NFL

HGH Testing: Will the NFL Take the Risk?

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It has been stated recently that the NFL will fight to get HGH testing included into the new CBA, if/when one is agreed to. NFL commissioner, spawn of Satan, Roger Goodell, has been adamant about getting HGH testing included into the bylaws of the NFL, since 2006. Ok let me back track, maybe spawn of Satan was a little harsh, let’s go with distant cousins. They’ve definitely attended some of the same family reunion barbecues.

The late, Gene Upshaw stated in 2008, that he could see agreeing to urine testing of HGH but never blood testing. Upshaw, who was the Executive Director of the NFLPA at the time, stated that even though these were some of the biggest toughest men, some up them still didn’t want to be pricked by needles.  Given that this is the most effective way of taking HGH, that’s pretty ironic. They do make it in spray and pill form but these methods don’t provide the full benefits or the same punch.

The NFL needs to be careful what they wish for or they could have a Jose Canseco / Major League Baseball fiasco. Canseco stated that he believed that over 80% of MLB players were on steroids. Now here we stand years later, with new (old) players being found out every day and the faces of their game still being drug through the mud in courts. Names like Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens, were once known as the players that revived a dying sport after a strike, now those names conjure up images deception, cheating and court houses instead of 70 homerun seasons and 20 strikeout games.

The role of Jose Canseco may have already been casted. Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ running back, Earnest Graham, stated in a 2009 interview that he believed at least 30% of the NFL was taking HGH. I said when Canseco dropped the whopping 80% number, that I wouldn’t be surprised if he was right on. When it comes to Graham’s 30%, I would be surprised if it wasn’t at least double that. When you look at the pros of HGH, you can imagine how 60% of the league would take the legal drug, even though it is against the rules of their employer. But, like everything in this world of ours, there are negatives as well. Let’s break down the pros and cons.

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Pros

  • Quick recovery from injuries and workouts
  • Build Bulk
  • Loss of body fat
  • Anti-aging
  • Keeps you feeling fresh and your body active

Cons

  • Fluid retention
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Joint pain
  • Abnormal growth of body parts
  • Loss of stamina
  • Higher chance of diabetes
  • Pituitary tumors / gigantism
  • Promotes growth of cancerous cells in colon and lung cancer

Maybe it’s the conspiracy theorist in me, but I feel that the heightened awareness to HGH over the last few months has more to do with the CBA negotiations than anything else. Goodell and the owners all know that these athletes are using HGH. Let’s not be naïve here, look at the physiques of these players.  They come into the league looking like Ed Norton and within a year look like the Hulk. It’s like HGH is a super hero. When you have 260 pounds tight ends running close to the 4.5 – 40 range, HGH will be there. When you hear of an injury where the guy is expected to be out an extended period of time and then he comes back 2 months early, HGH will be there.

So if everyone knows, then why would Goodell mention testing it during the lockout? It strikes fear into the players to come back to the table. If they come back and agree to a deal that’s better financially for the owners, then magically, the HGH testing goes away. It’s always about the money. The owners and Goodell don’t really want to test for HGH, how could they? They need the faster recovery time to be able to even think about doing an 18 game regular season.

The NFL is the king of all sports. You want to know how addicted we are to the sport? Check out the ratings the league got just for releasing their schedule! Imagine a similar scenario to what happened in baseball. What if the NFL actually tested, via blood, for HGH? What would happen if they had to suspend their golden boys, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, etc?  And while I am not implying that those guys are taking HGH, would anyone REALLY be surprised to find out that any of them were? They play a gladiator sport that pays them millions upon millions. Who among us wouldn’t consider taking a legal supplement to keep our body capable of maintaining that lifestyle?  I for one would. If that makes me a bad person, so be it. You can condemn me as my kids drive to their college of choice in their paid off vehicles. You could even point at me and condemn me by saying, “there goes that cheater…in his Bentley”.

These are humans that get well compensated for staying healthy and playing at a high level. The NFL knows that there is a high percentage taking HGH in the league; don’t kill the golden goose by promoting the fact that her eggs are spray painted.

Jayson Braddock is an NFL Scout / NFL Writer & On-Air Personality. Jayson is also a football insider for the Dylan Gwinn show on 790 AM in Houston, TX - Listeners NOT in the Houston metropolitan area can hear Jayson on iheart radio or sports790.com. You may email Jayson directly @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @JaysonBraddock
 
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