From time to time, I've posted sports-themed posts on my other blogs, DiscConnected (music reviews and news) or Back In The USSR (political).
I decided to see if I could give ESPN 8 (The Ocho) a run for their money and started this blog.
I lifted the title from John DeBella's Philadelphia morning radio show back in the eighties.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
EVEN AN IRON MAN CAN TAKE TOO MANY SHOTS TO THE HEAD
To my younger sister, who went to college in the suburbs of Chicago in the mid-eighties, the members of the 1985 Super Bowl-winning Chicago Bears team ranked just slightly behind the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost.
I remember hearing her talk about the "Super Bowl Shuffle" when she called in a rather inebriated state after that contest.
A few years later, rebellious quarterback Jim McMahon was an Eagle, and he challenged the stereotype of the quarterback's role by jumping over the top of the pile and taking punishing hits then getting back up for more.
During his career with the Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and other teams, McMahon never started a full season. His tough and sometimes reckless style of play meant he suffered many, many injuries.
Now, 16 years after he retired, he is experiencing an injury that can't be fixed by a surgery or therapy.
At 53, McMahon is in the early stages of dementia. He is part of the group suing the NFL that says they hid the effects of concussions.
"Being injured, if you don't play, you don't get paid. If I was able to walk out on that field, I was gonna play," he said in an interview at his Arizona home.
McMahon is part of a group of more than 2,000 players whose concussions have filled their retirement with dementia, memory loss, and in some cases, a bitter end.
McMahon's teammate, Dave Duerson, committed suicide and asked for his brain to be studied. He was found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the same disease found in other players who have died under tragic circumstances.
The NFL has made strides in improving how concussions and head injuries are treated. Though problems still exist, like Colt McCoy being sent back in the game last season when he was not healthy, the culture around head traumas is changing.
But the retired players who sacrificed their bodies to create the exciting game we all know and love today should not be forgotten.