(ESPN) On a frosty January evening in Eugene, a University of Oregon student plops onto a couch, nestled between a whirring space heater and a muted television at a friend’s off-campus apartment, and pulls a nugget from the bag. At his feet sits a backpack emblazoned with the logo of the Rose Bowl, which he and his teammates had won barely a week before. “Purple Kush,” he says of his preferred marijuana strand, which he rolls into a hefty joint between his forefingers and thumbs. “It’s pretty much all I smoke.”The joint, to which he adds a dash of tobacco to make a spliff, is typical for this student-athlete. “Bongs and pipes mean more evidence,” he says. He lights up, kicks back and exhales a dense cloud. Normally, he’d pass the spliff to one of his Oregon football teammates, but tonight he smokes alone. “Most of the guys are waiting until after winter workouts,” he says. Once thoseconclude in March, he adds, they’ll gather in clusters to partake together. About half the team smokes, he estimates. “It’s a team thing. Like video games.”
“It’s not just us,” he says, taking another hit. “If you think Oregon’s the only team smoking weed, you’re crazy.”
The article does a good job covering the popularity of marijuana use among college athletes, who see smoking a joint as “no big deal” and akin to drinking a beer. At Oregon, the weed use is well known (ask Ganja Jon) and dealt with only when circumstances of public exposure and/or law enforcement get involved. The team, it seems, self-polices its weed users – if a player who tokes isn’t cutting it in class or on the field the other players will address him. They have formulated a code of behavior to avoid paraphernalia (more evidence) and toking in public or at parties.
Oh, and this team full of potheads just won the Rose Bowl for the first time in over nine decades, defeating a powerful Wisconsin team (which I’ll assume has more beer drinkers than pot smokers… I’ve visited both campuses). The year before, these blunt burners were a play or two away from being declared National Champions.
But my favorite comment on this shocking news flash that college kids smoke pot comes from Clay Travis’ Outkick the Coverage blog:
What’s more, in an era when boosters pay for abortions at Miami, the most legendary coach of our era fails to keep children from being raped in his team’s locker room at Penn State, and the entire purpose of the NCAA continues to be ensuring that kids who have nothing continue to have nothing despite billions of dollars being made off their talents, it’s pretty damn hard for the moral outrage meter to register any indignation about college kids smoking pot.
Guess how many of the above stories ESPN broke last year?
Yeah, none of them.
The NFL hardly cares about a player’s marijuana use anymore. It used to be draft picks like Warren Sapp and Randy Moss would drop to the middle or tail ends of drafts in which they should have been early selections. But now, many teams relish the opportunity to pick up talented players that other teams pass up with moral indignation over their marijuana use (see: NFL 2010 Rookie of the Year Percy Harvin, who was picked 22nd by the Vikings out of Florida.) This year, Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick is still listed as the #2 corner and #16 draft prospect overall, despite a dropped marijuana charge (Dre claims it was his friend’s weed in the car and he had no idea it was there… uh huh.)
In fact, this entertaining ESPN Page 2 story imagines an All-Time All-Star All-Weed NFL team, with the following lineup:
Offense: QB Todd Marinovich, RBs Ricky Williams, Jamal Lewis, WRs Randy Moss, Muhsin Muhammad, TE OJ Santiago, OLs Mark Stepnoski, Nate Newton, Khiawatha Downey, Marvel Smith, Tra Thomas.
Defense: DLs Warren Sapp, Keith Hamilton, Anthony Maddox, Cletidus Hunt, LBs Ahmad Brooks, Darren Hambrick, Cornell Brown, DBs Chris McAlister, Rashard Anderson, Rodney Artmore, Juran Bolden.
This is a concept I adopted for our Pigskin Potheads fantasy league team, which happened to win our league championship against teams stocked with Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers (OK, it helped that the championship game was Week 17 against a Green Bay team that had Aaron Rodgers and James Starks sitting out.) I only draft players who have been busted for or made headlines with weed. Our championship lineup includes:
Offense: QB Michael Vick, RBs Marshawn Lynch, Ricky Williams, WRs Percy Harvin, DeSean Jackson, TE Aaron Hernandez (no OLs in this fantasy league)
Backup Offense: QB Chris Simms, RBs Kevin Faulk, Javarris James, WRs Kenny Britt, Jerome Simpson, Santonio Holmes, TE Anthony McCoy
Defense: DLs Jonathan Babineaux, Shaun Ellis, LB Leroy Hill, DBs Tom Zbikowski, Derrick Martin
One position where weed smokers are tough to find is kickers and punters. C’mon, players, somebody pass the blunt to the little guy!
The Detroit Lions running back, who missed his entire 2011 rookie season with a torn Achilles tendon, was arrested twice in less than a month on charges of marijuana possession in Michigan this offseason. In the latest incident, Leshoure failed to show for arraignment on Monday. Police reports indicate he tried to eat the marijuana he had on him during a traffic stop.
But Leshoure has been in trouble for marijuana use before. As the NFP’s Dan Pompei reported a year ago, Leshoure was suspended for a game at Illinois in 2009 after he tested positive for marijuana. Then Illini coach Ron Zook suspended Leshoure for the 2009 season opener against Illinois State. Hat tip to Philip Zaroo of MLive.com for not letting this sneak by.
Of course, Leshoure is just one of three 2011 draft picks for the Lions to be caught with marijuana this offseason. First-round draft pick Nick Fairley was arrested on Tuesday in Mobile, Ala. But Leshoure now has three strikes on him with the drug and will clearly be a target for the NFL after the court system finishes with Leshoure. Because this is his second arrest, he’s currently facing a felony charge.
Given the punishment these men’s bodies must endure, maybe marijuana use ought to be mandatory. It would certainly be a safer option than getting these athletes hooked on prescription opiates:
A study commissioned by ESPN and assisted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse shows retired NFL players misuse painkillers at a rate of 4-to-1 compared to the general public.
Miami Dolphins tight end Dan Johnson’s teammates called him “King of Pain” because of the myriad injuries he suffered throughout his career from 1983 through 1987. He became addicted to painkillers after two back surgeries.
“I was taking about 1,000 Vicodins a month,” Johnson told ESPN. “People go, ‘That’s impossible. That’s crazy.’ No, it’s exactly what I was taking. I mean, believe me, I’d love to be off medications. That’s my worry every day, to make sure I have medication.”
More than half of the surveyed former players reported using prescription painkillers during their playing days. Of that same group, 71 percent admitted misusing the drugs during their time in the NFL.
The Pigskin Potheads, a fantasy football team comprised solely of NFL players who’ve been busted for marijuana (click player’s names for their bust), won their first game of the season by defeating the Green Bud Packers by a score of 92.74 to 81.14.
The Green Bud Packers, consisting of only players from the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers, earned all of their points on the NFL’s opening night game against the Saints on Thursday at Lambeau Field. That real-life game featured Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers torching New Orleans with three TD passes in the first quarter en route to a 42-34 win and 312 yards passing. Potheads QB Michael Vick (PHI) nearly matched Rodgers’ 25.34 fantasy points, but a lost fumble cost him 2 points, leaving Vick with 23.44 points in Philadelphia’s win over St. Louis.
The Packers’ receiving corps of Jordy Nelson and Donald Driver combined for 17.8 fantasy points. They were thoroughly outplayed by the Potheads’ Kenny Britt (TEN) who had 28.6 fantasy points on his own. The Potheads’ other starting wide out, Santonio Holmes (NYJ) added another 7 fantasy points. The Potheads failed to start Percy Harvin (MIN) who also surpassed both Green Bud receivers with 18.5 fantasy points.
The Potheads running backs Marshawn Lynch (SEA) and Ricky Williams (BAL) both failed to score touchdowns and combined for a low 12.4 fantasy points on yardage alone. Packers’ running backs Ryan Grant and James Starks combined for 16.2 fantasy points with one rushing TD. But the Potheads’ tight end, Aaron Hernandez (NE), far outplayed Packers’ tight end Jermichael Finley, scoring 17.3 fantasy points with one receiving TD vs. Finley’s 5.3 points.
On the other side of the ball the Packers dominated. On defense, lineman BJ Raji, linebacker Clay Matthews, and defensive back Charles Woodson combined for 10.5 points, while the Potheads’ lineman Jonathan Babineaux (ATL) and defensive back Derrick Martin (NYG) had only 2 points total. Starting linebacker Quan Sturdivant (ARI) did not play and should have been replaced in the lineup by Tom Zbikowski (BAL) who had 5 points. Packers’ kicker Mason Crosby added 6 points (all PATs) vs. the Potheads’ Lawrence Tynes (NYG) 2 points.
The Pigskin Potheads’ 92.74 points was tops in the Viper Football League this week. The Pittsburgh Stoners beat the Kansas City Chiefed by a score of 55.8 to 28.08. These teams, like the Green Bud Packers, are stocked only with players from the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs, respectively. The Steelers were last year’s AFC Champions and the Chiefs were an AFC playoff team.
The team, playing in the “Viper Football League” at viperfl.league.fantasy.nfl.com and known as the “NSLCS Pigskin Potheads”, features Michael Vick (Philadelphia Eagles) as its starting QB. While even casual NFL observers will recall Vick’s infamy in his dog-fighting convictions, few remember that before those events Vick was caught in an airport with a false-bottom water bottle containing marijuana. Chris Simms (Tennessee Titans), who was acquitted after a DUI stop where police said “the smell of pot just came off his clothes and out of his car”, will back up Vick.
The starting running backs are Ricky Williams (Baltimore Ravens), known for his multiple NFL drug test failures for the cannabis he used medicinally to treat social anxiety disorder, and Kevin Faulk (New England Patriots), who was busted for possession outside a Lil Wayne concert in Louisiana. Marshawn Lynch (Seattle Seahawks), and Laurence Maroney (Denver Broncos), caught in traffic stops with marijuana, will act as backups.
Wide receivers starting for the Potheads are Kenny Britt (Tennessee Titans), caught smoking a blunt at a car wash, and Santonio Holmes (New York Jets), the Super Bowl XLIII MVP who was suspended four games in 2010 for failing the NFL’s drug testing program. Percy Harvin (Minnesota Vikings) and Brandon Tate (New England Patriots) will be the backups. Harvin has missed a few games due to his migraine headache condition which may have led to his medical use of cannabis, and Tate failed the same NFL Scouting Combine drug test as Harvin. Other players suiting up on offense for the Potheads are Tight Ends Aaron Hernandez (New England Patriots) and Anthony McCoy (Seattle Seahawks), both of whom also reportedly failed drug tests at the NFL Scouting Combine.
On defense, Defensive Linemen Shaun Ellis (New England Patriots) and Jonathan Babineaux (Atlanta Falcons) both were caught with marijuana during traffic stops. Linebackers Leroy Hill (Seattle Seahawks) and Quan Sturdivant (Arizona Cardinals) also were busted in their cars with marijuana (Hill was passed out in his car at 4am). Defensive Back Derrick Martin (Green Bay Packers) was found possessing marijuana at the Cleveland airport and DB Tom Zbikowski (Baltimore Ravens) failed a marijuana drug test in his boxing career.
Only among kickers were Bloom and Belville unable to find direct evidence of involvement with marijuana. So Kickers Lawrence Tynes (New York Giants) and Sebastian Janikowski (Oakland Raiders) were allowed onto the team under special conditions. While Tynes has no apparent involvement with marijuana, he did ask the president to pardon his brother Mark, who is serving 27 years in prison for marijuana trafficking. Janikowski’s involvement with marijuana is unknown, but he does have past incidents with gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), the so-called “date rape drug”.
Every week of the NFL season, NORML SHOW LIVE will bring you the results of the Viper Football League scores as the “NSLCS Pigskin Potheads” do battle with teams made up primarily of players from last year’s Super Bowl contenders, known in this league as the “Green Bud Packers” and the “Pittsburgh Stoners”, and a fourth team, the “Kansas City Chiefed”.
foxnews Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Alex Magee was arrested on charges of marijuana possession and driving with an expired tag, the Tampa Tribune reported Tuesday.
Magee, 24, was pulled over Monday afternoon in a 2009 black Dodge Charger for driving with an expired tag. Police said they smelled marijuana during the stop, and found a small amount during a search of the vehicle.
Magee was released with a citation for a misdemeanor and ordered to appear in court.
Magee played in eight games for the Bucs and two for the Chiefs in his second NFL season out of Purdue.
Drafted to the stupid stoner team, that is. Expired tags, really? How many times do we have to tell you to make sure your car is in working order (blinkers, brake lights, headlights) and legal (tags, insurance, registration)?
I can maybe understand a poor working man not able to afford the new tags, but a defensive end in the NFL making a six-figure salary? Inexcusable.
I never want to see anyone put in a cage for possessing, growing, or using cannabis. However, I have little tolerance for people who use cannabis irresponsibly and put other people at risk.
Enter Chris Simms, quarterback of the Tennessee Titans. He’s the son of NFL MVP and Super Bowl winner and current NFL telecaster Phil Simms. He was busted for a marijuana DUI when his pot-smoke-bellowing SUV was stopped at a checkpoint in lower Manhattan, New York. Did I mention that his dad was quarterback and won the Super Bowl for the New York Giants?
Simms was cleared of the charges after a friend testified that he was the only one smoking pot that night. Prosecutors said the story told by Simms’ pal Charlie Granatell was “not worthy of belief.”
The Manhattan jury apparently disagreed.
Defense lawyers argued the charges against the NFL veteran showed “a rush to judgment” before a proper investigation was done.
Arresting Officer Francisco Acosta testified that his tongue became numb from the marijuana odor coming out of Simms’ SUV.
What is it with cops and marijuana odor? These guys can face the toughest bad guys, but a little whiff of skunk numbs the tongue? Didn’t I hear some cop testify about detecting marijuana by the green-ness of someone’s tongue? Wasn’t it Colorado where the cop testified that pot smokers couldn’t cross their eyes while high?
Simms admitted toking “four puffs” after swerving toward the 1 a.m. checkpoint and slamming on the brakes, Acosta testified.
Lawyer Harvey Steinberg said that despite Acosta’s testimony, the cop never made notes about erratic driving by Simms.
The lawyer dismissed a mug shot taken of a bloodshot Simms, suggesting his eyes were red because “he was a little bit tired.”
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/ny_crime/2011/05/04/2011-05-04_chris_simms_nfl_quarterback_and_son_of_giants_legend_found_not_guilty_on_marijua.html#ixzz1LPdKn9G3
Somehow I think if you or I driving were erratically through Manhattan, admitting to taking four puffs of pot, and presenting a mugshot like that, we might not get acquittal. Just sayin’.
ORLANDO (Sports Illustrated) — There’s a widespread belief within the NFL that the 2010 draft represents one of the deepest and most promising pools of collegiate talent in years. But in addition to the vast potential of this year’s draft class, numerous NFL personnel evaluators told SI.com they are concerned about the increased number of prospects who have a history of marijuana use in their background, with players often acknowledging a failed drug test for pot in college in interviews with team executives.
According to one veteran club personnel man, 10 or 11 players who carry first-round draft grades on their board this year have been red-flagged for marijuana use in college, an estimate echoed by two clubs’ head coaches. Another NFL head coach estimated that “one-third” of the players on his club’s draft board had some sort of history with marijuana use and would thus require an extra level of evaluation as part of the pre-draft scouting process.
“Marijuana use is almost epidemic, with more guys having tested positive for marijuana at some point in their college background than I can ever remember,” said a longtime team personnel man. “It’s almost as if we are having to figure out a new way to evaluate it as part of the character and background report, because it’s so prevalent. There’re enough instances of it that it’s hard to know how to set your board. You can’t throw out that many guys. You have to go case-by-case and do your homework on them.”
“It’s a matter of figuring out which ones smoke, and which ones have to smoke, because they really [are addicted],” another head coach said. “It’s like the drinking issue. You want to know if a guy drinks, or if he has a drinking problem. You’re trying to find out and make that distinction with some guys.”
Gosh, you mean you might have to evaluate the worth of a player based on his character and athleticism, and not just by the non-toxic relaxant herbs he may choose to consume? You might have to treat marijuana-using athletes the same way you treat alcohol-using athletes?
Why is it that the increased prevalence of marijuana use isn’t considered part of the reason for “deepest and most promising pools of collegiate talent”? You know that if this class of college players really sucked and there were a lot of pot smokers in that group, the sports writers would be complaining that “dope” use has slowed down and dulled the senses of these players.
The evidence is clear that a player’s past use of pot doesn’t mean they can’t contribute greatly to their team’s success:
Speaking of Brent, in the NFL you can admit to popping 13 Vicodin a night and you can be a raging alcoholic, but since those drugs are “legal”, you can still be “Totally Cool” on Sports Illustrated’s cover. But get caught with some weed and you get a suspension and fines worth $300,000.
CelebStoner has been collecting the NFL All-Drug Bust Team for some time and you could just about fill a roster with the offensive and defensive players on the list. Ricky Williams, Randy Moss, DeSean Jackson, Shaun Ellis, and many more players who are top players in the league have admitted to using or been caught using cannabis.
Is it any surprise that world-class athletes from sumo to martial arts, swimming to snowboarding, sprinting to mushing, football to rugby, and basketball to baseball, choose to use the “safest therapeutically-active substance known to man?” People who train their bodies to the peak of perfection, who monitor their nutrition to the gram and calorie, and whose paychecks depend on being the fittest they can be know that cannabis is a safe way to relieve pain and inflammation and to decrease stress and anxiety. They can’t afford the puking and hangovers that alcohol bring (Max McGee notwithstanding). Why should we punish these professionals for smoking cannabis?
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(NFL.com) UPDATE: Vikings rookie WR Percy Harvin missed two days of practice because of migraine headaches, but he was expected to fly to New Orleans for Sunday’s NFC Championship Game, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported, citing sources.
Vikings LT Bryant McKinnie used his Twitter page Saturday to post a short video interview with Harvin, who complained about his migraines but appeared to be in the locker room packing for the trip.
“Man, I’ve tried everything, and nothing works,” said Harvin, who’s listed as questionable to play against the Saints. “I give up.”
(AFP) MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — The Minnesota Vikings could be without NFL offensive rookie of the year Percy Harvin for Sunday’s NFC conference championship game at New Orleans.
Harvin, who has served as a wide receiver and kickoff returner, missed his second straight practice Friday because of migraine headaches.
It’s an ailment Harvin has dealt with most of his life, and one which cost him one game this season.
Vikings coach Brad Childress said the situation was “less than ideal” and said Harvin might not be able to fly with the team to New Orleans on Saturday.
Harvin has had migraines all of his life. Medical marijuana has been shown to be a fantastic, non-toxic treatment for migraine pain. Some researchers believe that migraine may be related to an underproduction in our body’s natural endocannabinoid system.
So after a standout college career at Florida, Harvin’s stock in the NFL draft fell when he reportedly tested positive for inactive THC-COOH metabolites at the NFL’s scouting combine last April. Indeed, were it not for the news of the marijuana in Harvin’s system, the Vikings probably would not have been in a position to pick up the star wide receiver who has won the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award and is a favorite of #4, the quarterback for the Vikings (whose name is an unpronounceable symbol to me.)
Then Harvin missed most of pre-season mini-camp and the NFL symposium for rookies and a key game versus Cincinnati when they were chasing the New Orleans Saints for homefield advantage. I presume that’s because the NFL’s substance abuse policy means he cannot use medical marijuana and his lifelong migraines have come back.
Now Harvin may miss the biggest game of his career, the biggest game since their 2001 loss to the Giants and their 1999 loss to the Falcons and their 1988 loss to Redskins and their 1978 loss to the Cowboys in the NFC Championships… as a Packers fan, I’m torn, because I feel Harvin should be able to treat his pain with cannabis, but it #4 has one less talented receiver to throw to in the Superdome, maybe I can abide by the NFL’s ridiculous ban on marijuana use by players for just one more week.
The quarterback formerly known as Brett Favre (to me, like Prince, his name has become an unpronounceable symbol to Packers fans like me, but it rhymes with “gator bus llama dean”) has been making quite a few perfect pass connections to the rookie from Florida, WR Percy Harvin. Harvin was just named the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year, despite the revelation that he (*gasp*) used marijuana!
(ESPN NFC North Blog) Harvin received 41 of the 50 votes after setting a Vikings record with 2,081 all-purpose yards in 15 games this season. That total left him with one of the best all-round rookie seasons in NFL history. (Oakland’s Tim Brown set the all-time record for all-purpose yards by a rookie with 2,317 in 1988.) Harvin was also quarterback Brett Favre’s favorite target on third down and ranked No. 7 among all NFL players in that category, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Harvin was a controversial draft pick after he tested positive for marijuana use at the February scouting combine. But as it turned out, the biggest problem he encountered was an intensification of migraine headaches that has plagued him for much of his life.
Migraines caused him to miss the Vikings’ rookie minicamp, the NFL’s rookie symposium and a game against Cincinnati last month.
Gosh, I wonder why he was using marijuana in the first place? And gee, I can’t understand why his migraine headaches might recur once he stopped using cannabis?
The NFL needs to get realistic about their substance abuse policy. Marijuana is no reason to threaten a player’s playing time or career. Stoners have caught the game winning TD passes in the past two Super Bowls (Pittsburgh’s Santonio Holmes, NY Giants’ Plaxico Burress); it’s clear these elite wide receivers can function well even after using marijuana at some time in their off season. For Harvin, cannabis is probably the best remedy he has for his migraine headaches; it’s one of the two pain conditions for which my wife had qualified for medical marijuana in Oregon and for her, nothing works better. But no, he must not use the “safest therapeutically active substance known to man” and instead rely on liver-killing OTC pain remedies and even more debilitating prescriptions that certainly would affect a wide-out’s performance on the field.
Wait. I just realized. Maybe given how well Holmes, Burress, and now Harvin have played the position, maybe they’re banned from using it for performance enhancing reasons…