Shutdown Corner - NFL

Arguing over who gets the bigger cut of $9 billion has already proved to be too much for the owners and players to handle. Adding another, more complicated negotiating point to the process seems like a terrible, terrible idea if you'd like to see professional football in 2010.

It seems that's going to happen, though. Tell us about it, Alex Marvez:

As first reported by, the NFL is insisting upon HGH testing as part of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with its players. The NFLPA hasn't taken a definitive stance on HGH testing other than saying it was subject to negotiation as part of a new CBA.

Now, I know a lot of you are concerned about cheating in sports, but this one's not as simple as, "Hey, let's find the cheaters and get them out of our noble game, because we believe in fairness and justice!"

Ask yourself this: If you were applying for a job, how would you feel if your employer asked for a few vials of your blood first?

There's a lot more you can find out from a fellow's blood than just whether or not he's sucking down HGH lollipops. Is it also alright for the NFL to check your cholesterol? Can they check for STDs? Can they see what other legal, necessary prescriptions you're on? Can they check other genetic factors they might feel will shorten a guy's career or long-term effectiveness?

And if you were a player, would you trust the NFL to do the right thing with your blood? It's not like the league has a long history of proving that they'll always do the right thing by players.

Are we even sure that we're philosophically opposed to HGH use? I'm opposed to cheating, and I'm all about a level playing field. In this particular case, though, where we're talking about a profession that brings total destruction to the body over time, and if HGH can help a man heal faster or keep him walking in his 50s, shouldn't we at least consider that maybe it's worth the trade-off?

It's a complicated issue, and not likely one that would find a quick and easy resolution. That's not good news for the return of football in the immediate future?

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