A Step In The Right Direction

The NFL and NFLPA agreed on a testing regimen/protocol for human growth hormone (HGH) testing and finally implemented it. Testing began the week of October 6 and here is the rough outline of how the testing will go:

    Every week, five players on 8 teams will be selected for testing.

    No testing will be done on game days.

    Appeals of positive results will be handled by a third-party neutral and appeals will be handled “expeditiously”.

    Punishments will be:

      Use of masking agents is a 2-game suspension
      Steroids/stimulants/HGH is a 4-game suspension
      “Manipulating a test” is a 6-game suspension
      Second violation is a 10-game suspension
      Third violation is a 2-year suspension.

Is this a perfect solution? Of course not. Is it a step in the right direction? I think it is a big step in the right direction because it does several things:

    It acknowledges that HGH is a substance that can be abused and it includes HGH as part of the “banned substances” and/or PED menu.

    It provides random testing.

    It takes the adjudication/sentencing aspects of “failed tests” out of the hands of the Commissioner.

The league and the union have been working on this for at least a couple of years. Kudos to both sides for coming up with an improvement in this aspect of NFL football. I hope they seize on this success to arrive at a more effective and efficient means of handling other kinds of disciplinary measures involving players/coaches/front office folks/owners.

Speaking of those “other disciplinary matters”, here is a comment from Greg Cote of the Miami Herald, which seems to indicate that some NFL players have not gotten the memo:

“On the NFL and harassment of women: Dolphins suspended defensive end Derrick Shelby after his nightclub arrest for allegedly harassing women. Cops did not buy his excuse that he mistook the women for quarterbacks.”

In another disciplinary matter that is ongoing, Adrian Peterson – charged with felony child abuse for beating his young son with a switch – is out on bail but admitted to smoking a little weed just prior to a urinalysis test. Yes, he lit up the test tube; no, courts do not look upon failing a drug test while out on bond as a laughing matter; yes, Peterson got himself another warrant and another charge to answer. What was it Joe Theismann said about NFL players?

    Geniuses do not play football.
    Geniuses are people like Norman Einstein.

It was something like that…

Here is something else that the league and the union can work on. This is the kind of juxtaposition that makes people wonder if there is adult supervision at work.

    Julius Thomas was fined $8,268 for an illegal chop block that injured another player. That fine is based on the current CBA between the league and the union; it is not just a number pulled out of a bodily orifice.

    Colin Kaepernick was fined $10,000 for wearing a brand of earphones other than Bose, which is a league sponsor and “the official earphones of the NFL”.

Fans look at that and ask to what level of stupidity must one sink in order for those two things to make sense. The NFLPA may be upset with the magnitude of Kaepernick’s fine; but before they get their knickers in too tight a knot, they need to consider that they were party to setting the level of the fine that injured one of their union brethren. The NFL might want to look at this kind of publicity and suggest to the NFLPA that until the chop block fine level can be increased, fines are not publicly announced.

As the baseball playoffs move along, recall that I said I was rooting for the Royals to make it to the World Series because they had not been in the playoffs since next to forever. I did not think they would make it this far, but they have a 2-0 lead over the Orioles with 3 games in KC providing the opportunity to close out the ALCS and go to the World Series. I get to see plenty of Orioles’ baseball on TV during the summer and the O’s are a good team to watch. However, in the back of my mind, I simply cannot invest any enthusiasm in rooting for the Orioles to win the World Series simply because I would not want to see Peter Angelos holding the Commissioner’s Trophy.

Finally, this comes from Gregg Drinnan’s weekend blog entry, Keeping Score:

“The best quote out of this week’s 1984 Edmonton Oilers’ reunion came from Mark Messier, who said: ‘I never finished high school, so this is my first actual reunion.’ “

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………
By The Sports Curmudgeon, on October 14, 2014 at 10:42 am, under Daily Rants