Single page view By Skip Bayless
Page 2

I'm one of those body-as-temple weirdos. Wouldn't touch alcohol. Never so much as tried a cigarette.

Couldn't even imagine holding a joint.

My lone addictions are work, running and weight lifting, pretty much in that order. I know, I'm sick.

Randy Moss
Are you shocked that Randy Moss smokes pot? And, do you even care?

So I stunned myself the other day on ESPN2's "Cold Pizza" when I was asked if it bothered me that professional athletes -- notably Randy Moss -- smoke marijuana away from the field.

Honestly … no.

And the gut feeling here is that it doesn't really bother NFL or NBA executives, either -- as long as a player doesn't admit to smoking dope in an interview with Bryant Gumbel to air Tuesday night on HBO's "Real Sports."

That, of course, is what Moss admitted, according to a partial transcript released by HBO. Moss, who has always fought an off-the-field inferiority complex, apparently tried to impress Gumbel by saying "… I've had my fun throughout my [seven NFL] years, you know, predominantly in the offseasons."

Moss, according to the transcript, also makes it clear he doesn't abuse marijuana and says he doesn't want kids "taking a lesson from me as far as, 'Well, Randy Moss used it, so I'm going to use it.'"

Somewhere, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue is clenching his teeth and perhaps preparing to announce the league now has just cause to move Moss into the up-to-10-tests-a-month phase of the league's recreational drug-use program. Moss didn't just blow his cover. He blew the league's.

The NFL and NBA basically operate on the premise that what parents and kids don't know about players won't hurt them -- or keep them from watching or buying tickets.

And millions of deficient parents continue to teach kids that pro athletes -- who invariably make the worst role models -- are the ultimate role models.

Which brings me to the image-twisted, parent-fueled hypocrisies that sometimes make me feel as if I'm on a bad heroin trip.

How can the NFL expect players to readily agree to let team doctors shoot them with painkillers so they can play with injuries no real-world doctor would clear -- yet then be prohibited from smoking marijuana to anesthetize themselves after tough games?

And why wouldn't the league sooner outlaw drinking alcohol than smoking marijuana?

The obvious answer, of course, is that marijuana is illegal. Yet how and why alcohol survived prohibition to become one of this country's biggest problems makes me feel three sheets to wind.

I'll leave the soap-box derbies about big business and corrupt government to analysts who transcend sports' toy box.

But you also should know this about me: I grew up in a two-alcoholic household. My father drank himself to death at 49 -- cirrhosis of the liver the official cause. My mother's brother and father also were alcoholics. Her brother basically crawled into a bottle and died, and my grandmother used to hide my brother and me in her basement when my grandfather came home drunk.

A mean bull of a drunk, my granddad was.

So I've sat through lots of alcoholic counseling and observed lots of drunk people. And after checking out the effects of pot on friends, mostly in college, I reached a few conclusions.



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