- No mas: Principal bans Spanish language in intercom announcement
- Hacking software could put ‘zombie drone army’ in user’s hands
- Support for stricter gun laws drops: poll
- 10 whales dead, 41 others stranded in Everglades
- John Boehner faces bipartisan pressure to allow gay-rights vote
- Martin Bashir resigns from MSNBC over ‘ill-judged’ comments about Sarah Palin
- Rep. Duncan Hunter: While Obama prays for Iranian change, U.S. should ready its nukes
- Best company ever? Veteran Beer Co. exists to employ vets, provide quality beer
- Iran official: Sanctions ‘utterly failed’ to stop nuclear program
- ‘Black Santa’ display at IU sparks student outrage
FENNO: London Fletcher personifies NFL players’ concussion balancing act
Sure, awareness of concussions jolted awake as more than 4,500 former players sue the league over head injuries, and study after study points to long-term consequences from head injuries. Mark Rypien uses a tape recorder to remember basic conversations. Stephen Davis’ ears ring constantly. Clinton Portis is plagued by headaches. More than 300 former Redskins are among the plaintiffs.
“It’s much different now in comparison to what it was,” Shanahan said. “I remember a number of quarterbacks come to the sideline and you knew there was something wrong. They’d give him the old one-two-three finger test and they’d go back out there. Times have changed.”
But the fundamental culture that kept banged-up players on the field decades ago hasn’t changed. The players sound alike, from Len Hauss to Fletcher to Robert Griffin III. Only the generation changes. Leaving the field means putting your job up for grabs and, really, defeat.
Fletcher comes across as more enlightened than the average player about head injuries. Once he believed he had to lose consciousness to have a concussion; that’s changed. He’s heard about the troublesome studies, noticed the league’s shift to confront the issue.
But every incentive exists to find a way to disguise or play through injury. Even a concussion. Without that attitude, surviving the NFL’s ruthless world, much less 15 seasons, is impossible.
“I don’t want to think about it too much because I’m also in the midst of the season,” Fletcher said. “I don’t think you can think about it too much.”
But the price isn’t one even Fletcher knows.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- FENNO: No obvious answer for Redskins in determining Mike Shanahan's fate
- FENNO: After another loss, Redskins a franchise in free-fall
- Learning to play football right: Some hope to bring safety back to game
- FENNO: NCAA finds way into Rep. Linda Sanchez's crosshairs over concussions
- FENNO: RG3's words not the Redskins' biggest problem
Latest Blog Entries
- Apple wins facial recognition patent for iPhone 6
- First Dog Sunny knocks down Ashtyn Gardner; Michelle Obama yanks leash
- Hola: Boehner prepares to push amnesty bill through House
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- MILLER: Obamas EPA closing smelter will not affect ammunition supply
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- U.S. drops 2,000 mice on Guam by parachute to kill snakes
- HURT: Postal Service misses address by a whole continent
- Inside the Ring: China targeting U.S. spy flights
- HARPER: 'Knockout game' not a myth to liberal Sharpton
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
A stat-head’s outlook, direct from his worn in couch cushion.
Playing Through covers the world of PGA golf, as well as tips your the average golfer to play better.