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No more Oprah for me!

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By Mike Forster

So, I’m watching Oprah the other day...

Wait, let me start over.

So, the wife is watching Oprah the other day while I”m hard at work in the kitchen.

I was making zingara, an Italian dish of sauteed pork chops, peppers, black olives and white wine. Wednesday is usually a light day for me, work-wise. It is, therefore, my day to take a stab at cooking.

So, the wife interrupts my sullying of her kitchen by informing me that Marion Jones is on Oprah.

Huh? What was Marion Jones doing on THAT show? Hadn’t she gone away?

Jones is a former Olympic track star. She is also the same person who was just released from prison. She spent a half-year in the clink for pleading guilty to perjury.

Having just been released from the hoosgow, Jones began the rehabilitation of her career by showing up on Oprah’s couch.

I set aside my chopping, dredging and sauting to check out Ms. Jones.

She did a pretty nice job of painting herself out as a naive victim.

According to Jones, she had been fooled into using anabolic steroids, thinking that they were flaxseed oil.

For those of you who aren’t furniture refurbishers, flaxseed oil is also called linseed oil, a substance used as a wood finish.

It does have some (suspect) nutritional value.

It is also the substance that many accused users of steroids point to as to what they thought they were REALLY using.

According to her account, it was her coach that slipped her the diabolical serum. But she couldn’t establish his motive.

Nonetheless, Jones faced a dilemma when she tested positive for steroids.

She could admit to using them and face certain disgrace.

Or, she could lie about her knowledge of what was being put into her body and hope to preserve some shred of dignity.

She chose door number 2. That didn’t quite work out and off she went to the big house.

Now sprung, her performance on Oprah was rather pathetic. You could tell that Oprah wasn’t buying it.

Hopefully, Ms. Jones can get her act together and (quietly) rejoin society.

Now, I don’t plan on watching any more episodes of Oprah in the future. Principally, because I can’t face the ridicule associated with it. Plus, I’m sure that we won’t see the likes of Roger Clemens or anybody from the NFL on the show.

That’s because, when it comes to performance enhancers, there are several sets of rules by which the sporting world plays.

The International Olympic Committee, which stripped Jones of her medals, takes the use of steroids seriously.

Major League Baseball did not and the NFL does not.

Do you remember when Clemens made his appearance on Capitol Hill and was roundly beaten about the head and shoulders?

Whatever happened to the outrage that shortly followed his appearance?

I’ll tell you: It went away, whimpering in a corner. While pro baseball has done some things to tighten up its act, the NFL barely conceals its indifference. Minnesota Vikings receiver Bernard Berrian was recently quoted as saying that he had tried calling the NFL’s “steroid hotline” to check on a particular substance’s legality.

His first two calls went unreturned.

He finally got a return call on his third try.

Now, just how seriously do you think the NFL is taking steroid use by its players?

Why should it? As with seemingly everything else, the NFL gets a free pass on the steroid issue.

It’s too bad Ms. Jones can’t catch a football. Then she could join the party that is the NFL, and she wouldn’t have to resort to selling her woeful tale to Oprah Winfrey and the rest of us.

By the way, the zingara turned out to be quite tasty, thank you.

And, in case you’re wondering, I used olive, not flaxseed, oil.