By Zack Cimini

There have been a lot of prominent athletes that have wasted their talent, once money becomes a factor. Coming out of Ohio State, wide receiver, David Boston had a lot to prove. For one thing he was picked behind Rams receiver Torry Holt, and secondly he was picked by the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals had brief success with receivers like Rob Moore and Frank Sanders, but there was no true heat for a player in the desert. Boston came in immediately and became one of Jake Plummer’s favorite targets. After an okay rookie season, he improved even better his second and third seasons. At one point he was considered right there with Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. So what happened to Boston?

He came into the 2002 season expecting another Pro Bowl year, but it turned out to be a quick reversal of happenings. In the off season he was arrested in Phoenix, and there were reports that he tested positive for cocaine. He adamantly denied any such accusations and the Cardinals ignored the rumors as well. Another big change in Boston was that he came to training camp at 240 pounds. It quickly caught the attention of the NFL media, and had Fox out to ARIZONA to do a story on Boston. Terry Bradshaw was the reporter and they were having a grand time. Bradshaw couldn’t believe how big he was, and I sat there watching the interview, disbelieved as well.

Boston’s whole story was that his trainer put him on an extensive rigorous workout plan, that bulked his body up from 220 to 240. He wanted to be able to not only use his speed to beat defenders, but also use his strength. He would be a hulk type force on the field, with a tight end’s body. As the interview ended, something was fishy about the whole scenario.

Not even a few months after the interview, ESPN the magazine published a story on Boston’s body development. Rumors are rumors, but everyone was trying to break the story and find the truth behind Boston. ESPN brought up great points in their article on how David Boston’s cheek structure had changed with his body. The only thing that can cause that is steroids, and his body weight was too much for his body to carry.

So his 2002 season with the Cardinals went down the tubes. As the stress of his weight wore his hamstring out and sidelined him for eight games that season. It was Boston’s free agent year, and who wouldn’t want a Pro Bowl caliber receiver? How about all but two teams in the NFL. The Arizona Cardinals refused to designate their franchise tag on Boston, and pretty much let him go for nothing. The only two teams interested in Boston were the San Diego Chargers and the NY Jets.

The Chargers won the bidding war, and it looked like he would get a fresh start. Marty Shottenheimer has always been known as a no non sense kind of guy, and with Boston that quickly clashed. It got so bad that Boston ended up being suspended for one game. He didn’t have a bad year, but the rap on him was he had a serious ego and attitude problem. Shottenheimer wanted nothing of it, and in the off season the Chargers gave him away for a poor developing cornerback in Jamar Fletcher and a sixth round pick.

People down in Miami were ecstatic to have the combination of David Boston and Chris Chambers. But soon Miami’s season turned for the worse, with Williams retiring and Boston going down with a season ending knee injury. It could have been a freak accident like most football injuries, but once again the mindset automatically points to his weight. Even though he has been out for the year, it hasn’t kept him from staying out of trouble. In October he was arrested in a Vermont airport for assault on a 59 year old gate agent. Almost a month later he was told by the NFL that he faces a four game suspension for testing positive for steroids.

The road he is taking is a sure fire way out of the NFL. If it does end up happening, Boston will have to go down as one of the top ten players of wasted talent. Every athlete wants to get better with an advantage, and that’s what makes sports so competitive. David Boston obviously overused his steroids to a point that was extremely noticeable, ala Barry Bonds. What about the athletes that keep it under raps and just use it to boost their strength? It’s definitely going on in all sports, as athletes are able to get advice on what to take when a random test comes around. Why can’t an athlete just be satisfied with the money they are making and be all they can be on their own?


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