KingMidget's Ramblings

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So, this happened

President Trump referred to a player who might kneel, or otherwise protest, during the National Anthem as a “son of a bitch” and suggest that the owner of that player’s team should fire him for doing so.

Words escape me.

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Aaron Hernandez & CTE

I don’t question that there is a link between the violence inherent in the game of football and brain damage in the sport’s participants. Absolutely do not question it at all. For most NFL players, they have played the sport since they were young children. The number of hits they take to the head, particularly when you are talking about lineman is literally in the tens of thousands over all of those years when you add up all of the practices and games played. I get it and don’t question the link between the sport and brain damage.

But…

Aaron Hernandez was a spoiled punk who couldn’t get clean no matter what the sport gave him. An opportunity at an NFL career. Millions of dollars. Considered in his short three year time in the NFL to be one of the best at his position. A Super Bowl appearance and, if he had stayed clean, a couple of Super Bowl rings to go along with everything else.

But he couldn’t.  He couldn’t escape the thug life and was ultimately convicted of the murder of Odin Lloyd. Acquitted in another case, it didn’t really matter given the Lloyd conviction.  Shortly after, the acquittal in the other case, Hernandez committed suicide.

We now learn that there was evidence that Aaron Hernandez had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the brain damage that is now considered the hallmark of the damage football can do to a person’s brain. Again, I don’t dispute this. The examples of CTE and its affects on football players are numerous. One has only to read the story of Mike Webster, the former Hall of Fame center for the Pittsburgh Steelers, to understand what the sport can do to a person. To take just one quote from the wikipedia entry about Webster:

It has been speculated that Webster’s ailments were due to wear and tear sustained over his playing career; some doctors estimated he had been in the equivalent of “25,000 automobile crashes” in over 25 years of playing football at the high school, college, and professional levels.

Think about that … the equivalent of 25,000 automobile crashes. The details of his mental deterioration in the final years of his career and afterwards are stunning.

So, yes, brain damage in football players is real. And Aaron Hernandez apparently had it.

So, his attorneys are talking about suing the NFL. In fact, the lawsuit has already been filed on behalf of his wife and daughter. The problem is that Hernandez had problems with the law and conforming behavior to societal’s norms long before he ever joined the NFL. Peruse his wikipedia entry and you’ll see. The problem is his NFL career consisted of three seasons and 38 games.

Is this yet another example of the dysfunction of America’s legal system where you sue the deepest pocket? Hernandez’ survivors are asking for $20 million. I’m willing to bet they get something to make this lawsuit go away. And that will be wrong. I’m trying to figure out how the NFL could be responsible for his brain damage, his criminal behavior and his suicide. He was a thug long before he joined the NFL. How is it the NFL’s fault that his way of life finally caught up to him. Can you help me out here?

 

Word is …

Scarlett Johansson’s divorce is now final.  There’s something I need to do about this.

Every. Single. Day. 

I’m Getting A Divorce

Yes.  It’s been a long time coming.  It’s time.

A life time of being a sports fan has led me to this.

I want my Sundays back.  It wasn’t always like this, but in recent years I have found it far too easy to sit in front of the TV watching the stinkin’ NFL all day long.  I do the laundry while I’m watching.  Get started making dinner.  Those are my justifications anyway.  Not much else to be done when you gotta do the laundry and cook.

But those were just excuses for the development of my Sunday lazy gene.  Far easier to just hang out at home than to get out and explore the world.  Besides, I had to monitor my players in Fantasy Football, and my teams in the Survivor Pool and my friendly pick ’em game with a former co-worker.  I needed to know what was going on in all of that.

I officially dropped all of those activities today.  Pulled out of the office Fantasy Football League, notified the Survivor Pool commissioner that I was dropping out, texted my friend I would no longer do the weekly pick ’em competition.  It’s the last one that I’ll really miss.  I enjoyed the weekly back and forth, the smack talking, and the good-natured rhythm of the weekly picks and the ebb and flow of who was winning as the season progressed.

But, I need to do something different with Sundays.

I’m getting a divorce from the NFL.  Part of it is that the sport just doesn’t mean that much to me and I absolutely cannot stand its dominance in the sports and cultural landscape in this country.  I cannot stand that in August when the pennant races in baseball are heating up, the front pages of the sports section are filled with stories about NFL training camps instead of the games that actually mean something in baseball.

I also don’t like what our changing culture is doing to the sport.  It’s an odd balance.  I don’t want athletes to get concussions and develop CTE.  I don’t want athletes to be so hobbled when they retire that they can barely function.  (If you ever want to read a horror story about what the game of football can do to somebody, read up on Mike Webster — the Hall of Fame center for the 1970s Steelers teams that won four Super Bowls.)  But the truth of it is that football, at its essence, is a violent, damaging game.  If you take that away, you take away the essence of the sport.  And then what are you left with.

But, I need to do something different with my Sundays.  As the weather cools, hiking will have more appeal.  Bicycling too.  Something, anything.  To get out and see the world.

I’m getting a divorce.  I filed the papers today.  See you later NFL.  I don’t need any alimony.  I’ll be just fine without you.

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