It must feel good to be king.
For the fifth straight season, the NFL set a paid attendance record by surpassing 22 million fans for the first time. The figure, which includes playoff games, is up 400,000 fans from the 2005 season.
But I don’t need to explain the success of football to you Americans.
The NFL has given America a new religious experience on Sundays. Every Sunday you are brought back under the allure that any given Sunday your team can win and their team can lose.
And guess what, my pigskin-lovin’ patriots – it’s a sham.
You’re thinking: “Oh Holy Lord? Did he just call our Father, football, a farce? Did he label our Sunday savior a charade?”
You’re damn straight, and I’ve reloaded.
What you see on Sundays is not pure; it is an illusion. Corrupt because there are athletes who use performance enhancers, more specifically human-growth hormones.
Anyone in there, McFly? HGH is a problem for baseball, not football, moron.
But unlike Major League Baseball, the NFL has continued to blossom beyond the scrutiny of human-growth hormones. Although both leagues ban HGH, neither tests for the drug right now.
The drug HGH is used by athletes in a synthetic form to more quickly build stronger muscle tissue.
Imagine if your parents set curfew for you at midnight but admitted they would not be awake to catch you if you break it. Would you still sneak out? Of course you would, and anyone who says no is a Barry Bonds (my new word for “liar”).
To reiterate, reader, the NFL prohibits the use of HGH – but it does not test for it.
Makes about as much sense as drafting Mario Williams as the first overall pick.
Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL Players Association, says he will not allow testing for HGH until the World Anti-Doping Agency comes up with a way to detect the drug in urine. Upshaw scoffs at the idea that the NFL should have to adhere to random blood tests, as WADA has advised the league to do. This is the organization using the same tests that were applied to Olympic athletes at the 2004 Athens and 2006 Torino Games. Yet Upshaw told The Charlotte Observer that he would not allow WADA blood-test kits for HGH in the league.
“I am not willing to accept them as an authority on this,” he said.
If WADA isn’t the authority on detecting HGH in a player’s system, then who is – Sammy Sosa?
WADA President Dick Pound defended the tests.
“You can’t look at a cross section of the NFL and its players and not come to the conclusion ... that some of this is being used.”
You see, the NFL does not want to test for HGH because it knows some athletes depend on it. What’s worse, players are scared as hell to be exposed to their adoring public. The same public that went to war on Major League Baseball for all types of performance enhancers has shown mercy on its novelist love. Meanwhile, baseball is in the throws of a Reconstruction era.
Breathe, eat and sleep football. But as you wrap your favorite team’s afghan around your body on those sanctified Sundays, you cover yourself in a veil of ignorance.
But is it the ignorance of the football league or the fans? Both have failed to see the athletes who cheat – any given Sunday on every given Sunday. Win or lose, we all lose.
The NFL is the most profitable sports league in America, damn it – it must lead by example. No other league can make the statement against performance enhancers like the NFL can. Yet no one wants to know the truth. Until the NFL tests for HGH, I pledge to paganize the NFL for its ignorance.
I pledge to do it every day – and, of course, twice on Sundays.
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