When Peyton Manning was accused of HGH use the whole sports world stopped in utter disbelief. Another golden boy was having his integrity attacked, another member of football royalty was allegedly being blindsided by defamatory accusations. After a summer filled with deflate-gate and denials by that guy named Brady we quickly observed pundits and experts pick sides. Fans became fanatics with criminal records as they swore their allegiance to a franchise with a history of cheating and too a quarterback who plead ignorance. However, unlike Brady there appears to be no one even considering that Manning may have used HGH. The weekend was filled with pundits and experts using words like class, integrity, and quickly dismissing the thought that Manning may not be perfect after all.
Is it the fear of being wrong that not one so-called expert or source would even dare utter or consider the possibility that Manning could have used HGH? Should a quarterback with a fused neck an no arm raise questions when he throws for 55 TDs and 5,447 yards? How exactly does a pro athlete show class and integrity, does an honorable guy throw or catch the ball different from everyone else? Are Papa Johns and Nationwide Commercials only reserved for athlete with integrity?
We have been fooled before, not too long ago the same praise we heap on Manning were being said about Lance Armstrong, Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire, Marion Jones, Tiger Woods, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Kobe Bryant and… well you get my point. Each of these athletes were hailed as All American God-Like figured who could do no wrong but the hoards of fans who thought these demigods could do no wrong was dealt the harsh truth these talents had faults and shortcomings no different than you and me.
Before we dismiss the possibility we must acknowledge that in the world of competitive sports, athletes are faced with immense pressure to perform. And when their body fails some athletes may resort to anything to get an edge. Maybe Manning turned a noodle arm into a record breaking arm with sweat, heart and a tireless work ethic. Maybe Manning is the exception but we make a mistake simply taking him at his word, haven’t we learned our lesson yet or have we misremembered. For those who were so quick to indict Brady and now blindly align themselves with Manning must ask themselves, If Brady was guilty why not Manning. I for one, refuse to be so naive. Who knows how this story will end. Stay tuned…I know I will. – A. Denmark
Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. Listen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio Subscribe to podcast