The League

Anthony Stalter
National Blogger

Anthony Stalter

Senior Sports Editor for The Scores Report

Downtime leads to drug use

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After JaMarcusBust Russell brought attention to the "purple drank" with his arrest a couple of weeks ago, there has been an underlying feeling that the recreational drug beverage could start to become a serious problem in athlete culture.

Well of course it will - it's a drug.

Want to know why athletes get in trouble off the field? It's because they have too much money and downtime on their hands. Fans want to believe that every athlete will go home at the end of the season, curl up in front of his TV, pop in game film and hibernate until it's time to report to camp again the next year. But that's a pipedream.

I realize that I'm not touching on anything new here, but after Russell got busted for a new (or at least new to the sports public) drug, it reiterated the fact that these athletes will get into anything if you give them enough time.

There used to be a time when the only thing athletes were busted for was something alcohol-related. But it's almost assumed these days that alcohol was involved when players get into trouble with the law and now you're constantly waiting for something else to be thrown into the mix.

Was the player smoking the hippie lettuce at the time, too? On cocaine? Fighting dogs?

Now it's "purple drank." Think about that for a second - some genius actually thought to mix together prescription-strength cough syrup with 7UP and Jolly Rancher candy in order to alter his state of mind. What's stopping someone else from trying something even more ludicrous in order to get high? (On a side note, I recently tried to mix Crystal Light Iced Tea with a half-cup of sugar and a pound of gummy bears in efforts to create my own drink. I called it, "I'm a big friggin' idiot.")

It's probably safe to say that Russell isn't the first, nor will he be the last athlete to try the "purple drank." It's only a matter of time before another player gets busted for the same drug and then the situation will be brought to light even more than it already has.

But it's just one more stupid thing in a long list of stupid things that athletes can get involved in these days. It's no bigger or smaller a problem than anything else a player can get himself mixed up in if he has enough money and downtime on his hands.

That said, here's hoping players are smart enough to look at Russell and think to themselves how badly they don't want to be him both on and off the field.

By Anthony Stalter  |  July 20, 2010; 10:52 AM ET  | Category:  NFL , NFL Rules , Substance Abuse Policy Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Is codeine abuse a problem for NFL? | Next: Sippin' Siz-erp

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