Tuesday, February 10, 2009


New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez has admitted that he used "performance enhancing drugs", i.e., steroids, during from 2001-2003. He is one of many in a long string of baseball players who are coming clean (ha!) about their steroid use after their dirty laundry is aired, in this case by Sports Illustrated. Rodriguez says he did it because he needed to perform at such a high level. There is a lot of pressure when one is the top-paid baseball player, after all.

This comes directly on the heels of Jennifer Hudson's much hailed rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the Superbowl. Only trouble is, it turns out Miss Hudson's performance was lip-synced. Plenty of excuses are being made for her (and her fellow lip-syncer, Faith Hill), though, from "everyone does it (including Whitney Houston)" to "the producers made her do it" to "it would be too hard to sing live in a stadium". Nobody seems to be bothered by the fact that a "live" performance wasn't, in fact, live. You have to wonder what would have happened if a pack of hyenas had run across the stage mid-performance. Would her voice have continued ringing out the rocket's red glare?

I feel so cheated. Come on Jennifer, we all know your talent is spectacular enough to pull off a live performance. And many a concert has taken place in a stadium, presumably not all of them lip-synced. Of course it is nice to have a perfect performance, but I think fans would have a greater appreciation for a slightly flawed live performance than a perfect pre-recorded, studio-mastered one.

I have no doubt that both Rodriguez and Hudson feel tremendous performance pressure. But is it really better to receive undeserved accolades for your "enhanced performance" when you could have undoubtedly knocked it out of the park on your own, doing it the right way?

There is something wrong with the world when the only way to reach perfection is to cheat your way there.

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