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Brian Cushing has a golden opportunity to do the right thing

Well, that shameful P.R. campaign orchestrated by and/or on behalf of Texans linebacker Brian Cushing — and aided and abetted by folks in the media who parroted the party line without scrutiny or skepticism, all in the hopes of being first — has worked.  Cushing’s camp fooled enough of the AP voters to retain the defensive rookie of the year award, which likely means that the duly embarrassed AP will never dare to open Pandora’s box again.

But now Cushing has been given an opportunity to lay the foundation for a long-term career that could be marked by something other than the proverbial scarlet letter of banned substances. 

Cushing can emerge from this ordeal as the bigger man (figuratively, not literally) by declining to accept the honor.

Of course, that same attitude would have prompted him not to take hCG last year, a banned hormone that occurs naturally in the body, just like hGH.  The substance is banned because it’s taken as a steroids chaser, and the fact that Cushing had hCG in his system in September fits with the theory that he used steroids in August to help speed recovery from a knee injury that threatened to keep him from being ready to play in Week One of the regular season.

But men can grow (again, figuratively).  Cushing has an opportunity to emerge from the shadows, to address the positive result and the suspension, to tell the truth about what he took and why he took it, to embrace the consequences, to commit to being clean in the future, and to refuse to accept an award that was secured via a violation of the rules.

It’s your move, Brian.  You’ve got an opportunity to properly atone for the situation, and also to make the kind of statement that may deter other kids from embarking on the same path.

Misguided as it was, the outcome of the AP vote has created one benefit.  It has kept Cushing from becoming a sympathetic figure.  Unless and until he chooses to handle this situation the right way, the operative word will be simply “pathetic.”

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59 Responses to “Brian Cushing has a golden opportunity to do the right thing”
  1. CJ SPILLER says: May 12, 2010 3:23 PM

    Brian Cushing has a golden opportunity to do the right thing.
    To take a golden piss test everyday?

  2. PatricktheDookie says: May 12, 2010 3:26 PM

    Get over yourself, Florio.

  3. dfl777 says: May 12, 2010 3:27 PM

    Why should he give something back that he won twice? Peppers never had to give back anything.

  4. this class sucks says: May 12, 2010 3:27 PM

    By your logic the Patriots should give back there Lombardi trophies.

  5. ☻☼CBS, FOX, ESPN, NFLN nbc says: May 12, 2010 3:29 PM

    WHO CARES

  6. CanadianVikingFan says: May 12, 2010 3:29 PM

    Cushing can emerge from this ordeal as the bigger man (figuratively, not literally) by declining to accept the honor.
    Of course, that same attitude would have prompted him not to take hCG last year, a banned hormone that occurs naturally in the body, just like hGH.
    ———————————
    That’s funny Mr. Florio.
    Still can’t believe that the AP still voted in favour of him, although it wouldn’t be out of the question that he took some roids before he met with them personally, to reassure them of his right to have the award.

  7. tigerbait555 says: May 12, 2010 3:30 PM

    Florio, I normally like you but…
    THIS IS THE DUMBEST FAGGIEST post you have ever written. It has ZERO logic. Are you reaching for material because I can help you out? This is your single worst post EVER. Tops the Bradshaw death.
    and I know I wrote faggiest (decided not to curse)

  8. Evpimp says: May 12, 2010 3:30 PM

    See that Kids!!
    You CHEAT in the NFL you still win!!

  9. omegalh says: May 12, 2010 3:31 PM

    St. Florio guide us to the promise land.
    These are football players. Show up on Sunday…thats all I need. If not, I’ll watch the next guy.

  10. DallasRavens says: May 12, 2010 3:31 PM

    Florio, your so smooth!!!!!

  11. Matt Walsh says: May 12, 2010 3:32 PM

    Florio, will you ask the Patriots “to man up” and give back their 3 tainted Super Bowl for cheating?
    Just saying.

  12. JRC007 says: May 12, 2010 3:34 PM

    So the media were fooled and only you, super-genius, were able to see the truth.
    Or, maybe they voted for him because they think he deserved it irrespective of the failed test. Maybe taking four games out the equation they still would have voted for him.
    And, maybe he’s already telling the truth, he did not take steroids or PED’s but instead took something else that triggered a failed test (a la Jim Miller), and actually passed a legitimate lie detector.
    I know this sounds crazy to you, but not everyone is a liar engaged in a conspiracy.

  13. tnsteve says: May 12, 2010 3:34 PM

    Where is the news or the rumors? Is there any chance NBC will simply fire Florio and put someone else in charge of this web site? This opinion mongering is so out of hand it’s laughable. We come here for NEWS and RUMORS. This is neither. I don’t come here to listen to Florio gives his personal views on everything. I want news and rumors. Why is that so much to ask for?

  14. birdmancometh says: May 12, 2010 3:36 PM

    Get over yourself Mike. Keep your award Brian. They all take PED’s in some form.

  15. PurpleJesus says: May 12, 2010 3:36 PM

    Nobody comes on here to hear your rants about morals and ethics (ethics from a lawyer….seriously?). Most of the people come on this site for rumors, not your holier than thou opinions on NFL players. Stick to reporting news and rumors please.

  16. wxwax says: May 12, 2010 3:36 PM

    The guy might not have a career without the drugs. So I can understand him fighting to declare his innocence.
    Performance enhancers are the scourge of sports. But the reality is that they’re not going away.
    Declining the AP award would be a futile gesture quickly forgotten.

  17. StevieMo says: May 12, 2010 3:39 PM

    Once a steroid user, always a liar, and people of questionable repute never, ever do the right thing.
    Neither will this cheater.

  18. leopoldjones.com says: May 12, 2010 3:39 PM

    calm down florio, despite his cheating people still thought he was the best, maybe it is an indictment of the rest of the rookie class.

  19. Dirtybirds24 says: May 12, 2010 3:39 PM

    20 years from now when he is retired he will be writing a book coming forward with the truth that he took steroids since high school…

  20. ethan robert says: May 12, 2010 3:40 PM

    Yeah, Cushing could be a “big man” like you dipshits are. Sniping away at his honesty and dignity without a compass or a clue.
    You must realize the NFL drug policy is about as firm and bullet proof as a thin slice of Swiss Cheese. Yet you make these gargatuan leaps of bad faith in terms of his situation, based on a single questionable event.

  21. wock says: May 12, 2010 3:41 PM

    Florio – “Cushing’s camp fooled enough of the AP voters to retain the defensive rookie of the year award, which likely means that the duly embarrassed AP will never dare to open Pandora’s box again.”
    So they voted for a cheat? And that’s a surprise? These are folks (AP) who worship Bill Belichick and the Patriots… and you didn’t see this coming?

  22. edgy1957 says: May 12, 2010 3:45 PM

    Wow, first you campaign to get the AP to take the award and now that they haven’t acquieced to your wishes, you want him to give it up.
    Really, Mike, do you think that for one moment that if he gives up the award that he will be thought of in any other way than as a cheater? Do you think that admitting steroid use has helped the long term outlooks for A-Rod and McGwire, who almost certainly won’t get the votes to go into the HOF (unless a few of the guys who have said that they won’t vote for either die within the next decade and are replaced by more sympathetic voters)?
    There’s a certain amount of sympathy that some guys have gotten for admitting use but it hasn’t resulted in a long term benefit. A-Rod, for example, was the champion of the “clean” era and people couldn’t wait for him to break Bonds’ record and take the taint off it and then — gasp — he wasn’t as clean as everyone thought that he was and now, it’s Pujols, who is now the new hope (and I believe that he juiced, as well but he was lucky enough not to get caught). As an NFL example of what I’m talking about, how about Bill Romanowski, who has to put up with endless snarky comments from you guys at PFT when a story presents itself and put him in the spotlight.

  23. GOVIKES|GOVIKES says: May 12, 2010 3:46 PM

    Get off the high horse Florio, nobody appointed you moral compass of the NFL.

  24. Sting Ray says: May 12, 2010 3:48 PM

    You expect a cheater to be honorable?
    The guy likely wouldn’t be able to perform to a high level if clean.

  25. oyoy84 says: May 12, 2010 3:50 PM

    Then the 1970′s Steeler team should give back their lombardi trophies too, right you rag waving fag?

  26. DG0122 says: May 12, 2010 3:50 PM

    Florio must have gotten his arse kicked and/or girlfriend stolen by some meathead bodybuilder-type in high school…
    either that or he is a full-on stalker

  27. egypt123 says: May 12, 2010 3:52 PM

    Personally, I hope he takes whatever the DROY award is (paper or hardware) and sticks it right up your arse!

  28. adeem4578 says: May 12, 2010 3:54 PM

    Get off of it Florio… the dude juiced, BIG DEAL. The only thing he did wrong was get caught… I mean you don’t honestly think that all these big animals on the football field got that way naturally do you???

  29. James says: May 12, 2010 3:54 PM

    It’s also PATHETIC that the AP gave him the award again. Just proves, good guys finish last – cheaters always win – etc.
    Great message to send to all the kids out there.

  30. acal83 says: May 12, 2010 3:54 PM

    If the AP revoted and gave the award to another player… theres a darn good chance that player was on steroids in the last year as well.
    How naive are the people who write the articles? You think some guys can be 6’3 260 lbs naturally but others take steroids to get that way? Everyone in the NFL uses steroids, its just a fact.
    Its “pathetic” to call out one person and act like the rest of the league isnt doing the same thing.

  31. Deb says: May 12, 2010 3:55 PM

    Can someone with knowledge of steroids please explain? There seems to be a difference between long-term steroid use to develop strength, etc., and short-term use to rehab from an injury. Why doesn’t the NFL allow and monitor short-term use for rehab?

  32. akuehn713 says: May 12, 2010 4:04 PM

    Amen Florio.
    To all those that said the Patriots cheated…almost every team in the league taped or took notes on play call signals. In fact NFLN mentioned in a special how the great Paul Brown used to hire spies to watch opposing teams’ practices. Steriods is far different.
    Denver cheated in a far worse fashion by circumventing the salary camp using illegal contracts for their Super Bowl wins. I think that’s far worse than video taping signals, which most teams change the signals from week to week anyhow.
    Cushing is a cheater, his own union leader called him that. If the union, that he pays dues to represent him, says he cheated I’m pretty sure they are confident that he cheated.

  33. BenRapistberger says: May 12, 2010 4:08 PM

    Odd coming from a former lawyer. You’ve assumed he took steroids, which hasn’t been proven. Evidence strongly indicates it, but it’s not proven.
    He took a lie detector test that said he didn’t take steroids. How do you account for that? Lie detector tests are more accurate than the test he failed for determining steroid use.

  34. manofaiki says: May 12, 2010 4:11 PM

    Yeah Cushing juiced at USC to recover from knee problems.
    Sure.
    Right.
    Okay.
    I’m sure some people believe that.
    And heading into his rookie year in the NFL, I’m sure the steroids helped him recover more quickly from a knee owie.
    Fine then.
    But anybody who thinks Cushing took ‘roids just to recuperate faster from a knee injury is very, very gullible.

  35. Drat says: May 12, 2010 4:12 PM

    Stop, stop, stop, Florio. The reason Cushing was not stripped of his award is because of the way the rules are layed out. The rules may be wrong, but voting him out at this point amounts in principle to anarchy (although considerably less important than the way the word is usually used.)
    Stop acting like the decent folks who realized they could not vote Cushing out based on the rules are acting because of some PR campaign on the part of Cushing. You can’t vote Najeh Davenport out of his draft pick slot to the Packers in the 4th round because he shit in a chick’s laundry basket in the middle of the night while she was snoring away (as much as you may want to.)
    Florio, its disrespectful to the voters, those more illuminated than you. And yes, a little self-righteous. Which always should be served with a side dose of humility.

  36. jimicos says: May 12, 2010 4:13 PM

    Don’t hold your breath, Mike. We all know Cushing isn’t going to refuse to accept the award. Why wage a PR campaign to convince people to vote for you if you’re going to turn around and decline the award after you’ve won the vote?

  37. The Wishbone says: May 12, 2010 4:15 PM

    @ Florio,
    What’s “pathetic” is this arrogant and rhetoric-filled post. Was it ghost written by D Smith?!
    Thank God Rosenthal and MDS don’t write posts like this, or this site wouldn’t be worth a damn. You did a great job for a few years there and now you seemed determined to piss away your credibility just to get more page views.
    That’s what’s pathetic, douchebag.
    And you’re still hiding your Steve Smith “source”?! hahahahaha

  38. jcjets says: May 12, 2010 4:16 PM

    Be a man and name who in the media you think “parroted the party line without scrutiny or skepticism.” Are you talking about Adam schefter from ESPN? I know he released some info concerning Cushing and the lie detector.
    If you are going to attack fellow members of the media, I think its only right you say specifically who you’re talking about.

  39. spyboots says: May 12, 2010 4:23 PM

    Didn’t Bellicheat get the coach of the year award the same year he was caught cheating?

  40. crewfish13 says: May 12, 2010 4:27 PM

    I personally like the media parroting of the “hormone that occurs naturally in the body.” There’s one important qualifier missing: “hormone that occurs naturally in the FEMALE body.” In the absence of cancer, hCG is no more natural in a male body than a fallopian tube.

  41. omegalh says: May 12, 2010 4:29 PM

    Deb – Because it is illegal.

  42. ZombieRevolution says: May 12, 2010 4:35 PM

    “Well, that shameful P.R. campaign orchestrated by and/or on behalf of Texans linebacker Brian Cushing…”
    Why that is as bad a blogger pretending to be a journalist and allowing his personal biases to leak into his work- it would be like calling Favre “lord” or calling into question Kurt Warner’s motives. Or calling out Steve Smith and failing to man up and meet with him. People in glass houses…

  43. Profanity in ALL CAPS says: May 12, 2010 4:36 PM

    steroids. HGH.
    Creatine. other various GNC muscle builders.
    i’ve always wondered why they ban one, but not the other. steroids have known long term health effects, so that makes sense. but guys on creatine get very very strong too. and not just creatine, but the other stuff gnc sells. why is one cheating, and the other isn’t?

  44. CE11 says: May 12, 2010 4:37 PM

    “…hCG last year, a banned hormone that occurs naturally in the body, just like hGH”
    Actually, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) does NOT occur naturally in the body of any healthy man or non-pregnant woman. It is produced by the embryo primarily to maintain the corpus luteum during the early stages of pregnancy.
    It is the hormone that many pregnancy tests use to detect a pregnancy.

  45. Zane Smith says: May 12, 2010 4:48 PM

    Florio, give it a rest. No one cares!
    Your distaste for him is palpable in every pointless update you post. I know Brian and can set up a cage match if you’d like.

  46. Dave says: May 12, 2010 4:50 PM

    I hate to say it, but I actually agree with Florio.

  47. Stone says: May 12, 2010 4:53 PM

    I think you’re the one being naive and/or willfully ignorant on this one, Florio. I can’t believe that any less than 40% of the NFL takes some kind of performance enhancer in the off season. I guess this kid got caught and had won an award, so that makes him a greater target, but there are plenty of guys that don’t get caught or have been caught who’s only sin was to make millions of dollars. So go figure…send em all to hell or let em all juice.

  48. JRC007 says: May 12, 2010 4:54 PM

    “Be a man and name who in the media you think “parroted the party line without scrutiny or skepticism.” ”
    That’s a good point. Cushing’s camp reported that he passed a lie detector and some in the media reported that, well, Cushing’s camp reported that he passed a lie detector.
    And now these actual reporters who reported actual facts are being criticized by some hack who thinks the better “journalistic” approach would be to call Cushing’s camp liars without any proof whatsoever that they were lying.

  49. jimicos says: May 12, 2010 4:56 PM

    Drat says:
    May 12, 2010 4:12 PM
    Stop acting like the decent folks who realized they could not vote Cushing out based on the rules are acting because of some PR campaign on the part of Cushing. You can’t vote Najeh Davenport out of his draft pick slot to the Packers in the 4th round because he shit in a chick’s laundry basket in the middle of the night while she was snoring away (as much as you may want to.)
    ————————
    Nice comparison. Unless you consider the fact that the media doesn’t vote for draft picks. And the fact that Davenport’s poop episode came prior to the draft, so the Packers may have known about it prior to drafting him. And the fact that steroids improve performance. And the fact that the award was a performance-based award.
    Come to think of it, it’s a terrible comparison.

  50. db3300 says: May 12, 2010 5:10 PM

    “Florio, give it a rest. No one cares!
    Your distaste for him is palpable in every pointless update you post. I know Brian and can set up a cage match if you’d like. ”
    ===========
    Obviously, you care. Regardless, that doesn’t mean it isn’t news. Maybe you should ask for your money back that you paid for your PFT account. Then you could use the money to go after the other 10 billion websites who dare to keep reporting the story. Fanboy.

  51. FreeAgentPro says: May 12, 2010 5:26 PM

    There are sure a lot of morons on this site. The average age seems to be about 16 based upon their language and their comments. They all seem to be pro wrestling fans who only care about who can smash whom the hardest – steroids be damned. I shame of this whole PR campaign is Lou Farrara, the media guru for the AP, who printed a last ditch anonymous story about Cushing only getting caught once for a low-level amount of hCG, while all the rest of his tests were negative. What’s your ^&*% point, Lou? Are you saying the NFL is too strict, and should not have suspended Cushing so that your pathetic phony award wouldn’t be smeared? It IS smeared NOW, pathetic Lou. The AP awards will foerever be known as the Best PR Campaign Award. With a cheater on board, I hope the Texans go back to 4-12 where they now belong. They have just jopined the Patriots in the Hall of Shame.

  52. GetOverIt! says: May 12, 2010 6:19 PM

    What is it … does Cushing remind of of that football player who tossed you into the high school dumpster every day?
    You go on and on against this kid and only make yourself look like a fool, a petulant child.
    Sportswriters twice voted him the award — go throw your temper tantrum at their feet.

  53. IStateYourName says: May 12, 2010 6:50 PM

    Brian Cushing has a golden opportunity to do the right thing…
    Quit the roids and shrink himself to normal size, get a real job and post dumb-ass comments on PFT like the rest of us…

  54. realitypolice says: May 12, 2010 7:58 PM

    So all of you finger pointing silly nannies crying about what a terrible message this is for your children accomplished nothing but giving Cushing the opportunity to make history- no has ever before or will ever again win Rookie of the Year TWICE. LOL
    Sports are entertainment, and if you think they are anything more than that you need to re-examine your priorities.
    And while you’re at it, raise your own damn kids and stop asking the NFL to do it for you.

  55. realitypolice says: May 12, 2010 8:08 PM

    omegalh says:
    May 12, 2010 4:29 PM
    Deb – Because it is illegal.
    ====================
    Steriods are not illegal. Steriods are prescribed every day by doctors all over the world for the treatment of numerous ailments. It is illegal to obtain steriods without a prescription.
    If there are steriods that can be used safely to aid in injury rehab, team doctors could prescribe them and keep them at the team facility to control their use by the players. The leagues draconian prohibitionist policies prevent this from happening. So instead the players buy them on the black market and use them improperly, which is far more dangerous.
    I know this sounds crazy to all of the uninformed, hysterical silly nannies who freak out every time they hear anyone attempt to talk rationally about drug policy. But steroids, like most drugs, are not any more dangerous or risky than a hundred other drugs that are completely legal IF they are prescribed and used properly.

  56. Deb says: May 12, 2010 10:32 PM

    @realitypolice …
    Thanks for the insight. That’s why I asked the question–was thinking the same thing and wondered if I was off-base. Players should take steroids sparingly because of the side-effects. But it would make a lot more sense for doctors to prescribe them in appropriate dosages for rehab than for players to take them illegally along with masking agents.
    As a cancer survivor, I avoid steroids because they can feed the disease. But my orthopedic surgeon–who also works on many elite athletes–once used them to treat a shoulder injury so I could postpone surgery. It’s a little odd that Jane Citizen would have more care options than a multi-million-dollar linebacker.

  57. Deb says: May 12, 2010 10:33 PM

    BenRapistberger says:
    Odd coming from a former lawyer. You’ve assumed he took steroids, which hasn’t been proven. Evidence strongly indicates it, but it’s not proven.
    —————————————–
    YOU are complaining that someone is damning a player based on assumptions that haven’t been proven? Not only are you an unbelievable hypocrite, you’re also one of the least self-aware human beings in the universe.

  58. runtheball says: May 13, 2010 11:37 AM

    the fact that Cushing had hCG in his system in September fits with the theory that he used steroids
    It also fits the theory he got a golden shower from a pregnant girl. Neither theory can be proven.

  59. jimicos says: May 13, 2010 1:14 PM

    runtheball says:
    May 13, 2010 11:37 AM
    the fact that Cushing had hCG in his system in September fits with the theory that he used steroids
    It also fits the theory he got a golden shower from a pregnant girl. Neither theory can be proven.
    ————————-
    Are you insinuating that Cushing somehow absorbed hcg from a pregnant woman’s urine into his own bladder? Please provide proof of this.

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