Some Thoughts On Gasmasks, Social Media, and Low Expectations


I’m not sure the Laremy Tunsil story will ever eventually make itself into a 30-for-30, but I know that it’ll go down as an all-time “hey, remember that time….” in sports history.

They said that the league complained about, and forced the cancellation of the TV show “Playmakers” on ESPN because it painted NFL players in a bad light, and that too many story lines were exaggerated and unrealistic.

Yeah, sure. Right.

You could practically rip straight from the headlines an NFL-related incident of criminality and/or stupidity every single week to fuel a new Playmakers. Hell, HBO’s “Ballers” – unencumbered from any rights relationship with the NFL – is probably licking their chops.

Was Tunsil a victim? Sure, on a certain level.

Deion Sanders already fingered the step-father, already engaged in litigation before the first golden dollars have fallen from Tunsil’s career tree. Other sources say it was a shady financial advisor, who got cut out of “Team Tunsil” just weeks before the draft, who released the video of the once-projected first overall pick buried blissfully in that stupid-ass-hell-looking gas mask bong.

An even saucier theory, was that fellow Ole Miss teammate Robert Nkemdiche did him dirty. Why? Because it was Nkemdiche who fell from the lottery portion of the first round after his whacked-out hotel jump following a room service smoke-em-up with… yup, his buddy Laremy Tunsil.

Theory goes that Nkemdiche was mad that Tunsil didn’t step up to take any responsibility for the night gone bad, and thus he dodged most of the media heat, and kept his draft stock clean.

Hmmmm. All good possibilities for the writers at “Ballers.” Pick one, and get on it boys!


Meanwhile, there’s something rather depressing about the whole thing to me, that I am going to be square enough to bring up here.

How come so many people were quick to excuse him for smoking weed?

I know the numbers on general drug use by college kids today. They’re high. I know that a high percentage of athletes in the pros, currently smoke it up 11 months of the year before passing their one telegraphed drug test around mini-camps.

I know, I know, I know.

Still, I want my elite college athletes to aspire to something higher. I don’t want them perfect, but I want them to say: “I have too much going for me, I’m not gonna join this crowd.”

And while I don’t want pundits or coaches condemning a young man like Tunsil, I DO want sincere and unapologetic disapproval. I want more people in the sports media world – especially former coaches and players – to say: “Hey, not everybody does drugs in college. It’s not all harmless. And athletes should lead the way to be better on this.”

Yeah, what a dork-a-zoid I am, huh? Like Nancy Reagan: “Just say no.” But yeah, there’s nothing wrong with that message.

When the Tunsil video was shown on ESPN’s draft night coverage, former Super Bowl winning coach Jon Gruden went on a bitter rant about the evils and perils of social media. “I hate it…. man!”

He didn’t say much about 20 year olds, breaking the law and doing drugs. Disappointing.

There is currently a heroin crisis in America, that is spreading deep into supposedly comfortable middle-class suburbia. Fucking… HEROIN. When I was in high school in the 80’s, the notion of heroin use was as insane as seeing a real life Yeti in gym class.

But here we are today.

And as one listener who knows his weed explained to me… the stuff today is a long way from your own experiences with it 20 or 30 years ago.


Forget the whole Nancy Reagan angle. When it comes to marijuana, a lot has changed. Whatever your classmates at UCSB we’re toking on would be considered “Reggie,” or undesirable today because it doesn’t have the desirable amount of THC (the active ingredient for the high).

Average THC levels have soared since the 70s and 80s effectively turning weed into some over the top GMO pharmaceutical experiment. With cross breeding and the fact that most of these plants are grown indoors, it’s all just one big fucked up science experiment.

THC concentrations went from sub 3.5 percent to almost ten times that. That’s not even the worst part my guy. You know that seemingly innocuous dance that you and Cam Newton love so much? The dab I believe. The dance is synonymous with a highly combustible and dangerous form of cannabis extract to process.

It’s made by extracting THC and other cannabinoids using a solvent like butane or carbon dioxide. This form exhibits THC levels of 80 percent or more. You ended Friday with SAT analogies. Well here’s one, freebasing is to cocaine as ________ is to marijuana. So yeah, after you hit a dab, you hit the dab. This might be the reason Mr. Gordon can’t pass a drug to save his fucking life or career.  

Resident Show Millennial,
Young G from PG

Still, I know which way the legalization trend is going in America. I know that marijuana has many genuine medicinal benefits. This is not to be construed in any way as a post that judges any current users of the drug, legal, illegal, for health or for just binge watching SpongeBob Squarepants.

It’s your life.

But the establishment message to young athletes out to aim higher. It ought to start with the premise that *of course* not everybody does drugs in college, and *absolutely* you’ll set yourself up for more success in life if you choose the path of “no thanks.”

Meanwhile, we’ll now find out just how much Laremy Tunsil likes playing football in the NFL. You would think the multi-million dollar job would trump an afternoon on the couch getting high, and possibly getting suspended.

You’d think. But then again, people thought that about Johnny Manziel and Josh Gordon.


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Steve Czaban is a 25 year sports radio veteran, who hosts an afternoon drive show in Washington D.C. "Czabe" also writes and edits his own commentaries for and other on-line and print publications. He can be reached at


  1. Missing the real story Czabe… this young black athlete is sitting in front of a Confederate flag! This must at be a set-up of epic proportions!

  2. I once read an SI story about Merlin Olsen – he said something about thoughts becoming a single action, multiple actions becoming a habit and habits establishing your values and all of your values determining your character I searched for it just now after reading this great post but couldn’t find it. I did find the following:
    “Your beliefs become your thoughts,
    Your thoughts become your words,
    Your words become your actions,
    Your actions become your habits,
    Your habits become your values,
    Your values become your destiny.”

    ― Mahatma Gandhi (a famous Leichester City Fox, I think)

  3. So the content of weed is way stronger now. Big f**king deal. Just means that one hit/toke does the trick. Most booze has more than 10x the alcohol that beer does. Responsible adults regulate their intake, just like you do when you have a mixed drink instead of a beer. Please stop with the ignorance.

    • Anyone can decipher the difference between the alcohol content in a beer or shot of hard liquor. That is not exactly possible for weed especially in states other than Washington or Colorado .You must not know any potheads or have been one yourself bro. One toke, really? I have friends still in college smoking wax (dab) using what looks like a Bunsen burner out of a freaking gravity bong on freaking snapchat of all places. One hit is freaking too high for even the most experienced pot heads. Yes, there are no recorded deaths linked to marijuana use. Yet, what is never talked about is the scores of people hospitalized for literally being to high. Psych wards are increasingly admitting kids and young adults that simply can’t put the blunt down. There are consequences (good and bad) to any change in policy or in this case, potency. I personally believe weed should be legalized, regulated, and tax but to pretend that’s it’s not a problem is ridiculous.

      • And you must not know any alcoholics ….. where there are THOUSANDS of deaths recorded every year, not to mention those in psych wards and all the pain and suffering cause by just the heavy drinkers. Ever hear of alcohol poisoning? Happens every day and also goes under-reported. I don’t say that weed can’t be abused because it can. But if responsible adults care to hit a bong, why should anyone care? To say the problems from weed are even close to that from alcohol is just sticking your head in the sand.


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