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Steroids, the NFL, and the ostriches in the media

In the wake of Shawne Merriman's suspension, there were a couple of items today that I thought were pretty funny.

First, we have this idiocy from Peter King:

I think Shawne Merriman must be an idiot to think you can use performance-enhancing stuff and get away with it -- surely some NFL players do, but it's Russian roulette, and you're not protected just because you're Shawne Merriman.

King is interesting and entertaining at times, but I also find him to be something of an NFL shill from time to time, and this is the perfect example. To say that Merriman must be an idiot to think he can use PEDs in the NFL and get away with it is...well, idiotic. Why shouldn't he think that? Is King really taking the position that the use of PEDs is not widespread in the NFL, that those who use are the exceptions, are few and far between?

I'm not sure if King is simply being naive, if he's drinking the NFL Kool-Aid, or what...but his statement is foolishness.

And then we have this, from Jennifer Floyd Engel:

4. Finally, an answer for everybody who e-mails saying that the Cowboys screwed up by taking DeMarcus Ware rather than Shawne Merriman and that I am an idiot for disagreeing.

Ware is not on steroids.

ESPN reported Sunday that the Chargers linebacker, who was taken one pick after Ware last year, will be suspended four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Ware hasn't been as good as Merriman since the two came the league, but he is clean.

I don't normally comment on Engel, simply because I don't know that most of what she says is intended to be taken seriously as sports commentary...her focus seems to be schtick, rather than substance.

And yet...she can say definitively that Ware is clean?

I don't know if he is or not. Obviously, he hasn't tested dirty. But does that mean, without any doubt, he's not on steroids, as Engel asserts?

Barry Bonds, after all, has never tested dirty, as far as we know. Neither has Mark McGwire, or Jason Giambi. Neither have a bunch of other guys who are widely suspected to use, or to have used. So can anyone definitively say that any player in baseball -- or in the NFL -- doesn't use?

Here's the thing...the chest-thumpers out there have screamed at Selig & Co. for ignoring the issue of PEDs in baseball, and have blasted the media for looking the other way for years. To this day, baseball is considered to be "dirty," while the NFL somehow skates, is perceived as clean.

But does that make sense? Can any rational person really sit here and believe that the use of PEDs is more widespread and pervasive in baseball than in the NFL?

And if the use of PEDs in the NFL is common, don't comments like King's -- comments implying that the NFL in general is clean, that those who use are a small handful of renegades -- just serve to enable the steroid culture?

And finally, once again, I have to wonder...why does MLB take a beating over this issue, while the NFL gets a pass?