I'll keep this short. Gwen Knapp's article in today's Sporting Green, reinforcing the argument that the NFL must do more to help retired NFL players suffering from dementia and other diseases because of their years playing professional football, begs the question who will take care of all the football players who didn't play in the NFL? How about players from the CFL, and other professional football leagues?
More importantly, what about the men who began playing contact football at around age ten and didn't stop until the end of their senior year in college? Does anybody doubt that university football programs do not mirror the NFL in intensity and violence? Is it possible that after playing football for the University of Miami, or Ohio State, or Alabama, or USC or any other Division I university (I do not exclude Division II schools), many of the athletes (those graduated and not gone on to the pros) have already experienced enough hits to the head that make them vulnerable to brain related illnesses in the future?
If your answer is no, I suggest simply that you attend some major college football team practices. I've watched a few over the years. I'm no wimp, but some of the pounding I've observed, make me happy I took up the game of basketball. Heck, you don't have to go to a college game to witness head pounding, spend some time at a local high school football practice and game. Remember, some of these high school boys will be blasting each other for another four years in college. Do the math. I don't have the where-with-all to pay for the kind of in depth research it will take to determine how playing intense football for, say, eight years (high school + college) can affect a young man's brain, but a major newspaper like the Chronicle has the resources.
How about it Ms. Knapp? I won't even charge you for this Pulitzer Prize winning story.
Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio by Jame Wright
In the Shreve High Football stadium,
I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville,
And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at Benwood,
And the ruptured night watchman of Wheeling Steel,
Dreaming of heroes.
All the proud fathers are ashamed to go home.
Their women cluck like starved pullets,
Dying for love.
Their sons grow suicidally beautiful
At the beginning of October,
And gallop terribly against each other's bodies.
What my musings are all about...
Blogging might well be the 21st century's form of journaling. As a writing teacher, I have always advised my students to keep a daily journal as a way of organizing their thoughts for future writing projects, a discipline I have unfortunately never consistently practiced myself. By blogging, I might finally be able to follow my own good advice.
The difference between journaling and blogging is that the blogger opens his or her writing to the public, something journal- writers are usually reluctant to do. I am not so reticent.
The trick for me will be to avoid cluttering the internet with more blather, something none of us need more of. If I stick to subjects I know: sports and literature, I believe I can avoid that pitfall. I can't promise that I'll not stray from time to time to comment on ancillary subjects, but I will make every attempt to be interesting and perhaps even insightful.