Football and Steroids — Do You Care?

Sorry Brent, we’re gonna talk about football again. Roger Gooddell, the commissioner of the NFL, and the team owners want to increase the regular season from 16 games to 18. This would be a good thing because they’d eliminate the worthless pre-season games, but then the owners want more games (because they want to match or increase their revenue). Some of the players realize the problem here:

“I would vote to eliminate two preseason games and then keep it at a 16-game season because the longer you’re out there playing, the more your body breaks down,” Chicago Bears tight end Desmond Clark said. “When you get into December, you’re like walking zombies. You can’t feel your joints.”

The players are TURNING INTO ZOMBIES! OMG!!!1111@!@!11!224ehjr09fujdlvkn

NFL players have resorted to eating BRAINS and the NFL wants to increase the season? I always knew there would be a zombie outbreak, and now I know the source of its inception. (GASP)…Is this a dream? I’m gonna need a kick. But…how can you kick me without any gravity?

All right, the point is that the only thing left to seal the deal on the 18 game season is playing nice with the player’s union. Let’s just assume this will happen, much like we have to assume the whole “death, taxes, and Brent Kim will be shrugging” thing. NFL players get injured enough as it is in the 16 games they already have. A quick search yielded this bit of research about injuries in the Canada West Universities Athletic Association. Regardless if it’s good research or not (I only skimmed it), we know intuitively that players are more likely to be injured in a game, on turf, if they are veteran players, if they are fatigued, and if they have a pre-existing injury. Injuries can remove a player from participating in practice and games, or it can be a less severe injury that the player has to deal with depending on their position.

The point is that football players are injured enough, and now the work load is going to be increased to a point that will be more difficult to handle, genetic freak or not. It’s obvious that pre-season games don’t garner the same physical effort or intensity as real games, and the real games are where guys are more likely to get hurt. Owners don’t realize that this will be debilitating to their investments (the players), and players will find a way to survive: steroids or other drug enhancement.

I admittedly don’t know a great deal about steroids. There are different drugs for different things, whether you want size, strength, body composition changes, and so on. They also help an athlete recover more efficiently from a work load. If a player were on a drug that achieves this, then they could stay healthy throughout the season, do their job, and continue getting paid. The average person just assumes steroids mean getting bigger and stronger, and they just assume that will equate more injuries because of crazy amounts of strength. Well, newsflash, players are gonna be genetically freaky without steroids.

Certain types of drugs can also help mend an injury whether it is surgically repaired or not. Take the following two injuries into consideration. One third of players who experience an achilles tendon injury will never play again. Of the guys that do play again, half of them don’t play at the same ability. Apparently players who tear their patella tendon will be out for at least six months. These injuries introduce a few reasons why a player would want to use drugs; A) if they are using them as a preventative tool, they could be less apt to having an injury to begin with, B) if they do get the injury, drugs may be something that allows them to get back on the field to compete, help their team, and earn money, and C) if the season is going to be longer, then injuries will be more likely for lots of reasons (fatigue, soreness, overtraining/under-recovery, accumulated injuries, etc.) and drugs may be worth trying to those who hadn’t thought about it before.

Personally, I don’t really care if people use steroids or not. I’m just saying that if the league is going to increase the length of the season, it will undoubtedly injure more players. As a result, more guys will look to prevent and return from injury any way they can. Do you care if NFL players, or professional athletes for that matter, use steroids? Would you use them if you were in the same position? Do you think Brent has injected D-bol into the base of his traps? Tell me more.

35 thoughts on “Football and Steroids — Do You Care?

  1. At the margin, I can’t really see 2 more games resulting in an appreciable increase in steriod use. I just dont know if the risk-reward function is any different at 18 games, as 16 is already a total grind.

    I do see where you’re going, though, as an excessive amount of games could be used as justification for ped use.

    I’ll also add that anyone who gets morally indignant over the idea of football players using can kiss my ass. We’re talking about people trying to sqeeze out 1 more year in their short-lived careers (careers which are known to lead to a myriad of serious problems later in life,) after which their earnings basically drop to zero.

  2. This:

    We’re talking about people trying to sqeeze out 1 more year in their short-lived careers (careers which are known to lead to a myriad of serious problems later in life)

    Steroids aren’t the problem. The setup (rules, equipment, and so on) that demands players sacrifice their health is the problem. It’s one thing to end your career with a bum knee, and quite another to end it with brain damage.

  3. Brent Kim doesn’t take steroids. Steroids take Brent Kim.

    In all seriousness, it’s a very complex and difficult topic. Where do you draw the line between “unassisted” human achievement and properly benefiting the privilege of modern science?

  4. well said Noel, I agree.

    The whole idea of the longer season bugs the crap out of me. All it seems to me is moving meaningless games in the preseacon to meaningless games at the end of the regular season when I care about watching football. The Colts were resting starters by week freakin 13 last year, and that’s with a 16 game schedule. If they are running away with their division with an 18 game schedule, there could be a month+ of meaningless football in Indy, San Deigo, New England, etc, etc. Just seems pointless to me. Plus it screws with fantasy football, haha!

  5. I’m all for more games because I love watching football and hate having to shell out money for preseason tickets just to hold on to my regular season tickets. The owners get a real windfall from that–forcing season ticket holders to pay for games that aren’t worth watching and are impossible to resell for anything close to the face value.

    I don’t really care if consenting adults take any drugs, some drugs, or all drugs, including steroids. My knowledge of steroids is very limited but I do know that they cause serious health problems long term, especially if taken by younger people who haven’t fully matured. Herein lies the problem. It’s important for them to remain banned in pro football, and for there to be an effective testing regime in place. The concern is that if it takes steroids to be competitive in the NFL, then college players–many of whom are only 18 or 19–are going to be pressured to take them as well so that they can compete. And then high school students will also be more likely to starting using them. Most of these high school students will never even make it on a D1 college team. And will be left with the long term effects of steroids for life.

    Like I said I’m not so clear on how they work, but I’m more talking about taking steroids for increasing size, strength and power, not necessarily recovery. From what I’ve read about HGH and some other hormones that help recover, they’re not so bad.

    The real tragedy unfolding these days is some of the older players from the 60s, 70s and early 80s who are facing serious health problems like early Alzheimer’s and I think Parkinson’s and other brain diseases. Medical knowledge about concussions was not as good then, helmets were not as protective, and many returned to the field to soon. They did not make the big bucks players make now and paid in blood for establishing what’s become a multi multi multi billion dollar industry.

    Football does enough damage to the body as it is, why allow a system that rewards guys for shrinking their balls before becoming permanently disabled? It’s best to just leave steroids off the table completely.

    From what I’ve been reading in Practical Programming, perfected periodization training methods have really made the difference in the past twenty to thirty years in terms of a player’s ability to get brutally big and strong. No need for steroids. Players can already do enough damage as it is.


  6. Football isn’t a sport. Also were those videos in the post supposed to be hard hits or something? They switched cameras in one video to hear something at ground level and there wasn’t a difference. I bet if they took off their helmets and maxi pads, you could actually hear something.

  7. Brent does not need to inject steroids into his traps for them to be freaky. He already has high levels of Brentosterone pumping through his veins. Sadly an arterial blockage keeps it confined to his trap region. If this Brentosterone could be released from his traps and utilized by his body without it shutting down most major bodily functions, he would have the body of Ronnie Coleman at his peak WITHOUT the use of any other chemical enhancement.

  8. I’m against the move to an 18 game season. I think we’ll see a rise in injuries, and so we’ll have a diluted product with more games featuring fewer of the top players. And that’s quite aside from the the human side of the equation.

    I know the players are doing quite alright monetarily, but it still seems like owners trying to squeeze out greater profits without putting their own asses on the line. We know the toll that a football career can take on an individual, we don’t need to increase it so Peyton Manning can sit 4 games instead of 2 at season’s end.

  9. I think that a large portion of the NFL is on steroids, both based on just looking at them, and from talking to an Ex-NFL player at a powerlifting meet who was a special teamer and eventually cut after two or three seasons said that between 80 and 90% of the guys on that team were taking steroids at the time (early 90s). I can’t see the number bein gthat much lower.

    A longer season should cause much more steroid usage as the ability to help recover is the prime goal of steroids in professional athletes. Steroids get a bad rep for breaking apart a body from the media, but generally that is only on abused cases, while I’d imagine most NFL players on steroids are doing so under doctor supervision and doing so very properly so as to use them to their full effect.

    Right, you can take them in a way in which they won’t have ill long-term effects. Typical mass hysteria labels them as dangerous.


  10. No, I do not care whether an informed adult take steroids. I’ll copy and paste something I posed in a thread a while back:

    I think performance enhancing substances that have not been proven to have serious, life-threatening side effects (and this includes anabolic steroids) should be legal.

    However, I still agree that only athletes who have regulated their use so that no substances are present in the system on the day of should be allowed to compete. Basically, I figure if everyone can legitimately test clean on the day of the competition, then nobody has an unfair advantage.

    I think that an athlete who has the potential to set world records should be allowed to decide whether or not the increased risk of various side effects, some of them potentially fatal, is a risk that they are willing to accept, and to take or not take performance enhancing substances based on that decision.

    Personally, if I were a genetically gifted superheavyweight lifter and I had the potential to be the first man ever to snatch 225kg and CJ 275kg in competition, I would consider the risks totally acceptable.

  11. it won’t have any effect, playoff caliber teams(except for those fighting for a wild card) will rest their starters for a month instead of 2 week, or have a 2 weeks break somewhere in the middle of the season, or start their starters at week 3.

  12. @el diablo

    “Bigger, Faster, Stronger” is a really interesting documentary, I recommend it to anyone.

    One line from that movie that sticks in my head is (not word for word): “If you had to take a drug, with the known, or perceived, side effects of steroids to keep your job and feed your family would you do it?” I thought that was an interesting way to look at it.

    Then again, Barry Bonds’ family probably wouldn’t have starved had he not got on the juice and hit all those home runs!

  13. Lets remember this: Overuse of corticosteroids will weaken joints over time. If we’re talking pure longevity, healing athletes with appropriate doses of anabolic steroids instead of corticosteroids is going to be better and more effective.

    I can understand the fear of an all-drug arms race that people fear will result from lax steroid policies: with no limits for drugs some athletes will look to take enormous dosages in an effort to push their performance as far as possible. In order for anyone else to compete, they will have to take up this all-or-nothing approach to steroids.

    We already have case studies of this in Strongman, Bodybuilding, Powerlifting, Highland, Pro-Wrestling, and the UFC. Personally I find it very strange that Jesse Marunde, Jón Páll Sigmarsson, and Arnold all supposedly had or have rare heart conditions that caused heart problems or death and that steroids had nothing to do with it.

    Yes it’s naive to think that no Pro Athletes take steroids. It’s also naive to think that if the NFL was untested everyone would only be taking 400mg of test a week for only 12 weeks out of the year. I think there’s a way better chance of the NFL cutting games out of the season than becoming an untested organization.

    Valid point about corticosteroids, but not all drugs lie within that realm.


  14. I like that you put the AD vid after the genetic freak comment. I read an article a long time ago when he was still at OU where the writer witnessed Adrian doing box jumps with 80lb dumb bells (I attempted to get there and made it to 55s on like a 36 inch box—perhaps this is why my knees feel like shit). Anyway, he is truly a genetic freak. Maybe we should ban guys like this from the NFL so the other players don’t have to take steroids to keep up… not really thought, that’s an asinine idea.

  15. I’m all for steroid use. Any and all consenting adults that have a proper PCT and don’t abuse them can make significant athletic gains in any sport they’re interested in competing in. Granted, having great genes is going to trump chemicals, but great genes and great chemicals trump being a natural. Besides, I have HDTV. I want my athletes like my video games and so do you.

    There are plenty of people that have used steroids for long term and have safely dealt with the SHORT TERM side effects. In addition, there is little to no concrete evidence that shows that steroid use causes any long term effects. Also, cancer and AIDS patients use steroids that are prescribed by doctors. If a football player wants to stay competitive on the field, more power to ’em.

    Finally, ditch the preseason. I’d much rather have the 18 games.

  16. Nolan,

    the Giants are a bunch of fucking yankee pieces of shit who measure travel distance in miles vs. time and call all cokes “pop”

    not really much else to say, other than they are going to get fucking destroyed by the Cowboys, but that’s kind of pointless to say since it was decided by the fact that the Giants fucking suck and have sucked for basically their entire existence


    Hahahah. I didn’t realize you were such a huge Cowboys fan, Brent.


  17. First and foremost No one i know in the entire tri-state-Giants-loving area calls soda ‘pop’ that is reserved for states that don’t have access to oceans.

    and for the movie “Bigger Faster Stronger” i ordered the DVD off amazon i believe. its a good reference to give to people who keep asking about if i do steriods or if they should do them, how harmful they are etc.

  18. Lets remember that professional sports are a part of the entertainment industry. I dont wanna pay 200$ a ticket to see the second and third team scrubs play because the stars are injury prone. Professional athletes should have the option to use PED’s under a doctor’s supervision in order to maintain a high recovery rate and stay on the field. I’ve played enough football to know that playing a 12 game schedule (before playoffs) is brutal enough and is insanely diffucult to stay 100% healthy all the way through.

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