ESPN Writer Says Ray Lewis Deserves A Free Pass On PED Use

01.31.13 5 years ago 99 Comments

Jeffri Chadiha has worked for Sports Illustrated and now resides at ESPN, so the man knows from terrible writing and trolling. He may have put all his peers to shame with a breathtakingly horrific commentary he wrote for ESPN in which he argues that Ray Lewis deserves a free pass on any performance-enhancing drug use because Ray Lewis is so popular and his farewell tour has been such an endearing story. This is so awful it almost makes me feel bad for mocking other writers for merely gushing over Ray-Ray’s ability to brush off questions about wrongdoing. They come off professional compared to this sh*t. This morning, I was ready to tear down Rick Reilly for lecturing Colin Kaepernick to reunite with his biological mother even though Kaep has said repeatedly that he doesn’t want to see her, but Reilly is adamant because Reilly’s adopted daughter got in touch with her birth mom and appreciated the experience. It takes a lot to out-awful Rick Reilly, but I’ll be damned if Chadiha didn’t easily do it.

NEW ORLEANS — Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis has faced so many tests during his 17-year career that the latest one is starting to feel relatively undaunting. It started on Tuesday with allegations that he used a banned substance and ended somewhere around midmorning Wednesday, with the future Hall of Famer artfully squashing the accusations.

I want everyone to pay attention to that New Orleans dateline. That means someone paid for this asshole to travel to the Super Bowl to dash off a defensive thumbsucker editorial he could have written literally anywhere. I checked his writer archive. He’s written two pieces since arriving at the Super Bowl. This, and some pointless essay about how coaches who make it this far have to make tough decisions. That’s it. Though since Chadiha is presently lodged a foot up Ray Lewis’ asshole, if Ray is going to New Orleans, then so too is Jeffri. By the way, fuck you for the stupid spelling of your name.

We all knew Lewis would be the headliner in this year’s Super Bowl. What we learned on Wednesday is that he’s too big to be touched by this level of scandal.

Actually, the Harbaugh brothers were thought to be the main storyline of this year’s Super Bowl. Ray has only highjacked the media attention by acting shitty. Oh, and because HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN CHEATING SO HE COULD MAKE IT BACK FOR THIS PLAYOFF RUN!

This really isn’t about whether Lewis did or did not take a banned substance found in deer antler spray in hopes of recovering faster from a torn triceps.


We’ll never know the truth about that story

How can you be so sure? Did you already help Ray Lewis dispose of evidence?

Lewis will be retired from the game in only a few more days. This is about how we both view and treat our greatest stars in the NFL. Men as popular as Lewis become nearly untouchable on a stage as grand as the Super Bowl.

So the Super Bowl is anything goes if you’re a star? If only Ray Lewis had been more famous during the Super Bowl in Atlanta, there would have been no consequences at all. His only crime was no yet being famous enough!

You could see that much when Lewis strode to the dais for his news conference on Wednesday. Over the course of 15 to 20 minutes, he faced questions about his alleged connection to Mitch Ross, the co-owner of a company called Sports with Alternatives to Steroids, and Lewis used each inquiry as a chance to spin the story into one of cowardly haters trying to ruin a team’s dream.

That’s the artful deflection you were referencing? Holy shit, Jeffri would have his mind blown by Internet commenters. “These people know that all critics are secretly haters. Where has this font of wisdom been all my life?”

If you listened closely enough, you could hear the distinct message he was sending with such comments. He was telling the world how things really work. He was reminding us that the court of public opinion was going to rule in his favor long before anybody ever posed a question about this story. As he said, he “was too blessed to be stressed.”

Of course Ray Lewis would think that. He got the media to completely ignore that he was ever involved in a homicide and that he’s had kids with multiple women and likes to withhold child support. Why should he think the media would turn its back on him now?

And you know what? He’s right. The story of Ray Lewis chasing a Super Bowl in his final season has been easy to love

Fuck you.

Football fans in Baltimore — and around the league — loved the idea of Lewis ending his career in the same way as Denver’s John Elway and Pittsburgh’s Jerome Bettis. It’s touching when a great player leaves on top. It lets us all feel warm and fuzzy at the end of a long season.

Oop. Lemme stop you right there. Yes, fans in Baltimore want him to end his career with a title, because him doing that also means their team wins a Super Bowl. And there are plenty of Bawlmer jackass who have deluded themselves into thinking that Ray is a decent person. But fuck everyone else fucking hates that piece of shit for reasons to numerous for me to bother with here. Here’s a handy breakdown if you really need one.

The power of that narrative is what makes it difficult for this alleged PED story to gain traction.

Narrative isn’t just a thing that lazy media people use when bothering with analysis seems to daunting. Narrative is a actual thing with mystical warlock powers that can push out other stories. Be gone! Narrative casts a banishment spell!

Yes, people are talking about it on television and talk radio, but they’ve got hours of airtime to fill.

That might be a handy way to dismiss the media talking about Colin Kaepernick’s pet turtles or the childhood misadventures of the Harbaugh brothers, if you happened to have an issue with those things, instead of a possible example of CHEATING. This is what sports journalists are meant to talk about and get to the bottom of. You’re not supposed to be fluffers and mythmakers.

A better indication of the lack of damage this story has caused could be found in the amount of pressure Lewis appeared to feel while answering questions about it. Given how much he was smiling on Wednesday afternoon, he seemingly didn’t lose a minute of sleep over any of this.

The true measure of guilt for any man is how easily he can sleep through accusations, because it’s not like there are also drugs that help you sleep.

Lewis said his teammates hadn’t been distracted by the news, and Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he didn’t see any frustration in his star player. “He’s a singularly focused individual,” said Harbaugh.

That’s because Ray Lewis is INSANE. Of course he has no outward showing of remorse. He could plow through a crowd of schoolchildren in a tank and be talking about how much God favors him five minutes later.

It’s almost certain that Lewis also knows something else is working in his favor: the worshipful nature of NFL fans.

No sport has more people who are willing to forgive the sins of its players than pro football. We love the game so much that we easily side with the stars who entertain us on Sundays. Just ask the New Orleans Saints faithful. You’d be hard-pressed to find one person among them who believes the team did anything wrong regarding the bounty scandal, which became nonstop news for most of the past year.

I’m sure you could find some asshole Saints fans who think their team has done nothing wrong. However, for the most part, Saints fans are and were pissed because their team was made an example and punished overly harsh for something that had been standard practice in the NFL for DECADES. Yes, other players other than Ray Lewis have used PEDs, but the ones who have been caught have also been punished. Even popular ones. All people want is a consistently enforced standard.

The fact is that football fans care very little about performance-enhancing drugs. It doesn’t taint this sport the same way it does baseball or cycling, and it almost feels acceptable on some level.

It’s not often I feel any pity for baseball fans, but if I were a baseball fan reading this, I’d be fucking furious.

It also would take far more to taint Lewis on football’s biggest stage

Like, say, killing someone?

This doesn’t come close to Falcons safety Eugene Robinson soliciting a prostitute the night before Super Bowl XXXIII, or Raiders center Barret Robbins vanishing two days before Super Bowl XXXVII and then missing the game.

Only because Ray Lewis is lucky because the league doesn’t have enough time to determine his guilt in the matter. That isn’t a consequence of being powerful or popular or blessed. He’s just a stupid, lucky asshole.

This is a sketchy business owner videotaping a phone call with arguably the game’s greatest middle linebacker and having the story drop five days before the nation’s grandest sporting event. Instead of looking like the villain in all this, the timing of the story and the questionable credibility of the accuser literally turned Lewis into an unsuspecting victim.

Oh yes, Ray Lewis, the perpetual put-upon victim. Jesus, it’s like his publicist wrote this shit. I would say Ray himself but there’s not enough about being pissed off for validation.

The way Lewis spoke on Wednesday — with the same evangelical fervor that has become his trademark — indicates how strongly he believes that this time belongs to his team. He also believes it belongs to the 49ers, the NFL and all the loyal, hard-working fans who pay good money to connect with this game. As for the people who want to throw stones, point fingers and investigate too deeply, well those party-poopers have no place at the table.


It’s like this shit was written by a 14-year-old.

This story of Ray’s last ride was written the minute Lewis announced his retirement.

That sounds like someone else believes this is the work of God. No wonder SI keeps writing stupid features about whether God actually determines sports outcomes. Everyone who has written for them seems to think so.

It gained momentum with every postseason win by the Ravens, and it’s been entrenched from the day they arrived in this town. Even the 49ers can see that much, as tight end Vernon Davis said, “I’m sure Ray has a lot of fans and support through all of this. I also definitely think he didn’t do what they’re saying he did because he wouldn’t do anything to hurt his team.”

An opposing player is being polite because he doesn’t want to media to run wild and claim he’s providing “bulletin board” material to Ravens. That totally proves Ray is innocent!

So know we’ve all learned an important truth. Wednesday morning was supposed to be the time when we gleaned more about these allegations and how they affected Lewis. Instead, the only takeaway was something far less predictable. When it comes to the NFL, it’s not about what you know or actually can prove. It’s literally about just one thing: how big you really are.

If there were any justice in the world, Ray Lewis would be raped daily by a Satanist in prison and Jeffri Chadiha would have STARFUCKER tattooed on his forehead.

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