Talk radio would talk about nothing else. Fans would be expressing outrage and disgust and canceling their season tickets. And my friends at MSNBC would be calling to see when I could get down to Secaucus, N.J., to talk about it on television.
So why doesn’t anyone raise an eyebrow when the accusers are football players and the league is the NFL? Where is the outrage? Why the double standard? Is it because baseball players used drugs to break records, and football players use them to get bigger and win games?
These are important questions we should be asking after Jon Jansen, an offensive lineman for the Washington Redskins, made those charges on Bob Costas’ HBO program, “Costas Now.” The drug, he said, is human growth hormone – HGH - for which there is no reliable test. Dana Stubblefield, a retired defensive lineman, said on the same show that he thinks the figure is closer to 30 percent.
HGH is one of the drugs Barry Bonds is accused of having used. And we all know the outrage Bonds and the others who led the recent assault on home-run records inspired. Mark McGwire went from the man who broke Roger Maris’ record and a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer to a virtual outcast in the baseball community. Sammy Sosa, hailed for being the only man to hit 60 or more multiple times, has virtually fallen off the face of the earth. Rafael Palmiero, disgraced by a dirty urine sample, couldn’t have become more anonymous if he had joined the witness protection program.
Yet, the NFL was hardly clean, even during the hearings. It was known then that a number of Carolina Panthers had made the acquaintance of a friendly doctor who wrote them regular prescriptions for performance-enhancing drugs leading up to their Super Bowl loss to the Patriots.
And now come the fresh allegations by Jansen and Stubblefield, and the reaction again is basically a yawn.
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