The most common phrase from players during the NFL lock out to the media is “we know as much as you guys do.” Based on that statement, “we” the fans have no idea when the lock out is going to end, which means either do the players. If the players do not know when the lock out ends and it ends suddenly that could potentially be hazardous to some star players in the league.
The NFL has not conducted a drug test since the lock out began this past March. The 1,700 players are well aware there is no drug testing. Odds are out of the 1,700 players in the NFL, some of them are taking advantage of it.
Steroids of course are a threat, but let’s not forget the use of Marijuana. A positive Marijuana test results in a 4 game suspension. Due to the lock out there are 1,700 well paid athletes predominantly between the ages of 21-35 with nothing to do. No one can blame them, but the 1,700 locked out NFL players are probably doing a little extra partying this off season compared to years past.
Fan message boards around the league are filled with rumors and alleged sightings of players partying and partaking in “illegal things”. Obviously they are just message boards and as a reader you take what you read on them with a grain of salt, but it is a scary thought to lose a player to a four game suspension in a possible shortened NFL season.
As a fan you hope the players on your team are smart enough to know one wild night in Atlantic City isn’t worth missing out on four Sundays of football. There is speculation that a one month warning period will be put in place after the lock out for drug testing, but again as a fan you hope the players are smart enough not to risk one crazy night and hope the speculation comes true.
A positive drug test to a key member of a franchise would be a huge distraction in any season, but in a season where training camp and the pre season is expected to be crammed into a week or two weeks it is magnified. Money appears to be the only thing on the players and owners minds at the moment. It is the owners job to worry about money.
The player has the right to worry about money, but the player is also responsible for taking care of himself, and doing what’s best for his team. As a fan you must HOPE the players on your team are smart enough to see the big picture, realize there will be football at some point and stay away from performance enhancing and party enhancing drugs.