|Controversy heating up for the Harbowl|
|Written by Zack Fulkerson, Sports Columnist|
|Thursday, 31 January 2013 10:10|
As brothers Jim and John Harbaugh get ready to face off in Super Bowl XLVII, controversy surrounding players and referees are popping up to keep our mind set on the big game. They certainly couldn’t have counted on the Pro Bowl game to do that seeing as how that was like watching nap time at the old folks home. With no football to speak of for almost two weeks, there has to be something to keep fans on the edge of their seats.
In one case, Raven’s star linebacker Ray Lewis responded to allegations that he’s been using some sort of deer antler spray. As this Super Bowl is looking to be Lewis’ last game, he was cool and collected while answering questions from the media on Wednesday: “I’m never angry. I’m too blessed to be stressed,” Lewis said.
Sports Illustrated reported on Tuesday that Lewis had used an “unorthodox” deer antler spray that contains a performance-enhancing drug. The story claims that the spray includes IGF-1 (insulin growth factor), a substance on the NFL’s banned substance list, which he sprayed under his tongue in order to help him with a quick recovery after a torn tricep injury that left him on the bench for 10 weeks.
IGF-1 is marketed under the brand name Increlex, and was used to treat a rare disorder known as Laron dwarfism, in which the body doesn’t produce enough IGF-1. Lewis allegedly obtained the spray from SWATS (Sports with Alternatives to Steroids), a company which also allegedly showed off their wares to the Alabama Crimson Tide two days before their thrashing of Notre Dame. The SI article seems to imply that the substance would have dubious effects on the injured linebacker’s condition: it is harvested from deer antlers, and this kind of IGF-1 hasn’t been scientifically proven to work in humans.
Just when we thought that the controversy surrounding referees was finally over, some whispers turned into headlines this week over the picks for who would officiate this Sunday’s game in New Orleans. Not making the list were fan favorites Ed Hochuli and Gene Steratore, who didn’t even make it to a single playoff game this season.
So who actually made the cut? Nine-year veteran Jerome Boger. But other big league names are questioning the league’s decisions. Boger was supposedly in the hot seat for making several bad calls this season.
Many former officials and pundits have expressed concern that Boger was picked because he was silent on his position during the lockout early this season. Hochuli, on the otherhand, was rather vocal in his demand for higher pay. The concern here is that Boger was picked with political favoritism rather than on merit.
With all of this soap-opera, baby-mama-drama it’s hard for me to set sights on who I think will win the game. If I were a bettin man, I’d put all my money on “49” and let it ride.