Fuel up the DeLorean, charge the Time Flux capacitor to 1.21 gigawatts of electricity, and set the controls for the football season for 2009, because TSD is about to go back… to the future.
Today’s debate pits Loyal Homer and Sports Geek against each other in a debate about Brian Cushing’s Defensive Rookie of the Year Award, and the sanctity of the space time continuum (well, it’s more about the former than the latter). Recently it came to the public’s attention that Brian Cushing tested positive for a substance banned by the NFL’s performance enhancing drug policy. In fact, as Sports Geek pointed out, it is the substance that is typically reserved for the fairer sex, the same substance that Manny Ramirez served a 50 game suspension for last season. Because of the revelation that Cushing’s dominance might be more a reflection of what he was putting in his body than his natural talent and heart, many have cried foul and suggested that he be stripped of his award. It appeared that the Associated Press heard the public’s cries for a revote, but should they have? Loyal Homer and Sports Geek each attempted to answer not whether the Associated Press got it right in awarding Cushing the award twice, but whether or not the AP should have revoted on the issue.
Loyal Homer’s argument centered around the potential dangers of setting what he called “a disturbing precedent” by attempting to alter history. Loyal Homer took the old “if we change the past who knows what type of trouble it might cause” defense. While I don’t think the revote will cause some sort of sideways flash to an alternate universe straight out of Lost, I do understand the point he is trying to make. A new precedent of stripping players of awards could give historians cart blanche to edit the records books and many feel this is one slippery slope better left alone. His argument was made even more effective by the fact that he backed up his assertion with the fact that a revote has never been the policy of the NFL. Citing Julius Peppers as an example, Loyal Homer proved that the NFLs previous inaction when evidence of cheating surfaced.
Sports Geek came back swinging, and I would like to personally congratulate Sports Geek for the viciousness and ruthlessness he displayed in the debate. He not only belittled Cushing for taking what he called a “lady-roid,” but also compared him to the infamous Kate Gosslin, earning him some serious points in my book. Sports Geek’s argument focused on the policy of a revote providing increased credibility and transparency in the awards selection process. He completely dismissed the criticism against revoting and altering the future of sports by explaining that a lack of previous precedent does not justify a lack of action. Sports Geek indicated that a sport/league can change, often for the better, so why shouldn’t the rules and policies that govern them evolve and adapt as well? He ended by making a powerful point, and pandering to my patriotic nature (which of course wins of course is yet another Ruthless tactic employed by Sports Geek in this one). He stated that if the validity of an award is called into question, the democratic and American thing to do is to reexamine the contested issue in light of new evidence.
I could not agree more, and that is why Sports Geek walks away with this one.
Now more than ever players should attempt to be above reproach during the steroid era. A lack of precedent is not enough reason to keep the record books from re-examining situations. I remember vividly the depressed feeling I had when Barry Bonds broke the all-time home run record. Even though I could not prove it, everything in my body felt that a cheater was stealing something precious from the memory of the sport I loved. Should definitive proof ever come to light indicating he did indeed cheat, I certainly wouldn’t want a mere lack of precedent be the reason Barry sits atop a throne of lies in the record books. That’s how I feel. I do not care what the consequences are for the future.