Skip to content

ESPN GOES FISHING FOR CHEATERS, AGAIN

It’s January, so that means it’s time for ESPN to generate controversy by suggesting that a recent Super Bowl champion that just so happens to be competing for another berth in the Super Bowl has obtained its success through cheating.
Last year, Mike Fish of ESPN.com burst onto the scene on the Friday before the Super Bowl, the same day that former Pats video employee Matt Walsh finally went on the record with the New York Times after being chased by Fish and others for months. 
The feeding frenzy fueled by Fish likely prompted the Boston Herald to report the next morning that the Patriots had videotaped a Rams practice prior to the Pats first Super Bowl win six years earlier.
Though ESPN didn’t have ultimate ownership of the ultimately disgraced story, Fish and others at ESPN.com were squarely in the middle of a string of reports that strongly implied Walsh knew something big about the Patriots and allegations of past cheating.
In the end, the Herald admitted its error and apologized.  ESPN never did.
This time, Fish and his editors decided to plop onto the national sports consciousness less than three days before the AFC title game another lengthy-to-the-point-of-unreadable article suggesting that the Pittsburgh Steelers were giving their players HGH.
Of course, Fish never says that the Steelers were giving their players HGH.  But the article oozes with the implication that Dr. Richard Rydze was purchasing large amounts of HGH not for his non-football-playing patients.
It is expertly written, in our opinion, to point the reader to the conclusion that Fish wants the reader to make but doesn’t have the evidence to support — that Fish thinks Rydze was buying HGH and giving it to Steelers players.  And the paragraph after paragraph of plodding prose will make most readers at some point abandon ship, after concluding that there must be evidence somewhere in the story linking the Steelers to HGH.
The basic facts are simple.  Reports surfaced in February 2007 that Rydze had used his own credit card to buy $150,000 in HGH in 2006.  There was and still is no evidence that Rydze had distributed the substances to Steelers players.  Four months later, the Steelers severed ties with Rydze.
Fish abandons all common sense when addressing the reasons for the move. 
“So why . . . did Rydze leave the Steelers so willingly?” Fish asked former Steelers player (who played for the Steelers long before any of these issues came to light) and current ESPN talking head Merril Hoge.  “Why didn’t he put up a fight to save his association with the team?”
Um, maybe Rydze left because he knew that the team could no longer afford to be associated with a physician who had purchased HGH in any amounts, since it could cause people to conclude that the team endorsed his conduct.  And maybe Rydze realized that the Steelers really had no choice, given that HGH is a substance that the NFL has banned.
The entire goal of this piece, in our opinion, is to take facts that had been already reported long ago — that a Steelers physician had purchased $150,000 worth of HGH with his own credit card — and to then fill in details that aren’t all that surprising or groundbreaking as part of a lengthy analysis aimed at communicating to the casusal reader inclined to dislike the Steelers that the Steelers are cheaters.
And, of course, to divert some of the national attention that the Steelers are enjoying to ESPN.
It’s the same formula that Fish and ESPN used last year regarding the Patriots, and that the network employed during the 2008 season, as the Cowboys were imploding.
Here’s our question for Fish and the editors at ESPN.com:  Why now?  Why on January 15, three days before the AFC championship game?  Was the story not ready before today?  Or was it specifically held to have maximum effect?
Did ESPN consider holding the story until the Thursday or Friday before the Super Bowl, and did ESPN decide that there’s a good chance that the Ravens will win on Sunday, making the story of possible HGH use by Steelers players far less intriguing?
Have we mentioned that there’s a need for a full-time, real-time ESPN ombudsman

Like the Spygate frenzy of late 2007, ESPN’s look at HGH and the Steelers ignores the fact that, even if Steelers players were getting HGH from Dr. Rydze, plenty of other NFL players with other NFL teams have used it.
Fish fails to mention, for example, that the NFL doesn’t test for HGH, which means that players can use it with impunity, as long as there’s no paper trail as to how they got it.  (Rodney Harrison and Wade Wilson learned this lesson the hard way.)
Fish also offers no background regarding the prevalence of HGH.  In September 2006, Redskins tackle Jon Jansen said that HGH use “is on the rise” and that 15 to 20 percent of all players use some type of performance-enhancing substance.  (Jansen later “clarified” his comments.)
So why wouldn’t Fish and ESPN mention these facts, especially since they would tend to support the notion that Rydze was giving HGH to Steelers players?
We think Fish and ESPN left it out because the story is far less sexy if other teams are doing it.  The overriding purpose is, in our view, to create another Patriots-style lightning rod, drawing eyeballs and ears to the various ESPN platforms so that they can acquire information and express opinions about whether the Steelers’ most recent Super Bowl win is tainted, and whether their current run for another title can be undermined by the efforts of ESPN to create a distraction.
All that said, there continues to be no evidence that Dr. Rydze gave HGH to Steelers players in 2006 or previously.  So since Fish struck gold (or so he thought) with a disgruntled former Patriots employee last year, did Fish try to track down former Steelers players who might blow the whistle on HGH use, if the Steelers are engaged in some type of elaborate laboratory experiments in which no other NFL franchises are engaged?
Guard Alan Faneca was a Steeler in 2006, and he was unhappy when he left.  Maybe he would have given an off-the-record admission.  Or what about Joey Porter?  He was cut by the team after the 2006 season, and a looser cannon there cannot be.  Receiver Cedrick Wilson has every reason to be upset; he was dumped for allegedly doing the same kind of stuff to a woman that two-time team MVP James Harrison allegedly did.  Did Fish ask Cedric about HGH?
So either Fish didn’t try to talk to former players at all, and thus was being journalistically irresponsible, or he tried to find out what former players had to say on the matter and came up with nothing, making him even more irresponsible for not pointing out the failed efforts to determine by talking with Steelers players whether Dr. Rydze had given them HGH.
In the end, it was far simpler to point out the previously-known facts, splice in comments harvested via various interviews of folks who were in no position to confirm or deny Fish’s underlying suppositions, and scatter the suspicion throughout the article that HGH was given to Steelers players.
“And that’s the issue,” Fish concludes as to the question of what Rydze did with the HGH.  “People are still left to wonder.”
As for us, we wonder how long ESPN can continue to peddle this same, tired formula.

Permalink 103 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Legal, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
103 Responses to “ESPN GOES FISHING FOR CHEATERS, AGAIN”
  1. Bill In DC says: Jan 15, 2009 11:24 PM

    Because Dallas is out of the playoffs and they can’t drum up headlines about TO?

  2. Hollywood Wags says: Jan 15, 2009 11:26 PM

    Gotta feed the ESPN Doomsday machine somehow…

  3. Mike Beckwith says: Jan 15, 2009 11:26 PM

    As someone who has grown up in Cleveland as a Steelers hater, I can honestly say that stuff like this is just another reason why I watch ESPN less these days.
    I liked the network better when they were just stuck to running highlights that were fronted by smart-ass personalities like Olbermann, Patrick, and Kilborn.

  4. CaptainFantastik says: Jan 15, 2009 11:27 PM

    Wow. I take back everything I said about Florio being a Steelers hater and offer my apologies. You presented this completely on the level. Kudos.

  5. ynasty says: Jan 15, 2009 11:37 PM

    Tom Brady never injured his knee, he was just faking it. I think ESPN should look in to that. Come on, really? ESPN is just a network gossip, they’ll just take one story, and talk about it for 5 years. Just let it go ESPN!

  6. mrmagoo says: Jan 15, 2009 11:38 PM

    Sports Illustrated put the Steelers on the cover.
    I don’t know which is worse.

  7. ButchD says: Jan 15, 2009 11:46 PM

    Steelers***** cheating? um, duh. That’s old news Florihole

  8. thepatriotsneverhold says: Jan 15, 2009 11:47 PM

    Another desperate attempt by ESPN to remain relevant. I remember when they were showing Australian rules football. I actually logged more time watching ESPN back then ( I only watch the matchup show now). ESPN is pathetic and I can’t even watch MNF anymore because of it. They did the same thing to MNF with the bogus “celebrity guests” , trying to make ESPN the focus. Note to Bristol…their will never be another Howard Cosell, no mater how embarrassingly hard the “talent” at ESPN tries.

  9. Bmore Styles says: Jan 15, 2009 11:50 PM

    I highly doubt the validity of this story…. But anyone who doesn’t find it funny how Harrison went from being cut by a number of teams and their practice squads to becoming the Defensive Player of the Year is either dumb and/or a Steelers’ fan. Somebody had to say it.

  10. JPeezy55 says: Jan 15, 2009 11:51 PM

    BRAVO FLORIO!!!!
    How long will ESPN continue to treat us like sheep and try to invent controversy and create news instead of reporting it.
    One thing you didnt mention is the misleading titles on that article. “Growing Controversy” is the lead in, but the story is 2 years old and has been dead under a rug since then. Fact is Espn is more Entertainment than Sports or News anymore….

  11. PFTiswhatitis says: Jan 15, 2009 11:52 PM

    That Fish is low life scum but just to be safe, *Steelers

  12. wingnut says: Jan 15, 2009 11:53 PM

    Sports Illustrated put the Steelers on the cover
    I dont know what is worse?
    How about putting the Patriots** on the cover.

  13. vikinghooper says: Jan 15, 2009 11:57 PM

    Although I have no dog in this fight, you guys apologizing for the Steelers are sad. As a large majority of NFL players need PEDs to survive the brutality of the game, please just say you don’t care that players are doing drugs and dying early, and stop acting like this knucklehead doctor wasn’t giving HGH to Steelers.
    You think he woke up early to inject old people with pulled muscles? I am a surgeon and will tell you unequivocably that this doctor injected Steelers with HGH, and was kicked out of the University Hospital quietly. We doctors stick together, but can’t keep the smelly ones too close to the one’s actually practicing safe medicine. Do you know why quacks like this inject HGH? MONEY. He has no business injecting HGH with his specialty. I operate on sick, dying patients and use HGH in dire circumstances, so giving it to Steelers makes the Steelers and the players money today, but shortens the players life considerably.
    The people that benefit are the Rooneys, the Steeler fans, and oh yeah, this quack who probably outearns surgeons who are actually fixing what’s wrong.
    Oh, and every team is doing it, so this Fish clown is outing the Steelers and scaring the hell out of ALL the other teams. Boldin back in three weeks from facial fractures, Pat Williams coming back from a fractured scapula using StarCaps, TO recovering from a fractured fibula and playing 7 weeks later. NFL players don’t use HGH and steroids, and a pile of WMDS were found today in Iraq.

  14. wingnut says: Jan 16, 2009 12:00 AM

    The Patriots** dream of being a REAL Dynasty like the Steelers.

  15. QzrSoze says: Jan 16, 2009 12:01 AM

    Leave the junk reporting to the bloggers!

  16. wingnut says: Jan 16, 2009 12:05 AM

    HGH, Steriods.
    Old news,
    Steal curtian year’s

  17. Elaw6 says: Jan 16, 2009 12:11 AM

    If this story was about the Rams or Chiefs, Florio wouldn’t have gone through all of this….who cares

  18. wingnut says: Jan 16, 2009 12:14 AM

    Rodney Harrison/HGH.

  19. wingnut says: Jan 16, 2009 12:17 AM

    Eddie Haskell needs to retire.

  20. bmac187 says: Jan 16, 2009 12:18 AM

    wingnut says:
    January 16th, 2009 at 12:00 am
    The Patriots** dream of being a REAL Dynasty like the Steelers.
    ******************************************************************
    I couldn’t agree more.
    I’m sure Tom Brady wakes up every morning thinking, “I wish we only won one Super Bowl this decade.”

  21. thepatriotsneverhold says: Jan 16, 2009 12:19 AM

    Soooooooo, vikinghooper is really Mr. Fish? You can state “unequivocably that this doctor injected Steelers with HGH” with no proof? Or did you see actual injections taking place? Maybe you kept a syringe to back up your “facts”? If your a college educated surgeon I’m a fire truck. Your post leads one to believe you do not have the sophistication of a door knob.

  22. GregO says: Jan 16, 2009 12:20 AM

    I appreciate your take vikinghooper and I appreciate and deeply respect your ability to save lives. However I would like to make two points.
    1) Show me the bodies. Show me all the dead bodies associated with HGH use.
    2) Don’t pretend that surgeons aren’t after the money too and that they don’t perform surgeries 1) when they might not be absolutely necessary and 2) using more invasive & complicated techniques (i.e. those that the insurance schedules pay more for) than what are required.
    I have a PhD in human genetics and I work in the insurance industry . I am in a unique position to know the science behind steroids and I see the missteps of surgeons at the same time.

  23. edgerules says: Jan 16, 2009 12:21 AM

    Well, like all journalists, this Fish guy has an agenda. WHat I think it is is to just create a story. Period. He and ESPN with an assist from the Boston Herald and Senator Spector pretty much caused enough of a distraction to ruin the Pats’ Super Bowl run, now this jacka** wants to do the same thing to the Steelers too. This is exactly why I do not take ESPN seriously. Very irresponsible “journalism” if so it can be called.

  24. wingnut says: Jan 16, 2009 12:25 AM

    Tom Brady’s knee needs some “Tyson Any’tizers.

  25. Ralphie says: Jan 16, 2009 12:31 AM

    CaptainFantasDick, the only reason you’re on your high-horse right now is because Florio’s bailing out your beloved Stoolers. We’ll see how long that lasts. Your the biggest loud mouth douchebag on this forum when it comes to the Patriots with that tired, revisionist bullshit that the comes out of that impacted little turd of a brain that you sit on. The biggest ESPN bandwagon jumper of them all. Still crying how the Pats “stole” all those championships from you starting way back in 02?

  26. wingnut says: Jan 16, 2009 12:32 AM

    @bmac187,Eddie Haskel wakes up every morning thinking “I wish we won
    a Super Bowl without the help of a camera or the officials.

  27. wingnut says: Jan 16, 2009 12:34 AM

    Florio, ciruit city sucks!!!!

  28. jjthetraveler says: Jan 16, 2009 12:41 AM

    In this world of Perry Mason addicts to prove something / anything is very hard. What do you want a confession? Do you actually think a Steelers fanatic would not fall on his sword? When 2+2 adds up to 4 what other total should someone take? Given the amount purchased and treating just 200 patients, the time involved and the close proximity to the Steelers what should a reasonable person think? This will never see the light of day anyway so what’s the big deal? In the world of pro sports money and results are all that matter.

  29. Raiders757 says: Jan 16, 2009 12:48 AM

    Really, I would hope this wouldn’t become what made the rest of the sheep realize what a pile of dung ESPN has been after all these years.
    Anyone who watches ESPN, are in need of major help. That channel is so full of themselves, that “pathetic” is being nice when describing them.
    I get all of my sporting news from anywhere else, but them. They are biased, and report news without verification quite often. ESPN is to sports, what MTV is to music these days. Pretty damn worthless.
    The same can be said about those who watch ESPN. More than likely they go to the gym just to be seen, and think it’s cool to wait in line outside a club, even if they don’t get in. You know, the trendy type of idiots, who have no clue they are as dumb as a box of rocks.

  30. 12thman says: Jan 16, 2009 1:05 AM

    That article was a tougher read than Ulysses. Thank God I read it right before bed. I’m more worried about the #4 pick.

  31. Bradybunch says: Jan 16, 2009 1:26 AM

    Just my two cents.
    I will not stoop to the haters level. But I will say there are four teams playing this weekend that have at least a player or two (or 48)useing HGH.

  32. wingnut says: Jan 16, 2009 1:53 AM

    Fish? he’s that guy from Barney Miller?

  33. DarthJay says: Jan 16, 2009 2:09 AM

    GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT!!!!
    That’s the PFT track record anyway.
    But seriously… the Steelers and Steroids? NO WAY! Never heard that one before…

  34. Favre2012 says: Jan 16, 2009 2:10 AM

    It’s a business. If this makes them a dollar, it’s a good move.

  35. ebapen says: Jan 16, 2009 3:57 AM

    Bmore Styles is right.
    Harrison is totally juiced !

  36. Atlas says: Jan 16, 2009 4:24 AM

    BMore Stylez,
    The problem with your astute observation is this paragraph:
    “The basic facts are simple. Reports surfaced in February 2007 that Rydze had used his own credit card to buy $150,000 in HGH in 2006. There was and still is no evidence that Rydze had distributed the substances to Steelers players. Four months later, the Steelers severed ties with Rydze.”
    So… the guy was fired months before James Harrison took the field for his first season as a starter? That’s why two years later he’s the DPOY?
    Flawless.

  37. Da Oracle says: Jan 16, 2009 5:28 AM

    Interesting how the good doc could remember his referrals in great detail, yet couldn’t come up with names for his early morning forays. Professional interviewers talked to him for an hour and didn’t receive any clear answers. There’s no doubt in my mind that he was methodically giving HGH to Steeler players. Every team has a few guys using HGH, just like every team tries to cheat. It’s when that cheating is organized by the team and not by the individual player that ticks people off. If anyone thinks that Rydze wasn’t giving HGH to players, they are bleepity bleep fools.

  38. lawdjayee says: Jan 16, 2009 5:53 AM

    So there’s a drug which encourages rapid recovery from injury and is undetectable by testing…and we think it’s unlikely NFL players are using it because….why, exactly?

  39. 8man says: Jan 16, 2009 6:31 AM

    As always, wingnut chimes in with his sad and deranged jealousy filled crusade concerning the Patriots. As soon as I read this headline I knew he’d drop one of his rambling, yet incredibly consistant “camera”, “dyansty” or “**” takes. Brilliant! Brilliant like a doorbell. It doesn’t matter when you push it or how many times you push it, it always spews out the same chime and the same tone. Way to go doornut..err..wingbell…Thanks for not disappointing me.
    Where there is smoke there is fire. It’s only a matter of intensity. Unfortunately, ESPN beats these stories to death and then resurrects them with lies and insinuation to grab attention. Their credibility level is so low, even if there is truth to this, who will belive them?
    This is what happens when you cry wolf.

  40. steelerfan9598 says: Jan 16, 2009 6:37 AM

    ‘ESPN is to sports what MTV is to music’ -well said.

  41. Inept_guy says: Jan 16, 2009 7:36 AM

    I am a big Steelers fan, but come on seriously. People in the NFL using a substance that can help them and isn’t tested for? No way, don’t believe it for a second. You would be stupid to think that no one uses. I would bet my life that there isn’t a team in the league that is completely clean. Why did Fish pick the Steelers? Probably cause that would make for the biggest splash as they tend to garner the most viewers of the teams left and there are some old “facts” that he can splash in there. I agree with Florio, the bigger story is the irresponsibility of Fish and ESPN.

  42. brasho says: Jan 16, 2009 7:51 AM

    HGH is not tested for in the NFL. It has tremendous effects in recooperation from injury and greatly increases muscle building and muscle building potential. A doctor told me the other day that it also gives the user energy but I’ve never seen literature or heard testimonry to confirm this.
    One reason Fish might not have gotten good testimony from Steelers like Faneca and Porter would be that those two players are still playing and likely still using HGH. They wouldn’t dare point their fingers and have four fingers pointing back at them.
    It is painfully obvious that the Doc was purchasing the HGH for the Steelers, there was no other reason for it. Most sports and Hollywood are full of HGH users and abusers.
    From what I understand, it is a great thing in small doses. Supposedly, many Docs believe that men 35 and over should be on an appropriate dosage of HGH for their overall health (especially with connective tissue), I’d do it in a heartbeat, make my knees feel better… maybe I finally get my bench up to 400 (oops)…help my elbows not hurt so much, I wouldn’t hesitate doing it at the lowest recommended dosage for my age…. AND if I had millions of dollars on the line like NFLers, MLBers, and NBAers do, I’d probably abuse it… just like they do.

  43. steelersplayfootballallotherscry says: Jan 16, 2009 7:52 AM

    This is why you get paid to write!! Well said!! Perfectly said actually!

  44. JimmySmith says: Jan 16, 2009 8:09 AM

    Circumstantial evidence is used all the time. The weight of the evidence and the connections to the Steelers is undeniable but we are in the public court of opinion and ESPN is hardly the problem here.
    I can hardly blame Matt Walsh for selling his videotape to the highest bidder (read millionaire Bob Kraft) but again ESPN can’t be blame for not outspending the competition especially when the NFL was assisting the Patriots in burying that story.
    Karma extracts its price in a multitude of ways so if I were a Steelers fan (the first thing I would do is go back and get my GED), watch out for a creative ref’s call in the fourth quarter. Look at it this way, the ref’s already gave you a Superbowl (ask Mike Holgrem), so it might just be evening the score this weekend.

  45. shuxion says: Jan 16, 2009 8:14 AM

    Oh wingnut, you so disgruntled.
    But you’re still entertaining.

  46. Mike D says: Jan 16, 2009 8:15 AM

    Heres the link to the article below. There is an icon you can click to email comments to them regarding the article. Personally, im going to email them and let them know how I feel about this shoddy piece of trumped-up journalism.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/otl/news/story?id=3831956

  47. shuxion says: Jan 16, 2009 8:21 AM

    “so if I were a Steelers fan (the first thing I would do is go back and get my GED)”
    Funny quote 5/5.
    I thought Jimmysmith only took shots at the PATS. I had you all wrong.

  48. Deadguy says: Jan 16, 2009 8:31 AM

    Anything is possible and I have no inside information… but from what i do know is that Harrison was from a small college program. He had trouble adjusting to the NFL, knowing his assignments and getting frustrated with all that. Most of his early lack of production was mental, not physical.
    Besides, what do you thing Suggs is doing to get ready for this game?
    Point is, I wouldn’t throw stones… might hit one of your teams players.

  49. ROMO4PRES says: Jan 16, 2009 8:33 AM

    Whatever happened to Matt Walsh?
    Is he working for Arlen Spector in Washington?

  50. SteelerNC says: Jan 16, 2009 8:38 AM

    The four letter network in the TMZ of sports….90% is worthless.

  51. madpunter88 says: Jan 16, 2009 8:45 AM

    Who has $150,000 in credit cards they can use to purchase drugs? What must the monthly interest payment be on that…

  52. SteelyJ says: Jan 16, 2009 8:49 AM

    Bmore Styles says:
    January 15th, 2009 at 11:50 pm
    I highly doubt the validity of this story…. But anyone who doesn’t find it funny how Harrison went from being cut by a number of teams and their practice squads to becoming the Defensive Player of the Year is either dumb and/or a Steelers’ fan. Somebody had to say it.
    _________________________________________________________________
    Bmore – James Harrison always had the type of explosivness and power that he uses today to make big plays. The difference is, and its no secret, that he isn’t the smartest guy in the world and it took him along time to learn schemes, defenses and crap. His first couple years he would literally stop dead in the middle of a play and not know what to do. He was, and still is, a demon on special teams long before he put his whole game together.
    Do everyone a favor and dont just run stupid at mouth about people w/o knowing a damn thing about what you spew.
    Have fun watching the game Sunday! 0-3 unagainst us this year should shut your thug team up for awhile.

  53. PFTiswhatitis says: Jan 16, 2009 8:50 AM

    Steelers*******************************************

  54. rossidrums says: Jan 16, 2009 8:50 AM

    I am a huge Ravens fan who hates the Steelers, and even I think this is total bull. I’m not saying that nothing happened, but between the lack of journalistic integrity, and the fact that I’m pretty sure all teams have players that use HGH, Fish is just being ridiculous.
    I hope this doesn’t distract the Steelers this weekend. If they lose, I want it to be because we beat them, not because they were distracted. And if we lose, I want it to be because they beat us, not because “they are all on HGH.”
    May the best team win.

  55. spullins27 says: Jan 16, 2009 8:59 AM

    Mike aren’t you a Steelers fan? It doesn’t show in your writing. LOL

  56. SteelerNC says: Jan 16, 2009 8:59 AM

    The four letter network is the TMZ of sports!
    90% of what they report is crap.

  57. BuckFutter says: Jan 16, 2009 9:00 AM

    Of course the Steelers have been using HGH….well, at least some of them….and it’s been going on for awhile.
    How else can you explain Joey Porter’s abnormally enlarged sense of entitlement? Or his freakishly huge mouth?

  58. pfitz says: Jan 16, 2009 9:01 AM

    Wow Wingnut you sound like a guy that had histeams ass kicked by the Pats and cant get over it.This is just the latest example of ESPN throwing shit at the wall and seeing what sticks.Until they can prove anything I dont believe them because they have NO credibility..

  59. Ralphie says: Jan 16, 2009 9:03 AM

    JimmySmith, 500 million sperm and you won?

  60. shuxion says: Jan 16, 2009 9:04 AM

    wingnut says:
    January 16th, 2009 at 12:25 am
    Tom Brady’s knee needs some “Tyson Any’tizers.
    ——————————————————–
    Dude, shut up, I like Tyson Any’tizers. They are good and make an excellent quick lunch. You don’t like them then go back to Uzbekistan where you came from.

  61. dbartdog says: Jan 16, 2009 9:05 AM

    Steve Courson, gave a speech at Whitehall H.S. In Whitehall NY on the evils of doing steroids. But, being brain damaged by them, it turned out to be an endorsment for them…leaving the kids with the idea that if they want to make it in the NFL, steroids would help….officials were furious with Courson, who was an All-Pro offense lineman for Steelers during their tainted glory years…they said this clown would never be invited back. Steelers have been dirty for years.

  62. br3002 says: Jan 16, 2009 9:08 AM

    I was watching showtime last night about the Cocaine trade during the 70’s and 80’s in Miami. One of the dealers was telling a story about Steelers players doing a bunch of cocaine at his house before the super bowl against the Cowboys. Drugs have been and will always be a storyline in sports

  63. hayward giablommi says: Jan 16, 2009 9:15 AM

    Not for nothing, but does anybody look at at guy like Bob Sanders and seriously not think that he is taking serious amounts of HGH?

  64. mborz says: Jan 16, 2009 9:18 AM

    I remember when the Matt Walsh thing wound down last year with a whimper. What was so hyped in the days leading up to the Super Bowl turned out to be absolutely nothing. And I remember thinking what a colossal waste all of that attention was.
    I thought, at the point at which it wound down, that it was a huge embarrassment for everyone who had invested so much air time talking about it and that they’d be more careful in the future to not repeat it.
    So I do have to say I’m surprised that ESPN is not only taking steps not to repeat it, but seem to be taking steps to recreate it. The fact that Fish didn’t present any new facts about this 2 year old topic that was considered dead and buried completely reinforces this.
    I guess the reason for this is that The Herald paid for their involvement in the Walsh mess, but ESPN didn’t. But it also bums me out to think that people have to be held accountable (punished) before they grow a conscience. There are certain professions where you hope people are able to just “do the right thing”, and journalism would be one of those, even though we’re so far from that these days it’s not even funny.
    I think the real reason for ESPN to so blatantly prop an old story up at an opportune time for them has everything to do with business greed. With all big businesses, the focus is never simply about sustaining what you have, but is instead always about growing. All of the goals are set around selling more products, making more money, more of everything. And that’s not an entirely bad thing in and of itself. When a company is starting out, after all, it will usually die unless it can significantly grow. The problem always arises when a mature company still wants to continue to achieve the aggressive growth they are used to, but are simply out of room to do it. That’s when things get a little silly. Goals are set that can’t easily be reached, and as a consequence you start to find people “reaching”, even if it means taking action that before had seemed out of character.
    And this is what ESPN is clearly doing. They are no longer an organization that simply reports sports news — they are now an organization that also creates it. Even if it’s their own people (like Chris Carter with his gun) that ultimately become the story. Or like when they go after old stories and try to make them new as they’ve done here. How else can they fill up the massive amount of programming they’re now responsible for?

  65. SteelyJ says: Jan 16, 2009 9:24 AM

    As sad as it is plenty of other people use HGH besides NFL players.. like High School & College athletes, Frat Boys, Body Builders, Douchebags that want to look good in t-shirts…and guess where they get it from…SCUMBAG DRs !!! I’m not saying that this guy wasn’t giving some steelers HGH. I really dont care if he did. I just don’t see how vikinghooper “the great surgeon” can be so sure they were purchased w/o question for the steelers players. ESPN blows who cares… they are a like a scripted reality TV show. I feel like I’m watching the Hills when i turn that crap on.

  66. GR365 says: Jan 16, 2009 9:31 AM

    @wingnut
    WTF…Dude! It common knowledge that the Patriots were set-up right before the SuperBowl. ESPN, The Boston Herald, The NY Times and let’s not forget the esteemed Senator Spectre’s involvement..
    Here’s the conadrum, who does Specter call out? The Igles or the Steelers?
    Let’s get the record straight! Since “Spygate,” 2007 18-1, 2008 11-5, w/o Brady, Harrison, Samuel, AD and Maroney! Ratgini was fired! Tannenbaum is not a worthy GM. Once again, BB protege’s are busy taking HC jobs in Denver, KC and Cleveland. Swartz was just hired as the Lions HC. If it was all about the cameras, why are these guys getting HC gigs? 2002 when according to you BB was deep into the taping…9-7 that season. They almost made the playoffs, but not quite. The point is, mathematically the taping was insignificant! I know it, the league knows it…You’re standing by yourself on this one! Theres a few more to keep an eye on, Ferentz Iowa, Hill Fresno St. BB tree continues to grow and thrive!

  67. Alpheratz says: Jan 16, 2009 9:33 AM

    Looks like “gotcha” journalism before big games is the new trend.
    Sports mimics politics. As a Pats fan, I don’t like it this year any better than last. It should be rejected.
    Sort it out during the meaningless Pro Bowl.
    (p.s. – 70’s Steelers would have never been a dynasty in salary cap era, 00’s Patriots are unique and outstanding in what they’ve been able to achieve – and they’re not finished)

  68. Rob0769 says: Jan 16, 2009 9:35 AM

    First, this is old news. It was reported that this doctor bought massive quantities of HGH while he was with the Steelers when Rodney Harrison was caught. I have the opinion that this doctor probably gave players HGH, but why bring it up now.
    Second, as pointed out Fish did the same thing with Matt Walsh. He wrote that Matt Walsh claimed he had damning evidence on the Pats that would destroy him eventhough Fish never saw the evidence in question to see if Walsh’s claim had any merit whatsoever. It was shady journalism then and it is shady journalism now. But funny every called Fish a hero then.
    Third, someone needs to question Fish’s motives. You barely hear from this guy except for the last two years trying to create scandals for teams who are deep in the playoffs. Is he just trying to make a name for himself?
    The way I look at this, if the Steelers did cheat and someone can prove it they need to be punished. If they cheated and can’t be proved, I say oh well it just goes to show that many teams cheat in some way. If it cannot be proven or the story as it alludes to is outright wrong, Fish needs to be fired.
    HGH and steriod use is not new to the NFL. I am not shocked by the allegations and I wouldn’t be surprised if this doctor used HGH to treat all the players with injuries. I doubt he was the only one if he did.
    Funny though Florio, you never attacked Fish with such passion about the Walsh story until your Steelers got the same treatment.

  69. dabooo says: Jan 16, 2009 9:40 AM

    The Steelers don’t need HGH to win. The league will just trot out another Yellow and Black officiating crew and bail them out of any trouble. The Knicks think the Steelers get too many calls.

  70. south-fl-steel says: Jan 16, 2009 9:45 AM

    i’m pretty sure the nfl has drug and steriod testing in place now. i’m fairly sure the nfl is randomly testing players now. so therefore i would think if anyone playing for the steelers was taking hgh, they would test positive, and we would know about it. not so much defending my steelers as much as presenting facts.
    unless the nfl, as a favor to the godfather rooney, doesn’t test the steelers (DA DA DADA!!!!!)
    .

  71. Pistol says: Jan 16, 2009 9:45 AM

    This blog post was long to the point of unreadable.

  72. The Jimmy says: Jan 16, 2009 9:53 AM

    I am and always have been a Steelers fan. Do I think Steelers are using HGH? Absoultely. The only teams in the NFL that aren’t are the ones with the 260lb offensive linemen. They’re aren’t any. Every team does it. Period. Anyone that doesn’t believe this has their head in the sand.

  73. CopesCabana says: Jan 16, 2009 9:57 AM

    Jimmy Smith, you are an idiot.
    Yeah Karma is going to get us because the refs “gave” us the superbowl (which they tried their best to keep us from getting to). Just like it got us because the refs “gave” us the Immaculate Reception. Four superbowls later people were really hurting from the karma. Holmgren (learn how to spell Mr. GED) is a sore loser and so are you apparently.

  74. empty13 says: Jan 16, 2009 10:00 AM

    maybe the refs dont all holding calls on o-lines that play the steelers cause they know the steelers are all hopped up.

  75. JoeSixPack says: Jan 16, 2009 10:04 AM

    ESPN needs to give its journalistic integrity some steroids.
    Seems like Ron Burgundy was right about them.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l33ohfzgk9k

  76. hinesforthehall says: Jan 16, 2009 10:05 AM

    ESPN has become a joke, I am not sure what they are trying to accomplish. As someone that hasbeen in the Navy for ver 20 years now I am disgusted by Fish’s abuse of free speech.

  77. Sportsavant says: Jan 16, 2009 10:09 AM

    wingnut, the only reason the Steelers slipped into the playoffs this year is because Brady got injured. I hope the Ravens kick your collective black and gold asses. Greetings from New England!

  78. Jeremiah W says: Jan 16, 2009 10:10 AM

    Why would any NFL player not be on HGH? They do not test for it, and most of them are rich enough to buy it without getting caught. They can pay a doctor to buy and distribute it, because it makes them bigger, stronger and faster, and a lot more money on the next contract. Any one willing to play pro football already proved they are not too concerned with long term health. If you do not test them for hgh, they are going to use it. They may even get it from the team doctors. There is no proof, no snitches, and for those who are looking for the bodies, just try to round up the old players for a party. Not the really old guys, just try to fill a room with former NFL players that are between 55 and 65.

  79. LuvThatDirtyWatah says: Jan 16, 2009 10:13 AM

    ESPN ba-lows!

  80. andyreid says: Jan 16, 2009 10:17 AM

    Not a new story. The steelers have been using performance enhancers since the dawn of the organization. Now florio may not be a Steeler fan but whoever filters these posts DEFINETLY is. I had a post censored because I referred to Rothlisberger as “Simple Ben”

  81. wingnut says: Jan 16, 2009 10:22 AM

    @GR365,name a player or a coach who have left the Patriots** and have won a big game.

  82. kate773 says: Jan 16, 2009 10:27 AM

    Every team does it. Period. Anyone that doesn’t believe this has their head in the sand.
    __________________________________________________________
    Funny, this excuse was absolutely unacceptable when used by Patriots fans. Now its ok? Alright then. I’ll remember that.

  83. TheBigOldDog says: Jan 16, 2009 10:28 AM

    Want to know why ESPN did this now? Becuase many of you proved there was a huge market for it. You lapped it up last year. You couldn’t get enough of it becuase it served your agenda. You willingly turned off your critical thinking and helped the media create a frenzy from which they made a lot of money. Now the same people have the audacity to ask, “why now?” Give me a F’ing break! Your simply getting a taste of your own medicine.

  84. bradyisgod says: Jan 16, 2009 10:28 AM

    Wait just a minute, Florio. It was well established by this time last year that ” everyone’s doing it” is not a legitimate defense.
    HGH use is rampant throughout the NFL. If we’re pointing out individual teams where the use of HGH seems “systemic”, I’d have to put the Steelers, Ravens and Giants at the top of the list. Remember the days when guys built like Bruce Smith and Jim Brown dominated the league. True freaks of nature. Now each of those teams listed above have at least 4 guys on their rosters built like that. Seems more likely a freak of science than nature, now.

  85. RaiderMight says: Jan 16, 2009 10:38 AM

    QzrSoze says:
    January 16th, 2009 at 12:01 am
    Leave the junk reporting to the bloggers!
    ———
    He is a blogger dummy. This is a blog.

  86. wingnut says: Jan 16, 2009 10:45 AM

    @GR365,Charlie Weis,Romeo Crennel….Losers!
    “They almost made the playoffs”
    pretty funny!
    The Patriots** playoff hopes where riding on Brett not throwing
    interceptions. Now thats fuunny!

  87. shuxion says: Jan 16, 2009 10:50 AM

    The Jimmy says:
    January 16th, 2009 at 9:53 am
    I am and always have been a Steelers fan. Do I think Steelers are using HGH? Absolutely. The only teams in the NFL that aren’t are the ones with the 260lb offensive linemen. They’re aren’t any. Every team does it. Period. Anyone that doesn’t believe this has their head in the sand.
    ————————————————————————-
    I agree 100% and I hate the Steelers.

  88. bloggersRstupid says: Jan 16, 2009 10:51 AM

    Florio – You do this same shite on a daily basis. jump off the high horse please.

  89. kellyb9 says: Jan 16, 2009 10:54 AM

    “hayward giablommi says:
    January 16th, 2009 at 9:15 am
    Not for nothing, but does anybody look at at guy like Bob Sanders and seriously not think that he is taking serious amounts of HGH?” If he isn’t already, he probably should consider it. That guy is always injured.

  90. footballnut says: Jan 16, 2009 11:06 AM

    Did you know that a wingnut is always the female end of a connection?
    Go buy some tampons wingnut and leave the football talk to the men.

  91. winkel33 says: Jan 16, 2009 11:48 AM

    ESPN is a joke, and Mike Fish is right at the top of the list of why the network has become nothing more than a necessary evil for sports fans. For me personally, I go to ESPN to watch games, I go to ESPN.com to check a schedule or a stat. But as far as news, I do my best to stay away. There is no integrity with the network whatsoever because they know they can do whatever they want, and no matter what you think, if you love sports, you can’t cut ESPN/ABC out. And instead of using that as motivation to provide the best possible product, ESPN has gone the other way. If you want real news about sports, turn away from ESPN. If you want to know about Paul Blart Mall Cop, then maybe, ESPN is the place to go.

  92. BlitzDorsey says: Jan 16, 2009 11:59 AM

    Diehard Steelers fan Florio has this response? SHOCKING I TELL YA.
    Hey Florio, I can’t wait until this guy comes out with more evidence and makes you look like even more of a fool. The facts are pretty clear here. The Steelers’ team doctor buys $150K worth of HGH (that’s almost a career’s worth for Roger Clemens) then when he is caught the team fires him to try and save face (with I’m sure a nice buyout under the table not to say anything).Then you have scrub Steeler players that suddenly have great years when they come to Pittsburgh. Hmmm. I would say the Steelers are like the NFL’s version of the St. Louis Cardinals. Under Tony LaRussa, guys just seem to have career year after career year. And to say there’s no actual proof that the Steelers did HGH, that is laughable. That would be like someone saying there is no actual proof that Barry Bonds did ‘roids. You might not have video evidence, but you know he did it. The BALCO documents back it up just like the news about the Steelers’ doctor. If you believe this doctor bought $150,000 worth of HGH for his regular patients, I have waterfront property in Florida I want to sell you.
    And to the guy that thought Florio was a Steelers hater, you’re not very perceptive, are you? Florio is an obvious Steeler lover and anyone who has been on this site for a long period of time knows what I’m talking about. Keep cryin’ Florio!!! I hope this takes your cheating Steelers down!

  93. winkel33 says: Jan 16, 2009 12:19 PM

    In response to BlitzDorsey, I don’t think the point is that the Steelers were not taking HGH from this doctor. They may have been. The point is that ESPN did (another) lousy/lazy job in reporting the story. And they held it intentionally until they felt it could have the most important impact. Wasn’t it also ESPN that reported on Paul Byrd and steroids on the day of game 7 of the 2007 ALCS? The story about this doctor was already out there – why report if you are ESPN unless you have something new, such as quotes from Steelers or anyone of relevance? But ESPN doesn’t have it, but for some reason, Mike Fish thinks being an investigative reporter means simply reprinting facts already known. Where is the investigation? What doesn’t ESPN use all of its power to actually report a story? Instead they are content to offer up garbage like this on a repeated basis.

  94. Brad says: Jan 16, 2009 12:48 PM

    wingnut is just pissed because his steelers could never beat the patriots in the afc championship games. ive never seen anyone as obsessed with the pats as this guy. wingnut youre a total douchebag, and get prepared, the ravens are going to rape rothlessburger.

  95. hayward giablommi says: Jan 16, 2009 1:24 PM

    kellyb9 says:
    “hayward giablommi says:
    Not for nothing, but does anybody look at at guy like Bob Sanders and seriously not think that he is taking serious amounts of HGH?” If he isn’t already, he probably should consider it. That guy is always injured.
    ———————————-
    Always injured he is…usually a byproduct of, you got it, too much juice.

  96. Bmore Styles says: Jan 16, 2009 2:45 PM

    @ SteelyJ:
    Way to prove my point…. Once again, anyone who doesn’t find Harrison’s unfounded climb from PRACTICE SQUAD to Defensive Player of the Year is either DUMB and/or a Steelers’ fan. SteelyJ just ignore the ‘or’, it obviously doesn’t apply to you.

  97. ebapen says: Jan 16, 2009 3:05 PM

    The NFL does NOT test for HGH because the union, and probably the NFL itself does not want players to have their blood drawn, not because there is no test available. A blood test has been available since summer of 2004.
    And as far as NFL testing for other PED’s(steroids) and narcotics,
    the players know well in advance when they are going to be tested.

  98. Alpheratz says: Jan 16, 2009 3:41 PM

    Wingnut, please use three asterisks, one for each championship.
    And behind them, leave space for a couple more………

  99. GR365 says: Jan 16, 2009 3:44 PM

    @ Wingnuts
    1. Parcells has never won a SB w/o BB, is that what you’re talking about?
    2. The SB the Stilers won was awful to watch…bad calls, pre-season type game…
    3. Adam Viniteri won with the Colts, that’s one. I think Dexter Reid was on that team too.
    4. BB has 4 rings…3 Pats, 1 Giants, How many does Cowher have genious?
    Interesting, that you bash the Pats? Why? With a name like Wingnut I thought you’d be from Detroit! Now there’s an NFL juaggernaut!

  100. ajd78 says: Jan 16, 2009 4:19 PM

    James Harrison. enough said. Kent State Golden Flashes. Cut from multiple teams.ask his team. they say he is a freak of nature.wonder why? probably the samw reason jerome bettis found his fountain of youth and heinz ward never misses a game.

  101. 8man says: Jan 16, 2009 6:48 PM

    “footballnut says:
    January 16th, 2009 at 11:06 am
    Did you know that a wingnut is always the female end of a connection?
    Go buy some tampons wingnut and leave the football talk to the men.”
    Classic! Absolutely classic! I don’t know what to add, except to repeat it!

  102. yoyo says: Jan 16, 2009 7:44 PM

    Once ABC bought ESPN, their news departments have the same focus, make stuff up if it suits our purpose.

  103. fgssand says: Jan 30, 2009 6:42 PM

    Sure thing wingnut……..we want to be a dynasty just like the Squeelers***** , riiiiight. Steroids & HGH – see, if you are going to use spygate BS then you have to accept your own rule bending as well.
    Supposed illegal filming of signals versus drugged up and fed up cheating players…so that’s how your mind works.
    Wingnut your a first class dickhead.
    As for you Florio & ESPN – you are right on – ESPN blows, nothing but shameless crap to get people to click on their website.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!