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On the Mark: When Supermen must be controlled

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Shawne Merriman has two torn ligaments in his left knee. The decorated orthopedists who examined the joint were reportedly unanimous in their recommendation, advising the Chargers All-Pro to go under the knife. Merriman, of course, would have none of it.
    He'll play this season. He knows he's doing the right thing. "One hundred percent," he told our Jay Glazer.
    In other words, pain he can tolerate. But doubt is a disease he cannot endure.
    To my mind, this kind of attitude makes Merriman something of a nobleman. But also, an idiot. Then again, this is a form of idiocy that seems endemic to football, a game in which obliviousness serves as a survival skill.
    So here are my wishes for the coming season. First, that the new boss of the Players Association, whoever he turns out to be, understands that NFL players need to be protected from themselves. Second, if only for a season, I'd like to see Merriman and all those like him, prove me wrong.
    I'm referring in particular to another linebacker, Zach Thomas, who, at 5-11 and not much more than 230 pounds, made himself a seven-time Pro Bowler. After 12 years and 982 tackles for the Miami Dolphins, he'll make his regular-season debut for Dallas on Sunday. But what made Thomas great also makes him vulnerable, and now more than ever.
    He played in a career-low five games last season, missing two weeks after suffering a concussion. Then there was a car wreck, which seemed to exacerbate the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. Against his expressed desire, Thomas was placed on injured reserve and missed the last nine games with migraine headaches.
    Then, in the offseason, he was informed that his migraines stemmed, not from the concussion, but from a deviated septum. "It was all allergies," he told me some weeks ago at the Cowboys' training camp in Oxnard. "That was causing all the sinus pressure." As septums are more easily undeviated than knees or brains, Thomas was fixed, declared healed, and picked up by the Cowboys. Looking back, he doesn't appreciate all the people who spoke, however respectfully, of him being finished, or worse.

    He'll play this season. He knows he's doing the right thing. "One hundred percent," he told our Jay Glazer.
    In other words, pain he can tolerate. But doubt is a disease he cannot endure.
    To my mind, this kind of attitude makes Merriman something of a nobleman. But also, an idiot. Then again, this is a form of idiocy that seems endemic to football, a game in which obliviousness serves as a survival skill.
    So here are my wishes for the coming season. First, that the new boss of the Players Association, whoever he turns out to be, understands that NFL players need to be protected from themselves. Second, if only for a season, I'd like to see Merriman and all those like him, prove me wrong.
    I'm referring in particular to another linebacker, Zach Thomas, who, at 5-11 and not much more than 230 pounds, made himself a seven-time Pro Bowler. After 12 years and 982 tackles for the Miami Dolphins, he'll make his regular-season debut for Dallas on Sunday. But what made Thomas great also makes him vulnerable, and now more than ever.
    He played in a career-low five games last season, missing two weeks after suffering a concussion. Then there was a car wreck, which seemed to exacerbate the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. Against his expressed desire, Thomas was placed on injured reserve and missed the last nine games with migraine headaches.
    Then, in the offseason, he was informed that his migraines stemmed, not from the concussion, but from a deviated septum. "It was all allergies," he told me some weeks ago at the Cowboys' training camp in Oxnard. "That was causing all the sinus pressure." As septums are more easily undeviated than knees or brains, Thomas was fixed, declared healed, and picked up by the Cowboys. Looking back, he doesn't appreciate all the people who spoke, however respectfully, of him being finished, or worse.

    Said Thomas: "I'm not the quickest on-the-spot person, so people started to analyze: 'Oh, is he punch drunk?' But I've always been that way. Not slow, but, I mean, I got held back before I even got to kindergarten ...
    "That's just the way it is. I'm not going to win any Trivial Pursuit questions anytime soon. But you only got to be good at one thing, and I'm good at football. I'll know when to turn the page. I'm not going to be that guy."
    That guy. He was speaking of retired players now seen in various states of neurological and orthopedic decrepitude — unable to walk well, talk well, or even remember the days when they were as virile and valorous as Merriman and Thomas.
    "Seriously, I'm not even worried about it," he said. "I'm just going to have to prove it by staying healthy the whole season. I think it got overanalyzed by some writers who wanted to make it a better story. Even your boy, Alex."
    Alex Marvex, the FOX NFL writer who had covered him for years as a Dolphins beat writer in Florida.
    "But Marvez really cares about you," I told him.
    "He cares about me," Thomas conceded. "But let me ask you something: if you have a job and you still feel like you can still play and you're not vulnerable, why not?"
    "Because my job doesn't kick my ***. At least not like your job kicks your ***."
    "It does," he said. "It does."
    A CPA wouldn't try to go to work with a concussion or torn ligaments, but an athlete's prime is a precious, highly perishable commodity. What's more, football players are unlike most other athletes. They get broken down in ways the others don't.
    "That's why it's a great game," said Thomas. "You have to take some hits. But you got to do more hitting than taking." I hope to be proven wrong about Zach Thomas and Shawne Merriman. Maybe, in Thomas' case, it really was a deviated septum. And maybe Merriman had no need of his ligaments. So call me an idiot, but I'd hate to think these guys were cursed with by their own courage.

    Fox.com
     
  2. AnteaterCharger

    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    if we actually 'controlled him' like they are suggesting along with others, we would be crucified for taking your best player off the field when he's willing.

    there's no win to the media in this situation

    bastards
     
  3. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    :tup:
     
  4. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    Part of the media have become addicted to controversy over content and real analysis, to provoking instead of doing their homework and reporting on all the facts available. Another part have become sycophants, lazy he said, she said stenographers. It's a consequence of the ownership of straight news media by a small pack of corporate jackals who try to profit from their operations on the same scale as a Google, or at minimum a GE, by cannibalizing their operations and feeding off the corpses. The rules say news operations are supposed to operate primarily in the public interest, as a condition of LEASING FROM THE PUBLIC, NOT OWNING, their broadcast mediums. Newspapers have fallen into the same trap. Few papers have really been in danger of insolvency, it's that their new owners are more concerned with every higher profits and not the crafts and needs that spawned papers in the first place. Stockholders now govern the newsrooms, not events. Not that there haven't always been hacks, but quality has decayed almost everywhere.
     
  5. TheBeast

    TheBeast BoltTalker

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    That wasn't even funny. I don't bother looking at these articles anymore. So much hate. But what do we do with that folks????

    EMBRACE IT
     

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