How did you first discover the benefits of marijuana for pain relief?
Todd Herremans: That actually happened more by chance. During college, I started to dabble into the world of cannabis -- recreationally, of course. I found it to be more enjoyable of an experience than drinking alcohol, mainly because I didn't have the lingering effects of alcohol the next day (i.e. hangover). This was important to me because of the training aspect of being a collegiate athlete. As time went on and years passed, I found myself in the NFL playing and was still enjoying cannabis from time to time. It wasn't until I failed a drug test and had it taken away from me that I really noticed the medical benefits of cannabis.
Explain what your body felt like when you were using marijuana as opposed to when you stopped.
Herremans: While I was using cannabis, my body felt normal. I didn't notice the daily discomfort that came with playing in the NFL. After failing the drug test and stopping my use, I gradually started to notice the wear and tear of the long season on my body with quite a few aches and pains. That was when it was evident to me that cannabis could be used to manage pain.
"We had looked at it before, and in years where there's positions of strength where you think you can get guys later, what typically happens is there's a run on those guys, and (teams) want to get their own guy, so you just have to be careful that you're not sitting there and going, 'Hey this is great draft at position x, and we'll be sitting there in the sixth round and we'll get a great guy.' I think that's why just sticking to your board and not getting too cute and making sure you get the right players for the Philadelphia Eagles is so important."
In the 2017 NFL Draft, "position x" is cornerback, as it is considered to be extremely deep and talented. Unlike last year with defensive tackle, cornerback most definitely IS a significant need area for the Eagles.
If the Eagles are on the clock at pick number 14/15, and the best player on their board happens to be a corner, they should just take him, rather than hoping that one with comparable skill will still be there in round 2 or 3.
And if a player with comparable skill is still sitting there in the second round after taking one in first round, maybe you just take another one.
Roundtable: NFL reporters on concussions, under-covered stories and more - Sports Illustrated
How have the issues of concussions and domestic violence changed, if at all, how you feel about the beat you cover?
Bowen: Yeah, that’s something I really feel. If I’d lived in ancient Rome, would I have been scribbling on some scroll about what a beautiful move the lion made to take down the Christian? Sometimes it feels like that. I try hard not to feed into the “back when men were men, that wouldn’t have been a penalty” line of thinking. I believe football must be made safer. If there are people watching who will stop watching if players aren’t knocking each other out, I say let those people watch something else. NASCAR doesn’t worry about losing fans who get a thrill from the prospect of seeing drivers maimed or killed. The domestic violence issue is tougher. I think our culture is moving very quickly in the right direction on this, and the NFL is just going to have to come with it. High school and college players need to know mistreating women will affect their careers, just as seriously as if they’d shot someone or robbed a bank. I especially don’t like it when you get the sense the player isn’t really contrite, but is saying what he’s been told to say, or just won’t talk about what he did at all, giving you no idea whether he feels remorse. If a guy is sincerely working on a “second chance,” fine, let that mostly linger in the background and write about how he plays, but I’m not gonna get all Brent Musburgery about how great it is that he’s overcoming adversity, or any of that crap.