For those of you about to watch a little football over the weekend, does the "sport" induce brain damage not only to the players but also to the viewers?
After a weekend of listening to the blather on the tube, many viewers tend to believe that “college” players are really student-athletes and that NFL players can step back into society on Sunday evening after a week, after a near lifetime, of banging heads.
The Ray Rice case probably should cost Commissioner Roger Goodell his job one of these days. Hearing the report that Rice had dragged his girlfriend, now his wife, out of an elevator after “rendering her unconscious” did not arouse any curiosity in Goodell. Biff-bam-pow. It sounded like one of those phrases John Madden and the lads used to chortle on the compliant networks not so long ago.
“Got his bell rung.”
X-rays of autopsies to follow.
Just think about it while watching the “amateurs” and the “professionals:" the know-nothing impulse of Goodell and his league regarding Ray Rice and now-wife is not the first or perhaps most widespread scandal facing the NFL.
These people have been ducking the clear evidence of damaged players for generations. Men had their uniforms taken away when they could no longer compete, and soon afterward an alarming number had another clubhouse - a rest home with burly attendants to care for them.
For many years the NFL relied for brain advice on its medical advisor, Dr. Elliot Pellman, who was not an expert in neurology, and who resigned in 2007 after articles by Alan Schwarz in The New York Times and other sources.
I had already posted this article when things got worse. The front-page story in the Times by Ken Belson said the NFL is admitting that one-third of its former players are likely to have brain damage. In case you missed it:
Until recently, the NFL's position was that players did not have brain damage. Rather, they were rendered unconscious. Big difference.
What happens to players still getting hit early and often by other behemoths? Do they left-hook their companions, or strangers, and dump them halfway out of an elevator and nudge them with their feet?
At the moment that ugly video surfaced, the two NFL scandals were joined. Does football make players violent long before brain damage is confirmed -- via an autopsy?
Have a nice violent weekend.
"Among the things that have long fascinated people about Jesus and explain his enduring appeal is his method of dialogue and teaching. "He asked a lot of questions and told a lot of stories in the form of parables. In fact, parables form about a third of Jesus’ recorded teachings. The Gospels were written decades after he died, so his questions and parables clearly left a deep impression on those who bore testimony to him....
"Some of Jesus’ questions were rhetorical; others were meant to challenge or even provoke. In some cases, Jesus used questions to parry attacks by religious authorities who set traps for him. In others, he used questions to enter more fully into the lives of others and to help people look at the state of their hearts. He asked people about their fears and their faith. Jesus used questions to free a woman caught in adultery from condemnation and to inquire whether people considered him to be the Messiah. He probed deeply into questions not many had asked before him, like “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
---(Peter Wehner, long-time White House consultant and writer, in the NYT last week about Jesus Christ’s method of teaching by asking questions.)
"Would that I could mention all the illuminating details in this biography, for example, why Wells praised Black Americans so highly, saying, 'I took a mighty liking to these gentle, human, dark-skinned people,' and 'Whatever America has to show in heroic living today, I doubt if she can show anything finer than the quality of the resolve, the steadfast efforts hundreds of black and colored men are making today to live blamelessly, honorably and patiently, getting by themselves what scraps of refinement, beauty and learning they may, keeping their hold on a civilization they are grudged and denied.''
-- "How H.G. Wells Predicted the 20th Century," Charles Johnson, NYT Book Review, Nov. 19, 2021. ***".
...the monsters arrive."
"They come in a deafening, surging swarm, blasting from lawn to lawn and filling the air with the stench of gasoline and death. I would call them mechanical locusts, descending upon every patch of gold in the neighborhood the way the grasshoppers of old would arrive, in numbers so great they darkened the sky, to lay bare a cornfield in minutes. But that comparison is unfair to locusts.
"Grasshoppers belong here. Gasoline-powered leaf blowers are invaders, the most maddening of all the maddening, environment-destroying tools of the American lawn-care industry."
---The great Margaret Renkl, from Nashville, one of my favorite NYT bylines, Oct. 26, 2021.
(She describes our Long Island enclave to every decibel, every stink.)