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State of the game: Rick Reilly commentary

Discussion in 'NFL Football Forum' started by Tunescribe, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    Reilly: NFL becoming a guilty pleasure - ESPN

    "I used to love football the way German shepherds love sirloin. I'd sit in the press box and insist the window stay open -- even on down-coat days -- just so I could hear the sound of two men colliding at full speed. It thrilled me. And I'd wonder: Who does that?

    Now I hear that sound and wonder how soon it will be before they can't remember where they parked, their sons' middle names, or where their families went last summer on vacation.

    I see too much sorrow and ugliness to love football like I used to."

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This drumbeat is getting louder and I personally am trying to sort out my own feelings around these issues. The concussion syndrome problem I find most disturbing. My recent rationalization is that these things will sort themselves out one way or another and the game likely will go on in an adjusted form. Either the game itself will change to hopefully minimize CTE or a medical solution will emerge to mitigate/manage its post-career effects. There's also the fact that these players now fully know the risks and voluntarily court them for great financial reward. It's their choice.

    But still, I'm not sure how to view this stuff as a fan. I've been a passionate fan of the NFL since childhood. It's a huge part of whatever free time I carve out for myself and I don't want to start feeling "guilty" about it. But what could/should we, as fans, do? I think you have to more or less just standby and be prepared to accept whatever happens.

    I'm curious what others here think.
     
  2. patriot lifer

    patriot lifer 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    #87 Jersey

    There was a very informative PBS program in the issue. I'd recommend everyone else to watch it. It does NOT happen to everyone but CTE does occur at a much higher incidence and at such a young age. There have been cases of college level players with the early onset of CTE. The NFL never admitted there to being an issue--legally. By they did pay $765 million.

    I choose not to think about it personally.
     
  3. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    I saw the PBS special. Lots of eye-opening information in it although it seemed quite biased against the league. The unaddressed elephant in the room was they didn't interview anyone from the NFLPA.
     
  4. Captain Cliche

    Captain Cliche On the Game Day Roster

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    I started a similar thread during the off season once and got some mixed responses...some pretty ugly. However, I did not phrase it nearly as eloquently.

    I have a friend that has a constriction on his spinal column in the neck area from HIGH SCHOOL football that causes occasional paralysis in one arm. Imagine the damage if you include college and pros.

    I think most fans don't consider they are contributing in some small way to the future crippling of these healthy young men.

    My old man worked in auto body most of his adult life in an atmosphere where they had to go on strike to have a window put in the shop....eventially dying of lung cancer. He did this so I could attend college and hopefully have a better life than him.

    That's how I come to terms with it. We are also contributing to these same young men earning a great deal of money and hopefully setting their families up for life.

    Unfortunately, most don't get their money and get out.

    I also wonder how BB comes to terms with it.
     
  5. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    The great benefits of being associated with the game at all levels shouldn't be dismissed because of what's now coming to light. I played football in high school and learned important life lessons that wouldn't have occurred in any other sport. (I also was concussed once that I'm sure of.)

    I think this new "living" CTE test that Tony Dorsett underwent will be important in shaping the game going forward.
     
  6. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

    Some occupations are more dangerous than others. As long as I see reasonable attempts to improve safety that don't interfere fundamentally with the game, I'm perfectly comfortable. It's not a profession I'd choose, but I wouldn't choose to be a coal miner, either.
     
  7. Bella*chick

    Bella*chick Addicted to the light

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    #12 Jersey

    Every time I hear of another CTE case, I just cringe. This Tony Dorsett thing just sucks and is so depressing. I wonder which one of our players will be the ones we are hearing about in the next 10-20 years. I used to be far more vocal about my enjoyment of football several years ago, but nowadays I don't say too much about it. Mostly because I am honestly not sure the game will be around in the next few decades.

    It ironically helps some in defusing my negative energy after losses. I just think, oh well, the game might not even exist in the near future so who cares who wins the championship? I guess that sounds weird but it does help. However I still never miss a game and watch football even on Thursday nights. I also listen to sports talk radio as well. I am a like a junkie.
     
  8. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    This is a reasonable perspective. But my concern is that improving safety in a truly meaningful way just might interfere fundamentally with how the game is played. So if that is what it comes to, what then?

    Perhaps science will discover a test determining who might be predisposed to developing CTE by playing football and who might not be.
     
  9. Patriot_in_NY

    Patriot_in_NY Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    You know, I read that piece to, and there is a lot of truth to what he says. But, I still keep coming back to that last couple paragraphs the most.

    That may not be so true in days past, but it's certainly true now. Many of these guys are paid VERY WELL, and they know exactly what the risks are. They may minimize them in their minds, but it's hard to ignore they are there. If they make that decision for them and thier families, that is not something I'm prepared to own with them (in the form of guilt).

    As humans we have always loved blood sports, from the gladiator days on down to now........ as we will in the future. May not be one of our finer traits, but in the words of the immortal........ "it is what it is". I feel bad for the players of old, and I hate reading the tragic tails of woe as much as anybody, but I'll be up Sunday watching and cheering like I always am......

    ..... and I'd be lying if I told you I'd feel the least bit guilty about it. Not proud of it mind you..... Just telling it like it is.
     
  10. olschool

    olschool Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Ultimately it will come down to what's happening in school boy football right now.

    A lot of people are steering their kids away from football because of this problem.

    I imagine it will eventually come down to players not being allowed to leave their feet and launch themselves at another player to make a tackle. But, it will have to come from the grassroots level to teach a whole generation of kids to play the game differently.
     
  11. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    A couple things: the brain-damage issue (usually) doesn't manifest 'til later in life, and high school football is deeply ingrained in the social culture of many American communities. But I think the game's deepest entrenchment is at the college level.
     
  12. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

    If that happens, the game will be dead.
     
  13. olschool

    olschool Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Yep, and all those parents are seeing the results the same way we are.

    The cat is out of the bag, and as soon as some school district has to pay millions for some paralyzed kid, you'll see school boy football come to a screeching halt, even in Texas.

    If football doesn't fix itself, the lawyers will.
     
  14. olschool

    olschool Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    It'll be about as different as today's game is compared to the way it was played in 1913.
     
  15. Bobsyouruncle

    Bobsyouruncle Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    It's like this, adults can make decisions for themselves- good bad or indifferent. You can make the decision to watch or not but you can be assured that with or without you watching football players will go on playing because that's their own decision. Race car drivers will keep racing, king crab fisherman will keep fishing, base jumpers will keep jumping.

    There's plenty of suffering and death in this world by people who have no control over the decisions in their lives. I would propose that the angst over what decisions adults make is misplaced as long as their are people starving, women and children slaughtered, and freedom suppressed. The worlds time and energy would be much better spent trying to help those who have no control over the suffering in their own lives than trying to get a bunch of football players to quit doing something they love.
     
  16. mb6592

    mb6592 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I overheard some Neanderthals discussing your post and they were lamenting the not so long ago days of dodge balls in gym class, public sledding on golf courses, ice skating on public ponds, unguided trail rides on horseback, and actually being allowed to play tag. These apes had the gall to wax poetic about the times before the lawyers/feminists took over the world and spoke ignorantly about the litigation happy changes that have wrecked our individual freedoms and how rampant feminization has changed societal mores. They had the nerve to suggest that these men be allowed to live the life they choose (like a boxer or mountain climber - for now anyway). I put them in their place and explained that the cost to a society that is too compassionate to let them live with the choices they made is too great to allow such individual freedom. And besides, we should be evolving beyond the need to display such barbarism. When they laughed and suggested such change is better accomplished by man than by edict, I guffawed and told them to just shut up.
     
  17. Ive_Killed_People

    Ive_Killed_People On the Game Day Roster

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    I say we get out our best Sunday dresses,sit in a circle,and discuss it over a spot of tea! You want to get rid of concussions? Get rid of the shiny battering rams players wear on their heads. Last Thursday I saw Deangelo Hall pretend to be Ram-Man from Masters of the Universe and try to stop Ponder from getting into the endzone with his head. Causing him a concussion and Ponder a dislocated shoulder. Think he tries that with a cushioned leather helmet? Drop the Hard helmets.
    Throw in some hydraulic neck support built into the pads. Voila!
     
  18. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    It seems your tongue poked a hole clear through your cheek with this post. I think the core issue isn't as much a matter of self-determination/freedom of choice as what the new findings involving CTE might mean -- ESPECIALLY regarding choices the athletes themselves might make as medical science learns more.
     
  19. RayClay

    RayClay Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    Get rid of hard shell helmets and people won't want to launch so much.
     
  20. olschool

    olschool Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    And the lawyers will keep litigating until no school district or college can afford liability insurance.

    When that happens, the NFL will become professional wrestling with helmets and a ball, because the schools will no longer provide the amateur players.

    Organized football better figure out a way to lessen the impact of injuries or it will cease to exist as we know it now.
     

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