As I type this, the Texans' first session of OTA's is about to wrap up, and we're all anxiously awaiting the final horn ending the session to see if Brian Cushing decides to take out his gas can and empty it on the brush fire that he started with his statement and subsequent answers to a batch of irrelevant questions at last Thursday's hastily executed "press conference." I'd like to say "highly unlikely," but who knows.
At this point, watching Team Cushing continue to spin and release information in dribs and drabs is like watching a blackjack player getting killed at the tables and deciding to chase the five grand he just lost by playing three hands at the same time for triple his normal bet. You reach a point where the right move is to just finish your drink, head back to your room, throw down a nightcap from the mini bar, and go to bed. Brian Cushing has reached this point; I honestly think we're all ready to let it die if he can promise he'll just come back in Week Five and be productive again.
So unless Cushing gets pinched again for failing a drug test or unless he changes his stance on how the hCG "got there," this will be my last add on the topic:
Cushing's attorney (Harvey Steinberg), his agent (Tom Condon), and his P.R. staff need to know that the time to present the copious amounts of "medical evidence" that they presented to the league and that, in their eyes, paint Cushing as a victim of some biological mystery was on THURSDAY at the press conference.
This is where Brian Cushing's people have failed him.
If we believe the tests to be accurate (which no one in Cushing's camp is disputing), there are only two scenarios that can be true -- either Brian Cushing knowingly took a banned substance that drove his hCG levels high enough to fail an NFL-administered test, or his body is somehow producing an inordinate amount of hCG naturally. It can only be one of those two things. Period.
If it's the first one, then the right thing to do is admit you took something, own it, promise it won't happen again, and move on. Texans fans (fans in general, really) are quick to forgive, want to forgive, and in the end really just want 2009 Cushing to be a ten-year thing. Hell, if you want to get crazy, Cush, Andy Pettitte gave you the blueprint to put it on the proverbial "desire to get back on the field and recover from injuries."
If it's the second one AND you've been dealing with the psychological despair of possibly having cancer AND you've been traveling the country seeing specialists AND you have compelling evidence that supposedly outlines a pituitary condition that would contribute to your hCG levels AND you presented this evidence to the league in your appeal, you would do the following (right?):
-- Have one of your P.R. people make themselves useful and hand out a small (or maybe not so small) packet of information to the media documenting everything that was sent to the league in your appeal, documenting all of the steps you've taken in response to a positive test (travel, doctors visits, etc), documenting precisely what your doctors think it is that made for such a compelling case to appeal your four-game suspension.
-- Give an opening statement that not only maintains your innocence, but outlines the steps you have taken and continue to take to find out what is/was wrong with you. Actually saying the word's "medical condition" and/or "pituitary" during the statement would be advisable...you know, since you didn't last Thursday.
-- Have one of your doctors that helped put together your appeal case up there on the dais with you, and let him/her take the media through this journey that supposedly has weighed on you for the last several months and answer all of the medical questions from the media in attendance.
This is what an innocent person SHOULD do if they're cornered. Cushing's rhetoric, when read in transcripts, is that of someone maintaining innocence; his behavior (from the staged interviews and Tweet-ups pre-suspension to the ten minute, shot-clock-timed presser on Thursday to the pertinent information leaking out seemingly at times when he's most desperate) are that of a guilty person.
I can't say it any other way -- if Brian Cushing really is innocent, he's getting shitty advice (from people who should know better) on how to communicate it to the fans and the media, and someone from Team Cushing should be fired.
And if Brian Cushing is guilty, then he is getting MONUMENTALLY shitty advice -- like "QB advice from Charlie Casserly/career advice from Shelley Long/pet-care advice from Michael Vick" level shitty advice -- and someone from Team Cushing should be fired and go apply for a job setting pins at a bowling alley.
So there you have it -- if there's no reversal coming on the "did he or didn't he?" then Cushing needs to lay low, come back in "beast" mode, and whack some people handling his business. I'm done discussing it anymore.
Tomorrow, we revert back to "on-field" football mode. Three thousand words on the kicking battle between Neil Rackers and Kris Brown! Kidding. Maybe. At this point, anything beats Cushing talk.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 3-7 p.m. weekdays on the "Sean & John Show", and follow him on Twitter at http://twittter.com/SeanCablinasian.
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