With all of you weighing in so cogently and passionately about, I haven't had much time to jump in. I certainly have enjoyed and appreciated all of your thoughts though. I will though quickly dig up something I wrote on the subject this June in the wake of Chris Henry's death. Since then, and really dating long before that tragic date as scientific evidence about brain injuries continued to emerge, I truly believe and felt comfortable saying that the the NFL would slowly but surely transform into something far different than the product we all love so very much today.
Here's what I had to say back in June.
The topic du jour to start this week's NFL news cycle will surely be the recent reports about the dangers of repeated head trauma, as is so frequently incurred by NFL players. The late Chris Henry reportedly had extensive damage to his brain tissue, despite just being 26 years old and a wide receiver..i.e. not someone who's banging heads with violent opposition every snap. (read: offensive/defensive linemen, running backs, etc.) From the reporting on the story done by the Post Gazzette:
The brain of the late Cincinnati Bengals pass receiver Chris Henry contained so many signs of chronic disease -- sludge, tangles and threads associated with late-in-life dementia or Alzheimer's -- that it shows a football player can sustain life-altering head trauma without ever being diagnosed with a concussion.
The brain damage may have contributed to Mr. Henry's troubled behavior and, ultimately, his death in December at age 26.
Yikes. What's the phrase for when a friend tells you too much about his exploits the night before? TMI? Sadly, I wish this could be a case of us being able to say 'too much information. What we don't know won't kill us.' Of course, we're talking about the health and well-being of human beings; young men conditioned to seek and destroy, and conversely, to jump right back up after being lit up. Not good news. The future of the game as we know it could very well be in jeopardy in the next quarter century or so. Just might be too much evidence of how morbidly violent and unnatural the game is.
P.S. Please carry on the conversation(s) in the existing fanposts and main page posts authored by RickVa and maryrose. I even hear momma rollet will be sharing the letter she sent to Roger Goodell sometime tonight or tomorrow. I merely wanted to get something down amidst all the outstanding stuff you all have already published and shared.