Ben Watson, Of All People, Has Been Suspended 4 Games for Taking a Banned-Substance When He Still Thought He Was Staying Retired
I'm not going to fault any one party for a piece of news that initially reads as shocking due to the consummate professionalism of the un-retired player, who treated his body as a temple, in question. The NFL has pretty clearly outlined what drugs they've deemed suspendible, and Ben Watson should have felt more than comfortable ingesting them in the wake of his absurdly long career in organized brutality that he deemed to be over. If anything, his upcoming four game suspension is just a byproduct of unfortunate circumstances while also being a bit of a blessing in disguise to a 38-year old who was almost certainly inspired to put the pads back on by having his "final" season brought to an early end with him stuck on the sidelines.
That being said, it's pretty telling of how stupidly strict the league's banned substance policy is that Ben Watson's first unrestricted doctor's visit in a decade and a half had him prescribed something illegal in the eyes of his former employer. Of course, I imagine it's almost impossible to draw the line between using and abusing something as helpful in the recovery process as Bio Identical Testosterone Cypionate. Still, the juxtaposition of profiting greatly off battered bodies and bruised brains while nitpicking what medicinal methods are allowable, so much so that it's one of the few remaining professions in which weed is still a bad word, of players risking their short-term and long-term health on non-guaranteed contracts is an unsettling one.
I don't know that there's a right answer, as having bigger, stronger, and faster athletic freaks hitting each other head-on even harder isn't the answer, but surely the pharmaceutical community could find a happier medium than what certainly seems to be the wrong one. That is, if the NFL even cared enough about their players to listen to anyone other than their nonsensically stubborn selves.