Saturday, June 9, 2012


Be happy you're wearing this!
  The average annual salary for an NFL football player is approx. $1.9 million dollars a year.  That averages out to approx. $118,750.00 per game, in a 16 game season.  This is average for the average player, above average players can draw up to 20 times that much in a single season.  One would think that an NFL football player, drafted from a school of higher learning would be fully aware of the hazards involved in running at full speed and crashing headlong and head first, into an opponent player moving at the same speed.  But no!!!!
  The first ever professional football game was played in or around 1920, no padding, leather helmets about the thickness of a glove.  I would have thought that in the last 92 years, and numerous uniform improvements, including helmets someone would have noticed that a few players weren't capable of knowing where they were at any given time.  One player mentioned that during a game, he actually had to ask a fellow player if they were in Philly or Cleveland.  This loss of memory has been determined to be due to frequent head trauma resulting in numerous brain concussions. 
  As an avid football fan, and a previous player in junior and high school, I was able to discern that the reason for the padding and the helmets, was to lower the risk of injury.  I also knew that there was a risk of injury regardless of the amount of protective equipment I donned prior to kick-off.  I saw injuries to players, even got hurt a few times myself, nothing serious though, got my bell rung a couple of times, maybe dislocated fingers, nothing I deemed dire enough to make me quit playing.  Perhaps I should have paid more attention to the bell getting rung a few times, but I believe I fared pretty well.  There were a few serious injuries also, but like all the other players, we'd shake it off and keep on playing.
  I guess the point I'm trying to make is this:  Football is a game one chooses to play.  No one is forced to play, and many get paid huge amounts of money to play.  The bottom line regardless, is the choice to play by the athlete.  My High School coach did not force me to play, neither did my parents, I chose to play.  Just as my High School and coach were not responsible for my choices, neither is the National Football League responsible for the player's choice to play.  The safety of players of contact sports has always been in the forefront.  All the improvements in the pads and safety equipment came from concerned coaches, team doctors, trainers and scientists whose job number one was to keep the player as safe as possible.  The equipment design improvements are self evident.  If this weren't the case, NFL players would still be using the old circa 1920's leather helmet.
  There comes a time when an individual must exercise some self responsibility.  If you think this game is too rough, if you think the equipment you are using is inferior, then why are you still playing?  Is it the money?  Of course it is.  It is my opinion that anyone earning a $118,750.00 a week, can well afford to see a doctor of his choosing.  If your doctor outside the team medical staff didn't inform you that you are submitting yourself to too much head trauma. If you knew that seeing stars for long periods of time, dizziness wasn't normal for you.  The problem you have is with the doctor, not the league.  Simple common sense should tell you to seek medical help and advice before continuing to play professional football, where you know, you can and will get hurt again.  Personal responsibility comes from within, not from your keeper.  Getting hurt playing football, is just the nature of the beast! 
And not this!
  Suing the NFL because they may have heard that head trauma could be caused, even though wearing protective head gear, is ludicrous at best.  I am no doctor, I'm not a trainer or coach, I'm not even a player anymore.  However, I do know when I'm hurt, and I do know that a crashing into another man wearing a helmet at full speed could cause me injury.  The NFL, as a league that pays players exorbitant amounts of money, should be able to expect a reasonably sane professional player with a college education, to know when he is hurt.  To know that his choice of career is potentially a dangerous one, and that if he wants to make the big bucks, he must assume the responsibility for his choice.  Sue, the NFL, and you may just sue yourself out of what one might call a very lucrative career choice. 

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