We Are Doing This Now Because It’s The Right Thing To Do ….. Or At Least We Think So ….. !
Well now that the NFL preseason will be in full flight as of the 11th August, I think it interesting that the league will now subject the players to game day testing for HGH as well as other PED’s ( performance enhancing drugs) in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement. The league hierarchy led by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his opposite number within the NFLPA , Executive Director DeMaurice Smith knew that this would be a sticking point amongst the members of the union but it was obvious that concessions were made by both sides so that this rule could be enacted .
Slide show for your perusal.
The NFL will now become the first of the four major sports to actually test its members at the highest echelons of the sport for HGH on game day and it remains to be seen how such a rule will be looked upon by the fans. Baseball (MLB) tests merely at the minor league level for HGH and for other prohibitive substances . They do not however test at the top tier of the game with completely comprehensive testing for anything beyond steroids. That in part is due to the power of Michael Weiner as executive director of the MLPA and the fact that the union holds away over the league hierarchy and the team owners themselves . And that is in spite of the claims made by Bud Selig that professional baseball now has in place the most comprehensive testing program in all of professional sports . The commissioner knows that is sheer bunkum but in his eyes merely looking and playing the fool appears to be nothing new at all .
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez (11) and wide receiver Austin Collie (17) walk out for the start of the NFL football training camp in Anderson, Ind., Monday, Aug. 1, 2011. AP Photo/Darron Cummings ….
It is clear that the NFL would like be seen as being proactive with its image having been sullied throughout the whole period of their mandated lockout of the players. And it is in this aspect that the hierarchy wishes to show the fans that they have now taken on with a renewed sense of purpose of righting several of the issues that were part of their deliberations ___ that became highly contentious between themselves and the union. Leading the way in terms of getting this message across to the fans and public in general will be Adolpho Birch one the NFL’s highest ranking executives and amongst their chief lead legal advisers . He played a major part in seeking that this rule was mandated and enacted by the league which could very well be seen as a blue print for the other major professional sports governing bodies. But given the stance taken by the NBPA , MLBPA and NHLPA it is very difficult to see those three unions allowing their respective hierarchies to have that much power and acquiesce to such an agreement.
Courtesy of USA Today
By Nate Davis , USA Today
Even as the NFL prepares to take the unprecedented step of administering blood tests to screen its players for human growth hormone, the league doesn’t necessarily believe its product is chemically fueled from sideline to sideline.
“I will say, based on my judgment and experience, I don’t believe it’s prevalent,” said NFL Senior Vice President of Law and Labor Policy Adolpho Birch when asked about the concerns expressed by Colts WR Anthony Gonzalez that HGH use occurs in the league and a recent CBSSports.com report which speculated 10-20% of NFL players are juicing .
Added Birch: “Those estimates are why it’s critical we have testing.”
And Birch expects those tests will be in place by the start of the regular season as the NFL and NFLPA work out the final details of the system, which was a component of the recently ratified collective bargaining agreement both sides seemed to desire.
“How many guys are on it, that’s hard to say,” Gonzalez told The Indianapolis Star on Tuesday. “It could be 10, it could be a hundred or more; either way, it’s too much. But around the league, you see guys on Sunday, and things don’t add up; they don’t look right. I see guys I saw in college, now they’re in the NFL and they look totally different.
Click on link to read article in its entirety .
Claims that as many as 20% of the NFL players within the league are “juicing” might seem somewhat conservative but one can’t really be sure to what extent the use of prohibitive substances are prevalent within the sport. It would be remiss however to suggest that such an instance is not in fact taking place . We know that players have been suspended for abusing the league’s drug policy whereby the initial suspension is for a mandatory four games and the athlete undergoes counseling. But the fans have yet to be publicly advised as to what the penalties will be should a player having been tested , found positive for the use of HGH what punishment would be meted out . Not one to speculate on such a point I can only surmise that whatever form of penalty is dealt to a player it will be one in line with the CBA as agreed upon between the league and union.
Indianapolis Colts’ player Anthony Gonzalez has offered his own thoughts on the issue of players ‘juicing’, stating that he believes it takes place within the NFL but doesn’t care to suggest how prevalent it is or whom he believes to be using anything prohibitive. Clearly this may well be something that doesn’t sit well with a number of players within the NFL but it now gives credence to what many of us may well have already believed to begin with . And that is the NFL much like their counterparts within MLB are not averse to breaking the law never mind the perception of cheating. Granted, there’s a case to be made that the use of certain substances to avert or assist in a quick recuperation from an injury aids a player. When would one suggest that an abuse of steroids or any other prohibitive PED isn’t in the best interest of the game never mind the overall health issues as it relates to the player ?
I have always maintained that we can look upon the use of steroids from both sides ! But herein lies my own train of thought on the matter , not once have I ever read anything by anyone within this medium address the issue concerning the apparent dangers of steroid abuse and the harm it undoubtedly does to a player’s well being . Instead it has been the thinking ………. if it makes them (players) perform better then so be it , which if anything is somewhat of a naive stance to take . Herein lies to caveat to this all , if the gain is actual financial wealth and some semblance of success then it appears that absolutely nothing is off the table . But at what point should we then say enough is enough ? One simply now has to look at what has happened within the game of baseball as answer to the folly that has taken place there and the very fact that the arguments now arise as to who is now worthy of being enshrined into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown , New York . Over a decade as such has come into question because of the sheer weight of the malfeasance that took place there concerning the abuse of steroids within the game. Are we , or have we as such already witnessed that now in the NFL ? Maybe we have , or quite possibly we have not ____ no one actually knows and it’s unlikely that anyone within the league hierarchy , union or amongst the NFL team owners are willing to discuss the issue as to the possibility that there has been rampant use of illicit substances within the game.
We have seen the sheer and utter stupidity and naivete’ shown with the game of baseball the mere fact that Bud Selig and the union had to be dragged kicking into the twenty first century , merely adopt some form of drug testing within the game. The NFL for its part has taken an approach but it could now very well open up a Pandora’s box that once ajar , cannot be closed as quickly as they would actually like . As to the implications for the players within the NFL , while no doubt agreeing to this all , I’d hate to think what could very well happen should the situation arises where one of them tests positive for HGH during this new era of labor peace between the two parties of the league !
Picture gallery for your perusal .
In light of the new rule how do you as an NFL fan view this change and do you believe it ultimately be of benefit to the league ? Simply leave a comment as to your thought and anything else you believe to be pertinent on this matter . Thanks as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !
Alan aka tophatal ………….. https://tophatal.wordpress.com
Contact tophatal ……… firstname.lastname@example.org ….
Picture and slide show details below for your perusal .
(1) Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez (11) and wide receiver Austin Collie (17) walk out for the start of the NFL football training camp in Anderson, Ind., Monday, Aug. 1, 2011. AP Photo/Darron Cummings ….
(2) Indianapolis Colts tight end Dallas Clark, left, and wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez stretch out during the NFL team’s football training camp in Anderson, Ind., Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011. AP Photo/Michael Conroy…..
(3) Adolpho Birch III (J.D.) NFL Senior VP of Labor Policy & Labor Relations seen here speaking with ESPN on the league enacting their new drug testing policy for illicit substances but primarily HGH. AP Photos/ P Velazquez
(4) Commissioner of the National Football League, Roger Goodell and Director of the National Football League Players’ Association, DeMaurice Smith pose with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement on the front steps of the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 5, 2011 in Canton, Ohio. Getty Images North America/ Michael Loccisano …….
(5) Commissioner of the National Football League, Roger Goodell and Director of the National Football League Players’ Association, DeMaurice Smith sign the new Collective Bargaining Agreement on the front steps of the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 5, 2011 in Canton, Ohio. Getty Images North America / Michael Loccasino ……
NFL Preseason schedule commences Thursday 11th August 2011
Preseason Week 1
Thu, Aug 11 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
BAL @ PHI Lincoln Financial Field 7:30 PM Tickets
JAC @ NE Gillette Stadium 7:30 PM Tickets
SEA @ SD Qualcomm Stadium 8:00 PM Tickets ESPN
DEN @ DAL Cowboys Stadium 8:30 PM Tickets
ARI @ OAK O.co Coliseum 10:00 PM Tickets
Fri, Aug 12 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
CIN @ DET Ford Field 7:30 PM Tickets
MIA @ ATL Georgia Dome 7:30 PM Tickets
PIT @ WAS FedExField 7:30 PM Tickets
SF @ NO Superdome 8:00 PM Tickets
TB @ KC Arrowhead Stadium 8:00 PM Tickets FOX
Sat, Aug 13 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
GB @ CLE Cleveland Browns Stadium 7:30 PM Tickets NFLN
BUF @ CHI Soldier Field 8:00 PM Tickets
IND @ STL Edward Jones Dome 8:00 PM Tickets
MIN @ TEN LP Field 8:00 PM Tickets
NYG @ CAR Bank of America Stadium 8:00 PM Tickets
Mon, Aug 15 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
NYJ @ HOU Reliant Stadium 8:00 PM Tickets ESPN
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Preseason Week 2
Thu, Aug 18 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
NE @ TB Raymond James Stadium 7:30 PM Tickets
PHI @ PIT Heinz Field 8:00 PM Tickets FOX
Fri, Aug 19 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
WAS @ IND Lucas Oil Stadium 7:00 PM Tickets
CAR @ MIA Sun Life Stadium 7:30 PM Tickets
DET @ CLE Cleveland Browns Stadium 7:30 PM Tickets
KC @ BAL M&T Bank Stadium 7:30 PM Tickets
ARI @ GB Lambeau Field 8:00 PM Tickets
ATL @ JAC EverBank Field 8:00 PM Tickets FOX
Sat, Aug 20 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
NO @ HOU Reliant Stadium 8:00 PM Tickets NFLN
OAK @ SF Candlestick Park 8:00 PM Tickets
TEN @ STL Edward Jones Dome 8:00 PM Tickets
BUF @ DEN INVESCO Field at Mile High 8:30 PM Tickets
MIN @ SEA CenturyLink Field 10:00 PM Tickets
Sun, Aug 21 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
CIN @ NYJ New Meadowlands Stadium 7:00 PM Tickets
SD @ DAL Cowboys Stadium 8:00 PM Tickets NBC
Mon, Aug 22 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
CHI @ NYG New Meadowlands Stadium 8:00 PM Tickets ESPN
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Preseason Week 3
Thu, Aug 25 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
CAR @ CIN Paul Brown Stadium 7:00 PM Tickets
CLE @ PHI Lincoln Financial Field 7:30 PM Tickets
WAS @ BAL M&T Bank Stadium 8:00 PM Tickets ESPN
Fri, Aug 26 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
STL @ KC Arrowhead Stadium 8:00 PM Tickets
GB @ IND Lucas Oil Stadium 8:00 PM Tickets CBS
Sat, Aug 27 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
JAC @ BUF Ralph Wilson Stadium 7:00 PM Tickets
NYJ @ NYG New Meadowlands Stadium 7:00 PM Tickets
ATL @ PIT Heinz Field 7:30 PM Tickets
MIA @ TB Raymond James Stadium 7:30 PM Tickets
CHI @ TEN LP Field 8:00 PM Tickets
DAL @ MIN Mall of America Field 8:00 PM Tickets
HOU @ SF Candlestick Park 8:00 PM Tickets
NE @ DET Ford Field 8:00 PM Tickets CBS
SEA @ DEN INVESCO Field at Mile High 9:00 PM Tickets
SD @ ARI University of Phoenix Stadium 10:00 PM Tickets
Sun, Aug 28 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
NO @ OAK O.co Coliseum 8:00 PM Tickets NBC
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Preseason Week 4
Thu, Sep 01 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
DET @ BUF Ralph Wilson Stadium 6:30 PM Tickets
IND @ CIN Paul Brown Stadium 7:00 PM Tickets NFLN
BAL @ ATL Georgia Dome 7:30 PM Tickets
NYG @ NE Gillette Stadium 7:30 PM Tickets
STL @ JAC EverBank Field 7:30 PM Tickets
TB @ WAS FedExField 7:30 PM Tickets
PHI @ NYJ New Meadowlands Stadium 7:30 PM Tickets
DAL @ MIA Sun Life Stadium 7:30 PM Tickets
KC @ GB Lambeau Field 8:00 PM Tickets
CLE @ CHI Soldier Field 8:00 PM Tickets
HOU @ MIN Mall of America Field 8:00 PM Tickets
TEN @ NO Superdome 8:00 PM Tickets
PIT @ CAR Bank of America Stadium 8:00 PM Tickets
DEN @ ARI University of Phoenix Stadium 10:00 PM Tickets NFLN
SF @ SD Qualcomm Stadium 10:00 PM Tickets
Fri, Sep 02 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
OAK @ SEA CenturyLink Field 10:30 PM Tickets NFLN
NFL Regular season schedule commences 8-12th September 2011
If at all interested do take time to participate in the above mentioned poll .