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If Your Story Is True, Robert Mathis, Then You’ve Won

The back-and-forth between Robert Mathis and the NFL’s drug police continued today, with Mathis’s agent complaining anew about the NFL releasing a statement in response to a prior statement from Mr. Agent.

As much as I love a good press release battle, I don’t wanna get into the details because they don’t matter. Here’s the short version: Mathis got suspended four games for using a banned substance, and he said, “It was a fertility drug and all I wanted was to knock my old lady up.” And the NFL said, “Whatever, you’re still suspended,” and Mathis said, “Not cool, NFL,” and today, the NFL said, “Well, we’re doing it anyway.”

Which is perfectly within their rights, because it’s not like they can just start taking an athlete’s word for it when it comes to a failed drug test. If he lets this go, does Roger Goodell really want 32 Seattle Seahawks at his door every morning claiming low sperm counts?

In arguing against the suspension, Mathis doesn’t really have a leg to stand on. And if the fertility story is true, who’s to say it didn’t also help his on-field performance? Clomid, the drug in question, is a testosterone-boosting – ah, here I am getting into the details of it. Again – doesn’t matter.

If Mathis was truly just trying to get past conception issues, then he comes out way ahead. He took the drug, he gets the child he and his wife so desperately wanted, and it cost him four weeks of football -- four weeks of body-destroying football, which, incidentally, won’t do him any favors in his march toward to being a lucid, coherent, able-bodied father his NFL days are past him.

Lifetime of baby vs. one quarter of an NFL regular season. For a guy who desperately wanted to conceive, you’d think that trade-off would be alright. Celebrate, man. Instead of asking for special treatment because, what – you’re nice? – say you took the drug, it was worth it, and you’d do it again, because some things are more important than football. Take those four weeks and be with your lady (so long as Boomer Esiason is okay with that).

Unless …

Robert Mathis knows there’s zero chance of changing his perfectly logical suspension, but took his complaints public anyway, because he wanted to protect his reputation as a beloved, long-time Indianapolis Colt and a pretty good guy, as opposed to being labeled a dirty, dirty drug cheat.

I’m not saying any of that isn’t true, because what do I know? I’m not sure if I’m witnessing a family man paying an unfortunate price for his desire to have a family, or one more performance-enhancer who came up with the best post-test-failure PR strategy yet.