My Head Hurts

9 12 2009

During two internships at investment banks, feeling uncomfortable having open on my company’s computer all day, I found myself in the Bloomberg sports section quite frequently. One of the main writers in this section was Scott Soshnick. Nearly every article I read of his was filled with nonsense. Making ludicrous claims, random anecdotes and idiotic conclusions were just a few of his specialties. But with no outlet to vent I was stuck frustrated in my cubicle. Now that I have my blog I get the chance to break down his articles FJM style. His latest disaster is below in bold with my hysterical responses in between.

Dec. 8 (Bloomberg) — The voice on the other end of the telephone belonged to Wayne Chrebet, who was sharing a few memories of the now-defunct football program at Hofstra University.

Quite a shame they shut down their program. Also ole Scotty boy seems like he’s trying to get on my good side by putting a picture of a Jets’ great above his article. Your so sneaky Mr. Soshnick.

Chrebet is one of the lucky ones. He still has recall. A good number of former National Football League players don’t.

That’s because he’s 36. Give him a couple years and I’m relatively certain there won’t be any recall. Trust me, I saw him get hit in the head way too many times.

The 36-year-old Chrebet

Told ya!

sustained six documented concussions during his time in the NFL. It’s impossible to say with any degree of certainty how many undocumented concussions there were from 1995-2005, when the 5-foot-10 Chrebet was catching passes, lots of them, for the New York Jets.

Hmm…actually he caught all of his passes for the New York Jets since it’s the only NFL team he played for. As for concussions, I’m surprised they documented any of them at all. Elliot Pelman, one of the Jet doctors, was always stifling appropriate concussion research.

By his own admission Chrebet could have avoided a number of those collisions by simply stepping out of bounds. He didn’t.

Instead he ran very quickly out of bounds to avoid the large black men trying to tackle him. Nah I’m just kidding. They tackled the shit out of him.

He also could’ve ducked under tackles instead of choosing to collide with bigger men.

Like I said…tackled the shit out of him.

The laws of physics don’t change. Force equals mass times acceleration, putting Chrebet at a disadvantage almost every time.

Because his brain damage inhibits him from learning physics? I’m confused.

The biggest storyline of this NFL season isn’t the unblemished records of the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts

[It is]

The most important one, however, centers on the league’s efforts to reduce the number of concussions in a violent sport.

Yea like 10 years later than they should have. I mean who would have ever suspected that a game like football could cause serious head injuries and lasting negative effects on the brain. The NFL should look into putting a psychic on the payroll to prevent against these impossible to predict problems.

There has been a lot of finger-pointing with regard to concussions, football and, ultimately, dementia in former players. NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith in October told Congress that the league ignored a decade of research showing a connection between on-field injury and post-career mental illness.

Sounds about right.

The NFL downplayed the studies, Smith said. Suppressed findings, he alleged. “The days of denigrating and ignoring the medical findings must come to an end,” he said.

Smith is right. And wrong.

Or…he’s just right. But let’s see where you’re going with this.

The biggest impediment to meaningful change regarding player safety isn’t the league. Nor is it the owners, general managers or coaches.

It’s the helmets! They’re on too tight!

It’s the players, too many of whom are stuck on the idea that playing hurt is a job requirement and that sitting out is tantamount to teammate treason.

/buzzer deeming incorrect answer sounds

Playing hurt is 100% a job requirement in the NFL. THEIR CONTRACTS AREN’T GUARANTEED. So many guys who aren’t making the big bucks that are struggling to make teams cannot afford to get hurt or it will cost them a contract. The only reason the NFL is recognizing the concussion issue is because big name players have been getting hurt this year. But lesser known NFL players have been getting concussed ever since the game was invented. How you can mention the playing hurt mentality without mentioning the nonguaranteed contracts is absolute lunacy.

Nowhere is that attitude more evident than in Pittsburgh, where prior to the Steelers Nov. 29th game against Baltimore wide receiver Hines Ward publicly questioned why starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl champion, wasn’t going to play. Ward had said the locker room was split over whether Roethlisberger, 27, should’ve played a week after sustaining his fourth concussion since 2006.

Paging Dr. Ward, please come to the ICU. I love how this was big news when it was reported. Who cares what the players think, they have absolutely no idea how Big Ben feels or what the doctors are saying. This is just Ward’s comment being taken out of context to fill the headlines on an otherwise slow news day.

It’s a popular refrain around NFL locker rooms that there’s a difference between playing with pain and playing hurt. The problem with concussions is that there are no visible scars, no X-rays of busted bones to hang inside the locker.

How do you prove a headache or blurred vision?

Maybe they could put that machine from Ah! Real Monsters on their heads and project their thoughts onto a screen? [Gotta love old school Nickelodeon]

I’m afraid that won’t happen on a large scale until players stop second-guessing their teammates for wanting to remember their careers.

Or until the league stops playing dumb and realizes that head injuries are extremely serious. But Hines Ward making a general comment about his quarterback is probably why there’s widespread neglect in the NFL. Yea, let’s go with that.