Friday, October 30, 2009

For men only (just kidding)

Ever shoot a white-tail deer? Chances are, you used a lead bullet. And that gives the deer a shot at you if you ate it. Lead bullets can fragment and tiny pieces travel in the carcass as far as 18 inches from the initial wound. Condors and bald eagles are often poisoned this way from eating your kills. If you think about it, lead in a bullet is redundant. If you must, use copper.

Earlier, we reported that James Naismith was the guy who invented basketball. Now comes this breaking news: he also invented the first football helmet, made by simply cutting the football in half.

Even modern helmets won’t help much this Sunday as millions of us settle back with a six-pack and watch big men get maimed. Dementia and other brain injuries have struck down professional football players in numbers that are way ahead of national averages. Enter the knuckle-head Republican from Texas, Cong. Ted Poe, who sounded horrified when he observed if everybody kept trying to make changes, “We’d all be playing touch football.” That’s cold. The NFL needs to get right with its players.

Too old to play Guitar Hero? Try Farmville, the hottest game on Facebook. At least 22 million hits every day. And the game has only been up since June. All ages are drawn to the game which starts simple enough: you get land and seeds that can be planted, watered, fertilized and harvested for online coins. Compulsive/addictive types even set their alarms for 1:30 a.m. so they can roll over and harvest their blueberries. If you wake me at 1:30 in the morning, it better not be for anything virtual. Or virtuous.

If you squint your eyes, maple leaves look like marijuana leaves on steroids.


Anonymous said...


Touche' on the limited social life. This morning's mail brought the "Austin Seniors' Guide: 2009 Fall Update" -- 32 Reader's Digest sized pages of ads for nursing homes, blood tests and senior sitters. Not even 1 page of news that was not "sponsored" by the advertiser on the facing page.

Keep up the Blog of Ages!


Anonymous said...

How do you know what a marijuana leaf looks like?

Anonymous said...

I can squint, Dude.


Ken said...

Speaking of helmets, I had a big discussion with former Mayor Bruce Todd, when I wrote a column criticizing his push to get an Austin ordinance passed to require adults to wear bicycle helmets. He had suffered a brain injury on a ride sponsored by the Austin Cycling Assn., made a fine recovery, and then wanted every adult to be required to wear a helmet.

I looked up the police records and showed that all the deaths of cyclists, so far as I could see, were from situations in which a helmet probably wouldn't have saved them (hit and runs, fell under a bus).

Still, I wear a helmet every time I ride, and my motorcycle helmet set me back $600. I'm gonna wear a helmet, but I why should I want to deny someone the exquisite joy of bashing their brains out?

Robert Moore said...

Helmets do what! Protect you from brain injury. Maybe, though I have seen some punch-drunk boxers with the mentality of a five year old and it’s not from dementia. Makes since to me to protect that gray matter between your ears. My take on it is…my daughter wrestled for five years. I told her you must wear headgear at all times, cause I’m not going to pay for fixing your cauliflower ears.

Anonymous said...

Back in the 1890's and early 1900's President's Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson took an intense interest in the injuries rampant in college football. Both presidents worked with football experts and presidents of universities to change the brutality and unsportsmanlike conduct into an acceptable version of the game.

The discussion today and some years past has been about concussions, knee injuries, permanent disablity injuries to the spine and now the revelation of dementia after playing time is over.

The helmet is one of the main culprits causing serious injuries. Before the current helmet was invented, the plastic one by Paul Brown who coached the Cleveland Browns, the players first, wore no helmets, then improvised with covering over their ears, later the leather helmet became the required head gear. Although some players actually played without helmets until a rule was passed that they were required.

The current helmet is a weapon unto itself...a battering ram that undoubtedly causes severe concussions when colliding with a player, especially one not moving.
Take away the helmet. Would the severity of play be diminished? Reduce the size and construction of shoulder pads. Would that reduce the impact of linemen? Would they return to a rule about half of the team piling on a tackled player?
Not viable options today. The players are huge, run exceedingly fast as well, and could probably not be coached to diminish the impact they make on the opposition. How do you coach less contact? Maybe you coach less violent aggressiveness.

Players who obviously crash headon into opposing players, or try or do cause unnecessary physical punishment should be removed from the game and suspended for several games. There is no secret that in all levels of football there are headhunters who are instructed to "get" certain players.

A friend of mine endured six concussions playing junior and senior high football in the sixties. Two were helmet to helmet blows, another a player caught him from behind, picked him up and pile drived his head in the ground. The other two were while he was vulnerable back to pass and knocked down on his head. The helmets in those days were little more than plastic buckets.

Hopefully the NFL will use the best scientific information available and seriously consider ways to protect players so they won't be near zombies before they are 40.

And then there are those who cannot see why, if these guys want to play and earn big money, there should changes. As Texas Congressman Ted Poe (R) complained about making dramatic changes:"We'd all be playing touch football."

Obviously congress is not the way to go.

Bill Mercer
440 Independence Pkwy
Plano, Tx 75075

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