The NFL has informed the NFLPA that unless Packers linebackers Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers, Steelers linebacker James Harrison, and free-agent linebacker Mike Neal agree to cooperate with an investigation on performance enhancers, they will suspend them for the first four games of the season.
I love how the NFL has the number four burned into its collective brain. No matter what the transgression, a four-game suspension is always the remedy. Punch the mother of your child and knock her out? That will be four games. Cheat in the AFC Championship Game by using underinflated footballs? That will be four games. Use modern medical science to prepare your body for the hardship of playing in the NFL? That will be four games.
This controversy stems from an Al-Jazeera America (oxymoron much?) produced documentary The Dark Side. The documentary contends that the above four players, along with now-retired quarterback Payton Manning, received shipments of PEDs from pharmaceutical intern Charlie Sly.
The guy’s last name is Sly. If that does not invoke an overall feeling of trust and confidence, I do not know what does.
Payton Manning was already cleared of all wrong doing because his first name is Payton and his last name is Manning. Even in retirement, he’s one of the few NFL players Corporate America loves. He is just not the kind of guy the bad stuff sticks to, just ask the woman he harassed while attending the University of Tennessee.
I think the whole PED controversy is a non-controversy. Of course players in the NFL are using performance enhancers. How could they not be? If a human could do what modern players in the NFL do without PEDs, then there would be no demand for PEDs. If eating skinless chicken, praying to Jesus, and getting a good night’s sleep could make you into an all-pro in today’s NFL, then that’s what players would be doing.