This interview with former Packer Jermichael Finley was a pretty interesting read. There were a couple of things that jumped out at me, aside from the injury that ended his career. The first was a description of what it’s like to get your “bell rung” in an NFL game.
It feels like you’re going blind. You can’t really hear anything. I had got my bell rung week three of the same year that I got injured. I was stumbling off the field, and the only way I can find the sideline that my team was on is that we had the bright-yellow pants on. So I couldn’t hear. You can’t talk. And I think the fans on TV – you can tell when a guy get his bell rung ’cause you get that oh, that ah. You’re off balance. It’s a train wreck every time you collide into an opponent.
He later admitted this happened about once per game. That sounds an awful lot like a concussion. In fact, I’ve had a minor concussion myself, and it was not anywhere near that bad.
Later in the interview he talks about how the NFL talks to rookies about injuries:
FINLEY: Most definitely. And when you come in the NFL, you come into that orientation as a rookie or whatnot. They got it for you highlighted. There’s 99 percent chance you’re going to get injured in this game.
MCEVERS: They say that.
FINLEY: Yeah. They’ll let you know that. The matter’s not that you’re going to get injured. It’s when you’re going to get injured. So everyone plays this game. You’re going to get some type of injury that’s going to, in my opinion, haunt you for the rest of your life.
I don’t think those of us who have never played at the major college or professional level can understand the appeal of playing football. I read this and can’t help but wonder why anyone would play football. This is Rollerball type stuff?
Now Finley was smart enough to take out an insurance policy that paid him out a cool $10 million when his career was ended by injury. Seems like that’s something more players should be thinking about, but I suspect most are not thinking that far ahead, or as he assumes, they just don’t want to spend the money on the policy, because they’re making good money now, and there’s no reason to think that will end tomorrow.
But, as Finley’s injury clearly shows, it absolutely can end tomorrow. I hope more players take these kinds of precautions seriously in the future.
“In an appearance on “Any Given Wednesday” with Bill Simmons, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers talked about — among other things, like his desire to retire with the Packers — concussions. Rodgers said that the biggest issue facing the NFL in terms of keeping players safe these days is the players self-monitoring concussions because they always want to stay on the field.
As an example of this, Rodgers told the stories of the two concussions he suffered in his career. The first came in October of 2010 against the Redskins, while the second was in December of 2010 against the Lions.”
The way Rodgers describes the effects of these hits is downright scary. I’ve only ever had a mild concussion, one time, and while the immediate impact wasn’t that difficult to deal with (I kept playing), that night and the next day were a blur of headache pain.
I also didn’t get hit by a professional football player in the head, which is way, way more force than I encountered falling on my head. If what he describes is what happens out on the field, I can completely understand why some guys are retiring early.
‘Fail Mary’ official fighting depression
Former NFL replacement official Lance Easley says he continues to struggle with illnesses — battling depression and post-traumatic stress disorder — since making the infamous “Fail Mary” call in 2012.
The 55-year-old Easley, in a series of interviews with Yahoo! Sports, said he has been plagued by panic attacks, depression and even suicidal thoughts over the past year.
Do we really want to be a society that drives someone to suffer the same symptoms as a soldier returning from war, over a questionable call in a football game? Really??
I’m sure everyone has even the Dez Bryant non-catch on fourth down by now. As a Cowboy fan familiar with this so-called Calvin Johnson Rule, I am willing to admit that it was the right call based on that.
On the other hand, NFL, this is perhaps the stupidest of many stupid rules you have. Consider, if you will:
A player on a rushing play carrying the ball is considered down, and the play over, when their knee or forearm hits the ground.
Similarly, a player rushing toward the end zone, it’s a touchdown and the play is over, when he ball crosses the plane of the goal line.
On a passing play, a receiver who catches the ball and takes two steps, then is hit by a defender and drops the ball, has fumbled.
Against all of that logic, a player who catches the ball, takes three steps as he’s falling to the ground, where his knee hits the ground first, and then bobbles the ball when his arm hits the ground, has not completed a pass?
How the hell does that makes any sense?
That being said, the Cowboys had a surprisingly great year and I’m proud of them. Let’s see how things develop in the offseason with Dez and Demarco.
Saw a mention of Life Magazine’s rare photos from the first Super Bowl and was taken aback by how much is different about the NFL today. Sure, the sight of Len Dawson grabbing a smoke and a Fresca during halftime is something else, but look at how small those guys are compared to what we saw in the NFL this year! Is it any wonder why head injuries seem to be getting worse instead of better? The field is still exactly the same size, but the players are taking up much more of that space and traveling at faster speeds. That’s not a safe combination for the NFL, or the NHL for that matter.
Aside from that commentary though, the pictures are pretty cool.