steroids and the devil’s crossroads

There is a music legend about the ‘crossroads’.  It’s a bible belt thing, and it goes that a musician waits along the crossroads at midnight.  The devil will appear.  The devil will make you rich and successful beyond your wildest dreams.  It is the source of almost every blues song ever written.

The devil’s crossroads are said to be in Mississippi.  There are even articles that show the exact dirt road intersection.  That seems silly to me, since I don’t quite believe there is such a thing.  However, as an enduring American myth… let’s poke around a bit.

So… you sacrifice your soul for greatness in this world.  I get it.  None of us can even say for sure if we would or wouldn’t do it until the opportunity provided itself.  I mean, think of the opportunity to have complete mastery over a craft.  For me, obviously, it would be guitar.

The downside, though, is when you die the devil gets your soul.  It was said Led Zepp did this, as well as Robert Johnson.  It isn’t totally implausible to believe these things.  I am mostly surprised the crossroads myth never came up about the Beatles.

So, I am watching some old Robert Johnson songs on youtube (thanks to J for that) and I realized this is pretty darn similar to athletes using steroids.  Is that not the ultimate deal with the devil?  In this life, and in this time, I will make you strong and rich and successful beyond your wildest dreams.  Imagine you are 30 years old, which means you are washed up in pro Sports.  It’s the only thing you have done since you were 10.  It was the only thing that gave your life meaning.  Imagine if the devil came to you and said “I can get you another ten years in the big leagues, Barry.  In fact, I’ll make you even better than you are now!”

I went down to the crossroad
fell down on my knees 
I went down to the crossroad
fell down on my knees 
Asked the lord above “Have mercy now
save poor Bob if you please”
Yeeooo, standin at the crossroad
tried to flag a ride
ooo ooo eee
I tried to flag a ride
Didn’t nobody seem to know me babe
everybody pass me by
Standin at the crossroad babe
risin sun goin down
Standin at the crossroad babe
eee eee eee, risin sun goin down
I believe to my soul now,
Poor Bob is sinkin down
You can run, you can run
tell my friend Willie Brown
You can run, you can run
tell my friend Willie Brown
(th)’at I got the croosroad blues this mornin Lord
babe, I’m sinkin down
And I went to the crossraod momma
I looked east and west
I went to the crossraod baby
I looked east and west
Lord, I didn’t have no sweet woman
ooh-well babe, in my distress

That is what steroids are to the athlete.  If you look at it from that angle, maybe you can see why so many do it.  What do they have to lose?  I mean, you are 30 and unemployed and broke.  You will never be in pro sports again.  That’s it.  No more parties, private jets, hot babes, and epic clubbing adventures.  No more little children coming up to you saying you are their hero.  You have zero marketable skills in the free world, and you skated on your education just to get to the pros.  Unless you are a white articulate hall of fame quarterback, you ain’t getting a tv job.  So what do you have to lose?  You have another 40 years to live, and you could sure use some time to save up money.

Let’s look at ARod (Alex Rodriguez).  Tell me he isn’t the perfect candidate to meld these myths together.  When he signed with the Yankees in 2007, he got 275 million dollar contract.  That was completely unheard of in Baseball.  Five short years later, and he is done.  He can’t play anymore, and hasn’t been able to play well for years.  So, he has been juicing.  Of course he has been juicing.  He has to earn that 275 million, or they will take it back.  He has everything to lose if he stays the current course.

Or… he can make a little road trip down south to the crossroads and play a few more years.

As for musicians and celebs – tell me that the devil’s crossroads doesn’t perfectly explain how the Kardashians are the most powerful and influential family in America.  Tell me how the crossroads doesn’t perfectly explain Miley Cyrus.

The downside, you won’t even make it to 60

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