A message for Bob Costas

Mark P. writes:

Bob Costas offers us a test case of how conservatives should deal with leftists and their institutions. Instead of arguing the point with Costas as if you were dealing with a person who argues in good faith, alter the frame. Here’s an example of how it might be done:

Yes, Bob, it is a tragedy that this guy killed his girlfriend, but it is immaterial how he killed her. He could’ve just as easily beaten her to death with his fists if he so chose. He is a big dude.

No, the real root cause of this tragedy is the NFL’s willful disregard of the serious, life-long injuries that NFL (and NCAA) players sustain during their football careers and suffer from long after their careers are over. Did you know, Bob, that the average NFL player has a three and a half year career and lives to a ripe old age of 55? Did you know that football players are starting to manifest the “punch-drunkenness” of boxers? I’d be curious to see how much they suffer from concussions, arthritis, connective-tissue damage, knee injuries, and other life-long illnesses that their insurance packages and career earnings really don’t cover. Wouldn’t you, Bob?

In fact, it’s quite possible that Jovan Belcher developed a mental illness from having his brain jostled so often in the field. What do you think, Bob? Maybe the government should address that problem, Bob?

I am a big proponent of using liberalism against liberalism. I know that you are somewhat against that, but, keep in mind, an old edifice must be torn down before a new one gets erected. Demolition should be as just a part of the restoration of America as actual construction.

LA replies:

This is good.

And clearly the increased injuries from football have something to do with the grotesque size of the athletes. You have 300 pound human tanks slamming into each other. It’s a hideous spectacle. A country that worships at this altar is as decadent as the ancient Romans with their gladiatorial combats.

Football, both college and professional, is a prime manifestation of the mindless hypertrophy that has taken over America.

- end of initial entry -

Mark P. writes:

Well, I don’t know that there is a principled conservative stand against football. [LA replies: I just provided one. Professional football and baseball, like so much in our society, have become bloated and decadent and need to be dismantled and start over on a non-decadent basis.] I don’t know that I want to go that far. I do think, however, that people like Costas warrant going after in ways that affect their pocketbook.

I think the momentum and collision of football is what creates these serious injuries. The brain is moving inside the skull. Forward momentum causes it to move in one direction while the collision causes the brain to slam against the skull in the other direction.

Boxing is probably less brutal.

Brian B. writes:

Mark P. says: “the average NFL player has a three and a half year career and lives to a ripe old age of 55.”

The average player’s career length of 3 1/2 years has little to do with injury. The NFL is filled with poor players who are routinely replaced after a short spell in the league with another young player from college.

As for NFL players dying at an average age of 55 years—Mark P. should provide a link to relevant data showing this. I doubt he can. There was a recent report on athletes that indicated football players outlive baseball players. [LA replies: I agree. That figure sounds very unlikely.]

December 4, 3:00 p.m.

David B. writes:

I second Brian B.’s comment. I used to be a big football fan.

Although the superstars get the most attention, the average pro football player is a journeyman whose job is not very secure. A player lasts three to four years and is replaced by someone else with fresher legs.

The trope that pro football players die at around 55 years of age is an old myth that has been discredited. Around 15 years ago, I read a sports magazine article on the subject. Pro football players, according to research, lived until age 72 on average. Maybe less than the average person, but not too far from a normal life span.

Jeanette V. writes:

See this article:

Joe Browne, senior advisor to the NFL commissioner, hailed the study as important for debunking a myth. “During the 1990s, the players union was spreading misinformation among its rank and file about the shortened average life expectancy of professional football players, largely because of heart-related issues,” Browne said.

James N. writes:

I love football, or at least I love watching it being played. The injury problem is real, though, and it’s mostly caused by modern improvements in equipment, especially helmet technology.

Go back to leather helmets and one of two things would happen: either the death rate would skyrocket, or the velocity of collisions involving the head and neck would go down.

An effective anabolic steroid ban, in high school and college, would help also.

Nick D. writes:

Belcher’s personality disorders were not caused by the NFL’s healthcare package. As pointed out in the next post, Belcher was known to be a valueless thug as early as age 13, long before NFL action could have damaged his brain tissue.

As Mark points out, Belcher could have easily killed his girlfriend with his fists, as “he is a big dude”; yet he chose the even more cowardly method of shooting her nine times. This behavior is reflected in his bullying of a white 13-year-old, who was also presumably smaller and less muscular than he. There, also, he needed the physical and moral support of “a gang of friends” to beat and harass the weaker boy.

If we are to blame a secondary entity for Belcher’s deviant behavior, it is not the gun, nor the NFL; it is the adult authorities who refused to keep the violent juvenile in check. Guidance and correction from teachers, coaches, police, and judges might have had a chance to keep him on the right path, or at least steered him away from outright wickedness. Rather, those adults accepted any convenient excuse (“he says he’s innocent”, “your word against his”) to avoid confronting the problem. His race was likely another factor in their negligence, having been programmed as good liberals to believe another poor black was being falsely accused by a bigoted white.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 04, 2012 07:14 AM | Send

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