NFL Drug Problems

Baseball and Football are currently sharing the honors of being the two professional sports with more drug-related problems in America.

 

The MLB just had its dose of the “Mitchell Report”, and now is the turn for the San Diego Union tribune to come up with a similar report, but this time showing the names of NFL football players that have had drug issues on the past.

 

The list includes names 185 names dating to 1962 and 85 since 1993. And among those names are listed 52 former pro-bowlers and four hall of famers.

 

The sports players report relies on media reports, public records, interviews and different archives, and it involves only drugs that are now classified as “performance-enhancing or steroids and related substances” not alcohol, marijuana or cocaine.

 

One of the most sounded cases is the one from OT Korey Stringer, whom died of a heatstroke in 2001 while practicing at Vikings training camp. His death is related to a drug called ephedra.

 

The World Anti-Doping Agency or WADA is struggling with the NFL so they add more names to their list of only 10 banned stimulants, while at the WADA’s list there are 50 listed.

 

Until now, the war against drugs at the NFL is a passive one, as a proof, we have the cases of Shawne Merriman of the Chargers and Rodney Harrison of the Patriots, who were suspended for steroids but were allowed to be voted for the Pro-Bowl.

 

Gary Wadler, who serves as Chair of the organization’s prohibited list and methods committee, said that the NFL is probably scared that if a deeper investigation takes place, Football superstars might suffer suspensions ranging from 2 to 4 years.

 

If there is a moment to take this drug-issue at the NFL seriously is now. A time when finally a group of reporters decided to follow the steps of US Senator George E. Mitchell and brought to light a problem that can be correct with proper testing… not by the NFL but by the WADA.

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Lane Kiffin out of the Raiders

Lane Kiffin has now earned the title of former pro football head coach of the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League (NFL). He was hired by Raiders‘ owner Al on January 23, 2007, making history by being the youngest head coach in the Raiders staff, and the youngest head coach since the formation of the modern NFL. Later that year, On August 12, 2007, in his NFL head coaching debut, Kiffin and the Raiders won their NFL preseason opener 27-23 over the Arizona Cardinals.

Problems apparently started since the beginning of 2008, when it was reported that Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis drafted a letter of resignation for Kiffin to sign after his first season with a record of 4-12. Kiffin said he was not going to sign the letter because it would cause him to forfeit his salaries for the remainder of his contract (2 years remaining at $2 million per year on his contract). The Raiders denied the story.

There were many rumors in the past few months and then on September 15, 2008 NBC Sports reported Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis was unhappy with the head coach; Lane Kiffin was officially fired on September 30th, 2008.

Lane Kiffin was preciously an offensive coordinator for the USC Trojans and football flows through his veins given that he is the son of veteran college and NFL coach Monte Kiffin, who currently serves as defensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The future is not certain for the young head coach Kiffin right now since the Oakland Raiders said the move was made for cause, meaning they will avoid paying Lane Kiffin for the remainder of his NFL contract. He signed a two-year deal worth about $4 million with a team option for 2009 when he took over last year.

 

What’s there after the NFL?

The NFL is exciting and living under the spotlight of the pro football games provides certain status and life style to the players not easily compared to a regular way of living: hard trainings, traveling from state to state for the NFL games, money and luxury that are hardly enjoyed because of the hard work. NFL players are willing to live this life to achieve their goals, break records and be part of the NFL history. Is it really worth it? According to some experts, just the fact that most of these men will be thrust into the so-called real world with few marketable skills to increase their wealth some sort of cultural shock is bound to take place in some cases.

The NFL is part of the American traditions, part of our homes, families and memories, yet the main characters of all those memories will vanish from our minds as soon as they leave the NFL career that gave them so much. Apparently, 78% of all NFL players are divorced, bankrupt or unemployed two years after leaving the National Football League.

As a former NFL player and 12-year veteran with the Green Bay Packers himself Ken Ruettgers found a way to help athletes overcome this transition as the executive director of www.gamesover.org. Games Over is a Non-profit organization that helps professional athletes address the transition from professional sports to other careers. Ruttgers explains that the most common losses after retiring any professional sports career (not only the NFL) will include:

  • Loss of celebrity status.

  • Instant name recognition vanishes.

  • Income is slashed.

  • Such perks as free meals and support staff end.

  • Self-doubt, fear and a lack of direction.

As corny as it may sound, this transition is not easy. As an NFL player you are waited on, served, assisted and usually it is very hard to be alone or even have a chance to feel alone, after a professional career in sports ends, all the attention ends with it. People are not aware that 50% of NFL players only have careers of a little more than three years, meaning that an average of about 320 veteran players lose their job each year. What are the odds? NFL stars, record breakers and idols can be really retiree material at the age of 35 years old?

Monday Night Football Betting

 

 

Monday Night football kicks off today after much anticipation from its’ fans. NFL sports betting aficionados will start the week with a great game to look forward to: The main course will consist of Green Bay Packers against the Vikings and for desert we’ll have Raiders vs. Broncos. What will it be like for the Packers during this first Monday Night Football game without Favre? We’re all about to find out tonight. The Packers are scheduled for 3 games on the Monday Night Football spot for this 2008-2009 NFL football season.

Although in my personal opinion Monday Night Football will never be the same without John Madden and Al Michaels, I still can’t wait for this years Monday Night football opening game in  prime-time network television.. Tonight Oakland should be ready to step it up for their eternal rivals: the Denver Broncos. The Green Bay Packers on the other hand count fully on quarterback Aaron Rodgers –their substitute for good ole’ Favre– but I’m not sold on Rodgers just yet. Ok I’ll admit he did alright on the preseason but c’mon this guy has only done 1 touchdown in his entire NFL professional career. All I know is he has got some big shoes to fill and the pressure is on among both NFC North teams. The defense will be in charge of making sure the Packers survive this one victoriously however, we have to think of other factors like the weather –chances of rain tonight-  the Minnesota Vikings running game and even the tampering charges against them may play a role in tonight’s’ opening match up.

Now I did say there were two games this Monday Night Football correct? Well here’s what I think of the 2nd game for the night: Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos:

This has always been one of the most interesting rivalries in the NFL. Both AFC West teams have their strengths well defined: The Raiders will rely heavily on their defense and we’ll get to see the debut of rookie Darren McFadden. The Denver Broncos will need to show a revitalized, more solid offense to put on a decent fight. Overall both teams have a history of playing each other tough. This game (I’m crossing fingers) won’t be any different.

For those looking for free Monday Night Football picks I’m going to say that for the first Monday Night Football game this season the Packers won’t be celebrating much as the Vikings are going to leave the field as winners. On the Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos I’m going to go with the Broncos.

What are your picks on both games? 

 

NFL problems: Jaguars’ Jones Cocaine Scandal

 

By last August 5th 2008. Jacksonville Jaguars’ wide receiver Matt Jones was having the best training camp of his NFL career since he was chosen in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft as the 21st player chosen overall., according to the Florida Times-Union; in spite of his recent arrest on July 10th, when he was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance. After the arrest Jones’ father made a public statement: “We want to make it clear that Matt was not in possession of any drugs, but that there were drugs in the vehicle and were located in the closest proximity to Matt”. Matt Jones did acknowledge to the authorities that the substance found was cocaine.

 

There have been many issues with the law through out NFL history where many players have been charged and some convicted with drug possession. In this case, the NFL receiver Matt Jones pleaded not guilty on Monday to possession of cocaine, a charge that carries up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

 

Besides his charges, Jones has had issues with his team and fans have criticized him for not living up to his potential, about this issue, Jones claims injury trouble that has kept him from being at his best the past two years playing for the NFL. According to some reports, before training camp Jones was working out at Greensboro, N.C., run by former NFL receiver Ricky Proehl, where he worked on routes.

 

At this moment his NFL career with the Jaguars seems to be fine. Matt Jones is right now free on a $2,500 bond and faces an October 10th trial date. After the incident, Matt Jones did apologize to Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver, to Del Rio and to his team mates. Jones made a name for himself at the NFL Combine, measuring a height of 6’6″ and weighing 242 pounds and putting up scores during the tests that showed speed and explosive ability not been seen before in a player of his size.


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Top Three Largest NFL Stadiums. NFL records on stadium capacity. Largest NFL stadiums.

Top Three Largest NFL Stadiums

 

It is well known that given the perceived advantage an NFL team gets when playing in their home stadium, particular attention is given to the details of each stadium’s environment. It is quite interesting when an NFL game is played in one of the largest stadiums in America since not only the capacity of the stadium gets involved but many other factors such as noise, surface and home team advantages. These are the top three largest NFL stadiums:

 

1. The FedExField Stadium in Landover, Maryland is the home of the Washington Redskins it is in fact, the largest stadium in the National Football League (NFL). The capacity of this structure is 91665 NFL fans and it was open in 1997 under the name of Jack Kent Cooke Stadium, in memory of the recently deceased Redskins owner.

 

2. The next impressive NFL building is located in New York and it is the Jets and Giants teams of the NFL: frequently referred to as The Meadowlands, it is in fact known as the Giants Stadium. It can hold a total of 80242 fans it also used by the Red Bulls soccer team. After opening its gates for the first time in 1976, the Giants Stadium will be closed and demolished in 2010 when the new Meadowlands Stadium opens.

 

3. Last but definitely not least, is the Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. It is part of the Truman Sports Complex and the Kansas City Chiefs fans usually refer to it as The Red Sea. It has a 79451 sitting capacity and The Chiefs have a 104-40 home record at Arrowhead Stadium since 1990, the best in the NFL.

 

NFL records will mention this huge NFL homes impressive and modern structures, yet the fans will always see them as shelter for their idols.


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Some Fun Facts about the NFL

Expecting the NFL season? Right now most of the NFL fans are excited waiting for the 2008 football season to start, looking forward to see their favorite NFL teams perform and NFL gambling fans are already doing research to bet on the best football picks they can get for this 2008 NFL season. 

 

As part of the NFL fever, I have come up with some interesting facts about the NFL for all you fans everywhere to pass the time. Most of these facts were taken from very well known compilations of the National Football League so I hope you enjoy them:

 

  • In 1972, long before he became a TV personality, Ahmad Rashad, the award-winning sportscaster, was chosen fourth overall pick on the 1972 NFL Draft. He was born Robert Earl Moore, but converted to Islamism and changed his name.
  • 1989 Of the top five picks of the NFL, only No. 2 Tony Mandarich did not develop into a Pro Bowl caliber player. He was known to have attitude problems and after only three seasons of a less than brilliant performance on a four-year contract, Mandarich was cut by the Green Bay Packers.
  • In 1998 a future war hero named Pat Tillman was selected with the 226th overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals. He was killed in action in Afghanistan by friendly fire.
  • On the 2000 NFL draft, the Jets set the record for the most first-round draft picks of all time with four selections.
  • There was only one draft in the NFL history to contain 8 rounds: the 1993 NFL draft.
  • The most touchdowns scored during an NFL season by a team were the 1984 Miami Dolphins with 70 TD.

 

And as a sad fact:

 

  • The 2001 Carolina Panthers lost 15 games in a row, which are the most consecutive games a NFL team has ever dropped in a single season.

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