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Thoughts, news and notes from the sports staff of The Saratogian newspaper, located in historic Saratoga Springs, New York. The gang in the corner office on Lake Avenue give you the post-game wrap-ups, news and notes from the games we cover and opinions about the sports we read about every day.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

SPORTS HAIR!!! Round 1

By Sam Moyer

Imagine you’re an NFL receiver playing against Pittsburgh. You make a leaping catch, turn around, and all you see is Troy Polamalu blitzing through the air, his long curly locks trailing like a swarm of locusts blocking out the sun.

Imagine the sheer terror.

After rolling around in their sleep, normal people sometimes wake up to find a small “bird’s nest” in their hair. Polamalu actually incubated a nest of seven blue jays during the 2008-2009 season, four of which survived despite 73 tackles. The nest, some have speculated, also contained yellow warblers.

Thursday against Cleveland Polamalu picked up eight tackles falling just short of his season high of nine. The strong safety is only 38th in the league in tackles and 10th among safeties, but you have to take into account that the Steelers are third in the NFL in fewest passing yards allowed, largely due to the intimidation factor of Polamalu's hair. 

Along with their season nemesis Baltimore Ravens, the AFC North leaders seem likely favorites to go on to Super Bowl XLVI (is that a real number?)

Speaking of the Packers, Green Bay will also be relying heavily on defensive hair to come up with key plays.

Packer linebacker Clay Matthews, skilled axe maker and direct descendant of Fabio, picked up a sack, forced fumble, and returned an interception for a touchdown against the Giants leading his team to a three point victory last Sunday.

If the two teams meet the results could be apocalyptic, like if Chuck Norris’ beard accidentally bumped into Mike Ditka’s mustache in a crowded bar and said "hey buddy, watch it!"

All-in-all the Packers are a better rounded team, and will probably be relying less on Matthews’ hair than Pittsburgh on Polamalu’s, but it should be an interesting battle nonetheless if the two teams meet.

Comment and cast your votes for our next installment of SPORTS HAIR!!!

Sam Moyer

Major League Baseball, MVP Braun to star in episodes of Pretty Little Liars

By Eric Theiss

If you Wikipedia "banned substances in baseball" this is stated in the first paragraph of the page:

" David Wells stated that "25 to 40 percent of all Major Leaguers are juiced".[1] Jose Canseco stated on 60 Minutes and in his tell-all book Juiced that as many as 80% of players used steroids"

Now I know this is not a fact it is an opinion but whom are you to believe??
Just when baseball fans thought that all of this was over, it comes back again as the most recent MVP for the National League, Milwaukee's Ryan Braun tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. 
Supposedly he knew he hadn't pass even before he accepted the honors of MVP and was on television seeming in disbelief of the honors:

"I was obviously thrilled, excited. It's honestly difficult to put into words how much this means to me." Braun said

Well now we are all looking at you in disbelief Ryan Braun, you were supposed to be part of the new crowd, the good guys, those top players to bring baseball back to its glory and out of the "dark years."
You WERE a golden boy, who was deciding to play for a small market team and work hard to make them better not go to a larger market and join the ranks of All-Star teams.

You used to be hated and loved by fans because you were so good, now you are just hated.

Braun will now forever be linked with that big old *

The worst part of it all is once again you can't trust any player and they are guilty till proven innocent.

Albert Pujols? Derek Jeter? Roy Halladay? David Freese? Stephen Strasburg?

How can players be stopped? Should they just allow players to take them and limit the dosage? How about follow along with other sports like NBA and NFL and sweep allegations under the table. 

All I know is that as a baseball fan, It hurts.
Honestly I have no real problem with a player taking steroids if it wasn't illegal. But it is, and they lie, and tarnish the game, and its almost becoming acceptable to get caught.
As long as you take the proper precautions admitting it right away you will only be slapped on the wrist by fans and writers for a short while and then it will all go away.
(No one still follows ARod's steroid usage anymore, they just assume he has stopped... has he??? who knows)

I guess 50 game suspension is not gonna cut it Bud, These players are out of control and you need to institute a bigger penalty otherwise, this game will forever be one big *

If you could be Commissioner of Major League Baseball for one day, how would you handle this???

> Eric Theiss is the Senior Editorial Assistant at the Saratogian newspaper. His love for baseball and his childhood memories keeps him in doubt that these players are not lying to him. Follow Eric on twitter @BigErTheiss