Ryan Braun's chickens are finally coming home to roost. The Brewers outfielder has been suspended for the rest of the MLB season after finally getting pinged for steroids without any technicalities to get him off the hook this time.
The reaction to Braun's suspension has wavered back and forth between disinterest, apathy, and steroid fatigue on one end of the spectrum to ANGRY MOB OF RIGHTEOUS OUTRAGE on the other. To tell the truth, I'm getting the sense that the media anger about PED use has fed the sense of apathy and fatigue for many fans. We're simply tired of the vicious cycle of PED use, columns, lies, columns, suspensions, columns, columns, and more columns.
There's been so much grandstanding, so much anger, so much righteous outrage, so much discussion, debate, and speculation about steroids that we have collectively tapped out. I think most of us would sensibly agree steroids need stamped out, cheating is wrong, drugs are bad and all that, but we'd also like to enjoy sports again without all of this dragging us down to the bottom.
If anything, Braun is discovering that the cover up is always worse than the crime. It's his lies, victim mentality, press conferences, and lack of accountability that are the undoing of his public persona moreso than his PED use. You don't see anyone frothing at the mouth ready to tear apart Melky Cabrera now, do you?
No group quite does righteous outrage when they feel wronged like sportswriters and because they've been lied to, it's become personal with Ryan Braun. In the wake of Braun's suspension, writers from Yahoo to Slate to Fox and many others have taken out the claws and ripped Braun from limb to limb. Even Dick Vitale, yes, Dick Vitale of all people, has penned a column saying Braun should be banned for life. They have called this a great day for baseball and participated in a brash and unapologetic victory lap. Inspired by this Deadspin list of the hottest Ryan Braun takes, I scoured the interwebs for a list of all the mean words angry sportswriters are using to describe the "Lance Armstrong of baseball."
arrogant, bum, cheater, cheater who lied, cheating creep, cockroach, con artist, cowardly, cravenly selfish, devoid of ethics, disgraced dishonest, disingenuous, defiant, drug cheat, dumb, fraud, fraudulent, greasy, gutless, haughty, lawyered up, liar, liar nonpareil, obnoxious, offensive, offensive liar, opportunistic, PED-laced donkey, phony, piece of work, raging narcissist, ruined, sanctimonious, scoundrel, selfish, self-preservationist, serial doper, shameless, shattered, smarmy, smug, tarnished, toothless, villain, whiny, worst kind of liar
Braun got caught, but I wonder if all of this, all of this uncontrolled outrage aimed at him is doing more harm than good for those writers who truly want to clean up the game of baseball. At this point, doesn't the above paragraph just turn into white noise?
From: Yahoo, Slate, Fox, Fox, CBS, CBS, ESPN, ESPN, St Louis Post Dispatch, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, NYT