Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Shame of a Football nation

There is no question that violent sport. No one is forced into this profession. NFL and the owners are making tremendous chunks of money.This generation of players make millions. Unlike the other professional sports, football players do not have guaranteed contracts. The marquee players demand and receive large signing bonuses. One play can end a career.

Because the players know the dangers of the game, it is rare when a player gets hurt intentionally. The look of despair on Lawrence Taylor's face when he ended Joe Theisman's career was undeniable. When a player goes down, a hush settles into the stadium. If a player has to be removed from the field on a cart, returning to the playing field is unlikely.

Star running back, Tiki Barber retired at the peak of his career. Why? Because he is tired of feeling like he has been in a car crash after every game.

Troy Aikmen and Steve Young had to medically retire because they sustained too many concussions. These two quarterbacks have moved on to successful broadcasting careers. They are the exception.

Far too many players end up like Hall of Famer Michael Webster. He was not awarded disability benefits until he died. He was living in his truck, because he did not have the mental capacity to accept his family' generosity.

It is bad enough, that these athletes have to fight with the disability insurance carriers, the trailblazers receive nominal pensions. To compound this problem, Troy Vincent, player representative seemed to be annoyed when the retired players approach him on this subject.

I think the union, the teams and the NFL should come up with a livable pension and insurance for these players who were the foundation of this wonderful sport.

No comments: