Household names

Wait a minute.Something's afoot here. Terrell Owens, aka T.O., was placed on the NFL's "reasonable cause" testing program for banned substances, according to ESPN.

Why, you ask? Because he missed phone calls, calls being the plural mind you, to set up random drug tests, which automatically subject a player to disciplinary action from the league. T.O. missed the calls because of a "communication problem involving cell phone numbers." (Somebody get T.O. a marketing deal with Apple so he can get an iPhone.) Fortunately for T.O. and the Cowboys, he will not be suspended or fined because this was seen as a legit excuse by the league.

It's hard to read this and not see a double standard when thinking about the fact that Fakhir Brown was suspended for four games because he missed a drug test while volunteering with youth, supposedly. Brown appealed that decision and got nowhere. Brown, however, hasn't exactly had a spotless record with drug testing, and it was widely assumed that he'd be out for the 2008 season for failing a follow up test.

My initial reaction ("Double standard. BS!") is probably just the wounded sensitivity of being a fan of a 3 win team. However, it's hard not to compare the T.O. situation to the Fakhir Brown situation and see that the league's drug testing and disciplinary policies and Roger Goodell's Carrie Nation impression still seems fairly arbitrary. Exhibit B: Pacman Jones, who won't get a full verdict on his status until September 1. The commissioner runs the risk of pissing off plenty of fans having policies that leave plenty of room for favoritism charges. And that's not really a good thing with a labor battle looming.

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