Two steroid-related news items showed up this week, which makes it kind of a down week. One of them is highly publicized and will continue to be. The other one hasn't received much attention at all, and probably won't.
Greg Anderson, Barry Bonds' trainer, is on his way back to prison after refusing, once again, to answer questions before a grand jury. You've got to figure his loyalty to Bonds is tied to a huge offshore bank account and a home in Tahiti. Regardless, you've probably already seen a lot of this story, with Anderson's big head all over the prints and the tube for at least a few days to come.
In the other story, the Charlotte Observer did a bang-up job reporting the federal steroid case against the Carolina Panthers.
Consider some of the stuff they uncovered: Three of the Panthers' starting offensive linemen from the 2004 Super Bowl team had what amounts to perpetual prescriptions for steroids. According to the Observer, less than a week before the team left Charlotte for the Super Bowl, two of them -- starting tackle Todd Steussie and practice-squad lineman Louis Williams -- were given prescriptions for five different banned substances.
The players were routinely given prescriptions for testosterone that could be refilled five times. Steussie and starting guard Kevin Donnalley received three of those for a cream, effectively allowing them 18 courses of the drug.
There are all kinds of creepy details in the story -- hair falling out, boob growth, testicle shrinkage. There's HGH and DHEA and all the other acronyms of bloat and cheat. There's even a 'roid-ridden punter.
This is wild -- guys are presumably shooting up in the week leading up to the Super Bowl, yet the NFL still gets away with saying it has the most comprehensive, foolproof testing system in sports.
It seems the outrage is reserved solely for baseball. When they pull this kind of news out of a football locker room it barely elicits a shrug. Why is that? Is it because there are no records in danger of being broken by an offensive lineman?
Or is it because we expect it from football players, and our lack of response is merely a reflection of our lack of surprise?
This Week's List
• At first I thought it must be one of those sign-the-guy-for-a-day-and-let-him-retire-a-hero deals, but then I remembered who it was: Jeff George, signed by the Raiders.
• And once I remembered it was George, there was only one logical response: Wasn't this idea bad enough the first time around?
• The only quarterback idea that might be worse than signing Jeff George to be your third-stringer: Starting Brett Favre.
• An even worse idea: Starting Brett Favre behind two rookie guards.
• Why the A's have a chance despite their relative lack of offense: They make starting pitchers throw so many pitches it's a huge upset whenever someone lasts into the seventh against them.
• Just don't ask him, "How was your weekend?": A-Rod, 1-for-15 with 10 K's against the Angels.
• Injuries that defy the MRI: Terrell Owens and Manny Ramirez.