Wednesday, September 30, 2009

News To Nobody But You

Remember that image of all the Big Tobacco CEO's sitting in a courtroom and showing their gaucherie by testifying that "to their knowledge" there was nothing addictive about cigarettes? Everyone watching knew cigarettes were addictive and eventually we all knew that the companies even marketed the things to kids.The NFL has somehow gotten away (doesn't it always get away?) with doing something similar though much less insidious and widespread.

The year is 2009 and the great machine known as the NFL is just now coming around to acknowledging a study that proves playing NFL football increases the risk of dementia later in life.

Wow. Who would think that gigantic men running head first into each other for years might cause a brain problem? Oh right, everyone in North America who doesn't earn money as an NFL executive.

The NFL was naturally denying to stave off a possible avalanche of lawsuits being filed by ex-players who can claim their life was shortened and ruined by playing professional football.

Those great Steelers teams of the 1970's? 17 of those guys have died since the year 2000, all at a relatively young age (younger than 60.) Some guys had heart attacks due to possible steroid use, a few had accidents, but many of them were suffering from depression and even dementia. Steelers center Mike Webster, who started on all four Steelers Super Bowl teams had an entire profile written about his mental struggles after his NFL career ended.

It's been an absolute joke that the NFL has pretended that the later life struggles that so many ex-players have didn't have anything to do with the NFL. Now one could prove the link beyond the shadow of a doubt, so the NFL could move on without any major turbulence aside from a few court battles.

Meanwhile everyone else accepted the truth. Finally, it looks like the NFL will too.

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