When the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos made headlines for reaching Super Bowl XLVIII, we all knew this topic was going to follow them there.
"What really pinches my pigskin is both of these teams hail from states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use." (Via Comedy Central / "The Colbert Report")
"This is kind of a hot topic because the two teams in the Super Bowl come from the only two states that have legal use of marijuana; that's Colorado and Washington." (Via CNN)
Ironically, just a month after recreational use of marijuana in Colorado became legal, the capital's football team made its way into the Super Bowl against the team from the only other state in the country also to have legalized it. (Via The Denver Post)
As one Fox Sports writer puts it, it's the "Super Bowl storyline that won't go away."
Adding flame to that fire Monday was Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll. When asked about the idea of medicinal marijuana in the NFL, he said:
"I would say that we have to explore and find ways to make our game a better game and take care of our players in whatever way possible. ... Regardless of what other stigmas might be involved, we have to do this because the world of medicine is doing this." (Via ESPN)
The NFL, along with the NBA and MLB, has a long-standing ban on pot. The NFL also does random drug tests and suspends players who fail those tests.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also spoke on the idea of pot in the NFL, specifically to help with concussions.
"We will follow medicine, and if they determine this could be a proper usage in any context, we will consider that." (Via KTXA)
Super Bowl 420, as some are calling it, has brought this idea to the mainstream, but a recent episode of "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" got the conversation started.
"Is marijuana a painkilling alternative?"
"For me personally, very viable. I prefer it." (Via HBO / "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel")
And though many players smoke marijuana to relieve pain or for recreation, Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton issues a warning.
"It may be helpful, but it is also something that can be abused. So I think that's why it's banned. ... It can be abused and it can backfire." (Via USA Today)
So the debate continues, at least until kickoff. Super Bowl XLVIII is set to take place at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey Feb. 2.