FanDuel - WFBC

October 23, 2006

Shawne Merriman suspended for steroids.: The four game suspension comes less than a week after the news of the Falcon's Matt Lehr and the Lion's Shaun Rogers receiving steroid suspensions.

posted by tron7 to football at 09:50 AM - 33 comments

All the talk about the Chargers being the best team in the AFC, about Rivers reminding certain ESPN hosts of Dan Marino, and now this (not long after police had their run-in with Steve Foley) makes me think all the hype may be a bit premature. If everyone will just tone down their expectations for the Bolts and realize their still a work-in-progress, maybe they (their fans) won't be let down. Losing Merriman is a real blow to a defense that struggled Sunday.

posted by dyams at 11:21 AM on October 23

Imagine the brouhaha if Huston Street had tested positive for steroids in the middle of this current MLB season. I'm not sure what it is that the NFL has working in their favour, but they seem to dodge the real firestorms of controversy when it comes to drug testing and their players.

posted by grum@work at 11:21 AM on October 23

Given the number of arrests and other bad behavior exhibited by players in the NFL, its not much of a stretch to say that the majority of fans aren't too surprised by this news. It matters less that they cheated, broke NFL rules, state and federal laws, than what their absence will do to their teams chances for success.

posted by irunfromclones at 12:26 PM on October 23

It matters less that they cheated, broke NFL rules, state and federal laws, than what their absence will do to their teams chances for success. That's a stretch. There are plenty of drugs banned by the NFL that are perfectly legal. I think the NFL policy is pretty decent. Absent blood tests, they seem to be pretty comprehensive. They have added amphetamines to their list of banned substances, so no more cold medicine for NFL players. One positive drug test, the suspension is 1/4 of the season. Of course, they could certainly have more tests per year.

posted by bperk at 12:39 PM on October 23

That's a stretch. There are plenty of drugs banned by the NFL that are perfectly legal. Sorry, I thought that this thread was just about illegal steroids, not plenty of drugs.

posted by irunfromclones at 12:41 PM on October 23

Merriman caught on the steroid train? Damn, never saw that coming. Can someone tell me when we will quit being shocked when a big time all-pro gets caught on the 'roids? Let's all be honest here, no one care when their players are on steroids. It is only a factor when it is someone that is on an opposing team. But the real statement is this..... If your my guy, juice you self silly. But realize drugs, steroids included are what make our sports hero's. But who cares. No matter if it's roids, speeders, pain killers, or mood enhansers. Look at the names...... Schwartzeneger, Armstrong, Gooden, Merriman, Clemons, McGuire, Soza, Palmiero, etc.etc. These are not the guys trying to make it, These are the elite looking for an edge. To be honest, I am for the "do what ya gotta do, let it all hang out, let the better man win philosophy". But be honest about it.

posted by BSUJIM at 01:21 PM on October 23

Schwartzeneger? Deadpsin post echoing what Grum said and showing the different reactions from ESPN to Baseball and Football steroid suspensions.

posted by tron7 at 01:41 PM on October 23

Sorry, I thought that this thread was just about illegal steroids, not plenty of drugs. This thread is about Merriman violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, which includes things like ephedrine found in over-the-counter cold medicines. So, maybe a minute to think would be wise before we throw him in jail.

posted by bperk at 01:43 PM on October 23

well this just makes me feel that much better about the cowboys picking D. Ware over him GO COWBOYS tony romo=next tom brady

posted by dhump09 at 02:17 PM on October 23

This guy has been playing amazing this season. Now I know why. In the first game of the season, against the Raiders, I saw him pick up a 300LB+ lineman and toss him out of the way. Then again, the Raiders can't block anyone. I just don't understand why people would cheat like this when they know the rammifications of getting caught. Losing all that money is one thing, but don't any of these players value being respected as a human being and a competitor?

posted by yay-yo at 02:42 PM on October 23

I've heard NFL steroid testing called the "idiot test". If you get caught, you're an idiot.

posted by SummersEve at 02:54 PM on October 23

I'm more interested in the larger picture that grum indicates. Why, oh why, is it not a national offence when the NFL is exposed as a steriod factory (which it undoubtedly is), but is the crime of the century in baseball? I can figure on a few factors - the nature of the game, the relationship of statistics to history (and the lack of the same intensity for the equivalent stats in football) and so forth, but really - why the free pass? It seems nothing less than a fierce hypocrisy at this point.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:27 PM on October 23

Lion's Shaun Rogers receiving steroid suspensions. Rogers was suspended for using a banned suplement, not neccesarily a steroid. He says it was an over the counter supplement to control his weight, and as the biased Lions fan I believe it. That doesn't mean that is true, there is a distinct possibility that he did test positive for steroids. However, there isn't a true way of knowing.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:34 PM on October 23

From the article: "a source with knowledge of the test saying it was “definitely for steroids not one of those supplement deals.” He violated the NFL's substance abuse policy for steroids, not cold medicine.

posted by irunfromclones at 03:35 PM on October 23

Why, oh why, is it not a national offence when the NFL is exposed as a steriod factory (which it undoubtedly is), but is the crime of the century in baseball? I can figure on a few factors - the nature of the game, the relationship of statistics to history (and the lack of the same intensity for the equivalent stats in football) and so forth, but really - why the free pass? I've been told that it is because everyone cares about the MLB and no one cares about NFL. Just check those TV ratings! Wait, that can't be right... I attribute it to the nature of the athletes playing the game. When you look at an average MLB player/pitcher participating in a game, he doesn't look like some giant man-mountain of muscle. For every Barry Bonds or Albert Pujols, there are usually a couple El Guapos and Kings of Scrappyland to balance them out. When you look at the most common type of football player (linemen), you see nothing but gigantic men performing outrageous feats of strength, endurance and speed. I think, deep down, most people expect those guys to be on some sort of "enhancement". It helps explain things that we see. So when they get busted for using "enhancements", it's not all that much of a surprise.

posted by grum@work at 03:46 PM on October 23

Why the free pass, Mr McSmokey? I think you provided the best reasons yourself, to which I would only add the one of perception. It's still a blue collar- do whatever it takes kind of sport. Which sometimes means you dare to bend the rules a bit. Hardly seems a week goes by that we don't hear of an NFL player arrested or charged for drugs, violence, or both. The peception is that NFL players are free wheeling bad boys to begin with, so news like this isn't much of a surprise.

posted by irunfromclones at 03:56 PM on October 23

But steroids destroy ancient sculptures! If no one is outraged because we expect it from footballers can we at least toss the "steroids ruin lives" arguement in baseball steroid discussions.

posted by tron7 at 04:17 PM on October 23

Why, oh why, is it not a national offence when the NFL is exposed as a steriod factory (which it undoubtedly is), but is the crime of the century in baseball? I can figure on a few factors - the nature of the game, the relationship of statistics to history (and the lack of the same intensity for the equivalent stats in football) and so forth, but really - why the free pass? I think the NFL just does better PR. They have had a drug policy for much longer, the testing is all very secretive, and people feel like the NFL has it under control. The NFL just runs a tighter ship. MLB had to be forced by Congress to even deal with the issue. So, now MLB is under a microscope that the NFL avoided by implementing their own policy. There is no drug test that can't be beat, even the IOC, so looking like they are trying is half the battle.

posted by bperk at 04:27 PM on October 23

The big home run surge of the past few years definately has something to do with the scrutiny that the game has been under. Especially with Bonds approaching the all-time record of achievment for baseball players. Perhaps if the NFL suddenly had a rash of 3000 yard rushers and a few of them were tied to steriod suspicion, the NFL might be put under the same pressure. I also agree with grum's assesment of the typical NFL fan. When we see these huge guys performing these athletic acrobatics, its easy to conclude that they have a little extra "help".

posted by yay-yo at 04:59 PM on October 23

I totally agree with bperk. The NFL came forward as soon as players Like Steve Courson came out and talked about steroids in the 80s and said, "Okay, we're going to test for these things." MLB, on the other hand, tried to ignore it even as Sports Illustrated put it on the cover.

posted by SummersEve at 05:00 PM on October 23

Folks, Comparing Baseball's policy (And I use the term loosely) to Football's is ludicris at best. The NFL has had testing since the 1980's (And if memory serves, it was the player's themselves that were the catalyst). Baseball on the other hand, pretended to test and take action (See Steve Howe who was banned what....8 times?) As to why there isn't the outrage when a few cheaters are caught in Football well...I'd have to agree with yay-yo... The football records have gone up somewhat gradually (rushing,passing...etc.) where as the ridiculous Home Run totals showed notable spikes (Bonds never hits much more than 40 and then suddenly spikes to 73 at an age when most players skills are diminishing... no real suspicion there!) That's not to mention that 60 home runs was a true bellweather and then over 4-5 seasons McGwire and Sosa made it just about routine (and gee Sosa disappeared fast didn't he?). There will always be those who will try to gain and edge and beat the system but, let's not let these few diminish either sport as the greater majority of individuals are doing it the fair way and with talent alone.

posted by R_A_Mason at 07:31 PM on October 23

It helps when the NFL doesn't make it into a huge issue with Congressional hearings.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 08:22 PM on October 23

I hear y'all, but at the end of the day, it's not congress, the NFL player's union and (clearly joke) testing that decides how we as a culture feel about these things. And, as far as I can tell, the line has been drawn largely arbitrarily. Grum's PR notion comes closest to anything approaching an explanation. R_A_Mason, do you honestly think that the NFL - who seem to find a couple steroid cheats every other year - has an effective testing policy? Not from what I've read. I think the hypocrisy is ours and ours alone. And it would behoove us to be aware of it.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 09:36 PM on October 23

merriman's suspension is on appeal and he can play

posted by jeffloeb at 09:58 PM on October 23

Rogers Being Suspended Over the counter supplements should not be banned! If over the counter stuff is banned, then they will have no choice to go after the steroids. There needs to be a balance. I do think there needs to be more research on over the counter "anything" to see how it will effect a persons health. Science is just trying to improve overall health in this unhealthy country. Let them have something!

posted by steelerfan at 10:49 PM on October 23

Weedy, I'll agree with you when you say society seems to give football players a free pass when it comes to steroids, but I'm not sure everyone involved is a hypocrite. I think some of those free passes are results of some form of desensitization. I mean, the last time I was truly surprised a football player was on steroids was as a sophomore in high school. There were guys I played with on the freshman team who, as sophomores, leapfrogged the J.V. team and went straight to varsity. One was already a behemoth, one was a quick scat back, but the other four were lineman...guess which ones were on steroids? (They bragged about it too.) Don't get me wrong, I don't think free passes should be given to any athlete who uses P.E.D.s. But for most of us, the news that football players are on steroids isn't really a newsflash. Just a reminder.

posted by forrestv at 12:41 AM on October 24

Clemons, McGuire, Soza Could please tell us when these players tested positive, and perhaps link to the article.

posted by jojomfd1 at 12:43 AM on October 24

Clemons, McGuire, Soza Could someone else please spell their names correctly for once? Merriman is appealing, saying that he tested for nandrolone and that it was an additive to another supplement he was taking. His lawyer says "he did not go into the back alley somewhere and put a needle in his butt for steroids." Well, news flash: Nandrolone is deca-durabolin, one of the more common injectible steroids. You don't take it orally, and you don't just find it in a vitamin you get at the local pharmacy. I'm not sure how they expect anyone to believe this BS. It's obviously just an attempt to delay his suspension in the hopes that they can assemble a LB corps for while he's gone. Deca is a somewhat antiquated steroid nowadays, as newer and better alternatives have surfaced, but it has an unusual knack for adding fluid to the joints, easing the pain of strenuous weight-bearing or high-impact activity, making it ideal for say, an NFL linebacker. Not that Merriman, at age 23 or whatever, needs any kind of boost to his already high natural testosterone levels. Taking it, especially in a sport with a fairly good testing program, is pretty dumb on his part. My suspicion is that he got some bad info about how long the stuff stayed in the body and how detectable it is. That said, I think the whole high-impact high-injury aspect of football might be another part of why they get more of a pass than the baseball players. I've read someone describe a football game as taking a toll on the body similar to being in 7 head-on car collisions in a three hour span. One of the primary benefits of steroids is their ability to help the body recover from things like that, and my guess is that in the interest of having a better product on the field, rather than in the hospital/rehab facility, people might be more sympathetic. The NFL's punishment is a lot stiffer too - 1/4 the season for the first offense. If someone gets caught and punished there's a lot less outcry than there is when someone gets to continue playing for another few months, record a major milestone, then serve a measly 10 game suspension.

posted by Bernreuther at 04:51 AM on October 24

Well, news flash: Nandrolone is deca-durabolin, one of the more common injectible steroids. You don't take it orally, and you don't just find it in a vitamin you get at the local pharmacy. I'm not sure how they expect anyone to believe this BS. It's obviously just an attempt to delay his suspension in the hopes that they can assemble a LB corps for while he's gone. Actually, nandrolone appears to be a pretty frequent contaminant in supplements. Just a quick google search and I found plenty of evidence that a supplement could result in a positive drug test for nandrolone (though they may contain levels too low to have any beneficial effect). See here, here, and here. Also, see here for evidence that nandrolone is available in pill form.

posted by bperk at 08:53 AM on October 24

How about a league with NO supplements? What a novel concept. Everyone playing at their highest NATURAL ability.

posted by yay-yo at 09:16 AM on October 24

I think bperk nailed it- the NFL admits the problem, aggressively tests, and deals out some serious punishment. MLB got dragged kicking and screaming all the way into testing that has yet to catch a marquee player.

posted by irunfromclones at 10:49 AM on October 24

How about a league with NO supplements? What a novel concept. Everyone playing at their highest NATURAL ability. That's why its the No Fun League.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 01:49 PM on October 24

I always wondered why he was so big. I wouldn't want to get hit by that monster.

posted by yachts360 at 06:28 PM on October 25

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