It's time for my bi-yearly, local sports rant. PEDs Is anyone in the nation still unaware of what Performance Enhancing Drugs are? Are we all clear that they are a form of cheating? Are high school, college, and professional athletes desperate to get a step ahead, or are they just stupid? Recently, Manny Ramirez, arguably one of the best right-handed hitters ever, certainly of his generation, was suspended for 50 games for testing positive for a drug that only has two uses: (1) feminine pregnancy issues and (2) coming down from anabolic steroids. Wanna guess which one Manny was using it for? Sad. Way to crap on your legacy, Manny. Now I'm waiting for the list of local high school athletes to come out declaring them ineligible for PED use. What ever happened to playing for love of the game? BCS If you've been hiding under a rock, you wouldn't realize that the Senate recently held hearings on whether the Bowl Championship Series violates Federal Law in the form of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The thrust of the Act is to prevent monopolies from forming and businesses from engaging in anti-competition agreements (conspiring to fix prices, exclude future/potential competitors, etc.). There's enough to this that even the Wall Street Journal has picked up on it and questions whether the BCS is a legitimate operation or a pseudo-academic racket. For me, the issue at hand can be boiled down to one simple example of unfairness (the very type of example the Sherman act was intended to forbid and prevent): The Washington Huskies Football team, owners of the worst record in college football last year at 0-12 (with an ignominious loss to the BYU Cougars because of a last-second blocked extra point), made more money from the BCS than any teams outside of the Automatic Qualifying Conferences, including the recently hapless Fightin' Irish of Notre Dame. That includes The University of Utah Runnin' Utes, who not only went to a BCS Bowl Game, the Sugar, they beat their opponent, the oft-#1-ranked Alabama, handily. The game wasn't even close. Yet, for being the only undefeated team at the end of the season, the Utes not only received less money than the Huskies, they didn't even get to play for a championship. Something stinks in Indianapolis... Carlos Boozer That's a picture of Carlos Boozer playing typical defense. Recently, Carlos had the option to leave Utah and pursue "more lucrative" pastures. Not surprisingly, no one wanted to pay the narcissistic, crunch-time folding, bull fighter defending, turnover maestro more than the 12.5 million dollars he stands to make next year in a Jazz uniform. HEY!!! Carlos! Play some defense, and maybe we can win! You're generally the biggest, strongest guy on the court. Heck, you grew up in Alaska! Can't you just, you know, man up a little bit and earn the $30,000 dollars per hour that you're paid? Did I just write $30,000 an hour? Excuse me. I have to go vomit. ...and finally, a ray of sunshine: US Soccer I realize this isn't necessarily local sports news, but man, how cool was the Confederations Cup for US Soccer fans?! Even though I'm generally pretty ambivalent about soccer, especially in the U.S. Professional League--MLS, I ADORE international soccer matches, especially when they concern my teams: The United States, England, Norway, and Brasil. How cool was it then for the US to scoot out of the qualifying round (after losing twice and then getting in solely because they beat Egypt 3-0 and Brasil beat Italy 3-0 (nothing else would have let them in)) and then beat #1 ranked Spain 2-0 to reach the finals?! Very. Extremely. Sublimely. But then, to cap it all off, the Yanks had to go and blow a 2-0 lead to Brasil in the final. Moral victory? I guess. But man, how long can we ride on moral victories?