I Guess I Shouldn’t Be Surprised: Marion Jones Joins the Heartbreaker Club

I hate this shit.

I just want to get it out there.   I really do.

I hate sticking my neck out every day and trying to convince people that competitive sports provide this amazing opportunity and outlet.  I hate the little Pollyanna optimist in my gut that keeps getting kicked in the teeth every time another athlete gets nailed or finally admits to doping.

I wasn’t a sprinter, so Marion Jones was never particularly on my specific list of heroes.  But I think that it was hard not to feel some sense of elation and amazement the year that she took all of those medals.  I didn’t know about doping then, so I didn’t think twice.  I just pressed closer to the television as my heart rose in my throat and my eyes widened.

I was impressed.   Inspired.  In awe.

Now I’m just disgusted.

Jones is doing the right thing by coming forward.  I guess there’s some respect in that.  People can make mistakes and move forward.  It just blows that she sucked up 5 fucking medals that could have gone to (possibly) clean athletes.  I mean, what does it have to feel like for everyone she competed against during those years?  Everyone who came in 2nd, 3rd or 4th, again and again and again.

Sure, they might take the medals back and pass them out again to the suckers who really deserved them, but they didn’t get to run around the Olympic stadium with the press of a crowd’s roar in their ear.  They didn’t stand on top of the podium or hold the heart of a nation.

She did that.

And she gets to keep all those experiences and emotions, however tainted.  She still has that moment of my life when I glued myself to the television and envied her muscle structure and her prowess and her poise and her domination.  That’s the part that really gets me.

Oh well.  There goes another one.  Jones joins a growing list of disappointments: gone with the likes of Johnny Damon (traitor) and Vino (doper!) into the realm of the toppled hero.  (If it seems unfair that I’ve placed Damon in the same category as a lying, cheating gaggle of dopers, then clearly you’re not a true Red Sox fan.)

I’ll return to the point I made on the day I found out about Vino:

Keep your heroes local – we’ve got plenty to choose from.  Here’s a helpful list of some of my favorite Oregonians (or former Oregonians) who kill it on a daily basis:

And, of course, Sherry’s personal favorite:  Ryan Trebon, captured here in a photo I took at the crit in this year’s Cascade Classic:

ryan_trebon.jpg

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4 comments

  1. You’re right about Damon, you know. Seriously. Being a traitor the way he was is just as bad as being a traitor to your body with all of that doping shit.

    I’m not a big sports fan, but I love them Sox. Even being the girl with no cable on her TV, money that has to go to too many things other than Sox tickets, and an intense agoraphobia that keeps her really fucking far away from Fenway, being a Bostonian it’s really fucking hard to not be a Sox fan.

    And this is coming from a Bostonian who was raised in NJ–where people liked the Mets, the Phillies, and the Yankees (but really, I mean REALLY–everyone liked the Yankees). When I go home to New Jersey, the one thing that never finds its way into my little green weekend bag is my Sox hat. I’d get pummeled.

    One of my friends said that Damon had to go–his career was getting too big, and the Sox are a great ‘development’ team for someone who’s on his way to great things–but whether or not he had to go, whether or not it was ‘his time’ to move on–he did not have to sell his soul and cut off his hair like that. He did not need to splatter everyone’s heart against a cement wall the way he did when he signed with the Yanks.

    But now we’re in Post-Season. We have a good team, great spirit, great cheerleaders from inside Fenway and from small corners of the outlying parts of the cities, including one short Greek girl’s safe, comfortable little apartment that has a TV made for watching movies and not ready to watch the games. There’s no god for me to believe in, but there are the Sox and there is this city I live in. And there are these people who put honest grit, heart, and elbow-grease into all that they believe in every single fucking moment they wear their Sox hats and cheer their boys on.

    It’s October. Has your heart landed in Boston yet?

  2. I totally hear you. My first idols as a kid were olympic athletes, and then came Marion Jones, who won the 2000 medals while I was still in college, where I ran track and field. I looked up to her, and now I feel more sorry for her than anything. If she had gone through her career winning bronze or even 7th place in those events she’d leave such a better legacy than what has happened. I guess that is what I can take from her experience.

  3. George J. Mitchell

    Lance Pharmstrong is biggest drug cheat of all. Corticoids, insulin, EPO, RSR-13 and cow blood from Norway all whilst lying to cancer patients to market $300 Nike sneakers.

    Nike knows dopers. From Marion, Baroid, Giambi, Kobe, Justin Gatlin, Kelli White, Mike Vick, Regina Jacobs, LaTasha Jenkins, Tim Montgomery, Tori Edwards, Ivan Basso to Lance and a Cancer/Nike deception.

    Lance’s doping denials fueled the end for TV-based cycling—-post Festina.

  4. I think Nike’s are going to the retro look now for the more casual crowd. Their athletic line is ugly, but I like the retro looking ones.

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