So apparently Brian Cushing is trying to tell people that he "did not take a steroid." That line probably would have worked with the lapdogs in Southern California's traditional media who looked the other way when scandals were breaking in South Central. It is not flying with the NFL's veteran media observers.
I think when I lived in New Jersey a few years ago, there were always whispers about how star high school linebacker Brian Cushing got so big and so strong so fast. And no matter how Cushing spins it in the wake of being suspended for four weeks for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance (Cushing denied to friend and workout pal Jay Glazer that what he tested positive for was a steroid), it doesn't matter. He'll have the scarlet letter on his chest for the rest of his career. It doesn't go away.
Cushing admitting that he appealed the positive test in February makes it virtually certain that he derived benefit from whatever illegal substance he took during his rookie season. And if this suspension is the result of a positive test at any point during the 2009 season, I'm in favor of stripping him of the defensive rookie of the year award and giving it to second-place finisher Jairus Byrd of Buffalo. These are awards lorded over by the Associated Press, not the NFL, so this is not an NFL decision.
Meanwhile, Mike Florio, perhaps the most widely read traditional media blogger/reporter was even more merciless on Cushing by keeping it simple Forrest Gump style (emphasis added):
But, really, it doesn't matter. The NFL has identified a list of steroids and other substances that, if taken, constitute cheating. And Cushing was caught with one of those substances in his system. And so he necessarily was cheating.
Glazer apparently agrees with our logic. "In today's NFL guys have to be fully responsible for what goes in their bodies," Glazer said via Twitter. "I don't care if it was steroidal or not, it's on the player!"
Glazer also isn't happy with Cushing, pointing out that the FOX NFL insider and his partner in MMAthletics, Randy Couture, are "extremely pissed about the whole mess, just being associated [with] any of this crap." [...]
To apply a mild twist to one of Forrest Gump's pearls of wisdom, cheating is as cheating does. And Cushing, barring a damn good explanation other than "I didn't take steroids," is a cheater.
Nothing else left to say.