When you read an absurd take on something once, you perhaps move on with your day. But when you read that absurd take on something a few times, you might feel compelled to write an article about it.
Such is the case for yours truly as it pertains to the four-game suspension just served by Steelers right tackle Marcus Gilbert.
After Gilbert was suspended on November 20 for violating the NFL's PED (Performance Enhancing Drugs) policy, one of the first comments I read—on BTSC, no-less—was that, even if the Steelers win the Super Bowl this year, the 2017 season will forever be tainted.
I've read similar comments from different folks over the past month or so, and I just can't tell you how ridiculous I think that notion is.
When it comes to PEDs in the NFL, yes, players get suspended all the time. But, guess what?
Nobody usually cares.
And if they do care, they stop caring after a few weeks or so.
How many times have football players been suspended during seasons in which their teams ultimately went on to win the Super Bowl?
Beats me, but I'll bet it's a lot.
I also bet you don't really care.
I know I don't.
For all I care, football players can take PEDs every day of the week...and twice on Sundays.
This is especially true if a player is coming back from an injury, which, whether he ever admits it or not, may have been the case with Gilbert, who spent the early portion of the 2017 campaign nursing a hamstring, an ailment that forced him to miss several games.
If you want to call speeding up the healing process "cheating," fine, but I'm going to laugh at you if you say it taints the Steelers' season.
If the Steelers do win the Super Bowl this year, nobody is going to look back 20 years from now and say, "Yeah, but the right tackle cheated!"
Why? Because—again—nobody cares about it in football. I think it's generally accepted that these athletes—these freakishly large and freakishly fast players—put their bodies through a heck of a lot just to be healthy enough to play on Sundays.
And after they're done with this Sunday, they have to pray they can find a way to make it back on the field next Sunday.
In other sports—well, baseball—it's different.
In baseball, where statistics are absolutely revered, if a player has been caught doing anything that could make him throw one harder or hit it farther, well, he might as well be one of those guys Chris Hansen asks to to "Take a seat!" on To Catch a Predator.
But that's baseball, a sport whose gatekeepers have forever been trying to protect the legacy of a fat guy who died 70 years ago.
Don't get me wrong, steroids are obviously frowned on in football and, as was the case with Gilbert, players caught using them are punished pretty harshly.
However, they're generally not considered cheaters.
How do I know this?
Chargers tight end Antonio Gates was suspended for the first four games of the 2015 regular season after violating the league's PED policy.
Do you think that will ultimately keep him and his 1,000 receptions (I'm rounding up, obviously, since he hasn't retired yet) out of the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
As for Barry Bonds, baseball's all-time home run leader, well, I'm not sure if he's even allowed to set foot in Cooperstown, New York, without facing arrest.
You might cite the controversy surrounding the 1970's Steelers—specifically the offensive linemen—and how they infamously partook of steroids.
Yeah, because that tainted the Super Bowl dynasty...about as much as Practiceinpads-gate from 1978.
Anyway, to sum up this smarmy-enhanced piece, sometimes football players get caught using PEDs.
Most of the time, nobody really cares.
And the only thing tainted is the credibility of anyone who thinks Marcus Gilbert's PED suspension will taint anything.