HGH In The NFL, Rampant Use Reported

No matter what you think about Peyton Manning—he used, he didn’t use, you don’t care either way—one thing is certain in the wake of Al Jazeera’s bombshell allegations: The NFL‘s drug-testing program continues to have a massive, gaping hole when it comes to HGH.

One veteran NFL player put it this way: “Steroids aren’t the problem. HGH is the big problem. For the past four or five years, the league has been almost overrun by HGH. … The new testing procedures aren’t catching anyone, because players know there is almost no way to get caught.”

Like the NFL’s marijuana policy, the player said, a player using HGH will only get caught “if the NFL gets really, really lucky, like win-the-Lotto-every-month lucky.”

Players Bleacher Report spoke to estimated that somewhere in the range of 10 to 40 percent of current players use HGH. Various former players have had similar and even higher estimates. Former quarterback Boomer Esiason once said 20 percent of the league used HGH. Former quarterback Brady Quinn estimated the number to be 40 to 50 percent on the Roughing the Passer podcast on CBS Sports.

This apparent rampant use of HGH over the past five years or more has created—as one player explained—a league of “superfreaks” who continue to run faster, jump higher and break records. Quinn said he believes this is behind the rash of injuries across the NFL this past season, and players interviewed by Bleacher Report had similar concerns: that the massive use of the drug, or others like it, will have long-term health ramifications. Their worries sound similar to the concerns expressed by some players in the 1980s and 1990s about concussions.

“The bodies of players are basically acting as chemistry sets,” one veteran said. “What’s going to happen to these guys five or 10 years from now?”

All of this may change next season, when the league goes to a different type of test. Then, the league’s policy could be much tougher. More on that in a moment.

For now, the league’s testing program has no teeth, and a half-dozen players interviewed for this story say the reason why comes down to one word: isoform.

The NFL and union agreed to HGH testing in 2011. Testing did not begin until October 2014. The NFL says there are about 40 random tests a week during the regular season, five random tests per team during the postseason and other players who are subject to testing because of cause. Violators of the HGH policy are subject to a four-game suspension.

Adolpho Birch, the NFL’s senior vice president for labor policy, was asked if an HGH user has been caught by the NFL’s testing.

Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

“Remember, despite our efforts, the union would not agree to publishing the substances: Suffice it to say that it is as low as can be,” Birch told Bleacher Report in an email. “But I keep trying to emphasize that doesn’t mean the test is inferior, or that it is not sufficiently deterring use.”

When Birch says “as low as can be,” he is saying no player has been caught yet.

An email to George Atallah, the union’s assistant executive director of external affairs, was not immediately returned.

Back to isoform: The problem, longtime anti-doping analyst Don Catlin told USA Today‘s Brent Schrotenboer in February, is that isoform testing only works if the player is tested within a few hours of using HGH. It “doesn’t catch many people at all,” he said. “It’s not a test that’s designed to really do that. It will catch you if you just used it a few hours ago, but if it’s a day or more, it’s not going to find you.”

In other words, using the isoform test is the equivalent of the police staking out a house days after it was burgled.

Players say the entire player base is aware of this and that that is why there’s no fear of the league’s HGH testing procedure.

One player remembers a team union player representative briefing the team after the league and players agreed to the testing procedures. The message of the team rep, this player said, was that there’s little chance any player would ever get caught under these rules.

But this is where things get interesting, because Birch said the league will soon use a different form of testing.

“We are currently using isoform,” he said, “but I expect that we will add biomarker in the offseason.”

As David Epstein wrote for SI.com’s MMQB in July, “The biomarker test does not pick up doping within the previous two days, but the detection window extends back beyond that for at least a week, so it has the potential to be much more effective than the isoform test.” That would dramatically increase the chances of a cheating player getting caught. This type of testing, like all testing, would have to be agreed upon by the union.

What exactly is HGH? It’s a hormone that increases strength and reduces fat. Yet the characteristic of HGH that is also of great interest to NFL players is it helps the body heal from injury faster.

One of the only times the NFL catches HGH cheats are in instances like the one that involved former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison, who admitted to law enforcement officials in 2007 that he used HGH. This admission led to a four-game suspension.

Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

“I used it. I never had an issue with my groin ever again,” Harrison, now an analyst, said on NBC this past week. “It wasn’t smart. I put a foreign substance in my body and I don’t know the long-term effects. I have a black cloud over my career. I played 15 years and that doesn’t feel good. That’s embarrassing. But also I look at the kids, my kids and the kids that look up to me, and now I have to tell them why I did it. Maybe I can use this opportunity to let them know it’s not worth it, point blank, period. It’s just not worth it.”

Apparently, though, it’s worth it to many players in the NFL. It seems clear that they’re using HGH, and for now, it seems clear that there’s little chance they’ll be caught doing it.

 

2015- A Year of Absurdities

Goodbye to 2015, a year of absurdity and overreach

E.B. White reportedly said “the most beautiful sound in America” is “the tinkle of ice at twilight.” In 2015’s twilight, fortify yourself with something 90 proof as you remember this year in which:We learned that a dismal threshold has been passed. The value of property that police departments seized through civil asset forfeiture — usually without accusing, let alone convicting, the property owners of a crime — exceeded the value of property stolen by nongovernment burglars.

The attorney general of New York, which reaps billions from gambling — casinos, off-track betting, the state lottery — moved to extinguish (competition from) fantasy football because it is gambling. Florida police raided a mahjong game played by four women aged between 87 and 95 because they allegedly were playing the game for money.

A Michigan woman was fingerprinted, had her mug shot taken and was jailed until released on bond because she was late in renewing the $10 license for her dog. New Jersey police arrested a 72-year-old retired teacher, chained his hands and feet to a bench and charged him with illegally carrying a firearm — a 300-year-old flintlock pistol (with no powder, flint or ball) he purchased from an antique dealer.

The University of Georgia said sexual consent must be “voluntary, sober, imaginative, enthusiastic, creative, wanted, informed, mutual, honest.” Imaginative consent? Connecting climate change to sex, the National Bureau of Economic Research warned that hot weather leads to diminished sexual activity.

Elsewhere in “settled science,” the government’s dietary rules were revised, somewhat rehabilitating red meat, sodium, eggs and other good stuff. Undaunted, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee produced a 571-page report calling for “bold action” and “dramatic paradigm shifts” until mother-hen government yet again says, “Well, never mind.”

Since federal food police dictated changes in school lunch programs, food tossed in the trash is up 56 percent, salt shakers are being smuggled into schools, and there are black markets in potato chips.

The Internal Revenue Service persecutes conservative advocacy groups but does not prosecute IRS employees who are tax cheats: An audit revealed that over the past decade, the IRS fired only 400 of the 1,580 employees who deliberately violated tax laws, rather than the 100 percent required by law.

New York’s City Council honored the “bravery” of Ethel Rosenberg, the executed traitor who spied for Stalin. Declaring her candidacy, Hillary Clinton said she will fight for, among many others, “truckers who drive for hours.” Yes, hours . Elsewhere, she rejected the presumption of innocence, a.k.a. due process: Those alleging sexual assault have “the right to be believed,” which she did not believe when her husband was the accused.

A 9-year-old Florida fourth-grader was threatened with sexual harassment charges if he continued to write love notes telling the apple of his eye that her eyes sparkle “like diamonds.”

A Texas 9-year-old was suspended for saying his magic ring could make people disappear. A young girl was sent home with a censorious note from her school because her Wonder Woman lunchbox violated the school ban on depictions of “violent characters.”

An Oregon eighth-grader, whose brother served in Iraq, was suspended for wearing a T-shirt that depicted an empty pair of boots representing soldiers killed in action. The school said the shirt was “not appropriate.”

A Tennessee boy was threatened with suspension from elementary school because he came to school with a military-style haircut like that of his stepbrother, a soldier. A government arbitrator prevented the firing of a New Jersey elementary school teacher who was late to school 111 times in two years.

A suburban Washington high school promoted self-esteem by naming 117 valedictorians out of a class of 457. Two Edina, Minn., elementary schools hired “recess consultants” to minimize “conflict” — children saying “Hey, you’re out!” rather than “Nice try!” The principal of a San Francisco middle school withheld the results of student elections that did not produce properly “diverse” results.

When some deep thinkers in academia decided that yoga, like ethnic food, constitutes “cultural appropriation,” a clear thinker wondered whether offended cultures would send back our polio vaccines. The American Council of Trustees and Alumni reported that 48 of the top 52 liberal arts colleges and universities do not require English majors to take a Shakespeare course.

This list of 2015 ludicrousness could be lengthened indefinitely, but enough already. The common thread is the collapse of judgment in, and the infantilization of society by, government. Happier New Year.

 

True Unemployment Numbers In One Graph

Obamanomics explained in one chart

You may be running into friends and realtives at holiday gatherings who claim that the 5% unemployment rate is one of Obama’s success stories, and a good reason to stick with the Democrats.  Writing in Conservative HQ, George Rasley highlights a chart produced by Benjamin Weingarten in Genfkd that sums up the uselessness of the U3 unemployment  rate statistic inevitably tossed out by the media to make the claim that the economy is recovering under Obama. Most AT readers are sophisticated and realize that the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ s U3 “unemployment rate” does not count discouraged workers who have given up the search for work. The BLS calls these people “marginally attached workers,” and the criteria for blasting them into invisibility in the U3 stats are pretty easy to meet:

Persons not in the labor force who want and are available for work, and who have looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months (or since the end of their last job if they held one within the past 12 months), but were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

But most of our friends and neighbors do not realize that the more realistic U6 rate, generally ignored by the media does count the “marginally attached workers” as unemployed, and it is nearly double the U3 rate (currently 9.9% versus 5%).

So how do we sum up all this complicated information in one chart?

Here it is. Show it to your friends who think Obama has been good for the economy:

Wells Fargo Ambush Marketing Against US Bank Stadium

  • Vikings accuse Wells Fargo of photo-bombing new stadium: The Minnesota Vikings are taking Wells Fargo to court, claiming the bank has begun constructing illuminated, mounted signs on its 17-story offices towers that will “photo bomb” the image of U.S. Bank Stadium in Downtown East, according to a Hennepin County District Court lawsuit.

Purdue Gets the Speech Issue Correct

American higher education is a house divided

image: http://www.jewishworldreview.com/images/george_will.jpg

George Will

By George Will

Mitch Daniels of Purdue

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels speaks about his new book 'Keeping the Republic' during a discussion at the American Enterprise Institute on September 26, 2011 in Washington, DC. Gov. Daniels talked about Indiana's former deficit, fiscal restraint, and promoted private sector employment.

Published Dec. 21, 2015

Although he is just 22, Andrew Zeller is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate in mathematics at Purdue University. He is one reason the school is a rare exception to the rule of unreason on U.S. campuses, where freedom of speech is under siege. He and Purdue are evidence that freedom of speech, by which truth is winnowed from error, is most reliably defended by those in whose intellectual pursuits the truth is most rigorously tested by reality.

While in high school in Bowling Green, Ohio, Zeller completed three years of college undergraduate courses. He arrived at Purdue when its incoming president, Indiana’s former governor Mitch Daniels, wanted the university to receive the top “green light” rating from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which combats campus restrictions on speech and rates institutions on their adherence to constitutional principles.

Zeller, president of Purdue’s graduate student government, and some undergraduate leaders urged Daniels to do what he was eager to do: Purdue has become the second university (after Princeton) to embrace the essence of the statement from the University of Chicago that affirms the principle that “education should not be intended to make people comfortable, it is meant to make them think.” The statement says “it is not the proper role of the university to attempt to shield individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable or even deeply offensive,” and it endorses “a solemn responsibility not only to promote a lively and fearless freedom of debate and deliberation, but also to protect that freedom when others attempt to restrict it.”

Why is Purdue one of just six universities that have now aligned with the spirit of the Chicago policy? Partly because of Daniels’s leadership. But also because Purdue, Indiana’s land-grant institution, is true to the 1862 Morrill Act’s emphasis on applied learning. It graduates more engineers than any U.S. university other than Georgia Tech. Purdue, tied with the University of California at Berkeley, awards more STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) undergraduate diplomas than all but two public research universities (Penn State and Texas A&M). Among such universities, a higher percentage of Purdue students graduate in STEM fields than those of any school other than Georgia Tech and the University of California at San Diego.

Scientists and engineers live lives governed by the reality principle: Get the variables wrong, the experiment will fail, even if this seems insensitive; do the math wrong, the equation will tell you, even if that hurts your feelings. Reality does not similarly regulate the production of Marxist interpretations of “Middlemarch” or turgid monographs on the false consciousness of Parisian street sweepers in 1714. Literature professors “deconstructing” Herman Melville cause nothing worse than excruciating boredom in their students. If engineers ignore reality, reality deconstructs their bridges.

The Yale instructor whose email about hypothetically insensitive Halloween costumes incited a mob has resigned her teaching position. She did so despite a letter of faculty support organized by a physicist and signed mostly by scientists, including social scientists, rather than humanities faculty.

Higher education is increasingly a house divided. In the sciences and even the humanities, actual scholars maintain the high standards of their noble calling. But in the humanities, especially, and elsewhere, faux scholars representing specious disciplines exploit academia as a jobs program for otherwise unemployable propagandists hostile to freedom of expression.

This is, however, a smattering of what counts as good news in today’s climate: For the first time in FIRE’s 16 years of monitoring academia’s authoritarianism, fewer than half (49.3 percent) of American universities still have what FIRE considers egregiously unconstitutional speech policies. Purdue is one of six universities that eliminated speech codes this year, and one of just 22 with FIRE’s “green light” rating. .

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will121915.php3#btuIVoMlrCv2d8Yc.99

Rest in Peace, John Beardmore

John R. Beardmore of Waukon, Iowa, was a friend of mine from time to time. He died sometime Sunday after he fell in his bathroom, fractured his skull on the toilet seat and bled to death on his couch. That’s what the death certificate will say. The real cause of death was his uncontrolled alcoholism as John was very drunk when he fell.

His life was the pursuit of the next big deal.  He was smart. I met him with Adam Oreck, who designed the ultimate shoe lacing system and who died in a car wreck only to have his system appear worldwide soon afterward.

Beardmore enjoyed success, he scored often twenty years ago as he was smart, but the money slipped away. He was charming and had wonderful  wives, but he was alone when he died. People say he was saying that he was on the verge of the big deal that would make everyone whole. That was last week; the demons won last Sunday. He was like Jay Gatsby, flamboyant, always one deal away from success and even had secret allies in Chicago. Like Gatsby “he believed in the green light, that orgiastic future that year by year recedes in front of us.” Like Gatsby, that future eluded John and now he is gone.

John tried to stop drinking, but never tried to get sober, and there is a huge difference. Get sober or lose, the booze wins every time.