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Congress is going to wade into PEDs in football? Where’s my popcorn?

Aug 23, 2013, 12:33 PM EDT

Image (1) hgh.jpg for post 4145

Two things to take away from this report about Congress making noises about getting involved in the NFL being slow to adopt HGH testing:

1. It’s somewhat satisfying to see football begin to get a fraction of the scrutiny baseball has gotten over PEDs for the past decade; but

2. Congress has absolutely no business in this whatsoever.

The last time Congress called athletes and the league before it for PEDs was when Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee were hauled in after the Mitchell Report was released.  The result: a circus of a public hearing (which I liveblogged here and here) in which the very congressman quoted in today’s story — Elijah Cummings — stood out as one of the more clueless and grandstanding members of the committee.  The larger result: a prosecution of Roger Clemens that spanned years and millions and resulted in nothing.

So, yes, while I may get some selfish satisfaction of the NFL has to dance the way MLB has had to dance all of these years, I do hope this doesn’t come to pass. Because it’s a total waste designed to do nothing more than allow congressmen to grandstand.

  1. flamethrower101 - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Picture if you will a giant middle finger extended by Roger Goodell: that is his response to this

    • yahmule - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:47 PM

      I hate that speckled bastard.

      Vincent Jackson was suspended three games for his second DUI.

      Michael Vick’s actual suspension from the NFL amounted to two pre season games.

      Ray Lewis wasn’t suspended for his connection to a double homicide at all.

      Ndamukong Suh stomped on a peer’s face – enough to get you put in prison for 1-5 years – and he got two games.

      Ben Roethlisberger assaulted women, so his suspension was automatically reduced by the good old boys. Only severe outside pressure caused the NFL to punish him at all.

      Von Miller tried to game a piss test over some weed and he gets hit with six games, which was bargained down from eight. Can’t be seen as lenient on weed when thousands of NFL fans across the country pour $8 beers down their throats in NFL stadiums and then pour themselves behind the wheels of their cars.

      • badintent - Aug 26, 2013 at 3:46 AM

        you left out Delonte . But we get your point. $$$$ talks.Always has

  2. babyfarkmcgeezax - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    You’re really asking your readers where your popcorn is? How would we know? Maybe you should ask your wife where it is next time before posing such a foolish question to those who do not live with you.

    • Francisco (FC) - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:01 PM

      You must be new here.

      • dondada10 - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:17 PM

        By here, FC, do you mean society?

    • danrizzle - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:31 PM

      Jeez, I just glossed right over that question. Your comment made me look back at it, and yeah, it’s actually really distressing. How the hell am I supposed to know where Craig’s popcorn is?

      • philliesblow - Aug 23, 2013 at 5:02 PM

        Here’s the popcorn.

  3. motobus - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    There are some ridiculously important issues congress should be dealing with right now, however, congress would rather hand out pitchforks and nooses.

    I wish our attention span was longer than a child playing ‘I’ve got your nose’

    • 18thstreet - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:35 PM

      As long as Congress is avoiding difficult and important issues, they might as well choose entertaining and unimportant ones. I approve.

  4. sdelmonte - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    Frankly, since Congress is doing nothing these days, I can’t say seeing them waste time on this will make me any more angry than I already am.

    • garlicfriesandbaseball - Aug 23, 2013 at 6:18 PM

      Kudos!

  5. misterj167 - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Never mind pro football, fans of college football ought to get down on their knees and pray that no one ever puts that kind of scrutiny on the freakishly large players that grace the gridiron on Saturdays. They won’t even have the luxury of complaining about how much money the kids are making, because they aren’t.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:14 PM

      Speaking of which, most milk in America is produced with a bovine growth hormone. Which is one reason why we have some freakishly huge kids.

      USA!1! USA!1!

      • The Dangerous Mabry - Aug 23, 2013 at 2:32 PM

        There is no evidence that milk from cows treated with bovine somatotropin has that impact at all (or any impact which differentiates it from non-RBST milk, for that matter). Further, the term “most” is completely misleading, since the majority of milk is in fact from cows which are not treated with rBST.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 23, 2013 at 2:56 PM

        I hope you’re right, but it bothers me whenever a product producing animal is treated with chemicals. The thought of cows with painfully sagging udders is, well, utterly reprehensible. The Ag-Corp world is a crime against nature.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:25 PM

      Never mind pro football, fans of college football ought to get down on their knees and pray that no one ever puts that kind of scrutiny on the freakishly large players that grace the gridiron on Saturdays.

      The NCAA and college sports as we know them could very well be going byebye if Ed O’bannon et al win their case. Why do you think companies like EA are jumping ship?

      • yahmule - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:37 PM

        EA is possibly the only organization that could rival the NCAA for sleaziness.

      • heyblueyoustink - Aug 23, 2013 at 2:23 PM

        Ahem, NSA.

  6. captainwisdom8888 - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Thumbs up if you believe greater than 50% of NFL players have used HGH at some point in their lifetime.

    Thumbs down if you believe less than 50% of NFL players have used HGH at some point in their lifetime.

    • Bryz - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:05 PM

      I voted below 50%, but I think it’s extremely close to that threshold… like 40%.

    • Liam - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:12 PM

      How do I show my disapproval of the poll in general?

    • Matt Aromando - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:36 PM

      I want to vote, but I believe exactly 50% of NFL players have used HGH at some point in their lifetime.

  7. ctony1216 - Aug 23, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    You forgot #3: Congress can play an important role here, but don’t they have some bigger fish to fry first?

    • vivabear - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:35 PM

      Great, now I want to eat some pan fried fish filets – and have no way to do that.

  8. aceshigh11 - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    Well, the Republicans in Congress aren’t doing jackshit nowadays anyway…all in an effort, of course, to run out the clock on the negro usurper from Kenya who’s running an al-Qaeda franchise(TM) out of the Oval Office.

    I mean, I suppose they might still try to impeach him…he’s guilty for the twin offenses of governing while Democrat AND governing while black.

    It only took one of those for Clinton to get impeached.

    • yahmule - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:39 PM

      Some would accuse Obama of neither charge and Clinton of both.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:42 PM

      I’m sorry… But if you’re going to get your… weiner… attended to while in the Oval Office, that will have to cost the taxpayers… $1 billion.

      Thank you.

      Kenneth “No Porn” Starr

      • heyblueyoustink - Aug 23, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        So just rename the Oval Office to “The Champagne Room”

        Problem solved.

      • bigharold - Aug 23, 2013 at 3:12 PM

        I was kinda hoping for “Slick Willy’s Boom Boom Room”

    • skids003 - Aug 23, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      Not just the Republicans aceshigh, if Congress gets involved at all it’ll be a circus. The whole lot is a joke, both sides of the aisle.

      • bigharold - Aug 23, 2013 at 3:10 PM

        I’m with Ace on this one, (by the way Ace that was hilarious).

        While the Dems are no paragon of legislative virtue it can’t be denied that the GOP has been playing prevent defense since 2008.

        I know it’s probably asking too much but frankly I wish our elected officials would do what they were elected to do rather than the monkey shit throwing fight they’ve been having. And, they have much better things to do than get involved in sports testing right now.

      • Bob Loblaw - Aug 24, 2013 at 12:03 AM

        Hate to kill a good narrative with the facts, but the Dems had everything from 2008-2010 and they didn’t do shit. So let’s not pretend that Obama had to fight with the dastardly R’s when he first got into office. And it really wasn’t even close. 59-41 in the Senate and 257-179 in the House. And yet, the R’s played prevent defense? LOL.

  9. righthandofjustice - Aug 23, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    The Congress absolutely should push their investigations into other sports too but baseball should remain their number one priority.

    Players from other sports use PEDs too but no sport other than baseball has over 100 busted players without getting any punishments and not even have their names released to the public, BALCO and now Biogenesis theatrical events, perjury and more perjury by the day, faked website, players getting suspended without tested positive, “anonymous sources” spreading defamatory rumors without even getting the league to looked into, and a Commissioner who has 100+ counts of lying to the public and obstructing PED investigations under his belt and surprisingly still hold his office for 10 years.

  10. gosport474 - Aug 23, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    I am torn about Congress getting involved in sports. On one hand it really is none of their business. On the other, if they are piddling around with this, then maybe they won’t be passing more inane laws that they exempt themselves from but make life a pain in the rump for the rest of us.

    • 18thstreet - Aug 23, 2013 at 3:14 PM

      It’s interstate commerce. How could it not be their business?

  11. DJ MC - Aug 23, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    I don’t want to say that Elijah Cummings is known for his grandstanding on ALL issues, but when he dies the plans are for him to be laid to rest at the local high school with his sarcophagus next to the football field.

  12. sweepthleg - Aug 23, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    Craig,
    I think you will be disappointed by the out come. How many of the NFLs most popular or current record holders were caught up in the balco or bio genesis scandals? I mean you d think if those were the only 2 places to get PEDs there would be a few NFLers on the rolls. Why does football not get the scrutiny that MLB does? Because they have been out in front of roids since the 90s. Where as MLB has buried its head until 3 of its biggest stars get caught up in federal investigations into shady companies dispensing PEDs. Now I’m not blind there are more than likely PED users in the NFL. But at least the NFL have been try to solve the problem since we were all being told McGuire & Bonds were just eating their wheaties and saying their prayers a lot. Flaxseed oil bro!

    Baseball gets the bad rap about PEDs because it has earned it.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 23, 2013 at 3:36 PM

      Because they have been out in front of roids since the 90s.

      Out in front? How are they out in front other than having players getting busted every other week? The NFL is only ever interested in protecting the shield, which is why it’s constantly in court being sued by current and former players, for a multitude of reasons.

      • sweepthleg - Aug 23, 2013 at 4:39 PM

        Out in front, as in have been testing players and suspending them since the 90s. They have a record of trying to control the problem and until otherwise proven the NFL has done a good job. Where as MLB is trying to build record of getting control of PEDs after a decade of getting hammered on the topic and doing a piss poor job of implementing there own suspension rules. Example Arod.

        Listen there will always be players who try to get an edge because they are on the margins of the roster, are past their prime, or realize the rewards for the enhanced performance from PEDs far out weights the risk or penalties. Anyone who tells you that they can completely eliminate PEDs from their sports league is lying to your face, but you can control it and make sure the guys who keep failing tests don’t play. I mean the Gabe Kapler article stated the concept simply enough,

        “Realizing that I’d begun to decline was my moment of truth, the perfect opportunity to step across the threshold from the red to the black (or vice-versa) depending on moral compass. I was about to lose my role as a major league starting outfielder and slide gracefully into my role player/“good teammate” archetype.

        Fame and fortune were still mine for the taking if the devil on my shoulder had a loud enough voice. He did not. PEDs have been the topic of a plethora of philosophical conversations at home with my wife. She was the one person in my life with whom I could safely and whimsically fantasize about what might be if ever I were to open Pandora’s Box (600 plate appearances, 30 homers, millions of dollars?). Despite the potential fairytale, I never really got close to the decision to use PEDs.”

        Yes, the NFL is protecting the Shield because that’s their brand and they want it to be as untarnished as possible which would probably happen if 2 federal investigation had dug up evidence that Barry Sanders, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, or Jerry Rice had been getting PEDs from some shady nutrition clinic like Balco & Bio-Genesis.

        Yeah the NFL is getting hammered on concussions which they did a piss poor job of being on top of from the beginning. But as soon as the issue began to rise in public attention they have been trying to get control of it.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 23, 2013 at 7:39 PM

        Out in front, as in have been testing players and suspending them since the 90s. They have a record of trying to control the problem and until otherwise proven the NFL has done a good job.

        This is where we disagree. Since Goodell took over in ’06, there’s been almost twice as many people busted for PEDs in football as in baseball. Steroid use itself has been prevalent in the league since the 70s, and players are still getting busted for it. Over 5% of the tests in ’03 failed a PED test, since implementation we’ve seen something like 28 failed tests, with 3 people testing positive. Even if you add the 13 from Biogenesis, there’s still been less people affiliated with PEDs in baseball than the NFL.

      • Bob Loblaw - Aug 24, 2013 at 12:08 AM

        sweep, trying to argue that [insert ANYTHING here] is done better in the NFL than it is done in MLB on this board is as useless as banging your head against the wall. This is the site that routinely makes excuses for regular season games kicking the crap out of World Series games in the national ratings. Do you really think they are going to listen to your opinions of PEDs?

        Remember this…on HBT MLB > NFL. On everything. Always. and Forever.

  13. Matthew - Aug 23, 2013 at 5:26 PM

    Reblogged this on Carolina Mountain Blue and commented:
    My own thoughts on the topic…(1)contrary to Mr. Calcaterra’s fevered opinion, Congress had every right to wade into the issue of PEDs back in the mid-2000’s for one reason (if nothing else) – baseball’s anti-trust exemption; so long as federal law grants MLB that, Congress has every right to use its’ oversight powers (even with the current pack of louts, morons & dolts running the House these days). (2)On the other hand, I agree with Mr. Calcaterra on point #1; it is satisfying to see the NFL begin to get the spotlight shined on it that’s shone over baseball for the better part of the past decade…hopefully, this will push the NFL to finally address the issue and not have it blow up in the public sphere. So, as much as I don’t trust Darrell Issa & Co. in terms of Congressional oversight, here’s hoping them a little bit of success.

  14. garlicfriesandbaseball - Aug 23, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    Reblogged this on Garlicfriesandbaseball's Blog and commented:
    Well, good luck with that! Congress and football I mean. I love it when I get a chance to whine about politics and still remain true to my first love, baseball. I’m thinking about the IRS going after Barry Bonds and after three years of getting nowhere, resorted to going through his garbage cans at 3AM, and still getting nowhere. Good grief. What a waste of time and money it’s been. It’s not like the government doesn’t have anything to do. Well, it is kinda sorta like that. I mean they have plenty to do they just aren’t doing it. Well, one thing they’re “trying” to do IMHO is to try and steer attention away from the important things, the things that matter. Does Benghazi, IRS harrassment, and spying on Americans ring a bell? This is great fun. I got to spout off about politics and post a blog at the same time. Thanks Craig Calcaterra. Your posts are always good for something! (In my humble opinion).

  15. banger60 - Aug 23, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Why don’t they wade into the ocean and drown themselves.

    • Bob Loblaw - Aug 24, 2013 at 12:10 AM

      What makes you think the geniuses who vote won’t just elect another 435 idiots?

  16. dirtyharry1971 - Aug 24, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    Hey when are they going to check he CFL??? OH wait, im sorry I think the CFL has less fans then the bluejays (7 fans)

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