Great Moments in Drug Testing and Punishment: The NFL Edition

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This is a reminder that the NFL — a league that does not have HGH testing yet never ever gets slammed for its PED policies the way baseball does — just suspended a guy for a year for smoking weed.

And, while you may defend the glorious NFL here by saying “hey, rules are rules and Gordon broke them,” as Florio noted earlier this month, Gordon would likely not even be subject to a suspension if the NFL had actually gotten its HGH testing in place. Years after it said it wanted to. And of course, just because Gordon may have bad judgment does not make the NFL’s drug policies and discipline priorities any less dumb.

You may now return to obsessing over your fantasy team and talking about how baseball’s drug problems just ruin everything for you. Or, if you live in two of the 22 states in which the NFL operates that have legalized marijuana, you can go smoke a joint and no one will do anything to you.

 

Anthems, first pitches and other ceremonial stuff

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The World Series is not just about the baseball. It’s about the bigger-than-usual stars singing the National Anthem, the more-famous-than-usual people throwing out the first pitch and all of the assorted to-do which surrounds the ballgames. Here is that sort of stuff for Game 1 and Game 2 in Boston.

First pitches:

  • Carl Yastrzemski will throw out the ceremonial first pitch for Game 1. Yastrzemski also threw out the first pitch of Game 1 in 2004, 2007 and 2013. The Red Sox won each of those games and each of those World Series so, yeah, go with what works, right?
  • Members of the 2004 World Series Champions will throw the ceremonial first pitch of Game 2. It doesn’t say which members, so maybe my dream of Manny Ramirez doing it will work out after all. Hey, he played for the Dodgers too, so let’s make this happen, OK?

National Anthems:

  • Singer-songwriter James Taylor will perform the National Anthem prior to the start of Game 1. This morning Peter Gammons tweeted that Taylor’s family helped build Fenway Park. Let’s file that under “interesting, but not so interesting that it’s really worth tracking down to confirm, so why not believe it?” Sweet dreams and flying machines in pieces on the ground.
  • For Game 2 the National Anthem will be performed by the Boston Pops, with the Tanglewood Chorus and the Boston Symphony Children’s Chorus doing the singing. The Boston Pops are conducted by Keith Lockhart, who was a career .287/.354/.425 hitter in 37 postseason games with the Atlanta Braves. I mean, at least I’m pretty sure it’s the same Keith Lockhart. Again: not interesting enough to check so, like Gammons’ thing about James Taylor, let’s assume I’m right about this.

Play ball.