Today, I bring you an expert in hCG research, courtesy of the work of SI's
Cole said there are conditions that could trigger false positives in a man. The testicles could completely stop working -- as in a case of testicular cancer, or a disease called hypogonadotropism (which basically means the testicles stop working), or a hereditary disease called hCG syndrome -- resulting in more than normal hCG being produced in the body. Said Cole: "All these things are rare and remote. The honest truth is that 999 times out of a thousand, the test gives a correct result. If they're positive, they're taking hCG.''
When Epstein asked about the overtrained athlete syndrome, Cole said: "It sounds like a far stretch ... I have never seen a case like that."
As I went about my job Monday at Indianapolis Colts camp -- and as I made and fielded phone calls about the Cushing story, one thing came through loud and clear from NFL executives:
That's the trouble here. The NFL has been very clear about not allowing any excuses for positive tests; the player is responsible for what's in his body. For those reasons, I don't see how the NFL can do anything but uphold the sanction and keep Cushing out for the first four games of the Texans' season.
Now onto your e-mail:
• WHY THANK YOU.
I thought everything that needed to be said in the past few days had been said. I didn't know what there was left to add. The country has Favre Fatigue, and let's see what happens when he makes his final call.
• MATT SCHAUB IS NOT EXACTLY CHOPPED LIVER.
I did hear a lot of that, yes. But I don't buy it. Let's look at the past three years. That's when Kurt Warner played 45 games for the Cards and Schaub 38 for the Texans. In Warner's 45 games, he averaged 261 passing yards a game. In Schaub's 38 games, he averaged 265 passing yards a game. In Johnson's previous years with Houston, his quarterback was
• THE LONDON JAGS?
I know an owner or two who has thought of that. The NBA has too. The question, really, is whether the NFL could get 70,000 fans a game, for eight or nine games a year in Berlin or Amsterdam or Hamburg. One or two games, I can see. But full seasons? At prices higher than prime soccer games? I think, at least now, that it's a stretch to think the NFL could get that kind of interest.
• I CAN'T SEE SCAB GAMES HAPPENING.
I think it's almost impossible. The NFL considers that a blight on its recent history, and I don't think any owner would want to go through that again. I know with certainty the networks don't want it. Bad idea.
• HE'S SKEPTICAL ON DUNGY'S LEGACY.
Duly noted. But what about winning without a top quarterback in Tampa, and setting up
• DISAPPOINTED IN MY CHOICE OF CHARITIES.
Understood. I heard this from a lot of followers, and I'm sorry about it. But the reason I had to go with some of the higher profile ones is simple -- I can't be involved in collecting the money for this, and each of the organizations I listed has a sophisticated donation portal on its websites. So my apologies. I wish I could have helped more, and smaller, charities. By the way, the two winning charities, as voted by readers via Twitter, will be announced in my next Monday Morning QB column.