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Nope, the NFL writers really don't care about PEDs

May 12, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT

As an addendum to this morning’s story about Brian Cushing, the football writers have, after a re-vote, decided to allow Cushing to keep his Defensive Rookie of the Year award despite the fact that he had tested positive for a banned substance before the season started.

Like I said this morning, the notion of going back and changing awards votes is not necessarily the smartest or most useful thing to do in the world, but can any of you imagine the baseball writers refusing the chance to strip a known PED-user of an award? I can’t.

I’m not sure if that makes the baseball writers too vindictive or the football writers too apathetic, but I think it’s a pretty telling insight into the differences between baseball and football PED politics.

  1. MVD - May 12, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    Plus, football’s fake. And it sucks.

  2. sjp - May 12, 2010 at 3:51 PM

    I think it just shows that a sufficient number of writers understand the implications of “re-voting” on awards and the implications of opening that can of worms. If you don’t know who all the “cheaters” were, then you can’t properly evaluate any possible advantage of the few “cheaters” that were caught. Consequently, a logical person is forced to conclude that they only reasonable action is to evaluate what happened on the field and leave it at that.

  3. JBerardi - May 12, 2010 at 3:55 PM

    The reason they don’t care is that the NFL is a bloodsport and deep down everybody knows it. Everyone knows that these guys are absolutely ruining their long-term health by playing in the NFL. The lip service they pay PEDs is no different than the lip service they pay to the whole concussion issue. They won’t admit it, but I firmly believe that everyone involved (fans, the media, the ownership, and the management) WANTS these guys as juiced as possible, the same way they want them to play through head injuries. They want their football players to be bigger, faster and more aggressive. They want them to do everything possible to win, and the personal consequences to the players be damned. That’s simply the unspoken culture of American Football.

  4. sjp - May 12, 2010 at 3:55 PM

    FWIW, do you really want to compare what NFL writers were saying about steroids while MLB writers were fawning over obvious roiders throughout the 90s? NFL writers have been much more aware of these aspects and understanding of their consequences than MLB writers have been. MLB writers willfully ignored steroid use for years (and even laughed as players joked about “special vitamins”)and then acted like a bunch of spurned women when steroid users were outed. There was no such ignorance among NFL writers.

  5. largebill - May 12, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    It is a bit of a reach to say that the results of this one election means football writers don’t care. Some may care but were in disagreement with the process in this case. The NFL knew about this guy’s failed test all last year and let him play while pending appeals and then let it linger unknown through the awards voting process.
    Also, does ROY really matter? Personally, I thought Matthews had a better year and will have a better career.

  6. YANKEES1996 - May 12, 2010 at 5:05 PM

    I will tell you this the NFL has done an OUTSTANDING job of hiding the use of PEDS by its players from its fans. There is not a player that comes out of a Major College footbal factory that has not been involved in PED use somewhere along the line. Major League baseball has taken a stiff beating on this subject and the NFL has gone pretty much unscathed. I would like to see a former player such as Bill Romanowski or someone else write a book about the subject of steroids in football and then see Congress get involved and drag the NFL through the mud like was done to MLB. When Brian Cushing was recently outed all he got was a couple game suspension and he was not even stripped of his Rookie of the Year Award, what a joke! Everyone says that Goodell is cleaning up the NFL and making it a respectable league, yea, a respectable league of murderers, pimps and sex offenders, illegal gun owners and animal haters. Wow, what a great game!

  7. Ross - May 12, 2010 at 5:35 PM

    I’m not going to try to change your mind on football in general, but just to be fair, a 4 game suspension is 25% of the season. That’s hefty. Not *quite* as hefty as a 50 game suspension in MLB, but it’s close. Secondly, Goodell doesn’t have anything to do with the ROY award. That’s solely at the discretion of the AP.
    Also, the voting was much closer, showing that it made a difference for many of the writers. The original vote gave Cushing 39 out of 50 first place votes. In the revote he only received 18 of 45 votes (3 unavailable, 2 abstentions). He may still be keeping the award, but it does show that it mattered to more than a few of the voters.

  8. YANKEES1996 - May 12, 2010 at 5:45 PM

    Thank you for not trying to change my mind. I don’t care about “hefty”, I don’t care about voting. Look at the penalties that Goodell has doled out for the indiscretions of players in the NFL they are all a COMPLETE JOKE, nothing less, nothing more. The NFL is more out of control than MLB has ever been. You look at MLB and PED use but in the NFL there a violent and serious crimes being committed without any serious repercussions and if you don’t believe me then just ask Pacman Jones, Ben Rothelisberger, Donte Stallworth and Michael Vick. You get those guys behind closed doors and off the record and I will bet that if they are a mildly decent person they will tell you themselves that their NFL sanctioned punishments are a JOKE.

  9. mike in MN - May 12, 2010 at 5:58 PM

    There is no double standard. The reason “people care” about steroids in baseball and “dont’ care”* in other sports is the media. The MLB writers can’t get over themselves, and the purity and wholesomeness of their sport (as if it was ever pure or wholesome). MLB writers and owners and GMs and older fans are obsessed with a past that never really existed. The put themselves and their sport on some kind of pedastel. Other sports just kind of admit they are about sports and entertainment (with occassional lip service to volunteering and teaching teamwork). But baseball, and its writers, have this mythical belief in baseball as some transcendent thing. Just look at Ken Burns’ material. Baseball is a game. It’s a sport. It’s nothing more, nothing less. But baseball’s keepers think it is something more, something that it isn’t.
    *I’m not convinved people care or don’t care in big, universal groups….

  10. Jim Abbott's Right-Hand Man - May 12, 2010 at 10:07 PM

    Taking away awards or accomplishments makes no sense in sports. Virtually the whole appeal of sports is the finality of the thing. It’s already a little absurd how invested I am in most sports for no logical reason. Starting some kind of business where you retroactively take away this guy’s trophy or that team’s championship based on info that comes to light months or years later? That’s stupid. Why should I care about anything that happens in sports if everything is subject to being overturned in the future for non-sports reasons?

  11. JBerardi - May 12, 2010 at 10:40 PM

    Bad news, Jim Abbott’s Right-Hand Man, because retroactive testing and penalties are the best defense against PED use in sports…

  12. Jim Abbott's Right-Hand Man - May 13, 2010 at 7:17 AM

    They may be the best defense against cheating in sports, to have that hanging over all players/participants so they know they’ll be stripped of everything they’ve accomplished if they get busted. But making wins and losses subject to later reversals arguably hurts any spectator sport more than the possibility of someone having gotten away with cheating. It’s like watching a TV show where characters routinely get killed on-screen only to be ridiculously brought back to life. If nothing is ever final, the audience just stops caring as much.

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