Cheers and Jeers: Woodson and Jolly

Give an ESPYs vote to Charles Woodson for NFL's best player; Johnny Jolly and "purple drank" will be focus on ESPN's "Outside the Lines."

Think Charles Woodson is the best player in the NFL?

Woodson is one of six players nominated for "Best NFL Player" in the 2010 ESPY Awards. To vote for Woodson (or guys named Brees, Favre, Johnson, Manning or Revis), visit ESPN's ESPYs site. Fan voting began Thursday and runs through July 10.

Favre, in case you care, is the NFL nominee for three other awards: record-breaking performance (starts streak), best play (winning touchdown pass vs. San Francisco) and under pressure (his return to Green Bay).

The show airs at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 14.

Jolly on ESPN, too

ESPN's "Outside the Lines" on Sunday will focus on narcotics and substance abuse in the NFL. That program will include the Johnny Jolly codeine case, which is set to go to trial on July 30.

Substance abuse is a constant issue in sports, but the use of one drug, purple drank, has remained relatively unknown. The concoction consists of prescription cough syrup, Sprite and Jolly Ranchers and is becoming a favorite of pro athletes. "Outside the Lines" examines the use of the drug-laced drink and the social and cultural phenomenon associated with it.

Mark Fainaru-Wada's report focuses on Houston's 5th Ward, an embattled, crime-ridden neighborhood where Jolly's car was pulled over in July 2008. Police found a soft drink bottle and a Styrofoam cup filled with liquid and ice in the center console, reported a strong smell of codeine coming from the cup, and arrested Jolly, charging him with possession of a controlled substance, a second-degree felony.

"It's considered by a lot of people as being normal. If you see somebody smoking crack, ‘What's wrong with this guy?' If you see someone with a cup of bar, with a cup of lean, that's a player doing his thing," said Dr. Ron Peters, associate professor at the University of Texas.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at and Facebook under Bill Huber.

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