FOOTBALL IS BACK! The lockout is over, preseason games have started and free agency, with all of its craziness, has given some teams upgrades all over the league. The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is in place for 10 years and all is right with the world…isn’t it? There is one final piece of the puzzle yet to be completely set in place; and that’s the issue of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) testing and finding an appropriate way to administer it. The details are probably very detailed but to make a long story short…if the NFL and it’s players don’t reach an agreement about how to administer HGH testing by Week 1 of the season, the 20100 rules in, as it relates to testing, are back in play. Now is this going to stop football from being played this year….NOPE! Is it going to be something that you think about after reading this blog (assuming you read it…hoping you read it…praying you read it and share with your friends…)…Not at all! SO as a person who loves sports, particularly football, baseball and basketball, I have to ask this: What’s the big deal?
I’ve heard all of the arguments about Performance Enhancing Drugs is cheating and it makes what we are watching less real. Um…I’m not sure about the rest of you, but I never once thought during certain memorable history making moments, “Man I wonder who supplied Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds with anabolic steroids.” I never once considered that Tiger Woods, during his blood spinning healing methods, that his doctor was slipping him the juice before inserting the blood back I his body. If you told me that 90 percent of professional football players have experimented, are currently using, or have made their appointments to receive their first injection of HGH before week one, my response would be, “What time does the game come one?”
I mean I truly believe that there are some factors involved in performance enhancing drugs that are being put to the back burner while others are being placed at the forefront that shouldn’t be. I will attempt to identify some of those factors in terms of their relevant importance:
3) Integrity of the Game– Bull Crap (I try not to cuss). The majority of the viewing public doesn’t care about the precious numbers in baseball and how taking these drugs is viewed as cheating. People don’t care about football players being bigger, faster and stronger by taking these drugs… it’s not affecting how the game is played from a fan’s perspective and here’s the best part, WE LIKE THE VIOLENT PART OF FOOTBALL. And why does Congress feel like they need to step in a force these sports to address this issue and make changes? Damn It, work out this economy and other issues that cripple the lives of Americans on a daily baseball instead of wasting government funds that could be going to paying off this debt.
2) What About Little Timmy?– What about him? Yes there are kids out there who look at these athletes as role models. There is nothing they can do about that, it’s not like they sign their contracts with a Role Model clause in it. It is my responsibility as a parent, coach, concerned community member, etc to educate my aspiring junior high and high school athletes on the impact of what taking these drugs will do to them and then let them make their own decision. I mean this stuff is already illegal and truth be told, there is probably a significant number of parents supplying their children performance enhancing drugs so that they can capitalize financially on their success in the future.
1) It’s an Unfair Advantage – Really? I’m not sure about that. IF a significant portion of individuals are abusing a substance that will aid in their performance, how unfair is it. I could see if one player was dominating because of the drug use, but if a 365 pound defensive end on steroids is rushing against a 370 pound left tackle who is on HGH…where’s the advantage? Besides if we focused this hard on other performance enhancers, such as breast and boob implants, Viagra and Cialis, 5 Hour Energy bottles, we would have some disgruntled people all over the world.
The most important factor surrounding this issue of performance enhancing drugs that gets very little attention is that the athletes are choosing to inject and digest these drugs in their OWN BODY. I can’t tell a grown man to stop taking these drugs and consider what it will do to his long term health when it could mean the difference between him making 750,000 and 16.6 million to make sure his family is set for life. I can’t advise Marion Jones that she could go to jail for doing this stuff when she believes that her own talent and ability is not good enough to win and land the finically secure endorsements dollars. I can’t remind some of the greatest athletes to ever play these games that it could cost them a trip to the Hall of Fame and how important that is, if they DON’T THINK IT’S Important. All I can do is watch these elite athletes perform, talk about their dominance and hope that most of them, at the end of the season, are on my Fantasy Team.
SO I guess the question is, if you care about performance enhancing drugs and you knew that taking them could get you more money over a shorter period of time, understanding all of the potential damaging effects…would it stop you from taking them?