In many ways, I’m like Forrest Gump. I am not a smart man, but I know what risk is. I know if a jobsite requires you to wear steel-toe boots, there’s probably a likelihood of things falling on your feet. If a jobsite requires you to bring gloves, there’s probably a likelihood of things being rough on your hands.
Why then, can a football player be handed shoulder pads, a helmet, and a mouthpiece, and be surprised and befuddled by getting injured? Today, a player (JJ Russell-Memphis) got laid out for a few minutes on the football field and within minutes everyone was in favor of furthering all possible safety rules and even suggesting ejection for the guy who hit him.
I saw the hit…Sorry to say it, but I’ve seen people get stacked up harder on Black Friday and both of those people were ladies in their late 50s. Shoulder to chest, kid’s head whipped. Yes, it could not have happened if the rules were adjusted to a two-hand-touch configuration. It also could not have happened had Mr. Russell done just about any of two hundred common exercises to strengthen the neck. Those are exercises I’d recommend for any football player.
Here’s the deal-don’t ask me how I know, but an average human head weighs between 8 and 12 pounds. Typical football helmet with bars weighs between 4 and 8 pounds. This means you’ll have between 12 and 20 pounds extended at the end of 7 bones that aren’t even connected mechanically with each other or to the skull! If those neck muscles are not strong, the added weight of the football helmet, it can be bad. “Bad” like…”helmeted player tackled at the ten yard line, helmeted head rolled to the thirty yard line” bad. The…bad kind of bad.
Yes, the concussion injury situation in the NFL is bad. Yes, Junior Seau shot himself. Yes, people with histories of concussions have done some horribly bad things. Chris Benoit, totally did horrible things…Just like Bundy, who as far as I know was never concussed repeatedly. Just like Gacy, who as far as I know was never concussed repeatedly. Just like Dahmer, who as far as I know was never concussed repeatedly. If you look through history at people and body counts…the number one constant is people killing people. All other elements do not compute.
I’m not the guy who claims to be a scientist or an expert, but people do lousy miserable things to each other every day. This is because there are a lot of people who are lousy miserable individuals. It doesn’t mean they’ve been hit on the head too frequently. It doesn’t mean they took too many risks in their leisure time. It doesn’t mean they took too many risks at work.
Newsflash, people have killed others, killed themselves, and killed others and then themselves for a long, long time. Probably did long before Gridiron Football was invented in the late 19th Century. Don’t quote me on that, but Wikipedia’s list of serial killers before 1900, it’s got a lot listed.
Rule #1; People Suck.
Rule #2; Football is a game.
Rule #3; Despite whether a person has ever played football, they still probably suck.
Rule #4; If you ever wonder what could possess someone to do something bad…refer to Rule #1.
Rule #5; If you have to wear a helmet for the game you want to play, maybe find out how strong your neck is.
Rule #6; When in doubt, if you want to play a game and it requires pads and a helmet, maybe you should analyze your tolerance for impact and general durability. Jack Youngblood played the entire playoffs and a Super Bowl, and the Pro Bowl, all with a broken left fibula. You got a mediocre hit and slept for a while. May I suggest…Photography club? Glee club? Band? Alcoholism?