Sportsfly.com’s Blog

Various Sports Mutterings from Sportsfly.com!

STERIODS: Contrasting the NFL & MLB

This time last year, Hank Steinbrenner came out and stated that he didn’t “like baseball being singled out” when it came to the attention by media and congress over the steroids issue.  He later commented, “Everybody that knows sports knows football is tailor-made for performance-enhancing drugs.  I don’t know how they managed to skate by.  It irritates me.  Don’t tell me it’s not more prevalent.  The number in football is at least twice as many.  Look at the speed and size of those players.”

In the wake of A-Rod’s admittance of steroid use between 2001 and 2003, I do think it’s interesting to contrast why there seems to be a double standard between performance enhancing drugs in baseball and football.

A-Rod Admits His Guilt

A-Rod Admits His Guilt

I do think it is amazing that guys like Shawne Merriman and Rodney Harrison–two prominent defensive players in the NFL–can test positive for steroids/HGH and no one truly seem to care.  Do football fans not care about the integrity of the game?  Do fans and maybe even the media enable these players because they want to see brutal collisions on the field?

I do think, though, that there are a few differences between baseball and football in regards to this issue.  Harrison, and to some degree, Shawne Merriman, admitted that they were wrong.  They were willing to accept their penalties.  That doesn’t make what they did okay, but these players and others did not break NFL policy and continue to lie about it time after time.  They didn’t play the “he said, she said” game.

That’s not to say that some of the players in the MLB should admit guilt if they aren’t guilty.  But, at least in the court of public opinion, they all certainly aren’t innocent.  Barry Bonds?  Palmeiro?  Clemens? Maguire?  Sosa?   There is this “hush, hush” mentality among these big name players, and yet damning evidence mounts against them that would appear to seriously cloud their credibility.  With A-Rod stating that he did indeed take performance-enhancing drugs–after a 2007 interview with Katie Couric where he flatly denied this claim–an entire era of baseball has an enormous blemish on it.

Another distinct difference between baseball and football in regards to steroids is the actual benefit.  It is known that steroids can give you a boost in strength, muscle, and speed.  HGH, a substance that Rodney Harrison was found to be taking this time last year, is widely believed to aid in the recovery of injury.  When Harrison apparently took the drug, he was attempting to recover much quicker from an injury than he otherwise wouldn’t have been able to.  Again, this doesn’t justify his actions.

Harrison Tested Positive

Harrison Tested Positive

But at the same time, we as fans cannot begin to fathom the wear and tear on one’s body that playing in the NFL induces.  There are former players that have a hard time going about their day due to massive injuries.  ESPN NFL analyst Mark Schlereth, a former offensive lineman, has admitted to having at least twenty knee surgeries.  And some former players even suffer from dementia due to the brutal sport of football.

Another issue is the impact steroids has on the game of baseball and football.  Baseball is much less of a team sport than football.  Essentially, baseball is a pitcher versus a batter.  If the pitcher is taking steroids which in turn allows him to throw the ball with a bit more velocity, that is an advantage.  If the batter is utilizing steroids to allow him to hit the ball further, that could potentially turn a double play into a home-run.  That is, most certainly, an advantage.

These factors decide games.

Can games really be decided by steroids in football, though?  Does steroids help you read a defense better?  Does steroids allow you to make every single tackle on the field?  Does steroids give you the drive to study film, decipher signals, or enhance your vision to see the hole?

Football is a team sport.  If one person–or for that matter, a few players–are using steroids on the offensive or defensive side of the ball, I am not convinced that that is an advantage.  It may make you a bit stronger.  It may make you a bit faster.  But, unlike baseball, I don’t think those benefits can make you and your team better.  I’ve seen guys come into the NFL who are complete physical specimens (Former number 1 overall pick in 2000, DE Courtney Brown, springs to mind), and yet could barely crack the starting lineup.

Looks Like Tarzan, Plays Like Jane

Courtney Brown: Looks Like Tarzan, Plays Like Jane

Guys who are the strongest and fastest and yet their careers never take off due to injury, an inability to pick up the playbook, or a complete lack of heart.

Remember, you need the physical tools and talent in the NFL, but football is most certainly a mental game.  Akili Smith and Michael Vick could throw the ball out of the stadium and into oncoming traffic on the highway, yet they were both mediocre quarterbacks.

Smith Didnt Work Out for the Bengals

Smith Didn't Work Out for the Bengals

I am not saying that players cannot and do not benefit from steroids in the NFL.  In 2006, when Merriman was suspended four games for steroids, he still racked up 17 sacks in 12 games.  That is an incredible stat.  At the same time, in 2007, in just 15 games, Merriman still registered 12.5 sacks.  That is a very good total, still.  And while steroids may have contributed to Merriman being able to get around the corner and sack Peyton Manning a couple extra times, steroids absolutely cannot aid you if you bite on Manning’s play fake and he throws it over the top to Reggie Wayne for a touchdown.

Lastly, it cannot be forgotten that baseball is a numbers game.  Home runs, batting averages and bases stolen–it’s what baseball fans care about, from age 8 to 80.

Quick, name me how many yards Emmitt Smith gained in his career?  How many touchdowns did Jerry Rice retire with?  How many sacks did Reggie White have?  How many consecutive games has Brett Favre played?

Even the most die-hard NFL fan would be hard pressed to answer those questions.

Yes, baseball is about the numbers, and if a player is on steroids and has a chance to balloon his numbers into the stratosphere, that is something that the common baseball fan can’t stand.  No one wants someone to eclipse Hank Aaron or Babe Ruth without knowing they did it the old natural way.

February 9, 2009 Posted by | Features & Opinions, NFL | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A-Rod Admits He Juiced

“When I arrived in Texas in 2001, I felt an enormous amount of pressure, I felt like I had all the weight of the world on top of me and I needed to perform, and perform at a high level every day,” Rodriguez told ESPN’s Peter Gammons in an exclusive interview held today.

Add another to the Mitchell Report

Add another to the Mitchell Report

“Back then, [baseball] was a different culture,” claims A-Rod. “It was very loose. I was young, I was stupid, I was naive. And I wanted to prove to everyone that I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time I did take a banned substance. And for that, I am very sorry and deeply regretful.”

Alex Rodriguez’s admission is politically well-timed, as it comes 48 hours after Sports Illustrated confirmed A-Rod was apart of the 100 plus MLB players who tested positive for illegal substances in 2003.

In true fashion of professional athletes who are found guilty of such treachery, Rodriquez claimed that he did NOT know what exactly he was taking at the time. I find this bypassing comment to resemble former President Clinton’s “I never inhaled,” excuse. Look Alex, whether or not you knew the exact NAME of the drugs you were consuming, you still knew you were doing something wrong.

In a world where the economy is faltering, people are losing their jobs and familes are being put on the streets, Alex Rodriguez has enjoyed the fruits of the largest contract in MLB history ( $252 M ). He was able to attain this astronomical salary through the aide of illegal drugs and for that he should feel regretful.

A-Rod alleges that he only took anabolic steroids during a few years with the Texas Rangers and that he has remained clean for his career in New York. I suppose that it’s just a matter time until this lie is revealed to us as well.

To view the exclusive interview click here to watch it at sportsfly.com the emerging leader in sports games and news.

And THAT’S what the StatDragon is breathing fire about!

February 9, 2009 Posted by | Major League Baseball | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

George W. Bush Ruined Baseball

Right Back At You Buddy!

Right Back At You Buddy!

The steroid ship sailed for me about four years ago.  At that point, I dropped my Bob Costas “For the Love of the Game” naivete and began thinking anyone in the game could have been a user.  No discrimination, no hesitation.  I viewed steroids and PED’s in baseball in the same way I viewed cocaine use in the mid-1970s.  Everyone was doing it, so don’t judge individuals.  Instead judge the era.  The latest A-Rod information isn’t such a big deal except for people who still thought of A-Rod as the savior who was going to erase the villainous Barry Bonds from the National Pastime’s ledger.  Well, too bad, and you folks who villify Bonds had better start spreading the hate around. 

 

From day one, Barry Bonds has been the prime target.  Even Clemens, McGwire, Palmeiro, and Sosa have gotten treated with kid gloves compared to Barry Lamar.  Now Barry’s buddy A-Rod should share some heat.  But, instead of spreading the heat I suggest going to the source.  The source, you ask?  The source is one George Walker Bush.  Liberal cynicism?  Nope.  Kicking the cowboy while he’s down?  Nope.  Think about it.  Who stood up in front of the nation and gave Major League Baseball the come to Jesus talk as a part of the State of the Union address?  It was one, George Walker Bush.  Yet, which organization was at the forefront of steroid use when the era began in the mid-1990s?  The Texas Rangers.  Who was running the Texas Rangers at the time Canseco, Juan Gone, and Raffy Palmeiro were sticking each other in the booty?  That’s right, George Walker Bush.  Bush’s political legacy will take generations and gallons of “white out” to fix.  His social legacy needs to suffer as well.  How is the guy who “cowboyed” up to hunt down drugs in baseball going to be the actual source of the problem?  That shows how ridiculous this issue is.  The steroid ship has sailed.  Let’s sink it at sea and just admit that baseball has been screwed up for a long time.  Stop this damn posturing about who gets into the Hall of Fame.  If cats from this tainted era have the numbers, put them in the Hall.  Don’t sit there and not vote for McGwire because he didn’t say anything.  Do you want a Hall of Fame filled with Melky Cabrera’s and Steve Finley’s?  Vote for McGwire.  Vote for Bonds.  Vote for A-Rod.  But first vote for Pete Rose.  If not, the Hall will end up looking lamer than it already does.

FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!

 

February 9, 2009 Posted by | Major League Baseball, Talkin Trash | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This One’s For the Bitches

Forget steroids for a minute.  Forget Olympians bong-toking.  Forget the Lakers tapping the Celtics and Cavs in back-to-back games.   It’s time to break out the full-court coverage on the greatest American sporting event.  That’s right, my friends, it is Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show time.  Some of you may consider this coverage ludicrous, cynical, and even irrelevant, but you’re straight up wrong.  If there’s one thing the FlyMaster loves, it’s bitches.  Bitches of all shapes and sizes.  Loud bitches.  Quite bitches.  Black bitches.  White bitches.  Brindle bitches.  Bitches that drool.  Bitches that like pools.  Bitches that eat meat.  As long as that bitch has four feet, she can compete.   

Leaving a Mark at MSG

Leaving a Mark at MSG

On the real side, the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is a gem of the highest carat weight.  Each February Madison Square Garden becomes the world’s fanciest dog park.  Last week Kobe and Lebron both left their mark on the Garden.  This week there will be all sorts of marks left on the garden.   America’s blue bloods parade their canine compatriots with more pride than when Yury Andropov surveyed and approved the Soviet Army in Red Square.   You know you’re dealing with a blue blood, conceited, four legged spoiled brats when they sport names like “Champion Dulymus Arbuckle on High Quartermain,” and “Winchester Trig Palin McCain We Lost Damnit.”  The FlyDog is named Del.  Keep it simple, muffy.  Now that the backstory is set, let’s break down the 133rd Westiminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Last year’s champion was Uno, a beagle that took the City by storm and did it his way.  With his dynamic personality and semi-tolerable breath, Uno was a lock to go back-to-back, but alas Uno is currently embroiled in ACL rehabilitation and a performance enhancing drug scandal that prevent him from competing.  The field is wide open, just like the NL MVP race once Barry Bonds removed himself from the league.   This year’s early favorites are Lincoln, a Brussels Griffon from the Toy Group, and Carly, a corgi from the Herding Group.  Here’s a group by group breakdown.

Sporting Group:

The Sporting Group is replete with every type of retriever, spaniel, and pointer you’d ever want to see. While many of the pundits laud the accomplishments of the English Springer Spaniel, and some of the overseas prognosticators are lining up in the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon’s corner, Sir FlyMaster will be sticking to his preseason pick, the Vizsla. The Vizsla is a little-known Hungarian dog that puts all thes other Sporting Mutts in their place. Watch out for the Nova Scotia Duck Toiling Retriever to make a splash as well.

Hound Group:
 
The Hound Group represents an array of body types and functionality. From the short-rotund Basset Hound to the immensely regal, yet nappy and drunk Irish Wolfhound, this group is built for excitement. Don’t bet against the frontrunner here. That’s right. The 15″ Beagle will be victorious, if only because the Charles Schultz Snoopy contigent is huge here at the Westminster Kennel, and who doesn’t like Snoopy? If you need a darkhorse, or darkdog rather, don’t sleep on the Black and Tan Coonhound. That’s just a great name because one isn’t quite sure if it’s slightly offensive or just a product of good-old-down-home-Southern naivete. “Look at the jowls on that coon.” That’s one of my favorite lines from covering last year’s Dogapalooza.
 
Working Group:
 
The finest bitches and male dogs reside in the Working Group. These dogs can be fluffy, buff, ugly, short, stocky, long, lean, but they all get the job done. The Japanese contingent will be pulling for the Akita, while the Inuit population (all 2 of them) can’t get enough Malamute. Well, sorry folks, 2009 is the year of the Boxer. No dog is more elegant in its aloofness, more resolute in its musculature, and more playful when gnawing on the fibulas of children from war torn countries. Give the trophy to the Boxer and stay out of her way.

 
Terrier Group:

The Terrier Group features a bunch of glorified rat and rabbit hunters. If that’s your dharma, you don’t deserve an award show. But since they’re in the competition we’ll pick a winner. Eeny, meeny, miny, mo. Pick the Norwich Terrier and get on with the show.

Toy Group:

The Toy group is a disgrace to the animal kingdom. These dogs are the preferred choice of B-list celebrities, gay mafiosos, old ladies with skin that looks like a well tanned kangaroo hide, and the Sportsfly office. This year it was tough to make a decision, but FlyMaster is rolling with the Japanese Chin for two reasons. Japanese Chin sounds like a disparaging disease name from the mid 1800s and the name “Chin” is Chinese, so who the hell is Japanese Chin? Conspiracy in the making.

Non-Sporting Group:All bastard dogs that really don’t serve a purpose and can’t be classified in any of the other groups get thrown in the Non-Sporting Group. Here you’ll find your Poodles, Dalmations, Chow Chow, and other ungodly concoctions. Put some money on the Bulldog (British) because he’s really trying to distance himself from the rest of these ragamuffins, but his leg length and genetic predisposition for hip problems are severely limiting. Mercy vote the Bulldog to glory.

Herding Group:

The Herding Group features some new entrants this year. This begs the question, were there new dogs discovered last year or has that Human Genome Project taken a turn toward the realm of Doctor Moreau? Anyhow, look for the Swedish Vallhund to make a huge debut this year. Word is, the Vallhund looks more like a shrunk down buffalo with goat eyes and a forked tongue, so you know it will stand out. Other contenders are the Bearded Collie and the Corgi. Either way, it’s going to be a heated competition.

BEST IN SHOW:

No doubt the best in show comp will come down to the Boxer and the Swedish Vallhund. This year’s competition has been switched up to boost ratings. Word has it that Michael Vick will be asked to referee the Best in Show match, with the losing dog being placed on the Signature #7 Rape Stand, where all Chihuahuas are released upon the loser. It ain’t pretty, but it’s sports. Look for the Boxer to take down the Vallhund with some nice punching skills and adept ankle-biting. Sorry Sweden, maybe you can invent another new dog in 2010 and enter again. Until then, 2009 is the year of the Boxer.

FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!

Best In Show?

Best In Show?

 

February 9, 2009 Posted by | Doping, Features & Opinions, General, Talkin Trash | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment