Prisco has been an asshole forever, but I doubt he ever got it back like this:
1. I’m not in the arguing business, I’m in the saying what I think business.
2. I get my information from my eyes.
Follow me on Twitter While you’re at it, Like our Facebook page
Well, that was the issue, Doc, but it's all academic in light of that settlement. Anytime there's a huge amount of money involved, the side making most of the money will find hand picked experts to say whatever they're told to say, whether it's about football concussions or cigarette dangers or climate change. These guys come cheap.
There is a mountain of evidence that the league was deliberately negligent in hiding the long term damage of concussions from players. This became crystal clear when they settled. These guys wouldn't let got of $7.65 unless they knew they were beaten, let alone $765 million.
The denial runs way deeper than teams blatantly coercing the opinions of their medical personnel. I mentioned John Mackey earlier. The only time you ever heard John Mackey's name mentioned during a football game over the last 30 years is when someone in the booth decided to talk about the greatest tight ends of all time. Nobody ever talked about how his wife had to hide the car keys from him and tell him an imaginary mechanic named Tony was working on the car. She had to tell him this dozens of times a day for years because all John ever did was ask her if it was time to go. He could never give her an answer when she would ask him where they were supposed to be going. I only knew about his troubles because I'm friends with someone who knows the family.
You can't tell me his peers weren't well aware of Mackey's plight, but nobody starting talking about this stuff seriously until just recently. Guys like Mackey were the league's dirty secret. People had to see the clinical proof of autopsied brains that were riddled with CTE before any type of widespread awareness gained traction.
I don't blame the players. I want to see all the retired players get as much as they can from those corrupt owners. I like the league, but I hate most of the people in charge (looking at you, Goodell).
The issue at hand is (and has been) not a question of "Would the players do it knowing they'd suffer later?" The issue is that the NFL has known a great deal about the future problems players will face for a long time, but as recently as 2010, their hand-picked medical fraud was responding that we don't know that football injuries does cause brain damage. The league has been serving up lies, while knowing that real facts on this for many years. That's the issue.
I'm continually surprised at the number of otherwise bright people who seem to miss the difference. The league has been lying to the players for decades and many of the fans still want to blame the players for it. Go figure.
Prisco panders a particular demographic that's not going to be swayed by logic. Nor are they especially prone to feeling embarrassment when you point out their lack of empathy. I think Olbermann did a good enough job of highlighting Prisco's mean spirited mockery that I really didn't need to add anything.
I'm saying everybody should be honest with themselves and think back to the way they reacted when Atwater blew Okoye up on MNF. Most Broncos fans I know went nuts and point to that play as an example of why Atwater belongs in Canton.
Anybody who expects a sea change now is living in a dream world. There's too much money at stake. Prisco was one million percent right about that.
The culture of the league isn't going to change, either. We're not going to see scouting reports that read: "Shys away from contact. Realizes there's more to life than football."
John Mackey was walking around like a zombie for 20 years, but we only saw what we wanted to see.
By the way, Atwater for the Hall of Fame is a no brainer.
I agree with your take but Prisco demonstrates with no class that the retired players are in for a "money grab" and thats bs.
These guys deserve better and are treated far worse after they have no playing ability, payed less while playing than the other major sports and have shown worse effects than other sports as well by far.
The NFL did get off easy and these players deserved every single penny and more. Its a shame some of them have died and never got to see any of the change they inspired.
I think we're all complicit as fans. It kind of bothers me that people act like this all came to light recently. As if they had no idea they were watching a brutally violent sport. If you watched that clip, you'll notice the interview with Mike Webster came from 1997. It was very obvious the man had serious issues, but we all shrugged our shoulders and said, "what a shame", then we cheered deliriously a few months later when Steve Atwater nearly killed himself and anybody who got close to him in SB XXXII. Why do we all want to see Steve Atwater in the Hall of Fame anyway? Was it the Smiling part of the nickname we all liked or the Assassin part? You can find lots of guys who will smile for you. Not many who will truck a 265 pound fullback and then tell him and a national television audience all about it. Steve Atwater made no apologies for his violent style of play and I won't sit here 15 years later and condemn a playing style I cheered my ass off for in real time.
I think back to the 80's when they began making rule changes aimed at player safety. All these guys who never strapped on pads past Pop Warner stole the Jack Lambert line about putting quarterbacks in dresses. The fact was, the players had become so big and fast that rule changes were necessary before someone got killed. The rule changes to protect the quarterbacks were primarily because the networks new they couldn't sell games between third string quarterbacks.
I don't know what the future of the sport holds, but I'm not going to pretend that tough guys knocking the crap out of each other hasn't always been a huge part of the game.
Prisco is off his rocker, be surprised how many players help his cause going forward. Olber brought facts, best way to win
Whew! I usually don't like Olbermann that much; even though I agree with many of his stances, I don't like his self-righteous attitude. But this was a sober, thoughtful, and remarkably snark-free takedown of a terrible column by Prisco. Thanks for sharing the link, Ted. This is something I normally wouldn't have had the opportunity to see.
Yes, I read an interview with one former player, who said he knew that later in life he'd have knee problems, hip issues, whoulder pain, etc., but had no idea of the memory loss and brain injury relating to concussions. Nobody, doctors or otherwise, told him about that.
I've been questioning myself also for the last several months about liking football. I'm glad I wasn't one who liked those "big hits" videos the NFL was pushing all those years. I never liked seeing that stuff.
Olberman at his best. Thanks for posting this, Ted. A must watch and has me seriously questioning continuing following football as a fan.
Any thought that players know the risks is simply untrue.
Thank you Olbermann. All these jerks that never played having all this judgement. Prisco is a prick. Who fucking needs him?