Roids: Do My Eyes Deceive Me?

On Outside The Lines Sunday, ESPN released the results of public opinion poll and the verdict is in: more baseball players are on steroids than pro football players.

Respondents by a nearly three to one count believe that Major League Baseball (61%) players outperform their NFL counterparts (22%) when it comes to using performance-enhancing drugs.

Huh? As Pete Townshend, in A Quick One While He’s Away, asked: “Do my eyes deceive me?”

This is not an attempt to project a percentage of juiced MLBers as the Seton Hall Sports Poll, which queried 500 “people who follow sports,” did: 25.8% of respondents think at least 51% of baseball players use PEDs.

But if that’s the count, then half the behemoths in the NFL are performing performance-enhancing-drug-free?

Why, because it’s not as easy to see behind the helmet and shoulder pads, as when a bloated Barry Bonds or a stoked Sammy Sosa stepped into the batter’s box? Or was Alex Rodriguez’s bulk merely the natural reflection of maturation?

Will ARoid, in an attempt to rebuild his image, say — with the blessing of his doctors and the New York Yankees spin doctors — that the cyst, torn labrum in his hip, which is going to require surgery, was a bad, bad outcome from his and cousin Yuri’s dalliance with PEDs back when the two yutes were in Tejas from 2001-03.

Rodriguez seemed to be doing just fine with the Bronx Bombers this spring and the Dominican Republic World Baseball Classic workouts before the hip began hurting, and the Yankees said he could try to play through pain… and that they were aware of the situation 10 months ago from an MRI… but unconcerned about how it might impact their $275 million asset…

But I digress.

Sure, it’s reasonable to think — as 53.2% of Seton Hall poll players indicated — that PEDs caused more HRs to fly widely over the past 15 years.

But there aren’t more NFLers on PEDs than MLBers?

Break out your TiVo and check out some of last year’s games if you need a reminder.

Did the 340-pound nose tackles and 360-pound offensive linemen just get that way from spending too much time pumping weights after closing all-you-can-eat night at IHOP?

The NFL is also place where 250-pound linebackers run sub 5-second 40s. Most guys 250 pounds couldn’t clock a 8.0 in the 40, even if there was a coupon waiting at the tape to waive “the around 10 bucks” fee at the Golden Corral buffet.

As for the brutal nature of the game and the rage and domestic incidents that seem to follow too many NFLers home…

No doubt, pro football is a physically demanding sport, as the ripped bodies and ripped knees and biceps  remind every season. To build their physiques to handle the rigors of their sport’s violent collisions, the players’ workout regimens are extraordinary.

I’m just amazed that more people don’t think that a good number of them probably received a little help along the way.