View Full Version : Whitlock: No roid rage in football?

03-27-2005, 02:08 AM

No 'roid rage in football?

In tainted sports scene, baseball stance hypocritical


So now we're supposed to believe that American sports — and American society — lost their innocence because baseball players used steroids to hit home runs.

Repeat after me, please, and say it loud: American sports have never been innocent, and America's capitalistic society has a built-in set of checks and balances because we know unfettered competition for money breeds corruption.

So, Sports Illustrated, spare me the whining about the congressional hearings on steroids and baseball. Spare me the whining about the lost summer of '98 and what to do with your scrapbook.

I was a college football player at the same time as Tony Mandarich, the man Sports Illustrated lauded in April of 1989 as the “best offensive line prospect ever.” The magazine plastered a shirtless Mandarich across its cover and called the 6-foot-6, 315-pound offensive tackle “The Incredible Bulk.”

“Roidhead” is what we called him, the guy was so obviously juiced. But no one cared then. SI certainly didn't. It had a magazine to sell and a football player to promote.

I don't get the hypocrisy. Steroids (or performance-enhancing drugs) and football go together like peanut butter and jelly. But there's no outrage. New Orleans Saints coach Jim Haslett, an NFL linebacker in the 1980s, said last week that he juiced while he was a player, and he claimed the Steelers' dynasty was built on steroids.

I'd bet 15 percent to 20 percent of the NFL Hall of Fame players during the 1970s and 1980s used steroids at some time in their careers.

No one cares. I guarantee you there are more high school football players juicing than baseball players. No one cares. The government and Barry Bonds' alleged disgruntled mistress are cooking up a criminal case to send Bonds to jail before he surpasses Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron.

But the governor of Bonds' home state, California, wouldn't be governor without the benefits of steroids. Arnold Schwarzenegger, an admitted steroid user as a bodybuilder and another SI cover boy, became a celebrity in the 1980s thanks to steroids. It wasn't until he became a political figure that he strongly spoke against steroids.

Why the hypocrisy? Why the double standard?

It's all about a stupid record and the man who was about to break it. We can't hold a legitimate conversation about steroids and performance-enhancing drugs because America doesn't want to see Barry Bonds surpass Babe Ruth (and Hank Aaron).

That's it. It doesn't have anything to do with kids killing themselves or damaging their bodies with steroids. Kids, particularly football-playing kids, have been doing that for more than two decades. The steroid users on my college teams didn't hide it. There was no reason to. Heck, you could end up on the cover of Sports Illustrated as the best prospect ever if you used steroids correctly.

We were fine with Mark McGwire overtaking Roger Maris for the single-season record. McGwire looked the part. He was the boy-next-door type. No grandstanding reporter confronted McGwire in front of his locker and asked him to fill up a urine cup. The Andro bottle in his locker didn't stop the celebration either.

Had McGwire stayed in the game and kept hitting home runs at a record rate, if he were around today to battle Bonds for Ruth's record (and, yes, I said Ruth's), I'm not sure we'd be talking about steroids today. We would be calling Jose Canseco and Ken Caminiti liars. We would be ignoring the steroid issue the way we have in football, basketball, hockey and most other sports.

We wouldn't be debating the stiffness of major-league baseball's steroid penalties. We'd accept them and believe the game is moving past its problems, the same way the NFL did.

But the home-run record seems to have a special significance. Nothing's really changed. America was none too happy when Aaron surpassed Ruth. Aaron, a black man like Bonds, didn't look the part. I'm sorry. I know it makes people uncomfortable. But race is a component of the hysteria surrounding steroids now. We conveniently ignored the issue for years when we were more comfortable with the abusers.

We're uncomfortable with Bonds because he's surly, unrepentant and black. He's being chased from the game. I'm probably foolish, but I don't expect Bonds to play again. He'll hide behind injuries and try to duck out of the game … if he's smart.

03-27-2005, 02:10 AM
Repeat after me: the NFL actually TRIES to derail the Vitamin-S train when it hits their players...

Spicy McHaggis
03-27-2005, 02:13 AM
C'Mon Jason, the race card? Maybe we don't like Bonds because he's an A-hole but I could give two shits about what his skin tone is. I hate Conseco because he's an A-hole too. Maybe thats all it is. Maybe America is just a nation stricken with Assholism.

keg in kc
03-27-2005, 02:17 AM
He's right about 'roids in football, I think. But he's full of shit when he says baseball is being attacked because Bonds is black. Baseball is being attacked because it's left itself vulnerable to attack. This has been an issue of debate since McGuire -- a big white dude... -- looked like he was going to take on Hank Aaron's record. And it's in the spotlight now because of a money-grubbing whore by the name of Canseco.

03-27-2005, 02:20 AM
Repeat after me: the NFL actually TRIES to derail the Vitamin-S train when it hits their players...
Well I don't think anybody can disagree with that, but I do agree there is a level of hypocrisy among those that say baseball records should be wiped off the books, you'd probably have to do a number on the NFL record books if you took out steroids... don't really agree with any of this racism stuff though. People loved Sammy Sosa in 98, he came across as a nice guy (probably nicer than he really is), Barry has always been distant. That's the difference. If Sammy Sosa or Ken Griffey Jr. was doing this, I think more people would be behind them.

Spicy McHaggis
03-27-2005, 02:31 AM
If Sammy Sosa or Ken Griffey Jr. was doing this, I think more people would be behind them.

I agree totally.

03-27-2005, 02:54 AM
Follow the money. Leave it to fat ass to pull the race card.

03-27-2005, 05:13 AM
I wonder if Whitlock thinks I hate his articles because he's black, or because he's a stupid mother****er....

03-27-2005, 05:48 AM
Given all the steps society has taken to ensure African Americans have every opportunity a white person has to succeed in our nation I wonder what exactly has to happen in America for guys like Whitlock to stop pulling out the race card every time it’s opportune.

African Americans dominate every major sport in the country. And let’s take a look at some of the best athletes recognized in sports:

Jesse Owens
Muhammad Ali
Jackie Robinson
Carl Lewis
Major Taylor
Willie Lanier
Joe "Brown Bomber" Louis
Michael Jordon
Jim Brown

Shall I go on?

Please Big Sexy, I hope you’ll excuse my clean conscience as a white man when I say your article is nothing but an empty cry for attention.

The only point that I derive from this rubbish is to keep the race card alive and well so you have something to write about next time your well runs dry.

You're a pathetic man.

Skip Towne
03-27-2005, 06:37 AM
When is the Star going to send this guy on down the road? The novelty has long since worn off.

03-27-2005, 08:07 AM
The 70s and 80s :rolleyes: the NFL has made every effort to stop players from using steroids, MLB on the other hand has turned a blind eye to the problem. That is the reason for the outrage it has nothing to due with race.

Mark Mcguire is pretty dang white as is Jason Giaubi (sp) both looked like body builders and most were sure they were on the juice. The fact Bonds put on 30 lbs of lean muscle mass at almost 40 years old and had a huge increase in HRs removed any doubt about his use.

I quit paying attention to baseball years ago for several reasons. These men have created a cloud of shame over their sport, MLB is just as guilty for letting them. I wouldn't give a damn if the players involved were green.

03-27-2005, 09:46 AM
Hank Aaron receiving death threats when closing on Ruth's record= racism. Barry bonds being ripped by the media= payback for being an asshole.

03-27-2005, 09:51 AM
I was a college football player at the same time as Tony Mandarich, the man Sports Illustrated lauded in April of 1989 as the “best offensive line prospect ever.”

And here we have Jason Whitlock, the man Sports Illustrated lauded in April of 1989 as the "worst football prospect ever."