So happy Thankstaking everyone! I hope your turkey day is filled to the brim with food, family and football. Why Thankstaking? Well, I’m glad you asked. It seems a more accurate name for a holiday where we celebrate how the first pilgrims started the lovely and heartwarming tradition of grabbing the land of the Native Americans and kicking them further and further west. On the other hand, I suppose Thanksgiving could make sense as well if by giving we are talking about all the diseases those pilgrims managed to pass on to the Native Americans that decimated their population and which made the aforementioned taking that much easier. Either way, it’s certainly my favorite excuse of the year to be gluttonous beyond all reasonable measure and then spend the rest of the day watching football and working on making a permanent indentation on my couch cushions.
Since last year there has also been another reason to rejoice at the coming of this particular row of the calendar. It’s also Ohio State-Michigan rivalry week. For much of my life this was a week of despair. Often spent daydreaming scenarios of how our usually higher ranked Buckeyes could manage to find the most humiliating way to lose. Thankfully, the past decade has been spent in the warm embrace of certainty. Ohio State’s annual domination of The School Up North has occurred with such shocking regularity you could almost base your calendar on it. Halloween and then a beat down of Michigan, count on it.
Of course, as with much of rest of the world, everything is upside down these days. The Ohio State football team has gone through its most disappointing season in quite a while and a victory is anything but assured. The Buckeyes will be going into Ann Arbor as a touchdown + underdog but there is always a chance that the Moment overwhelms the corpulent Brady Hoke and he suffers a massive coronary during his pre-game pep talk. That’s always a danger when you sweat butter. Win or lose, there is some definite sunshine on the horizon for OSU fans with Urban Meyer coming home. Just another reason for Mr. Hoke not to put off that angioplasty another day.
Hmmm there was a point I was getting to. Oh yes, while watching one of the many wonderful montages to the greatest rivalry in sports I caught a glimpse of David Boston taunting Charles Woodson as he back peddled into the endzone. Considering that Mr. Woodson is a native son of Ohio, he probably deserved a lot worse. This game also gave OSU fans the pleasure of watching Joe Germaine out play Tom Brady. Although since then it isn’t really debatable who things have worked out better for. The ’98 version of the Buckeyes is still widely considered it’s most talented and without the John Cooperesque debacle against Michigan State that year we would have played in and probably won the first BCS championship.
Anyways, that stroll down memory lane wasn’t my point. Watching that video made me wonder what ever happened to David Boston? He is arguably the best wide receiver in OSU history and all I have are faint memories that his head got really big (literally though maybe also metaphorically) and he got out of the league. So that got me wondering what happened to him, which led me to thinking about Barry Bonds, steroids and whether they really make your noggin grow.
So after a bit of detective work on the interwebs allow me to fill you in on what I found. The short answer is no, steroids don’t make your head balloon to comic proportions. HGH, however, is another story. HGH is a naturally occurring human hormone that is secreted by our pituitary glands and serves a number regulatory functions such as fat loss, muscle increase and increased calcium retention (increased mineralization of the bones). You can see why certain athletes might see HGH as nice little shortcut to peak physical fitness. However, there are always consequences when you mess with fragile chemistry of the body and excess growth factor floating around your blood stream is no exception. When the body produces too much HGH or when you have you trainer injecting it into your ass on a regular basis a condition called acromegaly can occur.
The natural form of this condition was seen in André René Roussimoff better known as André the Giant. The wrestling phenom and beloved portrayer Fezzik in The Princess Bride was a staggering 6’’3’ and 240 lbs, when he was 12! He went on to grow to 7’’4’ and over 5 bills. At that size the moniker of giant was more than well deserved. It has been reported that he once drank 127 beers in one sitting at a hotel bar and passed out at his seat. Since the staff had no chance of moving him they just let him sleep it off on the bar floor. It wasn’t all fun and games though, by the age of 34 his heart was having trouble pumping blood to his humongous body and by 46 he was dead from heart failure.
So what does this have to do with David Boston’s oversized melon you might be asking yourself? Well it turns out that acromegaly can present with any number of symptoms including expansion of the skull. This happens when the bones start putting down more bones and start to grow thicker. Remind you of anyone?
This is all speculation and innuendo of course. David Boston has never been in trouble for using HGH or even accused as far as I know. The only evidence we have is what appears to be his expanding dome and a similar case to compare to in Barry Bonds. Bond’s, however, had a Hall of Fame career before he allegedly started juicing. Boston showed flashes of incredible promise even posting this ridiculous stat line in 2001: 98 catches, 1598 yards, 8 touchdowns and a trip to the Pro Bowl. He managed to do this even with a late model Jake Plummer tossing the ball to him. He got his $47 million payday from the Chargers and that’s when the wheels started coming off the gravy train. He got shipped to Miami after only a year for a 6th Rd draft choice. Before the season even started he tested positive for steroids and got suspended and later cut. He was last spotted in Canada trying to resurrect his career with the Toronto Argonauts in 2008. That ended when he hurt his foot, started rehab back home and then just decided he wasn’t going back to Canada.
So that’s how a once promising career panned out. Is it because he used steroids? Maybe, maybe not. I’m pretty sure his head grew but who knows? They say the camera adds a few pounds right? Maybe for David that happened all above the shoulders. Whatever the case may be we all lose when potential go unfulfilled. Stay off the dope kids and enjoy The Game!
-This was written by Special Contributor Vinay Edwin. Vinay graduated from Ohio State in 2004 after only 4 years and still considers that the biggest mistake of his life. He also writes about traveling and food at vinaystravelblog.blogspot.com.