The Blog You've Been Missing

Is Football Worth it ?

January 8, 2016

Filed under: Movie Review — Tags: , , , , , , , — admin @ 9:08 pm

Like many Sundays over many years, I watched professional football last weekend. I will probably watch more until my New England Patriots are no longer in the NFL playoffs. My wife is quite surprised that I continue to watch, since we had been to see Will Smith in “Concussion” the day before.

Will Smith, right,  and the real-life Dr. Bennet Omalu

Will Smith, right, and the real-life Dr. Bennet Omalu

Make no mistake, Will Smith does a great job in his portrayal of Dr. Bennet Omalu, the pathologist who brought the dangers of playing football to the forefront and exposed the NFL for what it is – a business, making profits at the expense of its players.

The movie has been portrayed as being too one-sided and heavy handed, but the reality is that the NFL has been heavy handed and one-sided in it’s attitude for much longer.

In fact my wife and I had first-hand knowledge of the NFL attitude several years ago when we attempted to approach the York family, which owns the San Francisco 49ers,  about providing psychological consulting to help retired athletes deal with the problems of brain damage caused by repeated hits to the head. Dismissively, John York rejected the idea out of hand saying the NFL was handling the issue just fine.

The movie and the thousands of former players who sued the NFL, have proven him wrong.

You cannot see the movie without having second thoughts about allowing your son to play football.

If you are a fan, you can’t help but leave conflicted. Should I continue to watch football and support the mistreatment of the athletes or should I show my displeasure by quitting cold turkey.

The reality is, if you believe Dr. Omalu’s research, there is no middle ground. Better helmets are not the answer – they do not prevent concussions.

Better concussion treatment is not the answer because research has shown that it is the repeated blows to the head that seems to cause CTE.

Football is ingrained in the American way of life. I don’t know how many former players will have to commit suicide before we confront the reality of its impact on the athletes and I don’t know how many tragic stories of broken bodies and minds will convince Americans that we are watching gladiators just like the ancient Romans.

I think it’s a cop out to say that the athletes know the risks and want to play anyway, so it’s ok for us to watch.

I wish I had the answers, but I don’t. But I think that the movie should be seen by everyone, to enjoy Will Smith’s performance, and gain a better understanding of the fate that awaits many NFL players.

Post to Twitter

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment