Argument Essay:<br />America is an extremely competitive place. It is only fitting that sports adheres to the same mold. In sports specifically football, we perceive that to be a great football player one must be bigger, stronger and faster than the competition. When you’re young the most athletic kids and big kids are picked first for pick up football games. The smaller kids are considered inferior and are selected last. I myself was one of those bigger kids, and I’ll be the first to tell you I was always one of the first kids picked to play, but I wasn’t even a respectable football player till I was in high school. But no one seemed to notice, they just believed that having the “big guy” on the team increased their chances of winning. We find ourselves focused on the idea that big muscles are the secret to being good at sports. This is because our society is fixated on being bigger, stronger and faster. There is so much pressure to be the best, either by your parents, coaches, college recruits, friends, teammates and most importantly yourself. All of these sources put the upmost emphasis on winning, and the notion of winning at all costs. People believe that winning, grants them the right compromise the rules.<br />I have sat in your seats and I have walked in your shoes. I know exactly what you’re thinking and how you feel. When I was 10 years old, I remember praying to be able to play In the NBA. Steeping foot on campus as a freshman in high school at 6”3 and 245 pounds, I was very aware that my dream of playing professional basketball was nothing more than a fantasy. My school offensive line coach noticed me quickly. He told me that if I worked hard, when it was all said in done I would be one of the best football players to come out of my high school. That conversation didn’t really mean anything to me until I had my first meeting with a college football coach whom was there to recruit me. His name was Scott Brown and he was the defensive line coach for Texas. After my meeting with him, I was in a state of jubilation. Than the wheels in my brain started turning, began to think of how much bigger and stronger I would have to become just to even be a competitive football player at the next level. The next day I woke up at 6am and went straight to the weight room. For months I worked really hard, and it paid off. After my junior season, I was named one of the top linemen in the state of Texas. But I also developed an injury in my left shoulder, which would require a complex arthroscopic surgery to repair the injury. I couldn’t lift weights for four months following the surgery. It was very stressful explaining to everyone that I was going to be fine, and that I would regain my strength. At that time if someone would have offered me steroids, no doubt in my mind I would have took them in a heartbeat. But no one did, so I worked as hard as I could and I regained my strength. My senior year, I made all state and all of the hours put in the weight room were worth it. I accepted a football scholarship and looked forward to playing at the next level. <br />I had my first personal encounter with steroids the summer before my freshman year of college. A good friend of mine named Joe Ward; he told me that he had been taking steroids throughout high school. I probably should have noticed, he was a monster in the weight room. But although he was much stronger than me, he gained very little interest from college football recruits, because he just wasn’t a very good football player. He wanted me to buy some from him. It took me a couple of days before I finally just flat out said no, and told him not to ask me again. There were a few reasons why I couldn’t take steroids. The first one was that I knew I shouldn’t take them because I was so ashamed of them. I don’t tell my parents everything; I’m not one of those guys. But I do tell my dad everything when it comes to football; I always have done this since I was a little kid. And I already knew if I was going to take steroids I was never going to tell him. Also I had already came back from an injury which should have ended my playing career. I did that without the use of any drugs so I knew that I didn’t need steroids to be a competitive football player.<br />The fact is athlete knows that steroids are amoral. You would have to hide your steroid usage from your peers, because of fear they would tell somebody. Finally if your goal is to earn a scholarship to play football in college, you would not tell the recruiters from the colleges that you are on steroids. They would stop recruiting you in a heartbeat, because they know the testing procedures of the NCAA and you will get caught if you’re on any kind of banned substance. And if you tell the recruiter that you’re on steroids but are going to stop using them before arriving on campus, they will stop recruiting you because they don’t know if it was you or the steroids that made them think you could play college football at their university.<br />Anabolic steroids are an illegal drug. Could you guess why they are illegal? This is because they are a dangerous drug, when they are used by people who don’t know how to use them. The people who “think” they know about how great steroids are only the positive side effects. They just see that steroids can increase your muscle mass and boost your strength. And they can’t see past these positive effects of steroids, to actually view the negative side effects for what they really are.<br />1600200244475Two British dermatologists came across a body builder who was complaining of back and chest acne (pictured right), which began after he started injecting himself with steroids. The doctors collaborated to write "
Acne induced by ‘Sus’ and ‘Deca’"
, the case study was designed to monitor the acne on the back of a steroid user as the steroids were removed from his system. Upon removal of the steroids the man’s acne subsided. According to the article, “The side-effects of anabolic steroids that may cause an individual to seek the advice of a dermatologist include acne, male pattern hair loss, hirsutism and drug eruptions. O’Sullivan et al. found in one study that 43% of participants admitted to problems with acne while taking AAS” (Walker & Parry, pg.298) One would speculate that these side effects would be enough deterrence to keep a young athlete from steroid usage, but unfortunately kids still use steroids. This is very unfortunate, but still it is fact. <br />3703955646430If you still think that steroids are worth it, all I say is look what happened to Lyle Alzado. Lyle Alzado was one of the most feared men in the NFL for over 16 years. He dominated games from the defensive line position. During his pro career, Lyle was the biggest and baddest man. But what nobody knew was, that Lyle was injecting himself with dangerous levels of anabolic steroids and human growth hormones. Lyle told Sports Illustrated in a 1991, “I started taking anabolic steroids in 1969 and never stopped. It was addicting, mentally addicting. Now I'm sick, and I'm scared. Ninety percent of the athletes I know are on the stuff. We're not born to be 300 lbs or jump 30 ft. But all the time I was taking steroids, I knew they were making me play better. I became very violent on the field and off it. I did things only crazy people do. Once a guy sideswiped my car and I beat the hell out of him. Now look at me. My hair's gone, I wobble when I walk and have to hold on to someone for support, and I have trouble remembering things. My last wish? That no one else ever dies this way."
Lyle died a year later at the age of 42; he publicly blamed the prolonged steroid usage for his inoperable brain cancer, which lead to his death. During his prime, Lyle felt invincible with the use of steroids. But that invincibility was removed once he realized that he had been killing himself with steroids, all because he believed that he could not compete in the NFL without the aid of anabolic steroids. <br />-323850-4249420I hope that by sharing my story; will encourage you to seek education on steroids before you blindly take the advice of people who do not truly know the effects of steroids on the bodies of young athletes. I encourage if are considering steroids to remember Lyle Alzado.<br />