There have been many suspensions issued recently and many more pending, so I feel the need to make an extremely heartfelt confession. I am a professional football player in the National Football League and I regularly use performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).
Before I delve into the details, I need to clarify something. PEDs are not defined by the NFL. It’s common vernacular, but it’s not the language used in the fine print and details of the NFL Players Association’s Rules and Regulations. So let’s define the obvious. PEDs are chemical substances with biological effects (drugs) used to enhance performance (in this case, athletic), often with undesirable side effects. I understand the risks inherent with PEDs, but since I am paid millions of dollars and have placed on me untold pressures and stresses to perform at the highest athletic level in the world, these risks are calculated and I accept them. But it’s not accepted by all, so here are my sins…
My muscles have a tendency to cramp, thanks mainly to dehydration (I’m a massive sweater). To battle this I have taken a chemical that is two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen, in mass quantities. I’ve become addicted to this substance and, unfortunately at this point, failure to consume it will result in my death. My withdrawal symptoms are so bad that after three days without it, I would have no problem killing you for it.
There is another product I use that enhances the effects of this substance. It’s a chemical soup that includes hydrogen, oxygen, citric acid, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, and glycerol ester of wood rosin. I consume this in mass quantities as well. The street name is Gatorade. Withdrawal symptoms aside, without these liquids, my cramps would limit my on-field performance greatly.
Sometimes Coach will dog me about my low motor and energy level. Despite trying my best, he’s right. High energy is difficult to maintain over the course of a practice or game, so there are a few stimulants I take to increase it. One is a psychoactive crystalline drug called trimethylpurinedione, or caffeine. I’ll down some coffee, pills, energy drinks, it doesn’t matter. I’ve become addicted to it all. I also increase my energy levels with high amounts of sucrose, which I extract from sugarcane grass that I grow under heat lamps in my basement. Sometimes, if time permits, I’ll combine caffeine, sugar, and cocoa to make chocolate. My body seems to metabolize this quickly, resulting in quicker enhanced performance. I sincerely hope the authorities don’t find out about this.
Consuming so much caffeine and sugar inevitably leads to a quick crash in my energy level and serious migraine headaches. This impacts my concentration level during game preparation with my teammates and coaches. I counter this by taking ibuprofen, a solid pain reliever. I also crush the ibuprofen into a powder and mix it with Gatorade during games. This helps relieve the pain from many of the hits I endure, and the injuries that result. I know what you're thinking, but I've never snorted it. I'm more civilized.
Sometimes, however, the pain proves to be too intense, so I use topical drugs. My trainers typically slide me a cream under the table, a mixture of menthol and methyl salicylate. I’ve heard it referred to as "IcyHot". Whatever it’s called, it works. The only side effect of this drug is feeling awesome.
These are not inclusive of all the drugs I take to enhance my performance, but most assuredly they give me an advantage over my competition. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to compete at such a high level.
The point of my confession is not only to come clean, but to also level the playing field. The NFL has a list of banned substances that include steroids, hormones, diuretics (masking agents), and Sudafed. And for some reason, the NFL refuses to acknowledge what theses banned substances really are: performance enhancing drugs. Since more performance enhancing substances exist outside of this list, I request that they all be included. Not for my benefit; it’s too late for me. I’ve crossed that line and my health has already been compromised. We need to protect the future professional football athletes of America.
We need to protect America.