The recent death of future Hall of Famer Junior Seau from a suicide that is possibly related to the brain trauma acquired from years of playing professional football is a loss of not just a football superstar,it may be the beginning of the end of football as we know it.
I know that sounds like hyperbole,but bear with me.
back to the early 20th century and football was so violent that the game
was on the verge of being banned before President Theodore Roosevelt
stepped in,formed a commission to
change a game that was killing players every year and began to refine
the game a bit to make it safer,but yet added things that would change
the game to a version that is closer to what we know it as today,which
added the forward pass,changed the amount of yardage to gain a first
down and eliminated the scrum type formations that you see in Rugby.
There is precedent for a almost total revamp of the game and the
current incremental changes are going to slowly but surely change the
game of football.
The changes to the kickoff rule might be just
the start of gradual rule changes that over time might make this game
quite different than the game that our great grandchildren watch,if for
that matter they watch it at all.
Plus who knows what rule changes are coming as more and more knowledge is gained by the study of the problems with the brain.
Look,I am not a neurologist,but it does appear that a game that
is based around hard hitting is going to have its share of head injuries
and I do not think even with cutting edge technology that we can avoid
those types of injuries involved with football anytime soon,but is the
game that has become the country's most popular one in trouble?
Not more than any other sport that has issues.
has issues with head injuries and boxing has had them for as men raised
their fist to fire at others and as sure as the Earth rotates around
the Sun,the popularity of the mixed martial arts will be affected with
this issue as well.
The NHL has gotten some unwanted attention with the recent problems of enforcers that have committed suicide,but short of banning fighting,I do not know any other solutions that the league can do to better battle head injuries.
My brother posted about the attention
that Junior Seau's death getting attention for the topic of brain
injuries yet the issues that many professional wrestlers have with brain
trauma have been ignored and even laughed at.
I understand the
dangerous issues that so many wrestlers have faced,but there is one huge
difference between what pro athletes in sport and what professional
wrestlers have to deal with.
Professional wrestlers have done much of this to themselves.
Few people that are not involved with professional wrestling have
the love that I do for the "business",so I say this with as much
respect as possible for the men that truly live for the business.
Much of what you are going through is what you have brought on yourself.
Conducting matches that offer predetermined violence that can deliver the same type of brain trauma that sports that are played in "real time" in which people can get hurt is silly and frankly dumb on the athletes part.
Wrestling has moved past the 1990's mentality that brought the ridiculous "hardcore" style that featured
full forced blows to the head with objects that would only be used in the most violent of situations in the real world,but just as professional football is dealing with its stars of the same time period being forced to ponder this issue and for all the raps that professional wrestling takes,it is about to take more.
The pounding that wrestlers take up until that point had usually been scar tissue,back injuries from taking bumps and neck injuries from the same,but that era and the style that thrilled some did something else-damaged brain cells.
There is just one problem with that-it just was not needed to make wrestling worth watching.
It just shortened careers and sent its stars into pain that was not just unimaginable,but unnecessary as well.
Wrestling had always been about the illusion of violence that despite being grueling,long term damage did not occur,now the violence was real even if the winner was pre-determined
It is one thing to gain sympathy for injuries sustained in a physical game,it is another in which the combatants control what they do in a match.
Both performers agree on just what to do to each other (with the exception of an ending) and therefore for the most part,the inflicted damage and how it occurs is pretty much agreed on,so some of the things used cause injury.
And not the type of injury that is a light one either.
They are punishing and they are permanent.
And they bring it on themselves......