Posted on: September 21, 2010 1:46 am
Edited on: September 21, 2010 1:47 am
Sometimes, life just treats you right. Now I know that sports are not supposed to be the end all of our existences, and many of us know that for a fact. Yet sports provide us some spice, some variety to the everyday business of living. This weekend was one of those weekends where things just seemed to go right for once.
First, my alma mater, the NW Missouri State Bearcats bounced back form the Championship hangover with a very convincing win in Omaha against the always tough Mavericks of Neb. Omaha (UNO). The 58-23 win was a good way to bounce back. Also helps for future reference that Josh Baker, a D-1 transfer from Delaware (due to medical problems) had 3 TD catches. He'll be important in a drive for another berth in the D2 playoffs.
My Royals avoided the cellar in the Central with a win Sunday over the Indians. Okay, it's not Earth shattering but hey, you take all the positives one can get in a forgettable 2010 season for them. Still, it's a good sign if your team isn't last in their division.
The Chiefs went to 2-0 with a squeaker over the Browns. WHOOHOO. A 2-0 start is just fine and dandy with this fan. Beats 0-2 for sure and at least for a second week, we lead the AFC West. Defense looks way better than last years and special teams are very good too. Hopefully the offense gets untracked soon. For now though, the Sunday win is a needed balm to the souls of beleagered and bewildered Chiefs fans who have had little to cheer about since mid 2007.
And to top off the weekend, Clint Bowyer from Emporia, Kansas.....90 miles down I-35 from KC, won the opening race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase by going by an out of gas Tony Stewart and winning the Sylvania 300 in New Hampshire. For years there were no local drivers to root for in NASCAR. Now with Clint, Jamie McMurray (who finished well too) and Carl Edwards all from the area (area in the Mid-West meaning if it is within 3 hours) to cheer for, it is fun to follow them and actually see them win races. His victory moved him all the way from 12th to 2nd in the standings. It will be fun to see all of them race here at home in 2 weeks.
So overall, not a bad weekend. Add Mizzou's victory and it was a sports weekend that was indeed, a very good one for my teams.
Posted on: January 25, 2010 5:17 am
This morning, my mind began to wonder about the topic for the next edition of the Moo Report. the old brain had been tossing around a few ideas whrn an article in the Kansas City Star on Sunday morning (24th) by Sam Melling struck me as one heck of an interesting subject. First, here is the link to read the whole and lenghty article.
There’s another reason this is no small thing. It’s what he went through between 25 and 43. Too much of his 30s were miserable, with knees that felt full of rust and knives when he walked. Stairs were impossible. If he dropped something, it stayed dropped. Bending down took too much effort.
Ten years ago, when the pain was the worst, doctors found no cartilage in his knees. Just bone on bone, they told him, and those knees needed to be replaced.
“That didn’t sound too fun,” says Segui, who starred at Bishop Ward. “I thought, ‘How about I get on drugs?’ ”
So he did, adding human growth hormone to the steroids he had taken on and off from 1994 to the end of his career in 2004. He still injects HGH every day by prescription — one of baseball’s first admitted performance- enhancing drug users continuing through retirement — and there’s obvious pride when he says his doctor calls him “my healthiest patient.”
Segui is a marvel of modern science, with workouts that last up to four hours a day, all fueled by a synthetic drug banned by all major sports leagues. There are sprints and core work at his home in Johnson County, weights at the gym, and he laughs at how — before the drugs — he couldn’t walk to the kitchen without pain.
He is also, perhaps, the future of how the rest of us view what are now illegal and labeled “performance-enhancing drugs.” If they work this well, and can be used legally with a prescription, experts say it’s a matter of time before our attitudes about them shift.
This begs the question, is there a legitimate use for HGH and other synthetic hormone treatments if administered by a doctor? What would constitute proper usage?
• • •
Bartke is famous in certain circles for using growth hormone to keep a mouse alive for 1,819 days — nearly five years, and five times longer than the expected life span. He won 20,000 British pounds (about $32,000) for the project.
The implications for humans are obvious: a sort of fountain of youth that’s already attracted thousands.
“It definitely works, there’s no question about it,” Bartke says. “You will get stronger, your muscles will get stronger. That’s why the athletes take it.”
But Bartke is always careful to stress that the long-term effects of growth hormone are mostly unknown, and that it should be used only in rare circumstances and with a legitimate doctor’s guidance.
Growth hormone is the most likely to become socially acceptable. Science still needs more testing before it can go mainstream. But if that happens and you start to see your grandmother become less frail with a certain treatment, it becomes harder to make the case that it’s dangerous to a linebacker.
Our bodies naturally produce human growth hormone. It is an essential substance for our muscles, bones and tissue to grow and strengthen. Over time — and particularly after 40 years — our bodies produce less growth hormone.
This is a part of the aging process and why we get weaker and slower, with less energy. Synthetic growth hormone was developed to treat certain diseases in children, but is often prescribed to adults whose bodies aren’t producing enough of the hormone naturally.
HGH was added to the NFL’s banned list in 1991, and to baseball’s in 2005. But there is no reliable test for the drug, which has been shown to increase muscle and cut fat. It’s become popular among older people looking to slow the aging process.
Among them is Ed Lothamer, a 68-year-old former Chiefs lineman who lives in southern Johnson County. He takes HGH and testosterone. Despite his age and a list of injuries from an eight-year pro career, he works eight-hour days and maintains regular workouts while many of his former teammates ache and limp their way through retirement.
“I’m telling you: I wake up every day and I feel good,” Lothamer says. “I do believe it does absolutely work. I want to keep going in life, and I feel good. I don’t know if it’s a panacea, but I think it’s something that makes me feel better.”
If a doctor can prescribe HGH for those of us away from the sports fields and arenas, why can't medically supervised treatments be used on current players if their situation warrants?
Fans of 50 Cent, Timbaland, Wyclef Jean and Mary J. Blige didn’t seem to care when those entertainers turned up in a steroids and HGH investigation last year.
“We’ve accepted it among other entertainers,” says Charles Yesalis, a Penn State professor with 25 years researching drugs and testing. “Why not accept it among sports entertainers?”
Well, maybe we have. Most experts and industry insiders say performance enhancers are just as prevalent in the NFL, but the public and media seem less interested in the details.
Major-league baseball has been rocked by drug scandal after drug scandal but — even with lots of steroids backlash — spent much of the last decade setting yearly records for revenue.
Dan Lebowitz is a former bodybuilder now in charge of Northeastern University’s Study for Sport in Society. He saw the influence of drugs on his old sport decades ago and knew it was just a matter of time before they took over “major” sports like football and baseball.
The reception has him convinced that we’re moving toward acceptance.
“Football, in many respects, is already the expression of how we accept PEDs,” he says. “It’s the way our entire culture thinks about everything. The anatomy of the woman, anatomy of the man, everything: Our culture is geared toward bigger, stronger, faster. More is always better.”
Would sports be better served by leagalizing certain PEDs and placing the use of those under league supervision? League doctors would see what was ones were needed and prescribe a safe program od usage. Is that possible or too complicated in todays sports. Also, if the general population begins accepting it for their own use, can acceptance of athletes usage be far behind?
Segui hasn’t talked like this in years. Not to a reporter, anyway. He was among the first pro ballplayers to admit that he had used performance-enhancing drugs three years ago. His original motivation was a statement he saw from former teammate Jason Grimsley about a conversation they had regarding HGH.
Segui’s name had been redacted, but he felt sure it would get out eventually and become tangled with worse scandals. He went public and quickly grew tired of people he thought were unwilling to listen with an open mind.
But now he likes hearing what these doctors are saying about attitudes changing. Segui thinks of himself as walking, sprinting, weightlifting proof that drugs currently banned by major sports leagues can be beneficial with no negative side effects.
Steroids should always be banned, Segui says, because athletes could never be trusted to take them responsibly. But he sees growth hormone differently, because it’s something our bodies produce naturally.
He says his levels were abnormally low, which was causing the problems with his knees. Daily injections of HGH — insurance picks up most of the cost, so Segui pays about $180 for a box that lasts 15 days — merely put him back to normal range where he can enjoy a better quality of life.
Simple stuff, right?
“In 20 years,” he says, “it won’t be any big deal. You’ll think of it like vitamins.”
After reading the whole article, here is my view of the topic. I do not believe that all PED usage is bad. If your HGH levels are below average, doctors could bring your levels up to normal. If the acceptable range is 5 to 13 and you're a 3.6, leagues should allow their athletes to be treated with the sport's approval and supervision. Levels could be raised to mid levels, say a 10 max in this instance. Same with testosterone as well. Same with creatine and other natural substances in our systems. Again, these are medically supervised regimens, not purchasing pills from someone a teammate knows or getting a shot in the butt by a trainer. I am still against use of PEDs that have long term negative side effects, even with a doctor's okay.
One of the evolving issues with HGH and other drugs is what constitutes cheating.
There was a time — we’re talking hundreds of years ago — when mere training and practice were considered unseemly in amateur sports. Viewpoints have been changing ever since.
Proponents of HGH often compare its use with Lasik eye surgery, in that each corrects deficiencies that some of our bodies have. Competing with naturally decreased levels of growth hormone is a disadvantage, just like bad eyesight. So why can’t doctors help treat both?
Gary Wadler is the chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s prohibited-list subcommittee. He says the three most important criteria used for prohibiting a drug are performance enhancement, risk to health and violating the spirit of sport.
If a drug fills two of those, it could be banned — but not necessarily.
“These regulations are based on science, not on whims,” Wadler says. “The laws are quite clear.”
The question then becomes whether over time science can reduce the health risks, and whether the public will begin to see it less as a violation of spirit and more as physical improvement — like taking supplements.