Skip to comments.How many more deaths can NFL fans take?
Posted on 05/05/2012 6:20:18 AM PDT by MinorityRepublican
A gray-haired woman in a green floral dress is screaming the worst moment of her life in front of the entire world. Luisa Seau stands in front of microphones, in front of cameras, on televisions across the country wailing the sometimes incoherent words of every mothers worst nightmare.
I pray to God, she screams, please take me, take me and leave my son, but its too late. Too late.
You mightve seen the heartbreaking video already. If you watched television at all Wednesday, or opened up a web browser, it was hard to miss and harder to stomach that Junior Seau, 43 years old, apparently killed himself with a gunshot to the chest.
This is a former NFL Man of the Year not even retired long enough to be inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame but leaving behind three children and a line of crying teammates.
Police believe his death was a suicide. If so, Seau is the third former football player to shoot himself to death in the last 15 months, and what might be the most serious issue in sports has a new face that a new generation of fans can remember and some painful questions must now be asked.
How much longer can this go? Whats your tolerance for this? How much stamina do you have for the men you cheer today dying tragic and premature deaths in the coming years?
How much longer can you be a fan of a sport that appears to be killing its athletes?
(Excerpt) Read more at kansascity.com ...
I Scarcely Give A SH....er....SmellyOBama.
Football will be replaced with a government run sport.
Bread and circuses, folks.
Adam "Pac-Man" Bernard Jones would be ok with me.
Sports are the opiates of the inebriated.
I read the article, though, and I hardly see how the sport is killing its players. It's not like plenty of people who aren't pro athletes don't commit suicide as well.
One claim made in this article I have a hard time buying: that this particular man shot himself in the chest so that his brain would be preserved; that way it could be examined for signs of football-related trauma which might have caused his depression.
I have a little trouble with someone who is suicidal thinking things through quite that far. If he was capable of that, then why was he not capable of seeking help for the suspected injuries?
I would rather suspect that a gunshot wound to the chest rather than the head would be a vanity thing- I'll be dead but still be a good-looking corpse.
and now.....Big Football.
Helmets would prevent these tragedies.
but not every mother gets to call a press conference to do it.
So you think that this govenment could design a new sport that would catch-on with the masses better than football? Didn’t know that they were that all-powerful.
Roger Goodell is destroying the game by tinkering with the rules and enforcing ad-hoc justice in an attempt to take some of the violence out of the game.
The NFL may decline in popularity, but that’s not the same thing as creating something new to take its place.
A prior NFL player who committed suicide shot himself in the chest in the same manner. In his suicide note he asked to have his brain examined to determine the cause of his depression.
It appears (on the surface) Mr. Seau did it the same way . . .
Why not just limit all the players to five years of playing time and then cut them. Ungrateful jerks! If you have a problem, go see your doctor and get it figured out. Don’t be a coward and kill yourself.
The nation needs “Bread and Circuses” to keep the gun toting, bible thumping rabble at bay.
Simple solution ... no pads. Without them, they’ll stop launching themselves like cruise missiles and just tackle in the old-school manner.
Speaking as somebody who has had to deal with that level of depression in the past, people in the middle of depression don't think that way.
Dear Straight Dope:
Do you know which occupation has the highest suicide rate? Is it prison guards, by any chance? Or psychiatrists?
There is an urban legend, recently repeated on Seinfeld, that dentists have the highest suicide rate of any profession. This is false. I recently spoke with a public affairs representative at the American Dental Association. They actually did a study on the subject, and found the rate among dentists is about the same as the population as a whole.
Prison guards seem to be a likely candidate, since they exist in a rather depressing environment. So do psychiatrists, since as a group, they seem to border on insanity. So which is the correct choice?
Well, it hasn't been easy to track this one, and I'm not sure I've got a definitive answer. Let's start by noting that suicide statistics are questionable at best. Many suicides are classified as "accident" to spare the family from publicity. So the statistics are only a rough indication.
I easily found statistics on the Internet about suicides by age, region, gender, and race, but very little about occupation. Actually, since suicide is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. among those age 15 to 24, probably the answer is "student", but I don' t think that's what you're looking for.
I called the library of the Society of Actuaries, thinking they'd know. The librarian said she used to work at a large psychiatric library, and that about 8 years ago, the answer was psychiatrists/psychologists/related. However, she couldnt quote me a source or cite a statistic, except what she says she knew.
A study of 24 states reported data on causes of death by occupation, for people ages 20 to 64, from 1984 to 1988, and came up with physicians, health aides, and "food batchmakers" as the three highest. Food batchmakers are at the top but only by a small (statistically insignificant) margin. Psychiatrists weren't reported separately from other physicians. I'm not sure exactly what the numbers below mean, perhaps suicides per million of active population:
Food batchmakers (241)
Physicians (222) and health aides (excluding nursing) (221)
Lathe and turning machine operators (199)
Biological, life and medical scientists (188)
Social scientists and urban planners (171)
Lawyers and Judges (140)
Guards/sales occupations were tied at 139
Tool and die makers (126)
Police, public servants (118)
So, I'd say, it's still pretty ambiguous.
There are different kinds of depression. The onset of dementia likely caused Seau’s depression. Losing your ability to think clearly or remember simple things is too much for some people. At age 43, it must be overwhelming.
I find it hard to care about pampered millionaire athletes with celebrity status. His death is no more or less tragic than any other’s. So now it is the NFL’s fault? Some lawyer must be smelling money.
You really don’t like football do you...
The article states, “football leads to concussions, concussions leads to depression, depression leads to suicide”. Okay. In the past ten years, I have learned of teens that I knew attempting suicide or unfortunately succeeding and dying. Should we ban the teen years? What about other sports? I haven’t personally read one article about hockey players, soccer players etc... Don’t tell me that they don’t get a concussion in their sport. IMHO... I am reading a lot lately about banning football in high school, eliminating it at colleges and simply damning the NFL. An assault on an American sport (if you ask me). If the media wants to inform the public about a travesty... how about discussing how many military vets (suffering from PTSD) kill themselves (since they get very little help from our government). Why not do articles about what they saw and what they dealt with?
Imagine someone had told Junior Seau when he graduated from USC that he had two choices:
!. be one of the greatest linebackers in the history of the game, make millions of dollars, and have millions of fans, and die at age 43.
2. Pursue some other career, make a normal middle class income, and live to be 80.
I strongly suspect Seau would have taken option #1. He made lots of money doing what he loved. I bought NFL tickets and thus helped pay Seau’s salary. I was happy to pay the money to watch the game. He was happy to take my money to play the game.
I have no guilt over his death. I also buy fish and wooden furniture. Fishing and logging are two of the most dangerous professions in the U.S. Should I feel guilty about buying fish and wooden furniture?
That doesn't surprise me. Hey, just getting themselves out of the way for the greater good, right?
My God! The nancy-boys are out in force this weekend.
I really don’t have a horse in this race as I stopped watching the NFL about 6 or 7 seasons ago.
But, on general principle, we sure do have a lot of beta males parading around as feature writers.
I grew up a car racing fan during the late sixties and seventies. The continuous and ongoing drumbeat of deaths of racers was long and depressing during that time. It seems much better today with more advanced safety systems. That said the nature of the sport will still kill although hopefully at a minimal rate. I still like the sport so yeah you can be a long time fan of a sport that kills some of its greatest. Jim Clark, Ayrton Senna, Dale Earnhardt to name just a few.
“... we sure do have a lot of beta males parading around as feature writers”.
What crossed my mind is that many of these writers or supporters of eliminating football didn’t make the team or didn’t have the physical and mental capabilities of playing the sport. I heard a phrase at last year’s high school football game that popped into my mind, “Suit up or shut up”.
My brother had neither fame nor money and he killed himself.
Did I wail in front of cameras and blame everyone in sight?
These are grown ass men consenting to engage in a sport. What’s next? Ultimate fighting? Martial arts? Soccer? Rugby? Baseball? Basketball? Golf? I’m sick and tired if our government at times. Congress should have a 30 day session to pass a budget and that’s it. Stay out of steroids and football.
Oh I enjoyed the Hell out of that movie :D
I heard a sports talk show host, Irv Brown discussing the brain damage problem in football 15 years ago. Mr Brown had a solution but no one was interested. he said that the problem was the helmets. They are very hard and can be used as a weapon. The answer is so simple that no one and I mean no one can see the answer.
Bring back LEATHER helmets.
Think about it.
I wonder if the use of steroids, Hgh, cocaine, marijuana, alcoholism, vicodan, poor impulse control, and just possibly loss of identity when they aren’t adored by millions of fans every week, might contribute to suicides.
If they want to eliminate high speed injuries, there is a very simple solution. Get rid of the helmets and pads. it would actually be much safer as far as head injuries.
So turn NFL Football into Rugby...?
You indeed have my sympathy and I hope you have been able to overcome it. I've known far too many people who unfortunately succumed to it. It's a horrible disease and unlike a person with cancer who can still maintain hope, the depressed have no hope......
Fan? I hardly think it is the fans who suffer when this happens. Sure, there is saddness, but it has not affected my life one iota.
The players and their families are the ones affected.
Besides, this article is not about the fans except in the context of being responsible.
There was one last year who was in Indy Cars. He died about two weeks after winning the Indy 500.
NFL football is nothing more than an extended system for beer delivery.
I stopped watching in the seventies.
So they went with making it safer. No one wants to see a driver get hurt or killed, but we sure do want to see spectacular crashes! What's wrong with safer barriers, safer restraints, safer clothing, safer gas tanks/fuel pumps, safer tires?
You mean to tell me that they can't make a safer helmet? Maybe spend some of that player salary money on R&D on helmets. Bubble wrap?, Styrofoam?, Popcorn? Works for packages. Crushable helmets that after a big hit, need to be changed for a new one.
I’ve heard somebody say that the old leather helmets offered better protection than today’s helmets. Also, today’s helmets can be used as a battering ram, which causses injuries to both players, if a player uses his helmet as a weapon that way.
In other words turn football into rugby.
Football is a substitute for war between the cities.
It pays well,lots of people love to see other people hurt or do risky stuff.
NASCAR is also pretty pointless: a couple dozen people drive really fast in circles.But a whole lot of people pay to watch.
Personally I don’t care to pay to watch either group.
Matter of fact the whole idea of people sitting on couches watching paid players ,and idolizing those players, strikes me as farcial.
However,I think the ancient Roman advice was “love the people for what they are,not what you would have them be”.
And both activities are likely to be still big business for many years to come.
I WISH the pros actually did live as good examples to the youth;and I OBJECT to taxation funding stadiums and other businesses.
I guess it would be similar, but the rules are very different.
You may ask, who cares?
But the better question is why?
Incomprehensible this debate about the ‘dangers’ of football! First off- do you expect to be perfectly healthy after CHOOSING to engage in a ‘sport’ that has 300lb men stomping on, crashing into, and piling on each other?
Do you think head-butting said mountains of muscle is a GOOD thing for your neck and head?
So you trade your health for big money then complain about the deal you got?
Sounds to me like brain damage is a REQUIREMENT for playing football as well as an after-effect.
You get wet in swimming.
You get your body abused in boxing, soccer, martial arts and football.
Whining with a bank account full of pain money is laughable.
Couldn’t agree more. Mr. Seau was a great player and his death is a tragedy, but he made a conscious decision to play pro football and subject himself to the associated risks. In return, he earned millions of dollars and a very comfortable lifestyle. With his fortune, Seau likely had access to the best medical and mental health care, even though there isn’t much you can do in cases of early onset dementia caused by a lifetime of head injuries.
On the other hand, consider the plight of military veterans wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan. They, too, made a decision to enlist and face the risk of injury or death. In return, the nation pledged to do everything it could for the troops and their families, in the event they were maimed or killed.
There are literally thousands of young men and women who suffered horrible physical and mental wounds in combat over the past decade. Many of them never made more than $30,000 a year in uniform and after being scarred for life, they were medically discharged from the armed forces, with a disability rating. After that, they must battle for benefits within the VA system, where the quality of care pales in comparison to what Junior Seau had access to.
One more thing: my heart goes out to the Seau family. But I wonder if any of them ever encouraged him to retire from the NFL sooner, before the cumulative effects of the game took their toll. He spent 19 years in the league; at the time, many marveled at his longevity, but we can only imagine the toll it took on his body. And there were plenty of people—agents, families, teams—that were willing to let him keep playing.
NO. It really is about preserving the brain for study and Seau's family have consented to that end. It's the same MO of the other player's suicide and was explained in the suicide note.