After reading about Ryan Tucker for the Browns getting suspended for four games for steroid use, I got to thinking; why aren't there bigger steroid issues in the press about the NFL? When anyone mentions the MLB, the next sentence is usually about that leagues problems with the illegal substance, especially regarding Barry Bonds and his slow march toward Hank Aaron. Yet, when someone in the NFL is caught, there's one headline, a little mention on Sportcenter, then, nothing.
Take Shawne Merriman for the Chargers. Last year he was caught; no allegations, no controversy, caught. What happened? Four game suspension and awarded an All-Pro and All-star game spot. Then, nothing more was said. We don't hear about it, the press doesn't talk about it, and the fans generally accept it. Is this because we're talking about the NFL? Probably the biggest sport league in the US? Absolutely.
The NFL has become so big and awards so many different people with huge sums of cash, that it is allowed these black marks and continue on without controversy. I'm not complaining, I love football and the NFL, it just amazes me. On the flip side of sports, the MLB and its players have been put before Congress, interviews with men with and without subpeonas for them to talk about all things related, and a slew of nasty rumors and allegations from past and present players. Where exactly did the MLB go wrong?
In my opinion, it is because as fans, we understand that football is a game that has been bred of steroids. To be bigger, faster, stronger -- meaner, aggresive, unrelenting. That is what makes the game so much fun to watch. Our very own version of the Greeks' and Romans' gladiators. Without steroids, the game probably wouldn't be where it is today. And that's the problem with baseball. So many of the biggest records in the sport were set back in time that was without huge, beefy players. Didn't have men throwing the ball in the upper nineties consistently. It was set with talent and skill. Todays players are just as talented and just as skilled as the past, our generations have just had the luxury of being able to pay someone to design a drug that will make them three to four times better. I'm sure that there were men in the past that used steroids, or a watered down version of them, but they were in no way as effective as what we have now.
Here's my suggestion. Sports should do away with handling the consequences of testing positive for steroids, if caught, the person should have to be turned over to the authorities for using such methods. Steroids and anything in the same catergory are a class 3 drug -- the same as cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. If someone in the general populace is caught with these types of drugs, there is no suspension, but there will be jail-time. Maybe the threat of having to spend time behind bars instead of standing on the sidelines would help to curb what is happening. But probably not.