Speaking of Sports

4 May

A few words about Junior Seau and Mariano Rivera…

Junior Seau

I heard the news about the suicide of Junior Seau with great sadness.  It also got me thinking about the sport of football that we love.

All of the talk about concussions, brain injuries quickly brought me back to when my youngest son was playing football in junior high school.  We had a couple of kids on the team that had played soccer for years, switching to football in the 8th grade.  What they had in common was an entirely fearless approach to the game.  Everything was at full speed.

I remember one game, one of these guys was involved in a helmet-to-helmet collision with the ‘star’ of the opposing team.   Both players were fast, athletic and they were flying.   I was announcing the game from the press box.  The CRACK of the collision was so loud it quieted the crowd.  The opposing player went down.  Our guy got up, took off his helmet, and started walking to the sidelines.  We applauded….  but there was something wrong.  His walk was more of a shuffle.  There was a bright red blush on his cheeks, the rest of his skin was pale white.  Even from the press box, I could see his eyes were unfocused.

He got about halfway to the sidelines when his knees buckled and he dropped to the ground.  You could have heard a pin drop.

Joe did not play again that season, it took him some time to recover from that concussion.  If I remember correctly, he also missed a week of school.  Now multiply that hit times the years of a football career.  Is it any wonder that we have a problem here?  I pray for Junior and his family, this is a tragic loss.

Mariano Rivera

Now, those that know me know that I am a DIE HARD Red Sox fan.  In my younger days, anyone that wore the pinstripes of the Yankees was the enemy.  Over the years, that has softened to the ‘good’ Yankees and the ‘bad’ Yankees.  There are a few on that team the I still love to hate.  Most, I’m ambivalent about, some I admire because of their obvious class, character and dedication.

Mariano Rivera falls into that category.  When I heard about his knee injury (possibly career ending at age 42), I was truly sad.  A classy pro like Mo deserves better.  I wish him a speedy recovery.

– RTR

 

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