Marijuana use is one of those not-so-secret subtexts in almost every professional sport. There are probably far more people smoking regularly than we think -- all of the stereotypes regarding pot use are there, just waiting to line up with a a professional athlete's collegiate lifestyle (wake up, eat, play video games, eat, play sport, go out, rinse, repeat).
But rare is the pro athlete who'll admit to smoking. MMA fighter Nick Diaz not only admits he smokes weed all the time, but he told the Los Angeles Times that he thinks it makes him a better person, a better fighter, and -- oh yeah -- he can escape drug testing, no problem:
"I'm more consistent about everything being a cannabis user," Diaz said in an interview with The Times last week. "I'm happy to get loaded, hear some good music . . . I remain consistent. And I have an easy way to deal with [the drug tests]. "I can pass a drug test in eight days with herbal cleansers. I drink 10 pounds of water and sweat out 10 pounds of water every day. I'll be fine."
Unfortunately for Diaz, the sport bans marijuana use on the grounds that it's dangerous to the fighter using it. Being sluggish or slow in the ring is not exactly a recipe for a long and prosperous MMA career. Diaz has been penalized once before, in early 2007, testing positive after his win over a Japanese fighter in Las Vegas.
But Diaz argues that marijuana helps him with problems he's had since he was a child, including ADD and his natural restlessness, which manifested itself in rebellion before he started using. So, there you have it. Nick Diaz is every pothead's new favorite MMA fighter. Whether he turns into more -- a flash point? the start of greater candor in sports about marijuana use? -- is about as likely as you finishing a whole bag of Chewy Chips Ahoy in one sitting.
Wait. Forget we said that. We've seen that happen before.
Eamonn Brennan is a Chicago-based writer, editor and blogger who never touches the demon weed. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, Mouthpiece Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com. Follow him on Twitter.