Tuesday, February 21, 2006

i still don't like the guy

Okay. So now the word is that the substance for which Ricky Williams tested positive was not marijuana. It doesn't cancel the fact that he failed a drug test. That's a bit like being arrested for a fourth DUI and saying "oh, but I wasn't drinking whiskey this time". Notice that I said "A BIT like" rather than "EXACTLY like". Yes, I know it's a bit of a stretch, and it's possible that the "substance" could turn out to be something that was unknown to him. However, at some point, he and other athletes who fail drug tests have to be accountable for the substances in their bodies. I have been criticized for my views on this in the past with other athletes, but I have been consistent in my view.

Maybe he's been doing Propecia with Montréal Canadiens goaltender Jose Theodore. Maybe that's Ricky's dark secret -- he's bald. Maybe it'll turn out to be crystal meth. I'm just saying.

I said when Rafael Palmiero got nabbed with a steroid-like substance, and
I'll say again here: if you're getting the kind of money these guys get to play sports, and you have a list of substances that are not allowed to be in your body, you should be especially careful about the "supplements" or medications that you take. Check ingredient lists. Pay someone to make sure it's safe for you to take. Ask questions if you have to.

If you have failed multiple drug tests in the past, and you know the consequences of another failed test, you should be anally careful about it. Like the guy in the restaurant with the gluten allergy.

The fact that Williams is a repeat offender makes it easy for me to pass judgment on him. The fact that Palmiero made his now infamous "I have never taken steroids. Period." speech just days before testing positive made it easy for me to pass judgment on him. The fact that Theodore is using Propecia makes it easy for me to laugh at him. He's got the thickest, manliest head of hair in the entirety of the NHL, and he's been using Propecia for 10 years. For the uninitiated, the story there is that one of the ingredients in Propecia is a known masking agent for performance-enhancing drugs. The suggestion is that you take the Propecia and they won't know that you've been taking the performance-enhancer. However, anyone who has watched, listened to, read about or even heard about the Canadiens this year knows that Theodore has sucked ass. There's no way he's been taking performance enhancing drugs.

If the substance turns out to be one of the ingredients from his Flintstones Chewables, then I might retract my criticism of Williams. In the meantime, it's the fourth time he's flunked a drug test. I get the feeling, though, that if it was something like a Flintstones Chewable or Propecia, they'd have already told us.

If you think I'm being unfair, I'm sorry. If you think I'm hanging a man before he even goes to trial, I'm sorry.

1 comment:

XtianDC said...

No need for an apology! I'm just sayin' is all! I'm not so much arguing that that the NFL shouldn't take action on Ricky Williams if he violated league policy. I guess for me the difference is in how I feel about the guy. Comparisons to athletes who used performance enhancing drugs (and then blatantly lied about it) don't really hold water for me personally. And the portrayal of Ricky as some idiot stoner who can't control his intake (not really made in these pages, but in plenty of others) doesn't seem to pin it for me either. There's just something about his free-spirited-ness (he's studying yoga and holistic medicine in India) that sets him apart from your average American athlete. Is it that he's more worldly? I dunno. I just get the feeling that he looks at life as more than football and I kinda find it refreshing. If I had to be critical of anything with Ricky, I'd probabably point to the timing of his decision to retire a few years back. That really left his team in the lurch. Anyways, I totally understand where you're coming from with Ricky...but for me, there's just something about his case that gives me slight pause for thought. Can't quite put my finger on it?