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November 18, 2014

A Day with Federal Agents

Harry M. Covert

I’m feeling sorry today for athletes at all levels. Time is, perhaps, for sports fans, political watchers and regular people to have a rest and think about the good days to come, Thanksgiving and Christmas.


While some historians or expert public relations people may want to debate where the first one was held, I can only say “so what,” it was at Berkeley Plantation, Charles City, Virginia. But that’s another story for another day.


How interesting it was to see and hear the news, federal agents interested in drug cases, enjoy their Sunday football games in person.


Dressed in their raiding paraphernalia, side arms and tasers checking out the visitor’s dressing rooms, to be fair, the San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks medical personnel got the once-over.


Breaking News: none of the 32 teams’ players were subjected to frisking or handcuffing.


After the games most of the performers probably needed some sort of muscle relaxants, pain killers and other sorts of drugs to ease their assorted injuries.


With certainty, game-day performers all needed some type of relief. Even the Saturday afternoon collegians and Friday night high school football players each needed some sort of prescription drugs as they completed their rah-rah, jumping for joy athletic pursuits for good old alma maters.


Surely the day is going to come when the million-dollar collegians and the expensive secondary schools will face some federal, even state and local, investigations.


People, athletes deserve some extreme care and concern for their efforts. It isn’t easy. Consider recovering from broken bones, sprains, cuts and bruises and even the yelling and screaming from coaches, assistant coaches and fans (i.e., fanatics)? And, don’t forget, they have to attend classes also.


Remember, doctors, pharmacies and crutches are easily available.


It was good to see how efficient the federal drug agents went about their business. Surprise is a good thing, particularly when surprise raids are planned. I sort of guess the NFL’s executives may have had advance notices. And, the broadcasters were kept in the dark, too.


Locally, Baltimore’s Ravens were resting while the Washington Redskins were playing like they all were drugged, tired or incompetent.


At the risk of being unkind, some professional sports writers may even agree that the student-athletes and, the would-be amateurs called Alabama’s Crimson Tide, Mississippi State’s Bulldogs, Michigan State’s Spartans or even Ohio State could defeat the Redskins. Neither Maryland’s Terps nor Navy’s Middies could possibly defeat the Burgundy and Gold. They may be the exception.


Let’s return to the matter of the Drug Enforcement Administration. They have a job to do, of course; don’t forget for a moment that these pros love doing their job, especially when they can get the drop on the bigtime athletes.


I can see the day coming when individual states and local jurisdictions get in on the fun. Listening to all the explanations will be more than entertaining. It won’t just be football programs but the bigtime basketball programs, maybe lacrosse, and baseball. No collegiate or high school theatrical and musical programs will be bothered.


The bottom line to all of this has to be on the side of the athletes. The public must recall the pain and agony of tooth aches, charley horses, back spasms, broken limbs, smashed noses and tackles with jerks on the face masks. Each and every one of these hurts requires some painkillers. Those who have endured back surgeries know the importance of extra-strength aspirins, ibuprofen and acetaminophen. One of the best is oxycodone. Another honest-to-goodness reliever is OxyContin.


Drug agents did manage to give the sufferers somewhat of a respite from fighting and scratching. Homeward bound battles will be out of the headlines for a short time. Let the gladiators have some relief from the gridiron beatings, please.


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