Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mikey, Jul 18, 2006.
I agree...it is VERY odd....steroids??? OR something else???
After reading the article, it's pretty clear to me that steroids had a lot to do with many of these deaths. (I'm not one of those who waits for indisputable evidence. I'm of the "Come on!" school of thought. I discounted Barry Bonds's records long before this year's Johnny-come-latelys.)
This taints Pittsburgh's dynasty in my opinion.
I like this paragraph :
"There is speculation that steroid abuse could have played a role in some of the deaths, but no hard evidence. It's just as plausible that weight issues were a factor. Counting Mansfield, five of the eight heart-attack victims played on the offensive or defensive line."
If you're blind, it's just as plausible. But if that were the case then it wouldn't be just the ex-Steelers. Much more likely it was because there was something in that lockerroom that wasn't in the others.
Just keep in mind that these guys are human beings! It would be very tragic if they are dying off because of stupidity in their youth. Especially when you consider that Larry Izzo was indirectly implicated in some kind of similiar scandal recently. I know that athletes, and children, are often too unaware to know what is in their best interest, or are given bad advice and/or peer pressure. Some, like Barry Bonds, probably think they are taking a calculated risk.
It is all very unfortunate, and I would rather that everybody stay clean than die young. Yes, the Steeler's Championships are tainted, and so is baseball, the Olympics, Bicycling, and probably every football team including our own Championship team.
Let's remember that in the big picture, this is not some isolated incident.
I think in all liklihood steroids were the common denominator as a contributing factor in the disproportionate number of deaths among former Steelers. We may never know for sure as the prime use suspects die off and the remainder close ranks to protect their reputations and that of their 4 not for the thumb.
Much like when Canseco was ridiculed when his book first came out, those who try to fess up (even in spite as Jose did) or whistle blow will be ostracized within that tight old school NFL community while to some extent in the wider new NFL who knew it was rampant and when did they know will become almost as much an issue/potential blackmark as who did steroids. For a long time, although it is changing with todays athletes, football was known as a sport where you played hurt and did whatever it took (and took whatever was available or you were told to) to stay on the field. Little thought was given to the long range consequences, and those who balked at that mentality were lableled weak.
To some extent that attitude prevails today, although at least today most of the abusers/cheaters/and just plain risk takers are well compensated financially for taking those risks. In the 70's and 80's they were not, and many were totally unprepared to deal with the consequences that awaited them in their shambles of a life after football. The other difference today is guys have been warned, though like the helmet issue with Ben many have gone to great lengths to convince themselves all the talk of health risks comes from sissy do gooders who just don't appreciate the value of the substances they use and who overstate the risks. It's human nature to rationalize the risk reward for many of these guys because without the scientific edge they have found many would not be earning 6 and 7 figure salaries playing a game that gives them pseudo celebrity status as athletes.
Pittsburgh appears to be like the Bay area in baseball - the place where wisespread use became concentrated and then began to become more widespread as players who had been exposed to steroid use linked to success filtered outward in FA like apostles spreading the good word.
If the NFLPA were genuinely interested in the welfare of its members, they would be pushing for the toughest possible controls on performance-enhancing drugs instead of using every possible bogus argument to resist them -- that way, players might all live long enough to enjoy the rewards that they've earned.
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