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Old 01-26-2011, 03:30 AM
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Spiritwalker Spiritwalker is offline
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Default NFL's dirty little secret: Players suffer

Good Read.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/01/2...ex.html?hpt=T2



(CNN) -- The business leaders of the National Football League used to have a secret.

It was a deep, dark secret, one they kept written on a microscopic piece of gold-plated paper, locked behind a door, behind a vault, behind a 20-foot-long man-eating anaconda in the basement of its New York offices.

The majority of the world's secrets are easily uncovered. This one, however, stood as a modern-day equivalent of the inner workings of the Bavarian Illuminati. Nobody was ever supposed to suspect. It was passed down from generation to generation; only the most trusted and knowledgeable of NFL officials were ever genuinely aware of the truth.

Now, however, in Year of Our Lord 2011, the secret has somehow escaped professional football's clutches, only to land in the midst of mainstream society.

The world is doomed! The empire is conquered!

Playing football is (gasp!) bad for you.
The NFL wants to make money, its participants' futures be damned.
--Jeff Pearlman

Yes, it is true. Playing football is bad for you. Bad for the neck and shoulders, bad for the arms and legs, really bad for the brain. See how NFL players look like muscular human-stallion hybrids, what with their fire hydrant forearms and refrigerator-sized calves and 4.3-40 times? Check back in a decade, when a shockingly large number will have trouble limping from the couch to the refrigerator without stumbling to the ground in agony. In the worst cases, some will struggle to remember their own names.

The stories of past NFL players-turned-walking (or not walking) wounded are heartbreaking and endless. The great Earl Campbell can barely stand up. Neither can the great Wilber Marshall. Or the great Dave Pear. Or the great Wally Chambers. John Mackey, the legendary Colts tight end, suffers from frontotemporal dementia and lives in full-time assisted living. Ralph Wenzel, an NFL guard from 1966-73, also suffers from dementia and can no longer dress, bathe or feed himself. Ted Johnson, a former Patriots linebacker and only 38 years old, shows early signs of Alzheimer's disease.

Yet even though we are all now relatively well-versed in the risks that come with America's most cherished sport, the NFL -- the ultimate corporate monolith -- doesn't want you to think about it. Or worry about it. Or, ahem, be aware of it. Just kick back and drink your Budweiser.
The stories of past NFL players-turned-walking (or not walking) wounded are heartbreaking and endless.

As reported in The New York Times, the league recently demanded that Toyota significantly alter a 30-second advertisement that cites the danger of football (Pathetically, Toyota gave in). The spot, which most sports fans have seen by now, focuses on the automobile company having contributed crash research to those scientists looking into football concussions. In the ad, a mother worries "about my son playing football."

Brian McCarthy, an NFL talking head, told the Times that "we felt it was unfair to single out a particular sport. Concussions aren't just a football issue."

Uh.

As Alan Schwarz, the Times' writer, rightly noted, researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, report that roughly 100,000 high school football players suffer concussions every year. Wrote Schwarz: "The second through ninth-ranked sports combined reach 100,000."

In other words, the NFL has a helluva lot of nerve. Ask any NFL executive about pro football's commitment to player health, and he'll almost certainly blather on about higher fines for head-to-head hits and better equipment and blah, blah, blah.

But behind the talking points is a harsh reality: The NFL wants to make money, its participants' futures be damned. Need proof? As the league and its players face a possible 2011 lockout, one of the major issues is the owners' insistence that the regular season schedule increase from 16 to 18 games. That means two more full-speed games of pounding, of shattering, of twisting, of slamming, of hurting. Every week throughout the seasons, fans are greeted with the Monday morning news of this guy suffering a concussion, that guy suffering a torn ACL. The last thing players need is more contact time.

Hines Ward, the veteran Steelers receiver, recently told Sports Illustrated: "The league doesn't care about us anyway. They don't care about the safety of the game. If the league (were) so concerned about the safety, why are you adding two more games on? You talk about you don't want players to drink ... and all you see is beer commercials. You don't want us to gamble, but then there are (NFL-endorsed lottery scratch-off games)."

Sadly, Ward is right. As it heads toward another Super Bowl, the NFL's hypocrisy looms larger than ever.

This isn't about a commercial.

It's about a commitment to health.

The opinions in this commentary are solely those of Jeff Pearlman.
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:16 AM
County Mike
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I don't really think it's a secret. Same goes for most physical sports. MMA, Hockey, etc. In fact, it even applies to a lot of people who get old doing other things. At least the NFL tends to pay very well. A man may sacrifice his future health but his family should be pretty well set for life if they're not stupid with the money.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:49 PM
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my dad is 57 and has worked in excavation and land clearing his whole life. he has worked before the sun came up to after it went down. he's been up and down equipment 10,000s of times. his body is giving out on him. his knees and ankles can't hardly support him anymore. he can't walk more than about 30 ft at a time....but he still can climb that machine.

my husband had back surgery at 25 and needs another. i can't imagine how he'll be at that age.

manly men are rough on their bodies. if it's not one thing it'll be another. some men just can't help it. they need to work hard.

football is rough but so are so many other things. they do have an option of a desk job somewhere.

i also find it hard to believe that football is harder on your body than mma.... of course my opinion is coming from me as i sit in a comfy office chair typing
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:50 PM
rearnakedchoke
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meh ... that's what all the money is for ...... now professional wrestling ... that is just plain bad for you ....
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:18 PM
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Jonlion Jonlion is offline
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Fortunately they are compensated by the salaries but it is a shame.

What makes it worse is that players are now bigger, stronger, faster and so the impact and damage is worse.

It will be interesting to watch MMA fighters in 20-30 years - They will have some rough bodies but hopefully not much worse than othert atheletes etc
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:23 PM
adamt adamt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinsmama View Post
my dad is 57 and has worked in excavation and land clearing his whole life. he has worked before the sun came up to after it went down. he's been up and down equipment 10,000s of times. his body is giving out on him. his knees and ankles can't hardly support him anymore. he can't walk more than about 30 ft at a time....but he still can climb that machine.

my husband had back surgery at 25 and needs another. i can't imagine how he'll be at that age.

manly men are rough on their bodies. if it's not one thing it'll be another. some men just can't help it. they need to work hard.

football is rough but so are so many other things. they do have an option of a desk job somewhere.

i also find it hard to believe that football is harder on your body than mma.... of course my opinion is coming from me as i sit in a comfy office chair typing


so..... did your pa or hubby ever get offered any multi year multi million dollar contracts, not counting sponsorships or fringe benefits of course

i would assume your dad is one of the best in his line of work..... i doubt ocho cinco couldclimb in a dozer and grade anything


i don't think people realize the talent it takes to operate heavy equipment, even the difference a cab makes, it ain't easy
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:34 PM
Twinsmama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamt View Post
so..... did your pa or hubby ever get offered any multi year multi million dollar contracts, not counting sponsorships or fringe benefits of course

i would assume your dad is one of the best in his line of work..... i doubt ocho cinco couldclimb in a dozer and grade anything


i don't think people realize the talent it takes to operate heavy equipment, even the difference a cab makes, it ain't easy
no of course not. i'm glad to see you understand what i mean sometimes people take things the wrong way. of course i care about football players getting hurt but goodness people do things everyday that wreck their bodies at least football players get millions to compensate.

the fringe benefits my dad gets is the occasional turtle he gets while digging and a good tan
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:23 PM
BamaGrits84
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If you will recall a few months ago there was a post about an article write a form MMA writer said he would never watch the sport again after learning about the long term effects brain trama has on fights.

I think these guys know the risk. Obviously getting hit repeated is no as safe as a desk job. Most desk jobs don't pay millions a year and come with lavish life styles though. These guys love the games and/or the money. Love for the game is why they started. Many of them make enough to live very well on for life in just a year or two, but yet they play for 10+. Sure big dogs make money on athletes, buy the athletes get paid too. Are we going to ban all contact sports? What about starting a database of everyone that ever gets in a fight, car accident, or take a bump to the head any other way and we'll start a 3 hits your out law and just lock them up for their own safety. Technology will get better with helmets like the Hans device did with NASCAR because of a need for it. Fighter, hum well they better keep their hands up.
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BamaGrits84 View Post
Technology will get better with helmets like the Hans device did with NASCAR because of a need for it. Fighter, hum well they better keep their hands up.
I don't think the helmets or padding are going to change in a way that makes much of a difference at this point. It's about the way the game is played, and big hits and diving catches where wideouts get lead across the middle of the field is what makes the game exciting, thus generating more money.
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Old 01-26-2011, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinsmama View Post
i also find it hard to believe that football is harder on your body than mma.... of course my opinion is coming from me as i sit in a comfy office chair typing
Football is a very rough sport, and players in the NFL typically have been playing their whole life. I'm not saying it's any rougher than MMA, or vise versa. I actually think it's situational for each athlete. Certain players are at a higher risk for certain types of injuries depending on their position and style of play.
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