For years now, we’ve been inundated with the eerie statements of Jose Canseco.Â Steroids are rampant in baseball and over the last 10-20 years, virtually all of our favorite players were using needles, pills or cream to recover from injuries, build muscles, hit home runs and throw strikeouts.Â The “Steroid Era” was seemingly so widespread that the Onion recently proclaimed Craig Counsell to be the best clean player of the steroid era.Â Humorous as that may be, it could be closer to the mark than we’d like to admit.Â You cannot look at one great player from the last decade and say with absolute certainty they were clean.
However, the problem runs deeper.Â Far deeper.Â Deep into the underground of American society.Â Into a place many of us pretend does not exist.Â It starts, with a trip to the grocery store.Â You see, I needed to buy some eggs a few days back.Â I have no different a routine than most of you.Â I grab a carton, check the condition of the eggs, move on.Â Yet, on this trip to the market, something was different.Â Upon selecting my carton of eggs and opening the container to look for cracks, I almost lost my grip.Â It wasn’t a moment of clumsiness, oh no, it was a case of unexpected weight.Â Like going to pick up a very small box filled with unexpectedly heavy auto parts, your whole balance is thrown for a moment as your brain tries to process the concept of a lot of weight in a small package.Â There was something different about these eggs and it was incredibly obvious as soon as I gazed into the carton.Â They were colossal.Â The label proclaimed them to be “jumbo” but a more appropriate term might be “Egg-Kong” or maybe “Eggdingo.”Â The sheer mass of these eggs made me nervous.Â I’ve seen chickens before and I’d hate to know the condition of their hind-quarters after laying just one egg of this magnitude.
However, the concern didn’t just stop with the hens.Â Again, this is about sports.Â What do giant eggs have to do with sports?Â Very simple.Â These enormous embryos could only mean one thing: PEDs had found their way into American cock-fighting.Â Take a deep breath, but it’s true and it’s probably been that way a lot longer than we’d like to admit.Â I know most of us think US cock-fighting is pure and the drugs and weapons are only a by-product of the inferior Mexican version of the sport.Â Think about it though, where did cock-fighting come from?Â Isn’t it natural that trends from Mexico would find their way up here?
If the eggs are exhibit A, I’d like to submit exhibit B.Â A reference that flew right under our collective noses back in the 90’s.
A chicken the size of a man that knows karate.Â Was this just a silly cartoon?Â Weird foreshadowing of the future?Â Or was it the reality that none of us wanted to acknowledge?
Let’s face it, we all got caught up in the rush of the sport.Â We all wanted the next fight to be better than the one before it and didn’t care how it happened.Â Are the chickens suffering because of all this?Â We can’t say.Â Nobody knows for sure what impact the steroid era will have on humans and especially not chickens.Â That’s a choice where the fighters will have to live with unknown consequences.Â But it’s not the chickens I fear for.Â Indeed it’s all of us.Â By pushing the boundaries of fowl athletics, we’ve forever tainted one of the oldest sporting traditions in North America.Â We’ll never be able to take our grandchildren to a cockfight like our granddads did with us; because doing so would be embracing cheating.Â Shame on all of us, we did it to ourselves.