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PD feature story on ex-UA players deaths


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#16 SeeTeeZip

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:08 PM

These situations/stories bring to mind several thoughts, some contradictory. 1. Football is very entertaining but it's beyond me how anyone can be surprised that some players will suffer debilitating injuries that will afflict them the rest of their lives, whether high school, college or professional. Shame on all of us collectively for not fully embracing that reality. At least the Roman spectators were clear about the fates of the losers. What does it say about football fans that they are generally unprepared to fully understand that their entertainment causes pain and agony that will last for many years for the entertainers? 2. People who are "addictive" in their personalities and in their genetics are at high risk whether they happen to play football or not. If one could press a button and engage numerous parallel realities with people like CJ, in how many of those parallel lives would he become addicted? 3. When an adult becomes addicted to narcotics, whose fault is it? Should doctors allow patients to suffer in agony or should they treat pain in the most efficient manner possible? 4. I get uncomfortable when it's suggested that because an adult has chosen to become akin to a modern-day gladiator, that there should be a special system to support them. The kid who is a student and falls on the ice on the way to class and is then prescribed pain killers doesn't have a "support system" beyond himself and his family to ensure that he doesn't become a junkie. Why is a coach somehow responsible for a player in this way? Ianello is a nasty unlikable human being, but why is it his responsibility to ensure that another adult doesn't become a drug addict? For those of you who have family members with such an affliction, is it your fault? I would say that addiction is such an intense drive for those so predisposed that to blame anyone for the addictions of others is to misplace that blame. 3. I worry when people believe that certain painkillers should perhaps not be offered to those in pain. There is weird moral and religious judgement that tends to leak into conversations about pain management. My very limited understanding is that if anything, modern medicine is still very much lacking in effective tools for pain management and their application. Addiction issues are agonizing to be sure, but when human suffering is acute, pain management becomes critical. I don't ever want to suffer extreme pain because a bureaucrat or a doctor is worried that I may develop substance abuse issues or that some amount of suffering on my part is OK in their mind. I could go on and on but the bottom line, getting back to football, is that we're actively incentivizing young adults to batter and brutalize each other for our entertainment, right within the context of our educational system. Think about it in those concrete terms and it's pretty dirty and unappealing. The next time you are tempted to go nuts cheering that big lick on the field, remember all of this. Pretty nasty, pretty unappealing stuff all of it.

#17 SeeTeeZip

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:18 PM

Thanks for the correction.

My hope is the NCAA takes as serious of a look at ALL medical issues players sustain while playing all sports. Brain injuries (many get them in high school and problem continues in college), spine injuries, pain killer abuse, debilitating knee injuries, etc. all happen to college athletes and there is nothing to support them once they leave school. They are human beings. If a horse sustained an injury that caused it to not be able to race, it would probably receive more medical support from its industry than a former college athlete receives after his/her playing days are over.

Very sad story.


Horses are liquidated when they are no longer money makers or show potential as breeding stock. For many, liquidation means euthanasia. College athletes are adults. They need to fully internalize the truth that if they play a contact sport like football at the college level, there is a substantial likelihood that injuries, acute and chronic, may very well affect their quality of life until the day they die. That's the reality. I would bet that most don't stop for a second to think about the negative consequences, and I'm not aware of any processes in place that force them to face that reality.

#18 GP1

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:09 PM

1. Football is very entertaining but it's beyond me how anyone can be surprised that some players will suffer debilitating injuries that will afflict them the rest of their lives, whether high school, college or professional. Shame on all of us collectively for not fully embracing that reality. At least the Roman spectators were clear about the fates of the losers. What does it say about football fans that they are generally unprepared to fully understand that their entertainment causes pain and agony that will last for many years for the entertainers?

I love your posts on this issue. Especially the relation of the Roman fans to modern football fans.

The Romans didn't have products like NFL Films showing them, and glorifying, major violent plays. ESPN is even more guilty than NFL Films. Roman fans had a certain maturity that our society is not capable of grasping. The Roman Gladiators were fighting to the death in reality and the fans understood exactly what was going on in the arena. ESPN and NFL films lead us to believe football players are modern day gladiators and the coaches are great philosophical leaders. They aren't. An alternate reality is created and our immature society is more than eager to embrace that false reality.

The other major difference is the gladiators were killed immediately. Football players are being killed by the game well into their retirement. There came a point in Rome when enough was enough with the killing and the gladiators went away. It is taking us a while, but we are now seeing our modern day gladiators go away in a pathetic manner and we are starting to not like it. Will the NFL go away like the gladiators did in time?
"...you want it to be one way. But it's the other way." --Marlo Stanfield, The Wire

"Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple." - Woody Guthrie



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