By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Whitfield called Senators games in 1969 and 1970. He later hosted a local radio show featuring guests such as Redskins quarterbacks Sonny Jurgensen and Billy Kilmer.
Billy Kilmer once fought through cracks in an ankle and bruised ribs and a busted, bloody nose and, even today, doesn't think much of it. That's life in the NFL. And that's why the ink and angst spilled after quarterback Robert Griffin III remained in last week's wild card playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks despite a bum right knee surprised him.
As late-summer darkness blanketed Washington one night last month, the quarterback came to life. The familiar braids and right arm that hasn't unleashed a regular-season NFL pass towered 74 feet over Pennsylvania Avenue.
Former Washington Redskins lineman Joe Jacoby is among 220 ex-players, spread over seven lawsuits, to sue the NFL over concussions in recent days.
Former Washington Redskins defensive end Dexter Manley, dubbed the "Secretary of Defense" for the vicious hits he delivered, has joined the torrent of ex-players suing the NFL over concussions sustained during their careers.
Over the past 11 months, 2,397 former players have have sued the NFL over concussions, according to a review by The Washington Times of the 90 lawsuits filed through June 14. The plaintiffs, including 19 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, combined to play 168,020 NFL games.
Quarterbacks watch so much game tape that it makes their eyeballs bleed. They're often the first players on the practice field, the last to leave. They're smart, for the most part, and they're leaders — let's not forget that. Leaders of large men in times of crisis.
"A player's not going to make that decision," Kilmer said. "Not unless his legs are cut off."
"They loaded me up with Xylocaine," he said with a chuckle, "and I felt good and I went out and played."