In years past, the crucifixion of Barry Bonds in the baseball world brought steroid use to the public eye in a powerful way. Is it my imagination or does it seem more of an accepted practice in the world of football? Even the true confessions of Lyle Alzado (1980’s) and Bill Romanowski (2005) didn’t really make a dent in the media frenzy that ensued with Barry.
Perhaps the fans don’t want to see sluggish football players trot lazily across the field. Fans are more and more demanding of a fast-paced, challenging match-up with athletes at the top of their game. But is it really all about what the fans want or simply that steroid use is more accepted in football than in other sport?
Pro football, in the past several years, has seen a dramatic rise in steroid use among its athletes. Athletes know their career could be short; complicated contract agreements, free agency, and/or injuries (NFL = Not For Long), create the need to be the most powerful and explosive athletes they can be.
Even in high school football, the use of anabolic steroids and performance enhancing drugs has doubled from 1991 to 2003. It’s the easy way to fame and a ticket to the pros. Are steroids really so bad? After all, isn’t it the misuse of anything that causes pain and misfortune?
Not all steroids are illegal and, if used correctly and respected, under the supervision of a qualified physician, the athlete can reap some benefits from its use without risking life-threatening maladies. After all, steroids do provide an instant, powerful boost to performance. It’s the misuse and abuse of illegal steroids that causes the athletes’ body to rebel in a variety of physical ailments, which can include death. It’s the lack of knowledge in any arena that causes our downfall and often, it’s a matter of simply self-educating.
Before a pro football player makes the decision to use steroids, he needs to consult first with his doctor, and then enlist the help and input of former steroid users, family, friends, teammates, coaches, and he should make use of the plethora of information on the internet. He should carefully study the risks along with the best dosage, stacking options, and cycles of steroid usage. Even with all this information, the doctor should have the final say.
Football will never be free of steroid use and I believe it’s safe to say most pro football players embrace proper steroid use. As long as there’s fame, glory, prestige, and the pressure of winning, there will be steroids.