Peyton Manning PED Allegation Expose Tom Brady Haters


Peyton Manning is being accused of using HGH, and it exposes the Tom Brady haters.

In case you spent the evening of the day after Christmas watching Muppet Christmas Carol with a few beers while your parents sipped hot tea and fell asleep before Marley & Marley showed up to visit Scrooge…

Oh.  Just me, huh?

On Saturday night, right after the Washington It’s-Not-An-Ethnic-Slur-Cause-We-Say-It-With-Respect team fell ass-backwards into sole possession of the NFC East by beating the bunch of dudes dressed up as the Philadelphia Eagles (calling them a ‘team’ seems like a bit of a stretch, no?), Al-Jazeera published a story that would generate thousands of nuclear-bomb headlines like this one from ESPN:

Documentary Links Peyton Manning, Other Pro Athletes to Use of PEDs

Or this one from SB Nation:

Peyton Manning among numerous NFL, MLB stars named in Al Jazeera report on steroids

Or this one, from Yahoo Sports:

Report: HGH, other drugs were shipped to Peyton Manning’s wife

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The story spread so fast that Peyton hopped on ESPN on Sunday to head the accusations off at the pass and let everyone know just how insulted he was that anyone would say he would cheat by taking HGH (or, presumably, anything else).  Oh, and he also made it clear that he definitely, without question, has never used any type of performance-enhancing drugs.  Just so we’re clear on that.

What was truly fascinating, though, was the collective reaction from the sports community, media and fans alike, pretty much sorted itself out into two separate, and very distinct, categories:

Position 1:  “Eh, everyone probably juices, whatevs.”

Position 2:  “Peyton says he didn’t juice, so I believe him.” (Also called The Gregg Doyel)

Obviously, one school of thought assumes that the HGH report is correct, while the other assumes that it’s not, but that’s not the point.

A somewhat less vocal group of Manning defenders has also (correctly) pointed out that the NFL didn’t ban HGH until 2011, and didn’t begin testing for HGH until 2014.  The NFL’s rules on the subject, these people say, should absolve Manning of any type of shade thrown his way because at the time, what he’s accused of using wasn’t technically against the rules.

And in America in 2015, when nobody can agree on anything, just about everyone seems to be at the point where their views on ‘roids can be distilled to a 100-proof version of this:

“Even if my favorite player is taking steroids, and I don’t think that they are, everyone else probably is too.”

Deadspin, in between their “The 17 Most Unforgettable Movie Moments of 2015” and “The Arizona Cardinals Are Absurdly Deep” articles, wrote on Monday that “The PEDs Debate is Over”. Albert Burneko wraps up with this assessment of everyone’s reaction (or lack thereof) to the Manning news:

“This is a welcome development, if somewhat uncomfortable for those seeking to formulate our-culture-is-so-stupid-about-PEDs-in-sports responses to this sort of thing. The culture really isn’t all that stupid about them anymore!

It’s bored by them, and rightly so. I can think of no mystery less interesting than whether an aging athlete with a broken neck used a substance that might not even work to return to a playing field where cortisone injections are given out like chewable Vitamin C tabs. The PEDs debate is over.”

He’s right.

One little thing, though.

If you’ll travel back in time all the way back to January of 2015, when DeflateGate was just a wee lad hatched by a cryptic Indianapolis beat reporter before it developed into a full-blown Indominus Rex that wrecked the whole park, what was everyone accusing Tom Brady of doing?

Cheating.  Of course.

Because (allegedly) directing an equipment guy to (allegedly) let some air out of some footballs usually helps someone throw better, which is the same thing as…survey says…


And for all you kids that grew up watching Reading Rainbow, “But don’t take my word for it!”

The analogy that Brady and the Patriots playing with game balls that were under regulation air pressure is the same thing as using HGH or other steroids is exactly what the NFL said they based their punishment of a 4-game suspension and taking New England’s first and third-round draft picks on.

Let’s hear it from the GoodellBot!

“In terms of the appropriate level of discipline, the closest parallel of which I am aware is the collectively bargained discipline imposed for a first violation of the policy governing performance enhancing drugs; steroid use reflects an improper effort to secure a competitive advantage in, and threatens the integrity of, the game.”

-Roger Goodell

Plenty of other folks agreed.

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CBS Sports compared Brady to Alex Rodriguez and Lance Armstrong.

The Indianapolis Star also threw Ryan Braun and Lance Armstrong comparisons out there: “Brady has left Rafael Palmeiro territory, wagging his finger at the camera and saying ‘I don’t believe so’ when asked if he’s a cheater, and entered the more nefarious neighborhood of Ryan Braun and Lance Armstrong. Rigged muscles, rigged footballs – it’s rigging the contest.

Gaming the system. Cheating the other team from the fair game it deserves.”

(You get three guesses which Indy Star columnist wrote that one, and the first two don’t count)

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen wrote that the NFL was “disappointed…angry…distraught” at the premise of a game being played under unfair conditions.

USA Today simply wrote “Tom Brady cheated his way to a Super Bowl.”

Jerry Rice, when asked about Brady’s alleged actions, put his foot down: “I’m going to be point blank, I feel like it’s cheating. Because you have an edge up on your opponent and its unfortunate that it happened.”

And for the pièce de résistance, an ABC News and ESPN poll found that 73% of “avid fans” thought that Brady cheated and the suspension and the Patriots losing draft picks and being fined was “completely justified”.

So.  Now that we have that straight…

Next: In Belichick, We Should Remain to Trust

If Tom Brady’s alleged involvement in equipment managers letting some air out of footballs is the same as using steroids, but then Peyton Manning is accused of using steroids, and then everyone’s collective reaction is “Everyone probably does” or “Eh, whatevs”, then that would mean, ipso facto, that…

Think, McFly, THINK!