There Has to Be More Right?

Tamba Hali

When news broke Monday morning of the one-game suspension the NFL handed down on Kansas City Chiefs linebacker, Tamba Hali, one has to wonder if there is more to this story.

Generally speaking the NFL doesn't do anything without a thorough investigation armed with facts, reports, absolute truth and an agenda, before they hand down player suspensions.

And let's be honest, the NFL brand has earned its lofty designation as supreme beings - because they are the most powerful sports entity in the world. They can do almost anything within their bylaws - except decide outcome of games.

So do you think this power is a bad thing? Heck No!

The NFL is a force because they are the Gods of sports entertainment and they are a global money making machine. In Las Vegas, casinos no longer have to fly high rollers into town to bet on NFL games from opening weekend through the Super Bowl. Even better, these die-hard gamblers spend their own dollars, to fly, drive, walk or sell their souls to bet on NFL football in Las Vegas.

With wagering on NFL games at a fever pitch, the incredible popularity of fantasy football and the billions of dollars generated via the NFL's massive TV contracts, it's no wonder the NFL can rule its roost and enjoy its rising profits at the same time. After all isn't that the same mentality that the Barons of the 20th century, Rockefeller, Ford, Carnegie and Edison ushered into the 1900's?

Today no other sports entity can lay claim to the power of the NFL.

When Major League Baseball, presumably began juicing baseballs and looking the other way when their players began to resemble Charles Atlas, they saved the sport from it's own ineptitude.

And MLB didn't change that course, until fans began to figure out what was causing the titanic home runs. So what did they do to resolve this self-inflicted wound, they made Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens the fall guys.

Now the NFL isn't in the same situation as their counterpart league. But they aren't naïve to the fact that there may be evidence that players might be using substances to enhance their performance – especially those in which they can't monitor. And as everyone knows, the NFL is all about controlling as much as they can.

When the NFL and the NFLPA ended their labor stalemate last summer, each side made strong sacrifices. And it's clear to yours truly; the Owners won the last round of negotiations. But since that agreement, the relationship between the two parties has deteriorated to the point of mutual distrust.

So why did Hali actually get suspended on Monday? If my misguided theory is correct, it's to make a statement to the players that nothing will be tolerated and to clean up the missing links in the leagues drug policy.

So what does the NFL want? They want to ban HGH from the sport. Because, they fear that HGH, if not added to the list of banned substances, might be reliving what Baseball went through with their steroid scandal.

If administered properly, HGH has the ability to advance and aid the human body to heal itself at an alarming pace; one that could assist an NFL player in shortening his recovery time after an injury.

HGH isn't the Fountain of Youth. Instead, it's a shortcut so athletes can play through severe pain bypassing the inevitable breakdown of muscle mass, bone mass and mental fatigue that comes later. That means elongated careers in the present but ultimately HGH could shorten lives in the decades to come.

Now I'm not going to assume that the rumblings, that Hali either broke the law or was caught with a substance that NFL players might use for more pain control than for pleasure – to be factual.

But while we're on the topic, the presumed substance in question (medicinally prescribed of course that was referred to in an article at Pro Football Talk.com) is in fact legal in some states. So is the NFL making a calculated stand by signaling out the Chiefs All Pro linebacker for one reason and one reason only – to get the NFLPA back to the bargaining table to discuss HGH testing – it's possible.

But is it the right move?

Again in my hypothetical, yet entertaining article that is sure to garner the question of my own rationale, I need to be absolutely clear. I'm not saying that NFL players are injecting HGH. But since it's not a banned substance, thanks to the absolute refusal by the NFLPA to include it in the leagues drug policy, the NFL will never know for certain – because they can't test it in the bodies of their modern day gladiators.

So what does the NFL do when they don't get something they want? They find a crack in the armor and widen it until they ultimately win out. That's always been their mission statement. And it's never going to change.

So if my misguided theory is correct, the NFLPA needs to get the hint and find common ground at the bargaining table and allow for HGH testing.

If they don't, there is a moderate risk that someday the NFL could find one of their own iconic figures to become the sacrificial lamb of the sport.

Let's hope that doesn't happen because no sports fan wants to go through all that again.


WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Is the NFL really setting the stage to get HGH testing?


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