Well another year of The Slate means another edition of the Hot Corner. This year we want to welcome in new Assistant Sports Editor Michael Shipman. Set this column to 350 degrees because things are about to get real heated up in here this year. We decided to open the year talking about what we think was the most important sports story of the summer. Let the burning begin.
I think you have to agree that the Summer Olympics were the greatest sports story of the whole year, if not just the summer. Gabby Douglas, Michael Phelps, the 2012 Dream Team, a U.S.A victory, and The Spice Girls reunion, what more is there to say?
Another fantastic year of Olympic events brought the entire country together. This is the only time that everyone can say they are rooting for the same team, Team America. The 2012 basketball Dream Team lived up to expectations and with LeBron James and Kevin Durant showing the world their true talents.
Gabby Douglas took people by surprise with her almost underdog performance in the gymnastics. Her story is so amazing and was worth watching. The country needed this boost and even though it is sad to think that Michael Phelps may have swam his last race at least he goes out the most decorated Olympian of all time.
I think it is hard to argue that any other sporting event outmatched the Olympics, but I am sure my other cohorts will try.
We all know about Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Alex Rodriguez having their professional careers and reputations tarnished. How did this happen? The No. 1 issue in the sports world is to blame.
Steroids and performance-enhancing drugs.
As if the sports world has not already been negatively affected by athletes’ abuse of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs, even more cases have broken out this past summer. Perhaps the most talked about topic this summer has been the controversy surrounding world-renowned cyclist Lance Armstrong.
In June, the United States Anti-Doping Agency officially charged Armstrong with doping and trafficking of drugs. As a result, he was suspended from competition in cycling and triathlon.
Other recent steroid stories have included Barry Bonds who was convicted in 2011, Roger Clemens in 2012, and more recently, Melky Calbrera was suspended for 50 games after testing positive for testosterone. Pitcher Bartolo Colon was also handed a 50-game suspension last Wednesday for the same thing.
Most of these cases have happened in the MLB more than any other sports league, forcing people to call this the steroid era, a decade of cheating MLB players and the lack of action by the team owners.
Hearing all of these promising athletes literally throw away their careers and reputations is quite shocking. It just proves that one never knows when another athlete will have tested positive for steroid or performance-enhancing drug abuse, and it is unnerving to know that any athlete could be next.