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Meanwhile, the Bigger NFL Story Gets Buried

While the whole sports world  is keeping track of who did what during the national anthem, and who’s going or not going to the White House, maybe the biggest story of last week was actually the news about Aaron Hernandez.It’s big news not because he had CTE, or that maybe we should factor that in when deciding how “guilty” he really was (we shouldn’t), but because the lawsuit and investigation should shed some light on what happened to him.

In case you missed it, he had stage 3 CTE, at the age of 27.

One doctor said his brain was in the condition they normally see with 67 year old CTE sufferers.

Now, we don’t know what sort of things Hernandez went through outside of the NFL, and that’s why I want this lawsuit and investigation to go through. Remember, he only played parts of 3 NFL seasons. That’s not a lot of time on the field compared to many others who have since been diagnosed with CTE. Did he suffer additional head trauma in prison? Maybe. Or, rather, was the damage already done by the time he got to the NFL from youth and college football? Even if we allow that his behavior can be somewhat explained (But not excused) by CTE causing a lack of decision making ability, we could look back at his career at Florida and see some of the same sort of things. Was he already dealing with the effects of CTE in college? Should his family be suing the NCAA and the University as well for continuing to let him play football, not taking better care of hm, etc.? Maybe. Again, we don’t know what happened while he was in college, or the truth about what happened with the Patriots either. I’m curious to find out.

The reason I’m curious, is because the common argument we hear about football players is that they get paid a lot of money to take those risks, and they know what the risks are and make those choices. Can that argument hold water at all if we start to see CTE prior to any NFL games? Is playing college football and not getting paid beyond a scholarship worth the risk if it turns out that Hernandez may have been dealing with CTE during his Florida days?

One thing I know is that level of CTE didn’t just happen from three years in the NFL. There was plenty of head trauma occurring outside of that. Can we start to pinpoint where and when he may have had concussions and head trauma, and begin to understand what the game is really doing to these young men?

Will we like what we find out? Maybe not, but we owe it to every college and high school football player to find out.

Given the way ESPN and other media outlets, including the President, went all hysterical over kneeling, you;d think this was a coordinated effort to get the public to pay attention to anything other than CTE. But we shouldn’t forget this story. If anything is going to destroy the NFL, it’s going to be this.

Link – Bill Belichick’s latest masterpiece involved a rookie third-string QB running circles around Texans

NFLBelichick certainly has more complete testaments to his coaching acumen – 13 AFC East titles in 15 seasons; four Super Bowls rings; a space waiting in the Hall of Fame. But few will be sweeter than this one: A 13-5 record with the three quarterbacks who have stepped in and started for Brady. That’s right. Brissett is now a piece of the answer to, “What has Belichick done without Brady?” Belichick still wins. Just like he did with Matt Cassel. Just like he did with Garoppolo.

The most surprising thing to me about the Thursday night game was not necessarily that the Patriots won, but that they just drilled the Texans with Brissett. Yeah sure, we all figured Belichick would have a game plan to help out the young QB, but I think we also all figured that with only 3 days ti implement that game plan, it wouldn’t work to perfection the way this one did. Nor did we think Houston would kind of be a mess on offense, though maybe we shouldn’t ever assume that Houston wouldn’t be a mess on offense against a well-coached defense in retrospect.

Tip of the cap to the Patriots. Still not a fan, but you have to respect it. Especially after your own team went 1-11 last year without it’s top QB. 😉

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/bill-belichicks-latest-masterpiece-involved-a-rookie-third-string-qb-running-circles-around-texans-065618487.html

Link – A Patriots linebacker says he needed 22 stitches after rescuing a woman from a burning car

“As New England Patriots linebacker Darius Fleming took the field in Saturday’s playoff matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, one of the many things that might have crossed his mind was whether the 22 stitches he had received two days earlier would hold.

On Thursday, Fleming had been driving home from practice when he witnessed a three-car collision ahead of him. He pulled over and realized that the driver of one of the cars was in trouble: her car had caught fire, he said, and she was unable to get out of the vehicle.

“She was attempting to kick the window out, but she was a small lady,” Fleming told the Boston Globe. “I didn’t panic, but I was just like, ‘I got to get her out.’ I tried to break [the window] with my elbow, but that didn’t work, so I just started kicking the window. Eventually it broke, pulled her out, made sure she was OK, and I looked at my leg and I noticed it was bleeding pretty bad.””

Nice move. Still a Patriot, but even the Pats can have a few good guys on the team. 😉

A Patriots linebacker says he needed 22 stitches after rescuing a woman from a burning car – SBNation.com

What I’m Reading – NFL Hiring Computer Wiz to Look at Player Phones, Basically | VICE Sports

NFL Hiring Computer Wiz to Look at Player Phones, Basically | VICE Sports

What’s interesting about this is the timing. Obviously with Deflategate there was an inability to get texts from Tom Brady’s phone, but having a mobile forensics expert wouldn’t have changed that. You need access to the phone. Is the NFL planning on making that part of the CBA, that players have to turn over their phones to provide information to the league in an investigation? Would they actually agree to that? I don’t think I would. It’s not a matter of having something to hide either, we all have data that just shouldn’t be public, or in anyone else’s hands, on our devices. Just because I work for a company doesn’t give them access to my personal phone. Putting that clause in a player’s contract is overreaching, IMHO.