Monday, December 18, 2006

Needling Chargers Fans

I wonder how many of those fans in San Diego that were cheering when Shawne Merriman made a play last night are the same fans who mercilessly taunt Barry Bonds when he visits Petco Park? I guess it's a little bit different when it's your guy juicing up to boost his performance, huh? And don't even try to give me that whole "he got it from a tainted supplement" story. If you actually believe that bill of goods, then I've got a bottle of flaxseed oil that you'll really love.

By the way, didn't Merriman say that he was going to sue the manufacturers of the supplement for his positive test? When exactly is that going to be filed again? I guess he's still waiting to find a chemist that can come up with a plausible mechanism by which creatine can transform itself into Nandrolone. If he does find that guy, he should get in touch with Rafael Palmeiro, who has a vitamin B-12 to Winstrol theory that needs investigating.

These incidents illustrate the differences in the way steroids are perceived by baseball fans and football fans. In baseball, taking steroids is the biggest sin a player can commit in the eyes of their fans. But in football, fans generally accept the fact that everyone is trying something to get bigger, stronger, and faster. In football, steroid use is the equivalent of a speeding ticket. Sure it's against the law, but everyone does it from time to time. It's nowhere near the worst thing that a football player can do to offend a fan. The worst thing a player can do, of course, is to spit on another player.

DeAngelo Hall said he lost all respect for Terrell Owens after Owens spit on him while the two were jawing in the Saturday night game. This was a pretty surprising statement because I didn't think anyone still had any respect for Terrell Owens to begin with. Now Deion Sanders is trying to give some Owens some credit for "owning up" to the spitting incident and apologizing for it. But for anyone that saw the Terrell Owens postgame interview on the NFL Network, it was obvious that Owens thought his act had been caught on tape, so he wasn't owning up to anything- he was trying to perform some damage control.

So now Terrell Owens is a member of the Saliva All-Stars where he joins Bill Romanowski, Sean Taylor, LenDale White, and PacMan Jones. That's actually not a bad list of players (in terms of talent, not character). In fact, that core group is better than anything the Raiders have going for them. I think in the 2007 draft, rather than studying combine numbers, the Raiders' scouts should just try to find as many spitters as they can. It's working for the Titans, who have two spitters and have now won 7 of their last 9 games. (Vince Young has been getting a lot of the credit for the Titans' resurgence, and some of it is warranted. But do you realize that Young has three of his wins this year have come in games in which he completed fewer than 10 passes? Even Michael Vick can do that...well, maybe.)

Deion says it's time for everyone to move on from the spitting incident and that there's no need for the league to get involved. Deion Sanders of course works for the NFL Network. You're more likely to hear Fox News say something critical of the White House administration before the NFL N will condemn one of their players. And yet, players will still find a way to blame the media the next time they do something wrong.

As reported by True Hoop, the NBA has made their attempts at fair and balanced reporting by completely omitting the Nuggets/Knicks brawl from their website Saturday night. If the NBA says it didn't happen, then it didn't happen. Unfortunately for the league, other media outlets went ahead and ran the story anyway. One of the angles that the Knicks players were taking was that the Nuggets were responsible for the brawl because they were running up the score. One of the Knicks adopting that stance was guard Nate Robinson: My favorite response to this claim comes from Dan Wetzel of Yahoo sports.
"If we're up 20 points, we're not going to play Stephon (Marbury) and Eddy (Curry)," Robinson said.

Of course not, because if the Knicks were up 20, Robinson would just honor his fallen opponent. Like when he botched that ESPY-campaign self-alley-oop and claimed humbly, "I won't be trying it again unless we're up by 20."

To the surprise of no one, David Stern is bringing down the hammer with suspensions. Carmelo Anthony is getting 15 games, while Nate Robinson and J.R. Smith are getting 10 games each. Perhaps Stern would have been more lenient if he'd been aware of the backstory behind Anthony's open hand slap (safe for most workplaces):


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