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Moss Moment: Zinging Howie Long about Steroid Abuse

Apr 06, 2013 8:05 am
Smutty By Smutty
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In this article, we relive a classic moment from the mold-shattering football career of Randy Moss.

Howie Long, a former NFL brute turned football "analyst", had apparently made a number of silly, false statements about Randy Moss over the last few years. So, in classic Randy Moss fashion, the rebuttal came on Monday, October 9, 2006, as Moss talked to Fox Sports radio.

    He had his turn when he played. Of course, I know he's an analyst and it's his job to stir up controversy, but for him to take a shot at me and say that I don't have a passion for the game, I love the game. If I don't have that much passion, you tell his [butt] to come out here and put on some pads on and go at me.

For Howie Long to say something like that is kind of bad because he knows, as a former NFL player, what it takes to get up for a game every Sunday. You got to practice week in and week out. Back in them days, he was probably popping pills and tablets and all that to get them up and going.

But nowadays with the drug testing policies and the performance-enhancing policy, then it's hard for a player to just go out there with just himself and go out there week in and week out.

Long replied, "If Randy wants to know what I was about in my 13 years as a Raider, and I'm a proud Raider, all he has to do is walk upstairs to the coach's office because I had the privilege of playing with and for Art Shell."

At first glance, it might look like Moss answered a false accusation with another false accusation, but let us delve deeper into the subject of Howie Long and steroids.

Howie Long played defensive line for the Raiders from 1981 to 1993. When, he joined the league, he was tutored by Lyle Alzado, the larger-than-life, veteran defensive lineman who played for the Raiders from 1982-1985. Alzado had been a force in the NFL since 1971 and took Long under his wing, winning the Comeback Player of the Year award in 1982.

After Alzado retired following the 1985 season, tragedy struck in the form of brain cancer and Alzado passed away at the age of 43. However, before he died, he wanted to tell everyone not to make the same fatal mistake that he made...excessive steroid use.

So, in 1991, Alazado told his story to Sports Illustrated who ran a heart-breaking cover story featuring a dying Alzado's plea to athletes to stop abusing steroids. Alzado said, "I started taking anabolic steroids in 1969 and never stopped. It was addicting, mentally addicting. Now I'm sick, and I'm scared. Ninety percent of the athletes I know are on the stuff. We're not born to be 300 lbs or jump 30 ft. But all the time I was taking steroids, I knew they were making me play better. I became very violent on the field and off it. I did things only crazy people do. Once a guy sideswiped my car and I beat the hell out of him. Now look at me. My hair's gone, I wobble when I walk and have to hold on to someone for support, and I have trouble remembering things. My last wish? That no one else ever dies this way."

I remember reading this story back in 1991, and it really shook me. It was one of the strongest statements that SI has ever made. Looking back on the Alzado tragedy today, one wonders if fellow Raiders defensive lineman Long was one of the 10% of athletes that Alzado knew who didn't use steroids or one of the 90% that did. I suppose we will never know for sure, just as we will probably never know for sure if the 1990s and 2000s baseball home run hitters used steroids but draw your own conclusions. For some reason, I don't believe that Art Shell will talk about it.

On another note, I think it is worthwhile to point out that Howie Long is not in any way representative of Raiders alumni in his jealous views of Randy Moss. John Madden, who unlike Long led the Raiders to a huge amount of success and a Super Bowl XI victory, was quoted in the Minneapolis Star Tribune as saying that he doesn't like to play favorites but that Randy Moss is his "favorite player". Considering that John Madden has seen more NFL Football than just about anyone, that is very high praise. Also, Madden frequently supported Moss with his comments during games and, unlike Long, he recognized a living legend when he saw one.

Rest in peace, Lyle Alzado. 1949-1992.


Smutty is the author of the best-selling book, 100 Things To Do That Are More Fun Than Sticking Your Dick into a Cigarette Lighter. Abandoned by his mother days after hatching, he has a life goal of making the world feel his pain. Hates faggy sports leagues like the NBA and NFL, likes to bitch-slap liberals, and generally disapproves of feminists and other degenerate bitches.

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