Attention PGA Tour players: While watching Super Bowl, give thanks to NFL for drug testing
While PGA Tour golfers are enjoying Sunday’s Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and New York Giants, here’s hoping they take a moment to give thanks to the NFL for helping to lead them into an era where drug-testing is necessary even in golf.
Because this just in: PGA Tour players are pro-drug testing but horrified of the notion of peeing in a cup.
According to the Associated Press: “Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger was indignant over having a ‘collector’ accompany him into the restroom to watch him drop his pants and lift his shirt to make sure he didn’t have a urine sample taped to his side.”
In other world news, people in Haiti have no food and are eating dirt to survive. So quick, someone call the wahhmbulance for Paul.
Obviously, the PGA Tour has some work to do to get its performance-enhancing drug policy in order. Using a Vicks Inhaler occasionally shouldn’t be considered some type of violation. But provided Tim Finchem and crew are transparent with the rules for the drug testing, so be it. Because drug testing is part of the game now, and should be part of all games with the stature and payouts of golf.
While Finchem says that the testing seems counterintuitive to golf, so does corporate sponsorship and million-dollar payouts, yet somehow golf managed to accept that quite easily. Didn’t Byron Nelson make about $18,000 for winning everything he could get his hands on in 1943?
But while opponents of drug testing in golf do on occasion raise valid points (along with a slew of ridiculous ones), the fact is, if you can work out more and recover more quickly - as performance-enhancing drugs will allow - you gain an unfair advantage.
As Geoff Shackelford wrote: “For the millionth time guys, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t tell us you’re better athletes and working out to hit it longer and then claim performance enhancing drugs are out of the question.”
It’s hard to feel sorry for the PGA Tour’s finest when it comes to drug testing, but it is understandable that there will be some resentment - after all, no golfer of note has ever been caught cheating, or even accused of it, aside from Gary Player’s anonymous friends last year.
But they, and all of American sports, can thank the NFL for guiding them into this chaotic age when doping means something much different than getting whacked out on the goofballs. Remember when having a 300-pound lineman on a team meant that he was a freak of nature and probably not any good. Well, nowadays, offensive lines and defensive lines average more than 300 pounds a player. And I just checked Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” and it doesn’t appear that humans are able to evolve quite that quickly.
Basically, the NFL has been, and continues to be an embarrassment when it comes to drug testing its players, helping to lead the problem of steroid abuse to other sports.
If Tim Finchem wants a legacy that’s more than the insipid FedEx Cup, then he’ll be wise to create the gold standard for drug testing in golf. It will take some time, and there will be false steps, but in the end, a performance-enhancing drug policy that both players and fans will respect will lead the PGA and other golf tours the complete opposite direction from the NFL, where fans - rightly or wrongly - have just come to accept that a majority of players are juiced.
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half-jest last year about only testing Woods".
"If he's clean, what does it matter what the
rest of them are on?"
I know. I loved that line from O'Grady, also. It's a classic.
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