Benjamin Hochman is a Nuggets beat writer for the Denver Post. A darn good one. Unfortunately, there’s not always tons of basketball stuff going on for Hochman to write about. He’s a born scribe, though. So, during the lull between seasons, he finds other things to occupy his keyboard with – like burger joints and, just in time for the NFL’s big kickoff weekend … BRAIN INJURIES.
Talk about a party pooper. The last thing football fans want to think about today is grey matter. But, Hochman’s column for the Denver Post titled “NFL on collision course to tragedy” promts readers to consider the long-term impact brain injuries will have on the overall health of the NFL and its players.
After assuring us: “Look, I’m not trying to sour the season that has just begun“, he proceeds to totally sour the season that has just begun by pointing out that:
“On the same day the season opened with the Cowboys defeating the Super Bowl champion Giants, a new study suggested that pro football players are not just more likely to have neurodegenerative diseases than the regular population — they’re three times as likely. Lou Gehrig’s disease? The risk is four times greater for NFL players.”
Great. Thanks for nothin’, Downy McBummer. Here we are all, getting ready to grill up some brats, pop open some bags of chips, crack some brewskis and set down to watch America’s game all day Sunday – and Hochman reminds us that the human beings who actually perform on the field could be exposing themselves to long-term risk. What a jerk!
Hochman goes on to speculate as to what it will take to bring the issue of brain injuries amongst active and former football players to the public arena:
“One could argue that AIDS awareness in our country didn’t change until Magic Johnson put a face on it. This pains me to say, but perhaps football fans — and, more important, football decision-makers — won’t truly feel the effects of their sport’s violence until a Magic Johnson-type player undergoes a devastating brain injury.”
Jees! Who asked this guy, anyway? Isn’t there some kind of new sneaker being released that Ben Hochman could be discussing, instead? Or a taco stand or something?