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Thursday Throwdown: Testosterone Mystery Edition

By on April 19, 2012

Okay, that title may be a little misleading. I don’t think there’s a whole lot of mystery as to why Alistair Overeem’s testosterone is over a dozen times higher than the average man’s. To expect anything else other than that Overeem has been using…substances that he shouldn’t have been is downright naive.

Still, how can you not be just a little bit curious about what in the world Overeem and company plan to say in five days when they meet up with the Nevada State Athletic Commission?

I, like most people who have been fans of the sport for many years, considered the Junior dos Santos-Overeem bout dead and over with as soon as Overeem failed his urine test. We’ve all seen many failed tests, all of which have resulted in a suspension. In the best case scenario, fighters have had their suspensions reduced in length, but nobody fails a drug test and simply gets out of being punished.

Overeem’s case is a bit different in that his was a random drug test, not the typical post-fight test that constitute the vast majority of tests that fighters are subjected to. Still, he agreed to the random tests when he was late submitting a drug test for the Brock Lesnar bout, so I don’t see how the timing would have anything to do with whether he’ll be allowed to fight.

One fighter has even come to Overeem’s defense. Guess who! If you said “Chael Sonnen”, pat yourself on the back. I’ll also except “Chael Sonnen, duh” or “that a-hole Sonnen”. We all know what you mean. Sonnen’s rant:

“Hey. If I’m a member of the media and someone tells me that Alistair Overeem failed a drug test, the very first thing I’m going to say is: ‘Really? What substance did he test positive for?’ Now, you see, those basic questions are where the wheels begin to fall off the bus to this entire story. Alistair Overeem did not test positive for anything. End of story. So why is his name getting drug through the mud? Why are they saying, ‘Well, he’s got an elevated T-to-E ratio.’ Ok, fair enough. Let’s say his T-to-E ratio is outside the norm. That’s not illegal. That’s outside the norm. That’s a red flag. That is a red flag, and Alistair will owe an explanation. If it’s not against the rules, why are we having this conversation?”

Sonnen, who also referred to the MMA media as “kids on the interweb…running your little dot-coms from your mother’s basement,” seemed to me to be more interested in getting some shots in on MMA writers in general than providing any valid points. He seems to have his politician hat on, pretending that we shouldn’t draw any conclusions as to why Overeem’s testosterone levels are so damned high. “Hey, the guy may have a ton of money all of a sudden, he may fit the description of the bank robber and drive the same car that was seen outside the bank that day, but that doesn’t mean anything!”

The argument that Overeem hasn’t “cheated” because the fight hasn’t happened yet is similarly silly, but what are we to expect? After all, Sonnen not only got busted for the same thing, but also flat-out lied on Jim Rome’s radio show about making the infamous “Lance Armstrong gave himself cancer” statement, even when Rome played the audio clip for Sonnen on the air? (By the way, click the link- that’s quality comedy that holds up to this day. When Rome says “That sounds exactly like you” I just about die every time.)

Back to Overeem. I’m extremely curious to see what he’s going to have to say for himself in a few days, especially since he apparently won’t be using the testosterone replacement therapy defense that Sonnen tried on for size. Inside MMA’s Robert Kruck had this to say after talking with Overeem’s manager, Glenn Robinson (no, not that Glenn Robinson): “Now, Robinson also wanted to make it very clear that despite other reports, Overeem did not test high for testosterone. Rather, his testosterone-to-epitesosterone ratio was off, and he has a reasonable explanation for why that is, which he will present to the Commission next Tuesday.” Hmmm.

Non-MMA Rant of the Week

Every now and then, people who usually don’t give a damn about NHL hockey decide that it’s not so bad after all, and then we’re faced with the same old topics as always. One of these topics is always whether fighting should be outlawed from the sport, in a similar way that it is in every other major sport. Whenever the topic comes up, the answer is always a resounding “no”.

Still, it’s a scary thought, because even when they don’t have the majority, conservative points of view always seem to win when there’s money involved. (I’m not talking about politics, of course, but of “conservative” in a literal sense. In this case, a conservative point of view would be, “Gee, I hope all of this fighting doesn’t hurt the sport’s growth!”)

In other words, even though polls of both players and fans regularly show that the vast majority of both groups want fighting to stay in the game, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it head to the wayside eventually. Hey, it’s not as if football fans wanted to see the NFL become touch football, but that hasn’t stopped Roger Goodell from pretending to care about player safety, has it?

If the right people can convince the NHL that in order for the sport to reach that vaunted “mainstream” status, fighting has to go bye-bye, it will be gone. And that would be awful. Not just because it’s fun to watch dudes fight on skates, although it is. No, it’s mostly because fighting serves a purpose.

Yes, that’s right. When your mom told you “fighting doesn’t solve anything”, she was wrong (although, I’m sure you’ve figured that out by now). In the NHL, fighting solves lots of problems, such as the other team deciding that a cheap-shot to your star player could win them a playoff series. In other sports, it could solve just as many problems.

Why the hell is it okay for baseball pitchers to strut around the mound or to pump their fist like Tiger Woods circa 1999 when they strike someone out, but it’s not cool for hitters to (gasp!) take a stride or two after they hit a 450-foot home run and watch the ball fly in the air? Who knows, but if the batter decides to “show up” the pitcher, he can count on getting plunked the next time he’s up.

Doesn’t seem fair to me. How about this: if the next time a fat, out of shape pitcher decides to plunk a monster like Albert Pujols, he knows that Pujols may just come up to the mound and knock his head off, maybe he’ll think twice about trying to be a badass by throwing a ball at someone? I mean, seriously…throwing a ball at someone? Is that supposed to be manly? Isn’t that the last reaction of a frustrated child?

Other sports would improve with a little more fisticuffs, as well. What about flagrant fouls in basketball? You’ve got your back to someone, going up for an uncontested layup or dunk, and suddenly they decide to hammer you to the floor. That’s a cowardly act, my friend. An act that should be met with a punch to the face.

See, that’s why fighting belongs in the NHL: because it allows the players to discourage others from doing cowardly shit. Cowardly shit should not be welcome in any sport, least of all hockey. Instead of talking about taking the fighting out of hockey, maybe we should be talking (or at least fantasizing, since it would never happen) about putting it into others.

Never mind the fact that everything that the NHL has done over the years to make the game more “appealing” to non-hockey fans has been an awful idea (from renaming divisions and conferences to the awful FoxTrax puck that left a glowing trail to be more easily tracked by uninitiated fans). And of course, let’s not discuss the fact that none of those changes accomplished the goal of making the NHL a huge sport in America. Keep hockey the way it is, for God’s sake. Haven’t we pussified the world enough?

Quote of the Week

It doesn’t bother me when I feel my opponents’ bones break.-Shinya Aoki.

No shit, Sherlock.

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1 comment
  1. Mick says:

    In 1989-90 I was training cops in the Southwest in Unarmed Defensive Tactics. I had a buddy that was a iron pumping fanatic. He also was injecting steroids. He incessantly tried to convince me to get just one injection of this or that. His promise of, and I will never forget it 40 pounds of “kept” muscle in one shot. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to get bigger it was simply that I did not know enough about the drugs and it scared me.

    My point is that when Overeem is finally cleared, fighting for the title or even elimination bouts I know the overall effects of the “juice” is still enhancing his performance. I know, I am offering up the idea that fighters need to be suspended for a much longer period than they are currently for violation or peeing hot. Hmm, makes me wonder if the NAC is just making a point and really wants the revenue Overeem will bring into the Silver State.

    Just sayin’

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