Head Games: When Will Concussion Repercussions Hit the NFL?
I crave the NFL's televised product. But this hi-def age makes it hard not to notice that the game is about as cruel to the players as Michael Vick was to his dogs. Yesterday was particularly brutal for grey matter matters.
During the Redskins/Colts matchup, we got to see Indy ball carrier Joseph Addai have the life sucked out of him in slo-motion early in the fourth quarter. Skins players held him up and LB London Fletcher delivered a professional kill shot. Addai's head snapped like a crash dummy. His senses and the ball left him before his knee hit the turf. Oswald taking a bullet in front of the cameras made for only slightly more savage television. Addai was helped off the field. He was also removed from a preseason game in August after getting concussed. And he had already reported neck injuries leading up to the Redskins game.
Chris Cooley, the Skins top receiver last night while he was in the lineup, was also sidelined moments earlier with a concussion. The Post recently reported that Cooley admitted to at least three concussions as a college player.
The Skins' Rocky McIntosh sat out last night's game with a similar headwound. Clinton Portis is officially out because of a groin injury, but he's taken a gaggle of devastating head shots this season, and was wobbled for all to see on the field a couple weeks ago.
The headwounds weren't just in Washington this weekend. In Philadelphia, where Vick now plays, the Eagles' DeSean Jackson and the Falcons' Dunta Robinson both suffered brain injuries on the same play. And Steelers linebacker James Harrison inflicted game-ending cranial damage on two Browns yesterday, Dunbar's own Josh Cribbs and Mohammed Massaquoi.
(Seeing all these hits again and again convinced me the highest paid man on the Redskins, Albert Haynesworth, who was spotted in a booth up above the field during the game taking photos of himself and his lady friend, is also the smartest.)
And the owners want to add two more weeks of this? Perhaps if the NFL extends the season, the league will also institute a standing eight count. Or have the players wear spiked collars!
Oh, well. I'd keep watching, with envy.