEDs would get a lengthy suspension from the league office for doing the same thing in reality. I can hear the wheels turning in many of your heads right now, “Yea, but that’s just a movie. It’s not real.” Yes, you’re right to some extent, but does Charlie Sheen get that part without Winstrol V or is it given to someone else? Does Sylvester Stallone get the chance to knock out Clubber Lang in Rocky without testosterone? Probably not, which is why the reality is that there is no difference in steroids in the movies and steroids on the playing field. It gives you an advantage over your competition whether that competition is 60′ 6″ away or sitting there in the casting room right next to you.
I’m not complaining, and I’m certainly not judging anyone, but from living through a time when many of my counterparts and I have been vilified and records have been italicized the double standard largely created by the media is disgusting. If PED accusations have been the kiss of death for so many MLB players, maybe the media, in their stalwart effort to always remain “fair,” should put Oscar on the table for those dirty rotten “cheating” actors who have done precisely the same thing.
Media wishing to interview John Rocker, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.