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Basketball Players in China are Older than they Appear

China - Yao Ming

A professional basketball league in China and thirty-six of its players are under investigation for age fraud. According to China Sports Daily, athletic professionals are commonly accused of altering players’ ages for various tournaments. This became apparent to most Americans (and foreigners) during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when China “used” underage women on their gymnastics squad. I quoted used because the case was recently under investigation – And gymnastics cases from the 2000 Sydney Olympics still are.

The Chinese hosted the Olympics this year and won second place overall. Much press was gained from the events – So investigating age fraud isn’t all that important to the committee. Not to mention the Chinese already received the severest punishment they possibly could – Losing to the Americans.

The Chinese basketball situation is slightly different though. Players have been listed much younger than their actual age. My thoughts immediately shift to Yao Ming – Could the man possibly be older than stated?

Personally, age fraud isn’t worth it. It’s cool to use a fake I.D. when trying to get into bars, but legally? It only serves as an embarrassment when you can’t perform a few years down the road. The basketball association has “understood” this and promises to be stricter in the future when enlisting athletes.

Skrybe – Keep it Fly

December 9, 2008 Posted by | Features & Opinions, NBA, Olympic Sports | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bring Back The Drugs

Nearly a year ago the Mitchell Report on the use of performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball was released and since then the sports world has lost its luster.  The FlyMaster is all-about a level playing field and upholding antiquated social mores and folkways, but oh how he misses the days of exaggerated frontal lobes, back acne, ridiculously long home runs, random acts of violence against dugout coolers, and the eye of the tiger.

In honor of the Mitchell Report it is time for the FlyMaster to come clean.  The burden of guilt must be lifted from the FlyMaster’s broad, well-developed, and chiseled shoulders.  Yes, the FlyMaster has used Performance Enhancing Drugs.   

Maintaining peak performance requires the perfect combination of skill, preparedness, focus, acuity, dedication and timing. If all those concepts don’t mesh perfectly, one can always get some Ferrigno Juice, snort a couple lines of monkey dust, or snack on some peyote. The greatest performances in sports history inspire those who don’t lace up our Chuck Taylor’s for a living. However, it seems like recently we’re all forced to swallow the bitter reality pill that some of the greatest performances, in and out of sports, might be tainted by the looming spectre of “PERFORMANCE ENHANCING DRUGS (PEDs).”

I once thought that taking PEDs was a slap to the face of David Eckstein, Matt Bullard, Steve Tasker, Mark Van Eaghen, Sedale Threatt, and all of the other athletes that I admired for playing the game “the right way.” It should be noted that I also thought Santa Claus drove a Cadillac Coupe De Ville and the Easter Bunny actually spoke chicken as shown in the Cadbury Chocolate commercials. I digress.

I always prided myself on producing articles “the right way.” Hours of pillaging other people ideas, claiming I thought of something unique when it was actually Colin Cowherd who said it, ignoring the Chicago Style Guide for Writers, sipping on a morning Gentleman Jack, and all of the prescribed techniques I learned at UC Berkeley just didn’t seem to cut it any longer. Mired in a slump, I needed to find a way break out of the doldrums and that’s when a colleague suggested I try a new concoction he deemed “The Bomb Diggity” to get my game back on track. I coyly asked if this would affect my standing in the morally upright sports writing community and my colleague, Jose, said that nearly 80% of writers were using “The Bomb Diggity.” “80%,” I thought, “that means all my years of doing it the right way was actually the wrong way.”

Now, I knew that my god-given talents of wit, crafty sentence structure, and sparse usage of the passive tense put me on track to be a Hall of Famer, but when I looked around at my slovenly semi-literate competition who were producing ideas and articles way above their pedestrian abilities I was angered. That’s when I took my first cycle of “The Bomb Diggity.” Within minutes of my first inhalation I could feel the strength return to my fingertips. My brain fired on all twelve cylinders. Ideas came to me while I stared at the color bars on dead TV channels, talked to fire hydrants, and frolicked with marsupials. The wind started whispering platitudes in my ears. There was an intense fire in my loins, which I later found out was attributed to another slump-busting technique that didn’t work (syphillis). I was alive. I was strong. I was the FlyMaster.

“The Bomb Diggity” opened up new opportunities for me. I captured five writing awards and a humanitarian belt at the annual “Internet Forum Writer Awards,” held remotely via webcam at 26,432 locations. Women on Match.com actually looked at my profile for they could see the passion with which I wrote.  My posse got bigger.  I broke the single day record for Sportsfly.com forum posts, and then in an instance my world eroded.

A story about two famous internet sports writers, Michigan_Sucks_87 and Kobe_Hater, admitted that they dabbled in “The Bomb Diggity” for a couple of months in early 2001. They knew screennames and geocities websites of other writers who upgraded their mental operating systems via “The Bomb Diggity.” There were no tests in place and retinal scans weren’t legal at the time, so a lot of the story was hearsay, but I’m here to say that I was on “The Bomb Diggity.” In fact I’m on my fifteenth cycle and right now my future is so bright I’ve got to wear shades. Sure, I did the Marion Jones thing. At first I denied any knowledge. I cut off ties with my colleague Jose. I later admitted taking “The Bomb Diggity” unknowingly when I trained at the Jimmy Breslin Institute. Finally, the noose of the truth got to be a little much, so I admitted my faults in an internet chat room and promptly returned those stupid, “hecho en Mexico” internet awards.

Was I disgraced? Did I feel I let the kids down? Could I look at my mother in the face knowing I stepped outside the lines of what is right? The answers are simple. I wasn’t disgraced for one second. If you read my articles when I was on “The Bomb Diggity,” the words would dance on your tongue and scintillate your mind. Kids? Who cares about them with their silly notions of me as a roll model? My mother? She has a dial-up internet connection…she won’t find out about this until 2015.

In the end, I feel like the years I spent using “PEDs” really boosted my career and solidified my position as an innovator in the field. I’ll tow the moral line and do all the Public Service Announcements you can shake a stick at, but deep down inside I know my championship performances now reside in the pantheon of internet sports writing, and who cares if I had the munchies the entire time.

FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!

December 9, 2008 Posted by | Doping, Features & Opinions, General, Major League Baseball | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment