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Steroids in Football

Steroid use in football, when the topic of anabolic androgenic steroids comes up, nine times out of ten the first thought the individual will have revolves around competitive bodybuilding, power lifting and major league baseball. These are the three areas in-which controversy, rumors and speculation have always been their highest, but for some reason football has always been an afterthought. How or why makes very little sense; after all, if there’s any sport on earth that screams anabolic steroid use it would be steroid use in football; especially professional football. Even so, when people think about ,, if they think about it at all it’s usually only in passing; they may recall a few old stories they’ve heard and nothing more. Of course, the truth is something far different as steroids in football may very well be the most dominating anabolic endeavor to ever face mankind.

With the above in mind, we want to take a direct look at steroids in football; in-short, we want to look at the actual truth. In many ways, we want to look at what is more than obvious, and while it may be obvious to those who already understand anabolic steroids, to many more it may be shocking. Of course, the only reason shock will be held is due to many looking through rose colored glasses. While we’ll look at all levels of play, without question we will find steroids in football rein supreme in the NFL; in-fact, it makes competitive bodybuilding look like a natural pursuit in comparison. Of course, no matter what we say, no matter the fact we give you some will still keep their beer goggles on. They’ll see men who are 300lbs who run as fast as an Olympic track star, men who hit with a force that makes a punch from Mike Tyson feel like a kiss from a butterfly, yet for some reason steroid use in football will never enter their mind. They’ll witness year after year the players getting bigger, running faster, and hitting harder than ever before, and as long as their team is winning they’ll assume it’s all do to good coaching, good recruiting and the superior genetics of their guys; are we really this naïve? Steroids in football, you bet, it runs as rampant as dirty whiskey, pickled eggs and disease ridden whores in an old west saloon; you bet, steroid use in football is everywhere.

Steroids in Football –NFL Use:

When we think about steroids in football, the common face or story most associate with is that of the late Lyle Alzado. Alzado was an all-star defensive powerhouse through the 1970’s and 80’s, but his life was tragically short lived. Alzado would die at the age of 43, and shortly before his death would recount his story to Sports Illustrated as well as to Maria Shriver on NBC. Appearing weak and frail, he could hardly walk or stand on his own, Alzodo would state his impending death was due to his years of anabolic steroid use. He would even go to state that 90% of the athletes he knew were using performance enhancing drugs; 90%! And you think steroid use is something only the few filthy scumbags ever consider. It should be noted; Lyle Alzado passed away in 1992, and his own doctors have repeatedly said there was no link to his death and anabolic steroid use; Lyle Alzado died of lymphoma.

Despite Alzado’s death being connected to anabolic steroids in absolutely no way other than his own speculation, he would become the face of the anti-steroid movement in the U.S. Further, because of this tragic and public loss, as well as the obvious use of anabolic steroids in the NFL, the sporting body would and has continued to hold some of the strictest regulations of all; more on this later on. At any rate, while Alzado’s story is one of the most telling and mind blowing; after all, that 90% number is hard to ignore, it’s not the only notable account. Steroid use in football, try this on for size:

  • Steve Courson – Pittsburg Steelers: stated he used anabolic steroids during his career but did not do so till shortly before his death in 2005.
  • Jim Haslett – Buffalo Bills/New York Jets – Defensive Coordinator Washington Redskins: has stated through the 1980’s at least half of all NFL players used performance enhancing drugs, and all defensive linemen used them.
  • Bill  Romanowski – San Francisco 49ers/Philledelphia Eagels/Denver Broncos/Oakland Raiders: admits to using anabolic steroids during his career openly on 60 Minutes provided by the late BALCO and Victor Conte
  • In 2003, five players from the Oakland Raiders were implicated in the BALCO scandal and charged with using steroids – Chris Cooper, Barrett Robbins, Dana Stubblefield, Tyrone Wheatley and of course Bill Romanowski.
  • Shawne Merriman – San Diego Chargers: failed steroid testing in 2006 that would lead to a new league policy that prohibits players who fail the test to compete in the Pro Bowl. Merriman would receive a four game suspension and no pay in accordance with a first time offence.

In any case, when it comes to steroids in football these are just a few of the high points. Of course, there’s on more we must mention and it revolves around the Houston Texans defensive rookie of the year Brian Cushing. When Cushing was caught supplementing with anabolic steroids, Mike Freeman would write an article for CBSsports.com in outrage about the Cushing incident, but that wasn’t the interesting part. As a side story, Freeman would state that he had once spoke to a hall of fame coach who told him for every two who are caught using steroids in football another ten go free, maybe even twenty. This is an NFL coach making such a statement, and no one knows more about what their players are doing than the coach.

Steroids in Football – NFL Regulations:

Of all the major sports, the NFL carries with it the strictest performance enhancing policies of all. That’s somewhat interesting as it’s the most obvious steroid using sport on earth and gets a free pass professional baseball could only dream about. In 1987, with the war on steroids on the impending horizon, the NFL would implement its steroid control policy, but only a little more than 100 players since that time have tested positive and only half have been suspended. This would assume the strict policy is working quite well, but based on everything we’ve discussed above there is only one logical conclusion; when it comes to steroid use football, particularly professional football, the testing and regulation is only place for show. The NFL has gone to great lengths to vociferate to the public it’s stance against performance supplementation, but the evidence is overwhelming that steroids in football is alive and well, and believe it or not, necessarily so.

We say it is necessary as it is intrinsic to the game. This is a sport that is built on steroids, and without them, you would see the game knocked back into the dark ages. You would see smaller, slower and weaker players; you would see more injuries than ever before, and you would see a game that is about as exciting as watching mold collect on a piece of bread. 5’8” 240lb running backs who are mean, lean and as fast as light cannot exist without some type of performance supplementation, and as long as players are rewarded based on performance, which is the only way to reward them, steroids in football will always exist; love it or hate it, this is part of professional football.

Steroids in Football – NCAA:

When it comes to college football, steroid use is not as rampant as it is in the NFL; to begin, a lot of players cannot afford it, and while it’s still a brutal game it’s nowhere near the brutality of the professional ranks. Of course, it’s still there; after all, every team wants to win, and as we’ve seen time and again, most teams are willing to do whatever it takes. Case in point, former BYU player Jason Scukanec has stated you can easily find at least five players on every division 1 team who supplement with steroids. Of course, there is no concrete evidence of this claim; however, keep in mind steroid testing is very easy to beat if you’re smart about it, and if your team wants to win you’ll be provided with the means to do so.

Steroids in Football – A Private Pursuit:

When it comes to steroid use in football, particularly the NFL it’s important to remember this is a private sporting body; it is not government funded or a public entity, but a private business. Even so, due to the mass hysteria that has existed for more than twenty years, steroids in football have been deemed a necessary evil the U.S. government must fight, but this raises an important question; why? It has been stated the prohibition of use is in place to protect the purity of the game and to keep the issue of influence under control. It has been stated that due to NFL players being role models for the public, especially the youth that steroid use in football must be prohibited. Are these justified reasons? What about many other controversial activities such men often partake in? What about many of the controversial activities many in the general public partake in? These are questions we can debate round and round, but the truth of the matter is simple; steroids in football are here to stay, and if you don’t like it, well, it’s time you find another sport.




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