Well composed pile of dog shit story.
David Fleming brought up some very good points, several of which I did not know about. For example, the apparent widespread use of human growth hormone (HGH) in the Steelers' locker room in the 70's. I can't defend the use of HGH, nor can anybody else confirm the validity of the accusations. I would like to point out, however, at the time it was not illegal and nobody knew the long-range effects of the drugs. (Imagine if in twenty years Gatorade is banned in the NFL for causing extreme anal fissures.)
The one part of the "article" that really got me to think was a section earlier in the piece where he called out the number of arrests for the Steelers since Super Bowl XL. As this is really the only accusation which can be backed up with evidence, I've decided to look at the numbers myself. Don't worry, I'm not going to pick an arbitrary starting point to alter the numbers and improve my case, Fleming. I'll start at the year 2000 and count from there. (Source is a database provided by the San Diego Union-Tribune.)
I'm an expert at repertoire and Excel. Take a look:
What you see here is the number of arrests a football team has experienced (in blue) with the number of those cases which the charges were dropped (in red) since the year 2000. What you may notice is that the blue bar for the Steelers hardly jumps out from the mean. (Don't let David Fleming know this...it hurts his point.) Further, the average number of arrests in this ten year time span is 17...almost two arrests per year per team. Fleming would lead you to believe, from his very specific and detailed reference in his article, that the Steelers are leading the pack in arrests.
As a matter of fact, Pittsburgh has netted only 16 arrests in the past 10 years, and four of those cases were dropped, leaving a grand total of 12 cases prosecuted. I would also like to point out that of those 12 cases, Plaxico Burress and Santonio Holmes each account for two.
Now for my Fleming reference: the Green Bay Packers have had 12 arrests in 10 years with zero drops for a grand total of 12 cases prosecuted. Kudos to David Fleming for skewing numbers in his favor.
I think the real cause for alarm in this chart is the apparent quality of several groups of NFL lawyers. Green Bay, Philadelphia, and St. Louis might need to find new counsel as they have had zero dropped cases in 10 years. On the other hand, San Diego might want to give their lawyers a raise as fully 55% of their charges become dropped. Super Chargers!
Fleming's article definitely resulted in me wondering what other stories are out there regarding football players' fallouts from the 60's to the 80's. Unlike Fleming though, I don't get paid to look into such curiosities...so I guess in the end he wins.
I'll end this post with a countdown. Everyone loves countdowns. How about the top ten mugshots in recent NFL history? OH YEAH! (Source is the San Diego News Network. San Diego really loves this stuff, I guess.)
10. Cedric Benson
The Bears' star was arrested in 2008 for drunk driving in Texas, though he claims he wasn't drunk. Yeah...right.
9. Deion Sanders
Sanders was arrested in 1996 after being caught trespassing on land owned by the Southwest Florida International Airport while fishing. Moron. I bet he was "fishing".
8. Michael Irvin
Irvin was arrested in Texas in 2005 after cops found a marijuana pipe with residue tucked in the driver's seat of his Mercedes during a traffic stop.
7. Rae Carruth
Carruth's arrest is noteworthy as he ended up being sentenced to 18 years in prison. He murdered his pregnant girlfriend after he allegedly conspired in her death and the death of her unborn baby in an attempt to avoid child support payments. Mission accomplished, I guess.
6. Randy Moss
Moss was arrested in 2002 after he allegedly drove over an office who attempted to give him a ticket. He was also booked on charges of assault with a deadly weapon.
5. Fred Lane Jr.
Lane was arrested by police after cops found a loaded assault rifle in his trunk in 2000. Apparently he had a reason to carry the gun, as he was subsequently found shot to death by his wife.
4. Ray Lewis
Lewis was arrested and charged with murder in 2000 following the stabbing of two men at an Atlanta nightclub. Lewis later pleased guilty to obstruction of justice and served 12 months on probation. Not guilty my ass.
3. Plaxico Burress
2. OJ Simpson
Not here for what you think. Simpson was sentenced to prison on charges of armed robbery and kidnapping charges in 2008. Where oh where was Johnny Cochran then?
1. Michael "Mad Dog" Vick
Also, enough said.
Jeff Reed did not make this list ONLY because I couldn't find his mugshot. Here is the closest replacement available:
I bet he is loving life in San Francisco.