Did Steriods Make Shawne Merriman an Idiot or has he Always Been One?

James ReesAnalyst IAugust 27, 2008

Steroids are bad for your body.  Unless you’ve been living under a rock in Siberia for the past twenty years, you know that steroids, while beneficial for muscle strength in the short run, are extremely dangerous to your prolonged health.

Shawne Merriman is a premiere linebacker in the NFL—also a fact you should know as a civically responsible sports fan. 

What you might not know, however, or may have already forgotten, is the fact that Merriman tested positive for steroids in 2006.     

In case anyone forgot, the Chargers’ star served a four-game suspension in the middle of that season as was required by the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Despite his four-game absence, Merriman still managed to lead the league in sacks, earning himself a starting position in the Pro Bowl that year.  Because of his success, people seemed to overlook his positive drug test, perhaps dismissing it as irrelevant or somehow unimportant.

Lately Merriman has been front page news because of his recently discovered knee injury—two torn ligaments. 

As the circumstances of Merriman’s latest conundrum continue to dominate the sports headlines; and upon hearing the latest news that Mr. Lights Out plans to forgo surgery (wait, whaaaat?!?) in favor of playing, I started to wonder…do steroids mess up your brain as well as your body?

First off, is it too much of a (ligament) stretch to assume Merriman’s knee injury is related at all to his prior use of performance enhancing drugs?  What I’ve heard about steroids leads me to believe that while your muscles may get bigger, it comes at the cost of weakened ligaments.

Make your own assumptions about the cause of his injury.  I’m no doctor, but I can certainly see the writing on the wall when it’s written in block letters.

But what I want to really know now, after finding out that Merriman plans to play this season, is just how much damage steroids can do to a person’s mental capacity.

To put it rather bluntly and to quote my title, did steroids make Shawne Merriman an idiot or has he always been one? 

The first indication that Shawne might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer came when it was reported that he was seeking a second opinion after having his knee evaluated by Dr. James Andrews. 

In case you don’t know, Dr. Andrews in the end-all, be-all of sports medicine.  Almost every high-profile athlete suffering from a knee, shoulder, elbow or ankle injury goes to Dr. Andrews to have it fixed.  Simply put, if he can’t fix it, no one can. 

But for Merriman, one opinion from Dr. Andrews—albeit the only opinion that really matters—wasn’t good enough.

After consulting multiple doctors who all told him unequivocally that surgery would be the best option, Merriman has opted to refuse surgery (again, whaaaat!?!?) and play football this season.

I would like to take this opportunity to suggest a prop bet to anyone reading who may work for Vegas.  Here it is: “Over or under four weeks until Shawne Merriman’s knee completely and totally explodes.”

If you take the over, you’re as stupid as Merriman is.  Seriously, this guys is about as sharp as a marble.  How does he expect to move laterally--as a linebacker who covers sideline to sideline--without a lateral collateral ligament?

He probably thinks he can just grow a new one in the remaining 10 days before the season starts.

In all seriousness, he might not even make it through the first game. Maybe after three games (if he makes it that long) when he’s totaled only 4 tackles and spent more time on the trainer’s table than on the field, he’ll realize what a moron he is.

Until then, it’s his knee and his future he’s toying with.  Oh yeah, I almost forgot…don’t do drugs.