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The Dangers of Steroids – The Rise and Fall of Lyle Alzado
Lyle Alzado was one of the most feared players in the entire National Football league during his 15 seasons in the league. In the late 1970s, few defensive ends in the NFL struck fear in the hearts of their opponents like Alazdo did. He was known all around as a hard-hitting player who had little or no remorse for the pain he caused to opposing players. He was a wrecking machine both on and off the field. It didn’t take long, however, for his steroid use to end his career and his life.
Alzado admitted in an interview shortly before his death that he began to experiment with anabolic steroids in 1969. He stated that they became just as addicting mentally as they did physically. He knew that men weren’t supposed to be 300 pounds and be able to jump 30 feet, but he knew that steroids played a major role in his increased performance on the field. Steroids turned him into a monster on the field and off. Alzado claimed that one time, a man sideswiped his car, and he physically assaulted him until the man was badly hurt.
In the interview he also revealed that 90 percent of his fellow NFL players at the time were also using steroids. Once Alzado retired from the NFL in 1985, his health quickly spiraled downward. He was diagnosed with brain cancer, and Alzado asserted that his steroid use directly affected his health. He knew that the materials in the steroids likely caused his brain tumor to develop. When he was asked about his one wish, he said that he hoped that nobody else would ever die this way.
Lyle Alzado experienced the best and worst of both worlds as a star athlete. In his prime he was a feared hitter, a relentless player, a vicious teammate who jumped to the defense of his own team’s players, and a human highlight reel from the defensive end position. Quarterbacks and running backs alike always looked around to see where he was on the field. He played mind games with other players just from his stare and the fact that he was on the field.
Yet Alzado was the first in a long line of athletes to die at a young age from steroid use. His career and life are shining examples of the risks associated with steroid use. Because of the research done on his brain after his death, and his own statements in his interviews, the sports world has a clearer understanding of how steroids negatively affect the lives of athletes.