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"What's going on is graphic," he says. "It's needles and syringes with kids injecting themselves."
Hooton's isn't a one-man crusade against Bonds, but rather a lifelong mission to stop young athletes from following Taylor's destructive path. His legacy is looming. This fall Texas is expected to implement the nation's largest and most comprehensive steroid testing of high school athletes.
What the locally initiated Amber Alert has done for missing children, "Taylor's Law" will do for kids considering steroids.
"It's a sad commentary on our society, but for now punishment is the most important deterrent in preventing kids from making the decision to try this junk," Hooton says. "With a more reasonable chance of getting caught, we raise the chance they won't try it in the first place. It's a vital first step."
Hooton envisions a day when coaches willingly lecture their players about the dangers. When athletes rely on hard work rather than hard drugs. When America sees Bonds not as an American hero, but rather a steroid serpent disguised in a sweet swing.
My 10-year-old son: So, uh, Dad, why is everybody cheering Barry Bonds?
Me: Look around, son. Listen closer. I'm not. Your coaches aren't. Your friends aren't. Taylor Hooton isn't.
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