Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fantasy Performance Enhancers

(I wrote this for The Love of Sports. It's sort of about my fantasy basketball team. And it's sort of ridiculous. I ask the question, "What if I gave my fantasy players steroids and HGH?" Perhaps I'll have an answer for you in the weeks and months to come. And remember kids, even fantasy steroids can have some unusual and terrifying side effects. You're better off to just say no.)

Here we are, in Week 12 of the NBA season. My fantasy basketball team, “The Centerfolds,” continues to wade through a swamp of mediocrity.

The mud and muck of a .500 record seems to be rising, and its now up to our waists. I fear we may get caught in this stuff and never escape. Sure, they’re all nice guys (except for Marbury), but nice won’t get you wins in a tough fantasy league like this one.

I’ve continued my daily habit of offering my fantasy team a pep talk – to give them something to believe in. I try to tell them we’re fighting for change in this league (admittedly stealing some lines from Edwards, Clinton and Obama) and to raise the stature of the NBA, both in the eyes of fans and regular folk alike. You don’t need to be a jerk to be a successful NBA player, I tell them.

But I’m getting tired of standing up there behind the manager’s podium in the fantasy clubhouse and spouting this nonsense. I don’t know what to believe in anymore. We’re two measly games above .500 and streaking towards the bottom of the standings like a Roger Clemens fastball.

Which got me to thinking …

As I watched Kevin Durant during fantasy warmups, I was struck by the slightness of his build. The guy’s as skinny as a beanpole. As he participated in our mandatory one-hour layup line, his movements generally appeared weak and mechanical.

Look over there at Ray Allen, I thought to myself. And so I did look over at Ray. He too looked a bit undermuscled and overstressed. He could barely do 10 push-ups when I commanded him to drop and give me 20.

And how about Yao Ming, with those tree-trunk-sized legs, but the upper body of a Strawberry Shortcake doll?

Come on guys!! Do a biceps curl or a bench press every once in a while!!

There’s a pattern here - a pattern of mediocre play, which, I suspect, stems from mediocre physiques.

I understand now (thanks to Roger Clemens, among other childhood heroes of mine) that steroids and human growth hormone are illegal in the sport of baseball. Well, I checked the fantasy rulebooks, and there is absolutely no mention anywhere of a ban on fantasy performance-enhancing drugs.

After all, I’m at my wit’s end. I don’t know what else to try. The recent addition of Stephon Marbury, as a ploy to shake up the fantasy lockerroom, hasn’t panned out at all. And now Stephon is threatening to undergo ankle surgery, thus ending his season. It’s safe to say this crybaby won’t be missed around here. Time for “The Centerfolds” to move on.

So, I ask you, what is so wrong with feeding massive amounts of anabolic steroids and HGH to my fantasy players? If it’s to help them win, and feel better about themselves, then what harm has been done? Think about it.

They’ll still be the same nice guys, at least when they’re not flipping out (and flipping Volkswagens) due to a steroid-induced rampage.

I’ve calculated that with the proper dosage, a guy like Kevin Durant (currently at 225 pounds) could approximately double his weight, with the addition of 200 or more pounds of pure muscle. Imagine the fear he’d strike in the hearts of his opponents. His drives through the paint would clear defenders like Moses through the Red Sea. And just like the Egyptians, Durant’s opponents would end up being very badly injured.

Maybe I’ll start out slowly. Slip a little Deca Durabolin in Yao’s Diet Pepsi. Or add a pinch of Winstrol to Ray Allen’s clam chowder. They’ll never be any the wiser, and may see miraculous gains in muscle mass and stamina. Of course, I’ll need to watch out for any side effects, including severe liver damage and high blood pressure.

Need I remind you, that’s fantasy liver damage and fantasy high blood pressure. I’m not a monster, after all. And I don’t condone the use of these substances in the non-fantasy sports world.

Now the only question is, from whom do I procure this illicit stuff? Wait, I know who to ask.....

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