Thursday, July 25, 2013

Is the NFLPA's refusal to allow HGH Blood Tests Hypocritical?

As everyone knows, recently, Ryan Braun was suspended for using performance enhancing substances. This has spawned a slew of debates as to HGH and the implications for baseball. However, Football, for the most part, is completely ignored in this debate. Yet, the players are getting bigger and faster than ever. People are saying that this is the result of refined exercise programs, better food, etc. Well, I say:


Just as we made excuse after excuse for MLB players getting bigger and being able to crank more balls out of the park, we too are making excuses for the NFL. How can we ignore that NFL players have dramatically increased in weight from just 40 years ago. In 1970 the average weight of an offensive lineman was 260 pounds. Today, the average weight of an offensive lineman is just around 315 pounds. That's an increase of 55 pounds.

Now, don't get me wrong, some of this weight gain can be attributed to targeted diets, better weight training, supplements, etc. However, I don't think it's a long shot to presume that some of it has to do with HGH. Just as baseball is tackling the problem, the NFL is trying to as well. Yet, the NFL still cannot do HGH test. Why?

The NFLPA does not want to allow it. Likely, they fear that it will expose players in the NFL, and thus, they wouldn't be adequately representing them. But wait? Isn't this the same NFLPA that argues that the NFL shouldn't play an 18 game schedule for player safety reasons? Aren't they the same NFLPA that said the Owners were hypocritical stating they would like more player safety while advocating for more games?

So, how can the NFLPA now argue that there shouldn't be mandatory HGH blood tests for EVERY player? Isn't this a huge issue for player safety? If using HGH increases body mass and strength, and maybe even performance in other areas such as speed, how can the NFLPA now sit there and say that HGH blood testing shouldn't be mandatory? Isn't it logical that increased player size, speed, and strength = more injuries? As far as I know, HGH doesn't increase the amount of padding between your brain and the player hitting you. Nor does HGH increase the density of your bones, joints, or other ligaments.

So, I guess my question to the NFLPA is simple:

When are you going to stop being so damn hypocritical and start advocating for mandatory HGH testing?


  1. Isn't this the whole Ray Lewis debate from last year with Deer Antler spray? Ray Lewis used that stuff because of the growth hormones that are in there, yet the NFL and NFLPA did nothing. The Dude had a torn triceps muscle and came back in less then a month? What?

    I totally agree that some people are out there taking stuff. I feel like the NBA could be worse. Like Lebron won the gentic lotto right, but that big that strong and that fast. It wouldn't surprise me if at some point he took something.

    Also, read Simmons article on this, very entertaining. AND yes I was bitching about Ray Lewis before I saw this

  2. That simmons article was a great one, I vividly remember reading that.

    Nice points Ryan. You know, at this point, I almost just feel like the prohibition on PEDs is about as effective as the American War On Drugs. People are just going to keep trying to find ways around. I'm not saying steroids should be legal, necessarily, just that I have mixed feelings on the matter.

  3. From an analytical chemistry perspective there are quite a few ways to beat the tests and there will never be a completely fool proof test system. So yes they are beating their heads against the wall by testing, but by not testing you are probably doing yourself a greater disservice.