FanPost

the NFL and steroids


Why aren't hgh and steroids a big story in the NFL? I believe the reason is that it is too hard to tie individual performance to team wins or individual records. In baseball, if a guy breaks a record believed to be clean, like Hank Aarons, then we can say Bonds record is bogus, period. If an NFL lineman is taking steroids, the best you could do is maybe tie him to a sack or tackle record. But because the NFL is truly a team sport and steroids aren't easily tied to QB or WR records it's not that big of a deal. 

The NFL has been testing for steroids since 1987 and they probably prevented many players from being tempted to use steroids. For certain NFL players (like linemen) steroids would probably help their performance more than MLB, NBA, NHL athletes. It helps their strength, stamina, speed and injury recovery. Very important if the average NFL career is like 3 years because it could seriously help you compete and stay on the job.

Lance Armstrong passed 500 drug tests, Marion Jones 100 before being caught so it must be pretty easy to beat drug tests. I find it very hard to believe that Lance Armstrong was clean as most cyclists agree that everyone was doing it. If it is proven that Lance cheated then I am not sure how people will see him. Will they really hate him? If everyone was doing it then he really didn't have an advantage did he?. But then again if he didn't use then would he have the stamina to win 7 times? Maybe if he didn't use steroids his body would have broken down at times preventing him from 7 wins. In individual sports steroids are a huge deal as they can totally change outcomes.

Lyle Alzado admitting to steroid use was not the same as McGwire, Bonds, Sosa because there is not an easily measurable accomplishment. While it is impossible to know for sure, I doubt Bonds, McGwire or Sosa get their records without steroids. What record did Lyle Alzado hold? He was a good player but how much did steroids help him? We will never know and that is the reason we care less.

If steroids could greatly increase QB performance or some other critical position that would clearly be tied to game outcome then steroids would be a big deal. Fans (and gamblers) would demand much more stringent blood testing and penalties. But as long as we cannot see clearly how steroids affect game outcomes it will never be as big an issue in the NFL as baseball or individual sports.   

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