Polls on a Game

Michael Cox

America “Time Warner’s Red-headed Stepchild” Online and the Associated Press (motto: “ANYONE CAN RITE ABOUT SPORTZ D00D ITZ E-Z!!1!!”) got together for a poll this month, apparently attempting to judge how well sportswriters have done in their quest to make steroids The Thing That Ruined Baseball For Everyone. Bud Selig can breathe easy now, because the title has changed hands.

How well the media has done can be measured not by how many fans think steroids are bad, mm-kay (63 percent say they care if players take performance-enhancing drugs), but by how many believe they know enough to even voice a considered opinion.

Case in point: when asked whether MLB was doing enough to “curb use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs,” only 3 percent of baseball fans said they weren’t sure. A poll like this should really be following up by asking the other 97 percent exactly what they think baseball is doing. And those answers should be videotaped, like Jay Leno does when he asks typical LA folks who the President is and they answer “um, Schwarzenegger?”

But the “how often do you beat your wife?” award goes to the question, “Do you think Major League Baseball is treating Barry Bonds fairly or unfairly when it comes to the steroids allegations against him?”

FAN: Uh, he’s been treated more than fairly compared to how the media says he should be placed in stocks in the village square for all to see…so “fairly.”

AOL SUPPORT (This is the reason you can’t get anyone on the phone there): Okay. “Fairly.” Next…

FAN: But if it’s too fair, is that actually unfair? So maybe “unfairly.”

AOL SUPPORT: Okay. “Unfairly.”

FAN: Um, but I guess to him it would be fair, so “fairly.”

AOL SUPPORT: Okay. “Fairly.”

FAN: But I said before I thought baseball didn’t do a good enough job, so maybe it would still be unfairly compared to…um…can you give me a hint?

AOL SUPPORT: I’m sorry, sir. Questions confuse me. I must now go curl up into the fetal position.

Not surprisingly, a relatively massive 10 percent of those polled were so confused by the question that they actually admitted it.

Got an opinion? Tell us!

Published April 25, 2006

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