The Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper recently compiled a list of the most hated Seattle sports figures. Given the national obsession with anabolic steroids in sports, it probably comes as know surprise that two steroid users made the list. Of course, steroid use itself wasn’t the primary reason that the athletes made the list. But it obviously didn’t help.
Brian “The Boz” Bosworth and Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez were the steroid users with Seattle connections who made the Post-Intelligencer’s list.
Bosworth was outed as a steroid user in 1986 when he failed a urine test (along with 20 other college football players) who were caught during the NCAA’s steroid crackdown during the 1986 playoffs. The crackdown resulted in Bosworth’s ineligibility to play for his Oklahoma Sooners in the 1987 Orange Bowl.
Bosworth had tested positive for nandrolone metabolites. Bosworth claimed he used doctor-prescribed Deca Durabolin to help him recover from an injury. According to Bosworth, it was the first of two times that he used steroids.
Bosworth won the 1985 and 1986 Butkus Award back before Dick Butkus became an outspoken anti-steroid crusader.
Bosworth’s connection to Seattle came when he was selected by the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks in the 1987 Supplemental Draft. The Seahawks signed him to a 10-year contract worth $11 million. The Boz had a short-lived mediocre career marred by injury. He retired from professional football in 1989 after playing only 24 games for the Seahawks. He has widely been considered one of the biggest busts in the history of the NFL draft.
It was a Seattle Mariner broadcaster who gave Alex Rodriguez his famous nickname of “A-Rod”. The Miami teenager was the first draft pick overall in 1993 by the Seattle Mariners directly out of high school at the age of seventeen. He exceeded expectations at every level. He impressed everyone when he played for Seattle’s triple-A affiliates the Calgary Cannons and the Tacoma Rainiers. And he continued to dominate when in his debut rookie season for the Mariners in 1996.
But Alex Rodriguez left Seattle in search of more money making him one of the city’s most hated sports figures. He signed a record-breaking contract in 2000 with the Texas Rangers. It was the most lucrative contact in sports history valued at $252 million over 10 years. Three years he was traded to the New York Yankees and given even more money.
In February 2009, Sports Illustrated’s Selena Roberts reported one of the biggest scoops in recent sports history when she reported that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for anabolic steroids during the MLB’s “anonymous” testing in 2003. It was reported that A-Rod tested positive for two anabolic steroids – testosterone and Primobolan.
Roberts claimed that A-Rod used steroids to bulk up in high school in her book “A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez“.
The story triggered an aggressive media feeding frenzy in which sports writers scrambled to uncover incriminating steroid connections.
But Rodriguez eventually admitted to using anabolic steroids, but only from 2001 to 2003, while he played for the Texas Rangers during a steroid confessional press conference.
There were many factors that contributed to Seattle’s dislike of Brian Bosworth and Alex Rodriguez but the stigma of steroids has certainly been used to further demonize the players.
Eaton, N. (March 12, 2012). Most hated Seattle sports figures of all time. Retrieved from http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlesports/2012/03/12/most-hated-seattle-sports-figures-of-all-time/