Sunday, December 4, 2011

dear ridiculous man with the ridiculous story accusing Ovechkin of steroid use:

You're full of shit.

I see from your past record of journalistic integrity that this is perhaps not a surprise to anyone who knows your name (read: twelve people in Greene County, PA), but just in case you were unaware: you're full of shit. I understand that you're trying to make a splash and draw readers to what you're writing, but I'm curious if you'd feel the same way about that if you knew that every one of those readers comes away thinking that you're an idiot.

Sensationlism isn't a crime in and of itself, hockey is a thrilling sport that creates amazing stories all the time. We don't require that you be safe and cautious and afraid of offending anyone with your stories; we do require that these stories contain some minor shred of fact. Because guess what is a crime? Slander.

For the record: you would be correct in saying that NHL testing for steroids is not comprehensive, at best. Olympic drug testing however, is. You seem to have forgotten or at least grossly misinterpreted this--the fact that you cited the "2008 winter Olympics" certainly adds credence to that theory, because Vancouver was in 2010. Beijing summer Olympics were in 2008. I am beginning to develop the mild suspicion that you may not have checked your facts.

Assuming that you did mean the 2010 Olympics and not that Ovechkin, oh, had a secret foray into rhythmic gymnastics that we were unaware of, let's investigate that claim. If Ovechkin were in fact using steroids, he would have had to have stopped doing so in the season leading up to the Olympics in order to get it out of his system and not be caught, as Georges Laraque puts forward in his book about steroid use in the NHL. This is what you claim has lead to the decline in his performance.

Ovechkin scored 50 goals that year. In the season ending with the summer before the Olympics, he scored 56. Altogether in the calendar year leading up to the 2010 winter Olympics, from January to January, he scored 57 goals. The week before the Olympics, he had a hat trick, four goals, and nine points. The week after the Olympics, he had a two-goal game and seven points.

Just going to...leave that there.

Also, logically, if Ovechkin stopped juicing because of the Olympics, one would think that he would go back to doing so after he no longer has to worry about Olympic drug testing. So of course after the Olympics, Ovechkin returned to his normal "superhuman" level of performance, right?

Not so much. Beyond uncited, exaggerated anecdotal evidence that you throw around with reckless abandon that I still think could support a good defamation suit, you've got nothing. Not guilty, on the basis of: you make no sense.

Some athletes are just good, and some of them are so good that you can hardly believe what you're seeing. Tip: believe it. Cynicism is one thing, stupidity is entirely another.

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