NFL games go on despite fragile players

  • Article by: JIM SOUHAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 3, 2012 - 8:29 AM

We cheer our modern-day warriors, even as evidence mounts on brain damage affecting athletes long past their glory days.

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ollie3May. 2, 12 9:16 PM

but hey, let's spend $2 billion on a church to worship this destruction.

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bigtimepeaceMay. 2, 12 9:27 PM

Great column Jim, and thanks for broaching the topic. I'm a big fan of NFL football, and the Vikings are the only team in professional or collegiate sports about whom I'm particularly passionate. But given what we are learning about concussions, it's becoming much more difficult to justify this sort of brutality, even when a good number (but by no means all) of those participating are very well compensated. I'm not really sure what the solution is--short of making the game illegal, which is incredibly unlikely anytime soon--but I would hope that football fans all over the country are at the least very conflicted about this issue.

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DufferHMay. 2, 1210:25 PM

Maybe Mike Ditka had the right idea when he suggested going back to the old leather unpadded helmets so today's players wouldn't be so intent on leading with their heads.

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steavis61067May. 2, 1210:51 PM

The suicide of Duerson shocked me more than Seau's. Seau had exhibited erratic behavior lately. But I believe Goodell trying to make the game safer. Only time will tell.

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reader818May. 2, 1211:22 PM

The game needs to change to protect the players. New rules, new techniques, new equipment or maybe a combination of all three is needed.

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vikings19May. 2, 1211:31 PM

These are grown men, who willingly pursue their profession knowing the risks and many are paid handsomely for this risk. Don't get me wrong I love sports, I love the NFL/MLB, etc, but I do not feel an ounce of sympathy for the players (the families who suffer because of that though is heart-wrenching) knowing that each man has the free will to walk away from the game before they endure a life threatening injury. To a man, very few or none will walk away because the reality of having to find a real job, to work 9-5 (at least) for $20, $30, $50k and be "ordinary" is not what these guys want, period. Shiancoe said it very well in his honest quotes and for that I salute him. Seau, Duerson, et al chose their path and the potential consequences that come with it and while it's sad, that's fact. One thing to consider as well, none of us truly know the level of mental illness either man had outside of any affect football had on them. I would suspect the mental/emotional issues were present long before they played pro football and while the hits may have enhanced the issues I really have a hard time believing the hits fully caused them. Just my opinion...

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vikings19May. 2, 1211:35 PM

but hey, let's spend $2 billion on a church to worship this destruction.,,,,,,,or we can continue to spend $10s of billions on welfare for those who are drug abusers or alcoholics and provide nothing of value...talk about money well spent!

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ActTwoMay. 3, 12 6:31 AM

There are probably millions of people out there contemplating suicide today and most of them have never even worn a football helmet. Football had as much to do with Seau's decision as Wall Street does when a financial analyst commits suicide, nothing.

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dvsdan123May. 3, 12 7:12 AM

This is a great opportunity for Minnesota to again be a leader. Say NO to the NFL's demand for a new stadium for those who love the bloodlust of the Gladiators.

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swmnguyMay. 3, 12 7:35 AM

I think football is going to have to get rid of the helmets and pads that can be used as weapons. The rest of the rules can stay. Without the helmets, guys won't lead with their heads. Without the shoulder pads they won't be able to take runs at each other, and the collisions will be less violent. The game might actually improve, in time, as the players learn how to play without the pads. Nobody calls Rugby a game for wimps, and they don't have pads. But Rugby players aren't dying young for game-related reasons, either.

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