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NFL Need for Speed – The Problem is Real

Now if I am told to bake up a story that’s main ingredients are a gym, an NFL player looking for work, “shrooms” taken before the workout to enhance the effort and a quote by a suspect given to officers who arrive on the scene of:  “I’m running NSA class level 3 documents through my phone. I can’t have anybody in bluetooth capability of me or taking pictures of me.” you’re going to immediately think of former Dolphins, Bills offensive lineman Richie Incognito as the star of the piece. I know I did.

You can’t make this stuff up.

To wit (according to CBS Sports):

The police received a 911 call:

“The gentleman threw a … chucked a tennis ball at me for no reason. Then he started throwing s— at me,” the man said. “Then he tried to mow me over with a sled. And he just started yelling at me like he was going to kick my ass. And he started beating the s— out of the equipment over there” – 911 call reporting alleged actions of Richie Cognigo

Jumping to the short (paraphrased) version, the cops show up, Cognito informs them he’s an NSA agent and stuff is going down. He also lets them know he has ingested a supplement called “Shroom Tech” before his workout. The police determine Incognito was in an “altered, paranoid state” (really??) and detain him for observation at the local Bellvue.

Incognito is 34 years old. He recently retired, un-retired, was released from the Bills and was, according to his most recent Tweets, looking for work. He was looking for an edge.

Did Richie’s quest for speed, strength, quickness, “improved reaction time” and the fountain of youth lead him to a psychic state that is most often seen nowadays by those experimenting with alt-synthetics that mimic the effects of popular recreational drugs but are made in labs versus grown. These scientific (Breaking Bad) efforts are also leading the way in Performance Enhancing Drugs in order to get around testing.

This isn’t about liking, disliking or condemning Richie Incognito. He got plenty of that after his Dolphin’s bullying fiasco. Rather Incognito is the imperfect foil to demonstrate the NFL has a real problem with PED’s that go beyond what testing can effect. You take billionaire owners hiring uber-competitive world athletes who are managed by savvy, sharp-eyed agents and liberally sprinkle money everywhere you are going to get people who will push the line of what is allowed. Then they are going to cross it. This approach is even admired in the NFL where the cliche “if you aren’t cheating, you aren’t trying” has been around for a very long time. You push the line, and sometimes you cross it, no matter if you are Bill Belichick trying for ultimate immortality or Richie Incognito looking for one more day in the sun.

The NFL has a huge PED problem. After the fact testing isn’t going to solve it. Ignoring it won’t either.

What say you Sports Nation?

Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over

Steven Van Over

Steven Van Over

Senior Analyst, Editor, Photographer, Podcaster at SportsTalkLine
Senior Analyst, Editor, Podcaster & Photographer for @SportsTalkLine Network. Started covering the Cowboys on CowboysNation.com. Moved to the same gig here and now head the NFL desk. Catch me on Twitter @StevenVanOver
Steven Van Over
Steven Van Over