May. 30, 2017
Cost of a GOAT in New England
Photo: Jim Davis/The Boston Globe/Getty Images
When I was in eighth grade, a group of my friends were hanging out and watching a movie. They have a saying that "boys will be boys." For those of you that have heard of the term "doorknob," I won't go into details. For those of you that don't, Urban Dictionary is your friend. Anyways, a game of doorknob suddenly broke out. My best friend was the subject, if you will, of said game. I was swinging on him, hard, in his arm. My thought process was to hit him one more time, really, really hard. His thought process was to get up quickly. My fist thrust down with great power. It was as if I was Zeus and my fist was a lightning bolt. I felt like Popeye after just eating spinach.
Ok, ok... I'm exaggerating a bit.
Anyways, as my fist came down and he started to get up, I received my first broken bone. I struck the top of his head with my ring and pinky knuckle that resulted in a broken 4th metacarpal.
For my best friend - a concussion. Though it was never diagnosed, the symptoms very clearly pointed to a concussion. It was my first interaction with such an injury.
As I've grown and become this raging sports addict, the word "concussion" has become part of my regular vocabulary. It was talked about for so long in relation to NFL players, and as I got into coaching football myself, it took on a very real meaning to me. The difference between teaching a player to lead with their shoulder instead of their head is the difference between life and death. Literally. In fact, seeing and hearing about coaches telling their players to initiate in dirty hits or cheap shots, infuriates me to levels I didn't know existed.
Unfortunately for all parties involved, there is nothing you can do about concussions in sports. Especially the sports with a higher volume of contact between players. As it relates to football, the average NFL game has approximately 120 total plays. That includes offensive and defensive snaps. That means, if you play every snap of an NFL game on one side of the ball, you have 60 chances to get your brain smashed up against your skull.
After all, that is what a concussion consists of (maybe not always to that extreme)...
A concussion is a type of traumatic injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the inside the skull.
Definition taken from WebMD
I have watched so many great players tap out of the game because of their concussion history. Such players as Troy Aikman and Wes Welker. Then there's the players that get concussions, but never say anything.
Enter Tom Brady.
I commend Mrs. Brady for blowing the whistle on this serious issue. The New England Patriots have been wrapped up in so many ridiculous stories over the the past few years (and by "few" I mean, at least, 10 years). You have the videotaping incident with the Jets, the under inflated footballs during the AFC playoffs, and now, potentially, the cover up of serious head injuries to the greatest player to ever put on a Patriots uniform and arguably the greatest QB to ever play the game.
If what Mrs. Brady says is true, the Patriots are in some very hot water. You'll remember that the deflated footballs cost them a first round pick, $1 million, and the benching of their prized work horse, Captain Brady. The NFL would have to punish the Patriots more severely than ever because of the buzz surrounding head trauma in the sport.
They made a friggin' movie about it, for God's sake.
While I appreciate the level at which Tom Brady plays, the NFL needs to punish the Patriots. What kind of message do you send to the rest of the NFL, other sports teams, and the youth of the country if you DON'T punish the Pats? This goes way beyond any feud between Roger Goodell and Robert Kraft.
If this investigation proves these allegations to be true, what kind of punishment could the Patriots receive? Fines are obvious. Could we see the hoodie suspended this time? Could we see a team forfeit multiple draft picks?
It's easy to say that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have something special in New England. They haven't had a losing season since Brady took over. They've been to 7 Superbowls, with 5 rings to show for it. Brady has been voted to the Pro bowl 12 times and he currently ranks 4th, all-time, in career passing yards.
But at what cost?