Re: More NFL Joykilling

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That is the pre-week one injury report.


Posted by: joe dokes | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 4:30 PM
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I don't even want boxing banned,

Are you trying to start some shit? Don't think I can't see what's going on here.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 4:30 PM
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You're right, joe, I changed the link.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 4:33 PM
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I do, however, want to ban neuroscience. Comity?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 4:34 PM
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This is what a weak union will buy you.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 4:34 PM
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Makes it that much sadder when you consider the sport is hopelessly dull, even the superior CDN variant.


Posted by: notafan | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 4:36 PM
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I don't follow the NFL anymore, so this statement surprised me:

"Kevin's a male NFL athlete and has a warrior's mentality."

Good for the NFL: punishes Vick, admits women, &c.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 4:41 PM
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My dad was a stud college football quaterback in the late 60's. He made it out with his knees intact, but his shoulders are f^&*ked. Definitely not a "lifetime sport," as the tennis snobs among us like to say.


Posted by: fnook | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 4:49 PM
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4: All right then. Don't come to me whining in 40 years about how you keep calling your grandkids by your kids' names, and how you keep getting lost on your way out to the mailbox. I won't help. I'll just keep asking, "But seriously, you don't remember dating the lifeguard?"


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 5:06 PM
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"normal" wear and tear that causes people to be unable to walk or to lose their minds twenty years after they retire.

Being unable to lose your mind is a horrible thing to waste.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 5:08 PM
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i know, i know: you can't find accurate statistics about injuries that would allow you to do week-to-week comparisons.

the fact is: the surge is working, and you're a traitor for doubting it.

why do you hate american football?


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:12 PM
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I don't want to be a scold, hell I don't even want boxing banned, but it does seem like the league should pay more attention to the health of the players, but that's just not the direction in which the systemic pressure pushes; quite the opposite.

I don't really understand what you're doing here. Just that we note it in silent appreciation for what the players go through? That we "problematize" the NFL?

I agree that football, and the NFL in particular, is an unbelievably brutal sport. But short of banning it, there isn't much to do, I think. People like the brutality. TR liked the possibility of death in the early Harvard games, IIRC. The incentives are there to make it more brutal. And--as always happens at the heights of any profession--people pursue their profession to the detriment of any number of other factors that are relevant to their lives. It's not clear to me that the players don't know that they're doing that. (Though it's almost clear to me that you can't make sense of what debilitating pain in old age means until you hit old age.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:14 PM
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TR liked the possibility of death in the early Harvard games, IIRC.

He changed his mind later when his son actually died during a game, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:15 PM
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13: Huh. I didn't know either part of that.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:17 PM
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Well, the one thing you could do is provide better for the older players; better pensions, better mental health treatment, etc. Other than that, I think a position like left tackle or running back is just going to fuck somebody up by definition.

I do think the NFL has been resistant to really facing the neurological risks faced by players, because of worries about liability or whatever. That is pretty shitty, because it gives them every incentive to not offer robust treatment options, and a lot of times these guys can't hold jobs, have major depression, things like that. They're making a little progress, a/f/a keeping guys who've gotten concussions off the field at whatnot, but they could do a lot more.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:17 PM
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Everett's probably paralyzed.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:21 PM
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There are definitely things to be done about concussions: take the player out of the game when he has one, mandate that he sits--paging cerebrocrat--one or two games after that. If it's left up to the coach and player, the player will almost always come back before it's medically prudent. I don't know whether this kind of approach with other injuries would help as well. If it would, it would have to be mandated by the league. And if you wanted to mess with the game even more, you might mandate a weight limit, or reduce the padding they wear, which makes them hit each other harder. There are definitely things that could be done, but it's more profitable not to do them.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:23 PM
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17: I don't actually understand why things like this don't happen. The NFL has a monopoly on being the NFL, and could surely impose 'multilateral disarmament' on all the teams at once. Who'd stop watching if they took most of the padding away, and compelled team doctors to give concussed players a month (or whatever) off?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:25 PM
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14: Here's a cite for his efforts to make football safer; it looks like I was mistaken about his son being killed while playing, but I was sure I'd heard that somewhere.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:29 PM
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He changed his mind later when his son actually died during a game, though.

Wait, are we talking about Teddy Roosevelt, or some other "TR"? Because as I recall the son who died young was killed in WWI.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:29 PM
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Who'd stop watching if they took most of the padding away, and compelled team doctors to give concussed players a month (or whatever) off?

UFC viewers.

Actually, a lot of what they're selling is an ethos, and that might be damaged.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:30 PM
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Damnit.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:30 PM
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The NFL has a monopoly on being the NFL, and could surely impose 'multilateral disarmament' on all the teams at once.

There is no "the NFL" that's in any meaningful way separate from the owners. I'd be willing to bet that any commissioner who tried to implement such a policy would find him- or herself immediately out of a job.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:31 PM
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21: UFC's a lot safer than football, goofball.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:31 PM
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they all include injuries sustained during the preseason too, and people marked as being IR are sometimes injured, sometimes just being kept on the squad by using a free injured reserve spot when there are no more active roster spots.

There was a three(?)-part series in the Dallas Morning News a coupla months ago about what happened to the various members of the '77 Cowboys superbowl team. It so turns out that they had lots and lots of stories about hideous injuries they played with. One story in particular involved a player with an arm that had been broken a month previously; it kept getting worse the more he played, so the doctor finally jacked him up on some really good painkillers and drove a steel rod through the bone, while the guy just sat there watching. And then the guy went out and played.

The punchline, of course, was an offhand comment about how teams are much more solicitous of player health these days.

Ah-ha. I found it. Surprised, usually stories from the DaMN won't pop on Google.

At any rate, many years ago I started wondering, given that that the players are wearing plastic shoulder armor, and head armor, why nobody had bothered to develop what would be essentially an armored exo-spine to connect the two together. In theory it should stop a player's head from rotating around too far in any direction, and also prevent injuries from piledriving, since the helmet would lock up the exo-spine against the shoulder pads before the real spine could compressed. Apparently this has never occurred to anyone else. Of course, it wouldn't do anything for concussions, but them's the bouncing brains.

m, they coulda been inna da infantry


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:32 PM
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23: But what do the owners lose by it? If everyone does it (makes whatever changes necessary to reduce injuries) simultaneously, if they don't make the sport as a whole less attractive, no one loses.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:32 PM
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Actually, a lot of what they're selling is an ethos, and that might be damaged.

I dunno, the reforms Roosevelt instituted don't seem to have damaged the ethos the game had at the time, and the sport's become much more popular since then.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:33 PM
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23: There's the union. Unfortunately, Gene Upshaw's position appears to be that he survived, so STFU.

24: apologist.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:33 PM
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28.2: goofball.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:34 PM
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Color me unconvinced that reducing padding would result in fewer or less severe injuries.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:36 PM
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You could also institute a real anti-steroid regime, which would make the players less freakishly fast and strong.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:37 PM
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But what do the owners lose by it? If everyone does it (makes whatever changes necessary to reduce injuries) simultaneously, if they don't make the sport as a whole less attractive, no one loses.

The issue isn't just the sport as a whole, it's the competition between teams. If your star player gets injured and can't be put back on the field as quickly as possible, you're at a serious disadvantage.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:39 PM
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But everyone else has the same risk. It makes the season more subject to chance, rather than skill, I guess, but doesn't slant the odds toward anyone ex ante.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:40 PM
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There's the union. Unfortunately, Gene Upshaw's position appears to be that he survived, so STFU.

The union? Don't make me laugh. (Has the union managed to do *anything* to the benefit of the players since 1987?)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:41 PM
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26 (27): That's a good question. I think people like the behemoth-ness of the game. I believe that these players have increased in size a lot over the last few decades, the game has become more dangerous as a result, and all of this has been known for at least fifteen years. So changes could have been made but haven't been. I think it's because owners worry about harming the product in some unknown way. If asked to point to something, they might say that the audience likes the violence, but not the injuries, and that long term injuries are off field and a long time away from audience interest.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:41 PM
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31: yeah, how though? Real steroid regime like in the olympics, or like in cycling?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:42 PM
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35: the other thing, which Michael Lewis points out in The Blind Side, is that the giant, speedy linemen started showing up in the wake of Thiesmann getting his leg half-torn-off; franchise quarterbacks are too rare, too expensive, and too lucrative not to protect.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:44 PM
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The honor system, of course.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:44 PM
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But everyone else has the same risk. It makes the season more subject to chance, rather than skill, I guess, but doesn't slant the odds toward anyone ex ante.

Everyone may have the same risk, but the overall level of risk has been raised. And the owners *hate* chance; they want to do whatever possible to minimize it.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:45 PM
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And the owners *hate* chance; they want to do whatever possible to minimize it.

All of them? I don't know jack about football, but I'd expect owners of lousy teams to welcome some additional randomness.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:46 PM
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It's also interesting to note that Everett was injured during a kickoff. There was some concern before the season, when the kickoff spot was moved back 5 yards, that injuries would be more common and more severe, since it gives both sides 5 more yards to build up a head of steam before crashing into one another. I didn't expect it to be borne out so quickly or so unfortunately, though.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:47 PM
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I thought the kickoff spot was moved for college ball, not the NFL?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:48 PM
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Maybe the real answer is that no one really cares. Owners *do* have an incentive to, for example, extend a QB's career. And so certain rules are put in place. I wonder if fans will care more as people are more and more often in non-manufacturing work.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:49 PM
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I don't know jack about football, but I'd expect owners of lousy teams to welcome some additional randomness.

I don't know jack about football either, but an obsession with trying to minimize the (perceived) role of randomness in the outcome of one's enterprises is a pretty common characteristic of the sort of people who end up with the sort of money that it takes to own a football team.


Posted by: DaveL | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:50 PM
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Anyone watching the MNF game notice that the opener for the USA team in the Women's World Cup is against North Korea?

I didn't even know N. Korea had a national women's soccer team. Where do they practice? What do they eat?


Posted by: mike d | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:51 PM
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42: You're right. I found an article saying the NFL was considering moving it back for OT, but looks like I misremembered as far as regulation goes.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:51 PM
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Eli Manning has a separated shoulder, I just heard. This has been one of the most injury-filled opening weekends I recall.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:54 PM
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Maybe the real answer is that no one really cares.

I think this is basically right. From the point of view of the owners, as a "product," it's ain't broke, so why try to fix it? If people keep getting paralyzed, there'll be an outcry, but that is mercifully rare. It's the things that are debilitating down the line that are a problem, but they're also basically invisible, or just "part of the game" and players are expected to man up and deal.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 6:58 PM
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48: I think there is starting to be some pushback within the union, so hopefully that'll help.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:01 PM
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This reminds me of a story from when my mother was in local news... she was prepping a lead-in for a story about a football player, whose father had been in the NFL. Well, Mom didn't really follow football much, and she was under some deadline pressure, so she went with what she figured would be safest: "Like father, like son".

Except it turned out the father was Nick Buoniconti.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:04 PM
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48 is right, of course, but don't forget the "well, they chose to do it" argument.

People are insane. I was talking to a fellow soccer mom at Saturday's game and she was thinking about letting her *six year old kid* start playing football, but how she thinks he's a little young--maybe when he's ten. So of course I explained why I would never, ever in a million years let a kid of any age play football: neck injuries, concussions, blah blah.

Then again, her kid is an incredible drama queen who falls to the ground and gets "hurt" about three or four times a game. Maybe he needs to learn what a real injury actually feels like.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:06 PM
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51: The kid's not Italian or Argentinian, is he?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:08 PM
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51: Sounds like the kid has the chops to play for Chelsea.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:09 PM
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Ten year olds aren't going to hurt each other playing football. Just so long as the kid doesn't do well enough to play in college, he'll probably be fine.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:09 PM
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Or named Reggie Miller?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:09 PM
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Everett is probably paralyzed.

See this link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20681627/

A real shame the injuries sustained by professional athletes; but, its far worse the injuries that non-professional athletes experience (especially students).


Posted by: Indie Prof | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:11 PM
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Even having followed the link in 50, I don't get it. Was it that the story was about the kid getting injured, and she thought it was just some tra-la story about his playing football?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:11 PM
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54 now strikes me as cavalier. Still, I am objectively pro little kids tackling each other, as long as they stop before they're too far into puberty.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:12 PM
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57: Yeah.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:13 PM
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I did get it! Woo! Sorry to step on your elegant presentation of the story, there.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:14 PM
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Ten year olds aren't going to hurt each other playing football. Just so long as the kid doesn't do well enough to play in college, he'll probably be fine.

Increasingly common for kids to really fuck up their joints in high school sports, and not just in football.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:14 PM
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Yeah. Stay away from high school sports, kids! Indolence from middle school on is the only safe path.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:18 PM
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Did somebody call me?

I don't know anything about football and can't watch it longer than 30 seconds without daydreaming about something more interesting (i.e., anything) so this comment is coming straight out of my ass, but what the heck: It seems like the maximum weight idea would not only reduce the risk of more serious injuries, but might also improve the game. Football lovers, tell me - is it more fun to watch two walls of 300lb guys lurch into each other, or to watch a bunch of (comparatively) light highschool or college players try to stop each other with much less mass and strength at hand?


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:21 PM
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I was wondering how much time players should be held out before returning from a concussion, cerebrocrat.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:22 PM
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One story in particular involved a player with an arm that had been broken a month previously; it kept getting worse the more he played, so the doctor finally jacked him up on some really good painkillers and drove a steel rod through the bone, while the guy just sat there watching. And then the guy went out and played.

It's not nearly as gruesome, but Curt Schilling's on-the-fly surgery seems to be in the same category. It was temporary and wasn't going to make him better. It just allowed him to pitch well enough for the Sox to win the World Series. And the bloody sock is now the stuff of legend.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl1 | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:25 PM
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Yeah. Stay away from high school sports, kids!

It just strikes me as bizarre how a lot of these kids keep going back for more. Multiple knee surgeries by the time they're 18 and such.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:25 PM
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63: Hrm. If you introduce weight-classes into high school football, that's a whole lot of eating disorders, isn't it? I dunno, maybe it wouldn't do too much harm.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:26 PM
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I have a feeling he's going to say forever, ogged.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:26 PM
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Football lovers, tell me - is it more fun to watch two walls of 300lb guys lurch into each other, or to watch a bunch of (comparatively) light highschool or college players try to stop each other with much less mass and strength at hand?

You think watching the linemen push each other is the fun part? No wonder you're not enjoying football.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:27 PM
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The question is whether you could have as much fun with tiny little linemen, suitable for cake decoration.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:28 PM
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69: it kind of is fun if you know what's going on, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:29 PM
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I think they should only recruit linemen who had successful college careers as coxswains or jockeys.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:29 PM
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63: Brock's crazy notions notwithstanding, pro football is much more fun to watch than college football and infinitely more fun than high school football for the same reason that the symphony is more entertaining than your average wedding band, which is more entertaining than listening to 15-year-olds practice in a garage.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:29 PM
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Feel free to make the obvious jokes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:30 PM
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64: Oh. I don't know what the official guidelines are, but it's a fair bet that I, personally, would be much more conservative than whatever they are. If it were my brain on the block, I'd probably never play again after a severe (blacking out) concussion. Concussive brain damage is cumulative, so for less serious injuries, I guess I'd have to know the probability of repeat concussions over time, which I do not.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:31 PM
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71: But it doesn't go on for long enough. Sumo is more exciting.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:31 PM
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67: Eating disorders vs. neck breaks. Easy call. (seriously, I wonder exactly how bad eating disorders are among wrestlers & rowers?)

68: Damn you.

69: Well, no, but doesn't it effect the speed of play, or whatever?

73: Okay, so imagine a bunch of 180lb guys who are skillful from having played a long time. Fun or boring?


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:37 PM
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Some major names on the injury report for week one. Orlando Pace is one of the most devastating. Plus, it looks like Ray Lewis ripped up his right tricep in the MNF game.


Posted by: Shawn | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:41 PM
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Some major names on the injury report for week one. Orlando Pace is one of the most devastating. Plus, it looks like Ray Lewis ripped up his right tricep in the MNF game.


Posted by: Shawn | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:41 PM
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(seriously, I wonder exactly how bad eating disorders are among wrestlers & rowers?)

I don't know. Come to think of it, I know a bunch of guys who did crazy stuff to make weight, and they mostly seem fine once they stopped competing. So maybe not a problem.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:42 PM
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Football brings out the psychopathic in its fans, who display incredible courage in their willingness to cope with the suffering and death of other people.

What brought that home for me was a high-school kid in Miss. who collapsed from heatstroke after begging his coach to let him take a break; the coach gave him laps instead. Permanent brain damage for the kid.

I saw the incident when the kid lost his appeal - the trial court agreed that the coach was negligent at best, but held that the state was immune from suit, and on appeal that was affirmed.

Lousy reading of the law, but the appellate opinion went beyond that -- FREAKING OUT about how the existence of high-school football would be jeopardized if kids could get out of practice by pleading exhaustion. Like the verb "to bench" was unknown to the learned justice.

So if not even the lives of teenagers are going to dissuade the fans, then the lives of overpaid adults aren't going to make much impression either.


Posted by: Anderson | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:42 PM
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Fun. Somebody last night (marcus, I think) suggested cutting the game from 11 on 11 to 9 on 9, which would create a more open offensive game, and would be more fun to watch, regardless of the size of the players.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:43 PM
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82: it would also make it easier to protect the quarterback. So weight limits and 9-on-9 it is! Comity! Somebody get Goodell on the horn.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:45 PM
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80: Yeah, I thought of that because I had a student once on the men's lightweight who was always in a coma for Thursday classes. Finally I asked him about it and it was because weigh-in was on Fridays and he wouldn't eat or drink anything all day before. Nutso.


Posted by: cerebrocrat | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:46 PM
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Just because your QB is Rex Grossman, don't ruin it for the rest of us.


Posted by: baa | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:47 PM
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Who's "you" in that sentence, baa?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:49 PM
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84: A buddy of Buck's was a wrestler, and could apparently get a last pound off by spitting into a bucket, over and over again, until he'd shed a pint of fluid that way. That's just fucked up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:49 PM
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84, further: I, myself, was an effortless lightweight. Not anymore!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 7:50 PM
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Somebody last night (marcus, I think) suggested cutting the game from 11 on 11 to 9 on 9

Yeah, it was me. But no weight limits! I want to see freakishly athletic 300-pounders manuever in the open field.

If you wanted to limit injuries, you might start by getting rid of helmets and padding. I think the ability to essentially use a helmeted head as a weapon is subtly related to how dangerous the sport is.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:03 PM
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No helmets would lead to gruesomely bloody television.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:06 PM
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All the players in giant hamster balls.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:08 PM
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Rugby's not gruesome, mostly. Wouldn't people just stop using their heads to hit with?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:08 PM
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I wonder how Australian rules football players (no helmets, no pads) fare in retirement. Not so great, I imagine. Lighter padding, different helmets I can see, but taking them away altogether, not so good.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:09 PM
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92: Umm .


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:10 PM
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Just because your QB is Rex Grossman, don't ruin it for the rest of us.

If I had laughed at that, I wouldn't admit it here.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:10 PM
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94: yes, but see, his ear is protecting his brain.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:11 PM
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97

And. And.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:12 PM
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Ten year olds aren't going to hurt each other playing football.

Probably not; I think that little kid football leagues are really careful about that shit. Even so, I figure with little kid sports you're always running the risk that the kid's going to decide he's in love with it and want to play in h.s. I'd much rather have PK fuck up his knee than his neck.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:12 PM
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Or all the players replaced by giant hamsters.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:14 PM
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Oh, sure -- I used to tape up the kids on the Vaipouli team when they got stepped on. But they're bleeding, not so much badly injured, mostly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:14 PM
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Just play this for him before every game, B.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:14 PM
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I'd much rather have PK fuck up his knee than his neck.

Good point. With an injured neck, he may not be able to achieve the proper head angle for all that mama-butt-lickin'.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:15 PM
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The point is he *doesn't* play football, but yes.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:16 PM
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Or all the players replaced by giant hamsters.

Poor hamster brains!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:18 PM
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Rugby's not gruesome, mostly. Wouldn't people just stop using their heads to hit with?

Funny you should mention that; I was just looking up data on rugby injuries, because I was under the impression that rugby was less gruesome than football. Turns out I was mistaken. As you might expect, ruggers get badly injured all the time. There's some evidence that rule changes can help, but apparently it's inconclusive.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:19 PM
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97: I see lots of blood, and nothing that won't get better with a few stitches. Nothing life-altering or -threatening.

This echoes a story I heard a little while ago on "All Things Considered" about MMA. They had a doctor on, talking about the injury risk (particularly compared to boxing), and basically his attitude was "sure, the facial wounds look really nasty, but ultimately they're a hell of a lot better than what boxing does to your brain".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:19 PM
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107

hamster balls.

Common side effect of steroids.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:19 PM
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Hamsters do have rather poor brains, at least by certain metrics.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:20 PM
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I see lots of blood, and nothing that won't get better with a few stitches. Nothing life-altering or -threatening.

Man up, rugby players.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:20 PM
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108: never hear 'em complaining during wind sprints, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:21 PM
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Hamsters do have rather poor brains, at least by certain metrics.

Like the metric of not eating your babies.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:22 PM
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I talked to an former professional Australian rugby player once a while ago. If I recall correctly he said the main injuries were joint injuries not too many head injuries. I also think he said the average pro career was only 3 yrs. This was about 13 years ago though so take this with a grain of salt.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:23 PM
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I see lots of blood, and nothing that won't get better with a few stitches.

This is why I didn't concede pwnage. They're just flesh wounds. Spinal cord injuries, on the other hand, are a little more serious.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:24 PM
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111: so they'd make excellent boxers as well, then?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:24 PM
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BTW, this Baltimore-Cincy game is crazy exciting.

They're just flesh wounds

The original claim was that it would produce gruesomely bloody television.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:27 PM
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91 is a beautiful, classic Heebie comment. The queen of whimsy.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:28 PM
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True, that was your claim. But would people mind?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:28 PM
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115: I stand corrected. But not pwned.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:29 PM
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115.1: yup.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:30 PM
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Like the metric of not eating your babies.

I really must object to this speciest stereotype. Hamsters only eat their babies when overcrowded or under stress.

It's the system, man.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:30 PM
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Broken noses are one thing. Torn knee ligaments are possible in any high-speed sport with lots of cutting. What renders football so scary is the possibility that someone could be paralyzed or even die on the field. Doesn't hitting with your head have a lot to do with that?

Alternatively, NFL flag football!


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:30 PM
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Hamsters uniformly fail to eat my babies.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:31 PM
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91 is a beautiful, classic Heebie comment. The queen of whimsy.

Oh, man. Now you've jinxed me. I'll be stone-cold predictible but I'll still think I'm whimsical, and after a while everyone will feel very awkward each time I quote 116 and ram it down everyone's throats.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:31 PM
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Dingoes, on the other hand...


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:31 PM
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Alternatively, NFL flag football!

Only solves the problem if you also ban blocking. There's no way to make these contact sports perfectly safe, but they could be safer and it would be nice to see the people in charge give a shit.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:33 PM
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124 made me laugh really hard.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:33 PM
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Hey what the hell? There's a game that just started? How late do you have to stay up to watch the NFL on the east coast?

123: can having something rammed down your throat ever be truly predictable?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:33 PM
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Though Baltimore got robbed by that offensive interference call in the end zone.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:34 PM
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can having something rammed down your throat ever be truly predictable?

If you've seen Deep Throat once,...


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:34 PM
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123: yeah, Heebie, it's hard being on top. There's always some young gun out there ready to challenge for the whimsy crown. The price of excellence.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:35 PM
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can having something rammed down your throat ever be truly predictable?

Porn is very predictable, yes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:35 PM
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All the players in giant dingo balls!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:36 PM
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giant dingo balls!

I plan to start using this to swear with. "Giant dingo balls, working on this brief sucks!"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:37 PM
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Porn is very predictable, yes.

So is raising geese for foie gras.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:37 PM
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I certainly hope the back of my throat never loses the capacity for surprise.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:38 PM
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I certainly hope the back of my throat never loses the capacity for surprise.

Sounds like someone's ready for their Promise Ring.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:39 PM
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A goose is a crazy motherfucker.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:40 PM
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130 sounds like Pink Floyd lyrics.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:41 PM
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132: tasty!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:42 PM
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136: I won't choke on it, will I, Ms. Heebie?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:43 PM
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140: Not in a bad way.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 8:46 PM
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All have moved on to consider baby names, but you know, I was thinking flag football could really work. Think of the crazy hip action ballcarriers would be doing to avoid getting their flag stripped away. It can be harder to grab a flag than to tackle somebody.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 09-10-07 10:52 PM
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Brock's crazy notions notwithstanding, pro football is much more fun to watch than college football and infinitely more fun than high school football

Gotta differ with you there, Apo. For my money, the college game is better entertainment for a couple of reasons, notwithstanding the higher skill level on display in the pros:

1. The college game has not been as routinized. The offensive coordinators in the NFL have gotten almost too good at play-calling. The dominant strategies for any given situation against any given team are so well-known, it becomes the same-old same-old after a while. It's like the two sides are playing tic-tac-toe and everyone knows which square they need to fill in. In the college game, you still see the flea-flickers, trick plays, and generally counterintuitive play calls that have largely disappeared from the NFL. When was the last time you saw a single wing offense or a a statue of liberty play in the NFL?

2. Absence of parity. There is still enough skill differential in the NCAA Division I that real mismatches occur. A real underdog can't just play the probabilities, leading to the more exciting style of play-calling referenced above. This volatility is reinforced by the forced replacement of at least 25% of every team, every year.

3. The college game is not as optimized for television. Because most games are not broadcast on network tv, you don't have the rules committee sitting around thinking of ways to add more commercial breaks to every contest. Result: more football.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-11-07 4:19 AM
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Also, college football cheerleaders: much more girl-next-door than the NFL variety.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09-11-07 4:22 AM
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my kid played flag last year as a fourth-grader, loved it. lotta speedy kids zipping around the field, no injuries. not one, for the entire team, or anyone on any team we played. beautiful games. (it helped that we actually had a qb; a fourth-grader who could put it in the air for maybe 30 yards with accuracy, which at that age is very respectable).

now a new year starts and there's no more flag. i look at the tackle leagues and they say that the weight limit for fifth-graders is 140 pounds. my kid is 80 max.
weight limit for 6th graders is 190 pounds.

this is fucked up. there's no way i'm letting my 80 pound kid on the field with some 140 pound kid. even with pads all over both.

57 is right; kids can have a lot of fun w/ football prior to puberty. trouble is, some kids hit puberty early. and others are just very obese. even obese kids can develop a head of steam when charging down the field.

so--no more football for the kid, which is damn sad. maybe until college intramurals, when people start playing flag again for fun.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 09-11-07 5:01 AM
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I know a guy, all-ACC offensive lineman in his day, and both of his sons are enormous. He won't let them play football. He doesn't limp or anything, but he avoids conversations about football in a way that strikes me as similar to the way combat vets avoid talking about their experience.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 09-11-07 6:57 AM
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