BY JOHN McALEAVEY | In this week’s My 2 Sense Blog, frequent guest contributor to More Sports Now, Sal Marinello, throws in his 2 Sense on the Peyton Manning “HGH Scandal”. Sal is a USA Weightlifting Certified Coach and President of Athletic Development Coaching in Millburn, New Jersey.
In the year 2016 we need to stop moralizing about professional athletes, NFL players in particular, using Human Growth Hormone and/or other high-level performance enhancing drugs. Just like with last year’s Deflategate “Scandal,” the response to the allegations to the ‘Peyton May Have Used HGH Scandal’ should be, “So what if he did?”
And let’s make it crystal clear that I am not saying that Peyton Manning took HGH to heal from his multiple neck surgeries. What I am saying is that if he did, so what? I also want to make it clear that I am not a Peyton Partisan.
The discussion needs to get away from the ‘Good’ versus ‘Bad’ nonsense that has framed this debate since the debate began.
If Peyton, or any other NFL player, uses HGH the risks are far less than the risks they face from doing something as simple as stepping on the field for a single play. A player on the Kickoff Team in the Super Bowl is in more immediate and long-term danger from what can happen during that one play than from using HGH.
If Peyton Manning took HGH to help him heal from multiple major neck surgeries, the dangers he faces from the Carolina Panthers’ defense is what poses a dire threat to him, not the HGH. And what if Peyton, or for that matter any other NFL player, knows that opposing players are using HGH; can they be blamed if they choose to use HGH as a matter of self-preservation?
The arguments that HGH is dangerous are not based in fact, but on hyperbole and anecdotal horror stories, which may be true but have nothing in common with reality. The known side effects of HGH are relatively minor and pale in comparison to some of the currently available prescription drugs that we will probably see advertised during the Super Bowl.
HGH is used to treat children, so how dangerous can it be? Synthetic HGH has been used to treat 2 generations of children suffering from short stature and other related conditions, and yet there is no indication that HGH therapy has led to these children developing cancer or leukemia. HGH is also used to treat muscle wasting conditions. How toxic can HGH be if is used to help people who are in a terribly fragile state?
The HGH horror stories are borne from those who have abused the hormone, taking massive doses and/or ‘stacking’ HGH with anabolic steroids, also in massive quantities. And while HGH is obviously a hormone, and therefore something not to be trifled with, another hormone called Insulin has helped keep people healthy and deal with the deadly disease called Diabetes.
The public wants to see their stars play and in the NFL they also want to see gigantic, powerful and explosive men run into each other at speeds mere mortals can only dream about attaining. Every play. We can never go back to the days of 250 pound linemen blocking for 190 pound running backs. Who the hell wants to watch that?
Fans want their legendary idols to be immortal, play forever, come back from every kind of severe injury. Surgery, Physical Therapy, ice and a whirlpool bath can only do so much…
Honestly, what’s better for ratings, Peyton Manning going for a Super Bowl win in possibly his last game or Brock Osweiler trying to keep the Broncos from losing their sixth Super Bowl?
So when it comes to the Peyton Manning/HGH story don’t get caught up in the hype and the Straw Man arguments that you’ll hear all week. Whether or not Peyton Manning used HGH, the response should be, “Who cares if he did?”