Not So Super Bowl

January 30, 2013 in Misc · 3 comments

Not So Super Bowl

In light of this weekend’s pending festivities, it seems relevant to mention the truly horrific nature of this “sport.”

From the Associated Press, Seau’s family sues NFL over brain injuries:

An Associated Press review in November found that more than 3,800 players have sued the NFL over head injuries in at least 175 cases as the concussion issue has gained attention in recent years. The total number of plaintiffs is 6,000 when spouses, relatives and other representatives are included.

The NFL needs to care for its former players, acknowledge its decades of deception on the issue of head injuries and player safety, and make the game safer for future generations.

From Esquire, Theater of Pain:

This NFL season has been defined by people talking about “the injury issue” — pundits, columnists, league officials. The one voice you haven’t heard — until now — belongs to the players.

The reality of injury — and the phantasmagoric world of pain — is what makes it, legitimately, a blood sport.

From the Miami Herald, Jason Taylor’s pain shows NFL’s world of hurt:

We think we know this forever-growing monster we are cheering on Sundays. But we don’t. We have no earthly idea.

Jason Taylor…was just a few blessed hours from having his leg amputated. He played games, plural, with a hidden and taped catheter running from his armpit to his heart. His calf was oozing blood for so many months, from September of one year to February of another, that he had to have the equivalent of a drain installed. This is a story of the private pain endured in pursuit of public glory, just one man’s broken body on a battlefield littered with thousands of them. …death and depression and dementia addle football’s mind, persuading some of the gladiators to kill themselves as a solution to end all the pain…

From the New Yorker, Football’s Hidden Pains:

As we watch a game that we know is dangerous, we soothe ourselves with the idea that these men must be aware of the risks, too; that they are being well compensated to take on those risks; and that, at least when they’re on the field, in front of the cameras, they are living the dream that we all craved as kids, and they’re having fun.

But what we can take from this story, and from the fact that, on the surface, this weekend’s games were filled with such excitement, is the fact that so much of football’s barbarism takes place beyond our vision and behind closed doors.

3 comments… read them below or add one

mickholt January 31, 2013 at 1:38 pm

The thing that scares me most about all these – and however many more – articles is the nearly complete absence of any individual responsibility. It is all someone else’s fault. I get that the NFL is somewhat responsible for the car, during and after a player’s career but they do not have the sole responsibility. The players know this is a dangerous game and your career can end on any snap of the ball but they want their money – and who can blame them, really. Look how many players leave college early for fear of not getting paid? The injuries, deaths and long term issues for these players, while tragic, is as much their doing as anyone else. How about all the parents that push their sons to play so they can “get paid”? I seriously doubt anyone ever said to Joe Theismann, “Hey, kid, remember, you might just get a compound fracture that will end your career.” And yet, right there on MNF – it happened. Guns, drinks, sports, whatever – at some point the “victims” have got to assume some responsibility.


Dan January 31, 2013 at 1:45 pm

I agree that personal responsibility is important. But the extent to which we as a society seem intent on glossing over this side of football and simply accept it as another sport seems equally problematic to me.


mickholt February 1, 2013 at 8:13 am

I agree that society plays a role but I don’t know if it glosses over the violence of football so much as embrace and celebrate that aspect – dare I say, cause it? Short of an worldwide boycott, the carnage will never end – and I am not even sure if it would then. Our society has and feeds a natural bloodlust and that fuels this sort of “entertainment”. Look at the top movies and TV shows. We’re fascinated by death and blood – I’d hate to think they keep making the “Saw” movies just to have something to do. When you factor everything together it comes down to money – the love of which is the…well, you know. As long as people are willing to part with their money someone will gladly provide the sort of “vilo-tainment” they are looking for.


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