Merriman Is Allowed To Break Records But Bonds Can't?

That's basically the question that Randy Hill is asking over at

Hill is raising a point about the 'sacredness' of baseball records and the absolute beating guys like Mark McGuire and Barry Bonds take from the public and press compared to guys in the NFL, like Shawne Merriman, who have actually tested positive for banned substances and are open about it.

Unlike Bonds (who some would argue, stinks to high heaven of performance-enhancing guilt), Merriman tested positive for his chemical upgrade. Oh, he blamed peripheral circumstances for his dirty urine, but the protest wasn't necessary.

With a published or broadcast exception here and there, Merriman was more than welcome to suit up and launch his freakishly ripped physique into quarterbacks made vulnerable by offensive tackles with less explosiveness than the San Diego star.

Why is that? Why do we not bellyache at equal volume when professional football players behave at a lower standard than baseball players?

The guy has got a point. We are quick to place asterisks next to Bonds' name in the record book, but I don't think anyone would mind it one bit if Shawne Merriman broke the single-season sack record next season. Actually, most NFL fans would love to watch Merriman destroy would-be blockers on his way to crushing opposing quarterbacks upwards of 20 times in a season.

Maybe it's because the NFL is modernized and the average age of an NFL athlete is considerably lower than that of an MLB player? Baseball is a much older pastime and has not changed much over it's years.

Or maybe is the nature of the sport; one being highly exciting and full of energy and aggression, while the other is a meticulous and patient sport, where displays of power come but a few times in an entire game?

June 1, 2007

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