Random Saturday Things On A Sunday: Traumatic Brain Injury Edition

by Corey

So my brother Jason and I were hanging out this evening after taking in a 7-0 thrashing dealt out by FC Buffalo. Seriously, it was a tragic affair for the Buxmont Torch. The Torch are a new franchise begun in the NPSL and absolutely look the part. They have a ways to go before being able to maintain possession for over ten minutes. It got tough to watch at the end. It was like YIKES.

After the game my brother and I are hanging out at Jim’s Steakout over on Main near South Campus and he asks me if I’ve seen any of the Tour de France. He is completely into watching cycling. Don’t act like its weird. You watch hockey and the rest of America count both sports the same.

Anyway, we get to talking about guys getting injured in the Tour and continuing to race because the are psychotic. Specifically we are talking about this.

That dude is still racing in the Tour with about 30 stitches in his leg. He got those stitches because a barbed wire fence was polite enough to catch him after he was struck by a car. So his day went like this:

1) Bike over mountains for 50 miles.
2) Get hit by car.
3) Land in barbed wire.
4) Get on your bike and finish.

Do they even let him take pain killers? Those guys are drug tested all the way now. Would he be banned if he even took an Advil for that junk? Let no one say those dudes aren’t tough. And I can kinda get why they do get roided up when I look at the topography of what they have to deal with.

You try biking up three mountains in a day and not take a supplement. Holy crap, people! James Harrison thinks he’s tough because he hits people when they aren’t looking (more on him later.) That guy in the Tour is still biking after going Steve McQueen at the end of The Great Escape. Quien es mas macho, man.

But we eventually get to a point where he tells me about a guy who fell off his bike and took it right in the noggin. He was clearly out on the pavement. The guy wakes up, gets back on the bike, and finishes the race. After he’s done, the cart him off in an ambulance. As they wheel him in, this conversation takes place:

And people still want to ride motorcycles without helmets. Those people are stupid people. This guy had a helmet and still thought he was Ethel Merman. How can any league not take care of its players with stuff like this? James Harrison thinks he should be allowed to do that to people because he is not smart. Colin Campbell is tentative about suspending players who do this because he is not smart. It shouldn’t be a judgement call. It shouldn’t be left to chance. You hit someone in the head, you are suspended for serious time. Ten games in the NHL and two games in the NFL without an argument. Done. Sit down.

Even this guy in the race, as soon as he goes “Where am I?” he should be in the back seat of a car with a cold compress. What the hell is he still doing finishing the race? We wonder why people who play these sports and get these injuries are going crazy with dementia by 50. This whole argument is stupid. Who cares if strict enforcement takes some hitting away or makes players cautious? Good. They should be cautious because they could ruin a guy’s life. I’ll find a way to like sports without the possibility of brain trauma. Holy crap we are stupid sometimes.

One Comment

  1. This is exactly how I feel. This is just stupid now. For a long time we could cheer for head violence because we didn’t understand the long term repercussions. But now we do know, and videos like that biker repeatedly saying, “I don’t understand” should be every bit as stomach churning as a bloody pileup. Ken Dryden wrote a great column about this a while back (unfortunately it’s now stuck behind a Globe and Mail subscription wall) that basically says that history is going to judge this period of sports very harshly. Head shots should be illegal, across the board, in all sports. And when an athlete is repeating “I don’t understand” while *riding a bike* he should be removed from the race and taken to the hospital immediately, NOT AT THE END OF THE RACE. Geez.