Balanced article on RH by SManza@projo

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by NYCPatsFan, Sep 2, 2007.

  1. NYCPatsFan

    NYCPatsFan In the Starting Line-Up

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  2. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member Supporter

    #75 Jersey

    Shalise Manza Young is one to watch. She has really emerged as a top-notch writer.

    Compared to the simplistic drivel that Shaughnessy belched out this morning on the same subject, the question begs to be asked "Who is being better informed/served in this case, Globe readers or ProJo readers?"
  3. Slagathor

    Slagathor 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    #22 Jersey

    Mike Lupica had a similar column to DS in the Daily News, really not giving Harrison the benefit of the doubt.

    Right or wrong, the idea that he used the HGH for recovery from injury rather than building muscle mass and strength is completely plausible based upon his recent history.

    Neither is a good excuse but I think accusing him of using HGH for "performance enhancement" puts him in a more devious light that I think at this point is undeserved.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2007
  4. NYCPatsFan

    NYCPatsFan In the Starting Line-Up

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    Completely agree! I stopped reading Mr. Shaughnessy's columns since his last one just prior to the AFC championship game last season. I am glad that I did not even bother to see what his opening lines were. That said, I think Mr. Reiss is doing a wonderful job for the Globe readers.
  5. MoLewisrocks

    MoLewisrocks Supporter Supporter

    From what I've read and heard, the media response to this has been, for the most part, far more muted and less hysterical than the fan response. Particularly from some of the players own fan base. I think that is because the football (sports) media understands the pressure these guys are under to perform and has a pretty good handle on how widespread the use of PED's is in this league and others. There is more disappointment than anger at this players involvement with HGH, which is indicative of the regard in which he is held by the majority of football insiders on and off the field.

    The fans and the league want bigger, stronger, faster, more durable players. At the end of the day it's the players who pay the price for accommodating them. Unless they decide to walk away, which is easier said than done particularly when most often become damaged goods almost from day 1 and few have any real desire or capacity to do anything terribly successfully beyond what they do on a football field.

    As for Lupica, I have no real issues with his overall piece other than to say his characterization of the conference call didn't fit with the overall tenor of the article, like he had severe momentary angina as he typed it, maybe induced by needing to find a way to leave out the name of the very active and apparently never to be punished Yankee slugger who has been allowed to tapdanced around his proven long term abuse of PED's that likely continues to this day.
  6. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa Supporter Supporter

    I like her read on the situation very much.

    But the last line was pure homerism. Who else do we say should be defined by what they say, rather than what they do??? Nobody, certainly no media "targets."

    All in all though it does count for something that he dealt with it as a guy who knew what he did, and addressed the people who looked up to him, and the people who are disappointed.

    I am not even getting into the "difference between HGH and steroids" or the "difference between rehabbing faster and trying to crush the league by cheating."

    Rodney took the fall exactly as he should have but the point is, if 15-20% are using, 80-85% are not.

    He was looking at the end of football, perhaps, square in the eye. He was looking at injuries that end your career if you're 25, never mind 35. Like I said elsewhere here, I don't know that I could have resisted that temptation, were it me not him.

    But I just can not defend the guy for doing it. That's the position he puts all of us in (whether we see it or not.)

    And all those caveats aside, that's really just disappointing.

    I'm psyched to see him come back in October, tear up the game, get that last ring, etc. I don't want any more apologies or mea culpas or crap like that, and no I don't think he deserves more than the 4 game ban...

    But I think if he's got the cajones to say "You know, I just f***d up," we should have the cajones to say, "Yeah, you know, you did."

    I value what he brings as much as anybody does. But eventually we have to do this Harrisonlessly. I love to think he'll just decide to go until he's 40, but realistically, the body has its limits.

    I don't think we should be saying basically... "well, if you use because your body can't do what you heart tells it to, that's okay."

    I think we should be saying... When it gets to that choice, it's time to accept the lengthened healing time. And that might mean it's time to be a ref or something.

    Last edited: Sep 2, 2007
  7. Sean Pa Patriot

    Sean Pa Patriot Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    #12 Jersey

    I stopped reading the pro jo, for the simple reason I was a Tom Curren fan, and could not warm up to anybody else, so stayed with Reiss , who is the best beat writer right now, and did enjoy Breer, but he is gone..

    I do say the last few weeks, Ive read her articles, and think she is rising to the top
  8. old 55

    old 55 Supporter Supporter

    #87 Jersey

    Hands down - the definitive piece on the subject so far. Thanks for posting this one NYCPATS
  9. jcdavey

    jcdavey In the Starting Line-Up

    that article sounds like it's completely excusing harrison's choice

    and this part kinda made me laugh

    sounds like the author is doing nothing but trying to excuse the actions of a fan favorite because of who the player is, in other words, sounds completely biased and like the mother who says her son isn't guilty , because he's her son (vick's mom comes to mind)

    be an honest fan and imagine this article being written about luis castillo after he knowingly took steroids to heal an injury, leading into the draft, and tell me you wouldn't be rolling your eyes with every sentence
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2007
  10. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    If Shalise made a habit of "borges-ing" players for her own ends we could discount the piece, since she makes an effort to report factually and also makes an effort to give readers insight into the people she meets with daily in the locker room, I see no 'special' effort to excuse Rodney, just the standard effort to put things in context. She wrote most of this for the blog and I'm glad she turned it into a column - it's a personal insight inside the locker room and the man and a worthy read for some perspective on the situation.
  11. smyoung

    smyoung On the Roster

    jcdavey - this is a criticism i've heard about my column/blog post a couple of times in the past couple of days, and my own husband was among them.

    I am not excusing Rodney. He used HGH, which under NFL rules is illegal. Do I personally think it should be? Not if it is used under doctor's supervision to heal injuries/surgeries incurred as a result of playing football. But as of right now, it is against league rules, he admitted to doing it, and he is paying his penance for what he did.

    Do I know Rodney the person better than I know Luis Castillo? Of course. If Luis Castillo had injuries similar to Rodney's and took HGH to help heal from them, would I be as forgiving? Probably. It is impossible for the majority of fans to understand just what these men are doing to their bodies, and most fans don't care -- they just want big hits (have you ever watched "Jacked Up" on espn??) by big players when they sit down on Sunday with a beer and some wings.

    I obviously have no idea how old you are or what you do for work, but let's say for argument's sake that your boss was starting to question your performance at your $75k/year job. Some young kid a year out of college is hot on your heels, and he makes $20k/year less than you. But if you smoke pot a few times a month -- something that by most studies isn't harmful for you but is illegal -- you'll perform better at your job. Do you do it??

  12. Bella*chick

    Bella*chick Addicted to the light

    #12 Jersey

    Shalise, you rule.

    I think a lot of people get confused when actions are referred to as "understandable". Understandable means just that....I understand why he did it. Doesn't mean I agree with or condone it, just that I get it. Of course he broke the rules, and it's illegal and all that and he should not have done it. But do I understand why he did? Oh, hell yes. Anyone who has ever been under any type of pressure should.
  13. Brady'sButtBoy

    Brady'sButtBoy 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    #12 Jersey

    What does "balanced" mean? That she doesn't scold RH for cheating like that dimwit Shaughnessy (DS) from the Globe? Hardly a compliment.

    The poster seems to imply that a writer giving RH some quarter for his behavior has a more "balanced" view than others repeating the simple fact - Rodney cheated. I want no part of it if that's what balanced means.

    Rodney screwed his teammates, the fans, and the organization by being so arrogant to believe his reason for taking HGH was different, and thus more legit, than cheaters like Merriman and Bonds. That's the bottom line.

    Do I feel for Rodney as a person? yes, we are all capable of mistakes. And while I appreciate RH admitting to his failure (unlike the new home run 'king'), Rodney needed to get caught red-handed to do so.

    I can hardly imagine what a super stud like Rodney felt when he saw his body begin to betray him. But his response, while human, amounts to cheating, no matter how you slice it. RH doesn't need anyone in media to try and 'balance' the coverage of his minor crime.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2007
  14. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

  15. smyoung

    smyoung On the Roster

    a voice of reason!! should i be surprised it's a fellow woman?? ;)
  16. NYCPatsFan

    NYCPatsFan In the Starting Line-Up

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    Thanks for chiming in SMY. Great article!

    I think I speak for many of us fans that yes, we do have a faint if not that good comprehension of the actual pain and suffering that many of the players go thru to earn their $ and make us happy. So, when some of them are injured and work aggressively to return (not to make us happy I suspect but more to earn their pay and to a smaller extent, their love for their game), we fans are thrilled to see them back in action, especially those like RH who make a big difference to the team.

    I guess the disappointment in RH's case was that we considered him as a great representative and leader of the team that we love so much. Many of us are proud to love the Pats, proud to talk to other NFL fans about how the Pats are always a TEAM, and gloat over the fact that amazing men such as Tedy Bruschi (for his truly mind boggling win in his fight against a devastating physical condition) and Troy Brown (the epitome of a selfless player) prefer to be play for us.

    So, when one of the most effective and admired team leaders of our beloved Pats succumbed to forbidden means to contribute, it certainly shocked/greatly disappointed many beer chugging ordinary fans like me who hate to see any smear or * on the growing legend of the current Pats.

    My answer to your question: considering the various consequences of getting caught using pot, among which:
    - tarnishing my reputation, which includes serving as a role model for kids and others in the community and the workforce,
    - putting my employer and my colleagues in a bad light especially considering how much limelight and attraction we have,
    - getting banned from working for a few weeks thereby penalizing my employer and my colleagues for no fault of theirs,
    I would say that I would refrain from using it and instead have a chat with my boss about what I could do to save my job.

    I am probably going to get ridiculed by other fans to get realistic but that's my honest response that I am convinced I will do under those circumstances.

    This does not mean that I am trying to pass judgement on RH. Though I feel disappointed and will support RH when he returns, he did break the rules and must face the consequences. It will be interesting to see how Mr. Kraft responds to this...wish he forgives and welcomes him back.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2007
  17. mgteich

    mgteich Veteran Supporter

    I too question the definition of "balanced". One of our top players cheated so it's OK. Is that what we expect from our best beat reporter?

    Isn't the bottom line that Harrison cheated himself, his team and his fans?

    Sure, we should support Harrison! Sure we want him back in October! However, I would suggest that he no more excuse for his behavior than a top player from another team. Somehow had the offender been Bob Sanders, I think our position and that of the writer would have been very different.
  18. PatsFanSince74

    PatsFanSince74 Supporter Supporter

    First of all, let me make it clear that I admire Rodney as a person and as a core part of the championships and that, while I'm angry at him for putting himself and his teammates at risk, I can't wait to welcome him back in October.

    That said, everyone has to play by the same rules, no matter how brutal the game and how possibly unfair the contracts under with most players play--as Manza Young pointed out. It takes a Jesuitical exercise in hairsplitting to say that taking a banned substance to return more quickly to competition is different from seeking a competitive advantage. Lupica's piece in the News today suggests to New York fans that they not get too self righteous over Harrison's problems, as there are many other shoes to drop (suggesting without saying it that some of those shoes will drop in the Meadowlands). I don't have a problem with that.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2007
  19. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa Supporter Supporter

    Well, no, HGH is not medically harmless (though neither is pot.) But that's not really the question being posed.

    As for the idea of HGH as career-extender (or enhancer,) we really can not fairly say whether we would do it, unless we were in the situation. This isn't a health nut struggling through a post-lunch energy drain without caffeine. It's something we don't confront.

    But the rest of the league does confront it. Most do it on the "right" terms.

    Hell, I agree about "understanding" RH's choice. We love that guy. But I guess loving the guy puts one's mind much more in line with SMYoung's opening thought for me ("Please - anybody but Rodney,") than with the closing thought, that in his case, you should pay attention to what he says, not what he does.

    He knew what he was doing. He made no excuses. He was strong about it when he was caught -- that's better than not.

    But that doesn't make it go away.

    Man, I really do want to say "no harm no foul," but you just can't. It's too bad, and it'll always be too bad. Maybe football shouldn't be what it is, as a business, but it is. The incentive to take HGH is obvious. And here we are insisting that people act like Dudley Dooright. I get that.

    But it all comes down to that old quote, "integrity's what you do when nobody's watching." I have failed by that count too many times to count... I suppose it shouldn't surprise me if someone else does too.

    But it does disappoint me. And we'll all always remember this one issue in the backs of our minds as much as all Rodney's accomplishments.

    Maybe I'm spoiled being a Pats fan. Ravens fans had "The Obstructor" on their hands, and Carolina fans watched one of theirs locked up for straight up killing someone. The Bengals are just going to remove all the black and white from the unis and stick with bright orange. HGH to get back from an injury faster does seem tame by comparison... but it's still cheating.

    Like I said, I want to see RH make us proud again, and don't get me wrong. There's not a person on this board that wants anything but the very best for him. That's part of it -- this whole thing wasn't the best for him.

  20. Hoodie

    Hoodie 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Shalise -- It's really cool of you to respond.

    I thought your article was spot on. Particularly when you talked about the way Rodney handled his apology. There is a huge difference between someone who gives the generic apology and someone who sounds sincere. We all make mistakes and thanks to his handling of the situation, I am willing to forgive. Maybe now I won't be so quick to criticize non-Patriot players for similar mistakes.

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