Sunday, April 01, 2012

Brain Damage

What news I got while away was on the car radio when we could get a station.  The first  news I heard was non-political of sorts.  It was of the NFL hammering the managing forces of the New Orleans Saints for the practice of offering bonuses to players who would maim opposing players to varying degrees of disablement.

Oh, the hue and cry!  Someone was actually  being held accountable for blatantly unsportsmanlike conduct,  not to mention the potential of being  life threatening.

I found the excuses offered by the Saints infantile. "Everyone does it." This after league officials ordered the practice of offering and paying bounties be stopped.  Not suggested, mind you, but stopped.  As with so much in privileged segments of our population,  like professional sports,  I guess the Saints figured the NFL was just being politic, not really meaning it.

How could they think this with all the recent focus on the number of debilitating concussions players are suffering?  How could they even think it?

While the Saints whine about the severity of their punishment, and it hasn't even hit the players yet, a group of former players are suing the NFL for not sharing with the players the information they feel the league has had over the years regarding concussions and the possible debilitating consequences if not treated properly.  Big names.  Super Bowl quarterbacks among others.  The type of player for which the bounties were paid if  knocked out of the game.

The results of concussions don't necessarily appear right away.  One local high school, Washington State and NFL star talks of having to record conversations to remember what he has said.  He's morphed into a depression ridden, irritable version of his former mellow self.

As word gets out about the pending suit more and more former players are joining in.  They have no idea if they have a chance of winning or if their supposition that information was withheld is true.  I would suspect it is considering the emphasis on winning at all costs.

What they do hope to gain is recognition of how wide spread the problem has become, how many have really been damaged by inadequate protection or unnecessarily rough hits.  To make it know to coaches and parents involved with youth sports and high school and college level players.  If it starts at that level it's no wonder their brains are scrambled by the end of a pro career.

So to Coach Peyton and the others involved in New Orleans and those yet to be found out, one has to wonder who really is suffering brain damage.  It's too late for players past but not for those yet to come.  Unless the non-players who are directing the action are also brain damaged.  No, they'd have to be brain dead.

Now there is the perfect segue to my usual political commentary.  Brain dead indeed!

1 comment:

Alan said...

Personal responsibility for our own actions is the route to take here instead of pointing fingers at others. We all have choices to either do what's right, or otherwise. Another thought-provoking gem, Mari.