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Old 02-13-2009, 06:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Steelers are cheaters number 6 asterisk

Well, needless to say I found this as an interesting read today.. Steeler fans what do you have to say about it.

Do Juiced Up Steelers Teams Deserve Asterisks?

by Mark Kriegel
Mark Kriegel is the national columnist for FOXSports.com. He is the author of two New York Times best sellers, Namath: A Biography and Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich, which Sports Illustrated called "the best sports biography of the year."


Where to put asterisks?
Which are the corrupted numbers?


Will Rodriguez's eventual tally for hits and home runs warrant the mark of eternal shame?

Will Barry Bonds' 762, or 73?

How about 354, Roger Clemens' career win total?

Or maybe, 6?

That's the number I propose for consideration. If it doesn't sound like a baseball number, that's because it isn't. Still, if you want baseball — a game that quantifies itself for posterity — to acknowledge its tainted records, then football should have to do the same, no?

I have recently returned from the Super Bowl, which was not merely thrilling, but as you've no doubt been assured, historic. In beating the Arizona Cardinals, the Pittsburgh Steelers became the first NFL franchise to win six Super Bowls. Such success has been attributed to great players, great coaches and — John Facenda's voice, please — to the fair and forward-thinking House of Rooney.

But what about steroids? Do the Steelers reach six without steroids?

They won four titles in the Seventies. But those teams — the offensive linemen, in particular — had a notorious, and not undeserved, reputation for abusing performance-enhancing drugs.

Let's not deign to indulge the standard excuse that steroids were legal back then. Winked at, perhaps. But legal, definitely not. The NFL didn't have a full-blown steroid policy — by which I mean one with required testing and proscribed punishments — until 1989, a full 15 years before major league baseball. But as is the case in baseball, misuse of prescription drugs was always prohibited.

As it pertained to illicit performance-enhancing drugs, the NFL of the '70s was not unlike the Major Leagues of the '90s. Juicing may have been accepted in certain precincts of certain locker rooms, but just the same, juicers had good reason to keep their business hidden for fear of stigma and sanction.

"They knew what they were doing," said Kim Wood, who from 1975 to 2001 was the strength and conditioning coach for the Steelers divisional rival, the Cincinnati Bengals. "They knew they were cheating."

In the case of the old Steelers, the anecdotal evidence is as damning as it is overwhelming. Steve Courson, a Steelers lineman from '78 to '83, issued his well-known confession in a magazine article and later, an autobiography entitled "False Glory: Steelers and Steroids." "To say that anabolic steroids didn't play a role in the Steelers' success would be a falsehood," said Courson, who developed heart problems after his retirement.


Then there's Hall of Fame center Mike Webster — dead of heart failure at 50 — who compensated for a lack of natural size by adding artificial size. The brother of linebacker Steve Furness — 49 when his heart gave out — also suspected that steroids played a role in the death. Even a running back like Rocky Bleier admitted to ESPN that steroids were part of his offseason training regimen.

A few years ago, Jim Haslett had this to say on the subject of steroids and the NFL: "It started, really, in Pittsburgh. They got an advantage on a lot of football teams. They were so much stronger (in the) '70s, late '70s, early '80s. They're the ones who kind of started it."

While Haslett's statement incurred the wrath of some in the Pittsburgh organization, the former linebacker was merely reiterating what so many in the business already thought about those Steeler teams.

"The Steelers in the '70s were one of the most influential teams on the game of football, especially the weight training part," says Wood. "It was the success of that team that had to do with the phenomenon being really, really accepted for use by football players."

Describing the spread of steroid use from high schools to the NFL, he said: "it wasn't a trickle down. It was a waterfall."

Wood qualifies as an old school moralist on the subject. "It's a drug that appeals to insecure men," he says. "The first thing you have to do is fess up to yourself, that you don't have enough of the stuff that makes a man."

Was it fair, I asked, for his team to be regularly paired against a juiced-up rival?

"How did I feel personally? I was pissed off. It put tremendous pressure on me."


He could hear the whispers, why don't our guys get gacked up like the Steelers? Fortunately, he says, he had strong support coming from the top of the organization, especially from owner Paul Brown, that insulated him from that pressure. "I refused to be an enabler for weak people," says Wood, who dismisses my asterisk theory.

There is no denying the greatness of those Pittsburgh teams, he says. What's more, it didn't begin with the offensive line. Rather, it began with the defense and players like linebacker Jack Ham, whom he calls a friend. The legacies of guys like Ham and the great defensive back Mel Blount, Wood says, should not be questioned for the misdeeds of the weaklings.

But that's not why he considers my proposed asterisk laughable. Wood knows the numbers of premature deaths among those Steeler alums. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel columnist Dave Hyde recently noted that, since 1996, 13 veterans of those championship teams died before the age 60. Of the 13, seven were heart attacks. (Courson, it's worth mentioning, died when a tree fell on him).

Performance-enhancing substances do not qualify as a cause on anyone's death certificate. I'm not qualified to make a scientific case. But I know that football players are like professional wrestlers. No one really cares — certainly not enough — that they die young. After all, we don't associate them with any records. We can't represent their careers as statistical sagas.

Still, now you wonder what fate awaits the major leagues' first generation of juicers.

"That's the real perniciousness here," says Wood. "Guys are talking about the stats being (messed) up?

"This isn't a scandal about statistics or asterisk. This is a public health scandal."
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Cheaters all the way - if Bonds or Mac or anyone else deserves a footnote in history why wouldn't the Steeler teams deserve the same???
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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totally agreed. those titles are forever tainted.
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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while in theory that may make sense, but do you really think that they were the only ones using it? Also, there have been players that have beem suspended for steroids and been to the pro bowl the same year. (Merriman). As much as people dont like to admit it, they arent as big of a deal in football.
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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im gonna leave this one alone, if i start im sure it will lead to a date with a ban hammer.
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Superbowl IX Champions: Pittsburgh Steelers *

Superbowl X Champions: Pittsburgh Steelers *

Superbowl XIII Champions: Pittsburgh Steelers *

Superbowl XIV Champions: Pittsburgh Steelers *

Superbowl XL Champions: Pittsburgh Steelers *

Superbowl XLIII Champions: Pittsburgh Steelers *
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Oh man.... The Cowboys might have 7 super bowls if the Steelers didn't cheat in the 70's
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Now I feel better our New England Patriots might have done some unauthorized videos of the other team but not cheat in very Big Games.:flex

lolol Poor deboesports cat got your tongue ????
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Old 02-13-2009, 08:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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So all it takes is another SB win for this to come out again. Steroid use in the 70's has been talked about for years. Everyone knew that the Steelers players (not all) were using. That article puts a black eye on that team even though it was already a well known fact. But you guys can't be that ignorant to think that it was just the Steelers doing it. You know damn well the Raiders, Cowboys, and probably the Dolphins were on the juice too. Just so happens that the Steelers were better. Thats all I'm going to say on this. I'm not defending them, just pointing out a fact.
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I guess my only comment on it is.. I thought the Steelers were a stand up organization and this is the first I have heard of these charges against them. They do make some great points on the players dying young. Patrick, who from those teams other than Lyle Alzado died early? Its just sad to see another group of taited records in sports.. Gosh is anything clean.. Maybe I will have to say that Poker is the up and coming sport because I don't think roids make you any better at that game.. I don't think the NBA uses either they prefer pot..
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I think there was so much rampant usage then that you cannot really take away a title, or put an asterisk next to it. All the teams were doing it, as the medical findings were new. As much as I think the Steelers suck, they earned all their titles, besides maybe these last two on lovely officiating, but that is not here or there.

Also, I think that might be longest post ever on these boards.
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I have been a die hard Steelers fan all my life. I feel sick to my stomach right now. It's sort of like if I ever catch my son stealing a pack of gum from Wal-Mart or cheating on a test at school. As much as I don't want to see him be embarrassed, I'd have to make him admit to what he did in front of everyone.

If the Steelers don't admit they cheated, I'm no longer going to be a fan, and neither should anyone else!!!
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Many of them have come out and admitted to it. Rocky did just recently. TB admitted to using them to come back from injuries. As well as a handful of others that I cannot think of off the top of my head.

Had you guys really not heard about this before?? There have been countless articles, interviews, and tv shows talking about how the 70's were a culture of steroid use in football.
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I dont know about any other players, but i do remember a few months ago Terry Bradshaw admitted he used steroids to help heal from injury. I by no means advocate steroids or other performance enhancing compounds, but you cant take away stats/championships/records from one person or team because you dont know who else was using them.



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I have been a die hard Steelers fan all my life. I feel sick to my stomach right now. It's sort of like if I ever catch my son stealing a pack of gum from Wal-Mart or cheating on a test at school. As much as I don't want to see him be embarrassed, I'd have to make him admit to what he did in front of everyone.

If the Steelers don't admit they cheated, I'm no longer going to be a fan, and neither should anyone else!!!
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:34 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwheeler27 View Post
I have been a die hard Steelers fan all my life. I feel sick to my stomach right now. It's sort of like if I ever catch my son stealing a pack of gum from Wal-Mart or cheating on a test at school. As much as I don't want to see him be embarrassed, I'd have to make him admit to what he did in front of everyone.

If the Steelers don't admit they cheated, I'm no longer going to be a fan, and neither should anyone else!!!
STEELER NATION WILL MISS YOU.
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:41 PM   #16 (permalink)
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steroid nation.......

steroid curtain......

hey - what do my chargers and steelers have in common? NOT ONE LEGIT CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

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Superbowl IX Champions: Pittsburgh Steelers *

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Old 02-13-2009, 11:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Wow, it's times like this when I am truly proud and glad to be a Lions fan.
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Old 02-14-2009, 01:55 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by deboesports View Post
STEELER NATION WILL MISS YOU.
you mean cheater nation? it is really sad they were so low at what it takes to become the best.. i mean what really is the difference between them and Bonds, Clemens, Afraud, Delhaney, Pete Rose, Shoeless Joe, or anybody else. Sad sad day in sports.
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Old 02-14-2009, 08:23 AM   #19 (permalink)
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It's times like these that I'm glad my team just had drug problems. Manley, Riggins, GO SKINS!!!!
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Old 02-14-2009, 08:29 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Well at least my Dolphins only have the one problem

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Old 02-14-2009, 08:35 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I honestly think if you take into account steroids, uppers, any drugs used for pep, pain killers, crack cocaine, marijuana, or anything else that improves performance, or hides other problems, there would be no team in any sport that hasn't had someone guilty, so all championships are void.
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:21 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steel58 View Post
I honestly think if you take into account steroids, uppers, any drugs used for pep, pain killers, crack cocaine, marijuana, or anything else that improves performance, or hides other problems, there would be no team in any sport that hasn't had someone guilty, so all championships are void.
I don't believe marijuana improves performance.
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Old 02-14-2009, 01:04 PM   #23 (permalink)
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The only reason that you are hearing about the steelers now is because they just won the superbowl, not because they are the only ones. Its kind of like the AROD situation, everyone is saying how horrible it is that he cheated and that all of his records should have an asterick. There were over 100 more people that tested positive when arod did and i am pretty sure you will never know their names. Im not advocating performance enhancing drugs by any means, but dont pile on these guys when it was a whole generation. I also think one thing people always do is over-estimate how much of an impact the drugs have on the athlete. Im a decent athlete and work out, but i am pretty sure i would still never be able to do the things they do. Sorry for the rant
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Old 02-14-2009, 01:28 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Well, I'm a Raider fan so I can't say much. But this thread should be fun.
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Old 02-14-2009, 02:27 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I don't believe marijuana improves performance.
then the NBA would be out of business
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