Guest blog: These Neros knew the dangers of this sport, but to make a fast and dirty buck they squashed the facts
Ancient Rome. Gladiators enter the ring. No, it’s only football, and it’s our team, pounding their heads against each other.
Can this be safe? Of course it’s safe. Our boys are wearing helmets, and they’re not boys — they’re men, strong men, and they can take care of themselves. After all, the National Football League would not allow these men to be giving each other brain damage.
Oh, no. The NFL is an innocent. It does not know that blows to the head can create neurological problems — even cause suicide — years after our beloved players retire. The league is very sensitive to its public image. I wonder why.
$10 billion is why.
Football brings in $10 billion a year to the NFL, and it wants this nightmare of a lawsuit of 4,500 former players with head trauma and their families to go away. Quickly. “Let's get on with the game and play ball!” says the NFL by offering a settlement so soon.
Don’t let anyone catch on that possibly the NFL knew about the dangers of concussions, head injury, trauma and helmets that aren’t worth the tinsel they are made of. Phony protection. For appearances.
The true protection is to ban football and save our boys, our men, our beloved specimens of pulsating flesh from any sort of Emperors of the Ancient National Football League from exploiting them
These Neros knew the dangers in this sport, but to make a fast and dirty buck they squashed any and all rumors — facts — about the suffering that could lead to even the eventual suicides of aging ex-football players.
Aw, heck, why not put college players in this mix? And let’s not forget the cherubic high-school players risking their gray matter for pigskin.
Why does money have to be the equalizer of suffering? It just isn’t. Ban the pigskin. Ban football. Send aspiring players off to play basketball or baseball or lacrosse — but no longer this sadistic sport that Julius Caesar would have cherished.
I was a cheerleader. I was engaged to Dick Hoak, a Penn State quarterback who went on to be a line coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was photographed with Franco Harris to promote my poster for a movie I was in called “Take This Job and Shove It.” I love to watch pro ball. No more.
Let’s all get honest and turn off the TV when a game comes on and boycott that pigskin. Let’s breathe life into our young men. Vietnam is over. We don’t need to send our boys onto the field to serve the NFL.
Two months ago I had brain surgery because I have Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus. I suffered in silence while my gait was the object of ridicule. The cause of my NPH was deemed unknown, though it could have come from blows to my head.
I do recall a boyfriend I had in 1980 who was an alcoholic like me who liked to bash my head into the wall. Did he cause my water on the brain? Could be. I can’t prove it. Now, after surgery and a shunt I have a new lease on life.
I only wish the same for all the tortured football players with neurological problems.
Remember Brian Westbrook and what a talented running back he was? Then he had a concussion. Then another concussion. And we never heard about him again. His Wikipedia page says at the age of 33 he is suffering memory loss. Bless you, Brian, and all of you former players.
According to the New York Times, the settlement, which does not cover current players, closes a legal case for the League, but brain trauma among players may continue to vex a sport that embraces violent collisions.
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