The League

THE QUESTION

Somebody's Gonna Die?

Is death an inherent risk NFL players must accept every time they step on the field?

Posted by Emil Steiner on September 9, 2009 7:30 AM
FEATURED COMMENTS

jimmykraktov: Just suggesting, in the media, that a player might die during a game is going to increase interest in, and profit from, a game that used to ...

cali_snowboarder: A more interesting topic of discussion would be the fact that NFL players' life expectancies are radically shorter than the rest of the popu...

Nada_: He had spoken the truth as he understood the truth. The simplicity of the decision was as astonishing to him as the decision itself. Killing...

Make a Comment  |  All Comments (22)

ALL COMMENTS (22)
TRACIETHEDOLPHIN Author Profile Page :

What a stupid question. Death is an inherent risk everyone must accept by being alive. Duh!

kguy1 Author Profile Page :

Speak to me not of death. I drive the Beltway 600 times a year.

fdrew Author Profile Page :

This is kind of silly; is this another way for professional athletes to dramatize their lives? Dangerous professions? Try mining, construction, commercial fishing....

gce1356 Author Profile Page :

NFL players are heavily padded, highly paid, big babies. They have their own team medical staff. There's a higher risk of death for a pedestrian crossing the street!

Dellis2 Author Profile Page :

Palmer's comments are accurate: of course there is a risk of death. This is one reason why I consider the NFL a guilty pleasure.

HankC_57 Author Profile Page :

I suppose there is an inherent risk of death in everything we do.

But this begs the question, when *was* the last death during an NFL game (or even a practice)?

there's probably a greater chance of dying by *attending* a game than from playing in one...

dmeado2 Author Profile Page :

This is silly question, statistically working in a factory leads to a greater probability of being killed on the job. And those workers are doing it for $18.00 an hour. Sheesh!

hpdcopsx2 Author Profile Page :

People with an "inherent risk of death" every time they go to work are such people as ground military troops, firefighters, police officers, and such. They assume vastly more risk--and are paid a just small fraction of what these athletes receive.

"Inherent Risk of Death" for an NFL player ? Don't make me sick.

ggreenbaum Author Profile Page :

Has any NFL NBA MLB or NHL player died directly of a sports injury (directly is the key word there) since Ray Chapman? I don't think so. And in this day of top of the line equipment and medical care, I would be amazed if it happens again. Not counting some kid exercising too much in the sun, I'm saying in a game.

rayman107 Author Profile Page :

bigger, stronger, faster. the potetial for injuries seem to have escalated over the years due to the afore mentioned. it has and will be discussed up to the day that it does happen. sad but just a matter of time

dnjake Author Profile Page :

Death is a possibity every time you get in your auto. Some small number of deaths appear associated with high school football on a regular basis. Death is not a significant risk in professional football. But violence is at the center of the game's attraction. The possibility of serious injury is part of the game. But a death might well cause some modification to the rules to prevent a recurrence of the particular cause. While violence is essential to the game, mortal combat is clearly on the other side of the line. On the other hand, a cynic might suspect that talk of death was just some hype to juice annemic ticket sales.

Curmudgeon10 Author Profile Page :

Who exactly cares whether some day some pumped up freak on steroids has a stroke and assumes room temperature?

This is entertainment, and it's relished by those who watch, and certainly enjoyed by those who God blessed, for the most part, with good bones and large muscles.

So is the idiotic "sport" of mixed martial arts, or as its known in some circles "legalized street fighting for individuals othewise lacking job skills."

Of course, in a society absolutely fixated with safety, we could see the development of pads and helmets with mini air bags, miniature radar sets to warn of oncoming tackles, and the football version of the HANS device used by racers.

Anything is possible, as long as it means the three big tests for professional sports: a) it must provide increased profit to the owners, through increased ticket sales, or increases in ticket prices, b) it must allow the football players themselves to demand even more money and c) it must attract and retain even more bloodthirsty fans, willing to spend almost any amount of money on a beer in a plastic cup.

bronsonb Author Profile Page :

Wake up, WP,
Chuck Hughes, Detroit Lyons died on the field in an NFL game in 1976.

Bronson

bronsonb Author Profile Page :

Wake up, WP.....
NFL player Chuck Hughes of the Detroit Lions died in a Monday Night Football Game in 1976.

Bronson

agapn9 Author Profile Page :

Football, baseball, boxing, and many other sports can results in life threatening injuries. The risk doesn't begin at the professional level, high school athletes die as well.

More common are the injuries that ruin someone's body and shorten his or her life.

UnPatriotic Author Profile Page :

The heavier a player is the more damage they are capable of doing, when they hit somebody. This isn't high level science here.

Football is an inherently violent game on a certain level. Protective gear is certainly necessary, but it's ability to protect against severe injury is not unlimited, especially when you consider the players get bigger all the time.

Other commenters have said that players have already died in during a game. If that's true, I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often, when you consider the abuse the game entails. There was a study done not that long ago that showed brainscans of many of NFL players and the results weren't that much different from someone with Alzheimers.

The players get paid well, and it's a free country, so they can do whatever they want. However, there is definitely a price to be paid.

mchaun Author Profile Page :

Don't know what the Per Capita Statistics are, but High School Football seems a lot more dangerous.

Monte Haun mchaun@hotmail.com

Dungarees Author Profile Page :

"Is death an inherent risk NFL players must accept every time they step on the field?" asked another way is "Is death an inherent risk NASCAR drivers (high speed vehicle accidents), hockey players (skating blades and slashing), lacrosse (wild stick action), baseball batters must accept every time...?

The answer is, of course, yes. Just as (said earlier) constructions workers take chances, U.S. diplomats in unfriendly environments, police on the streets of any major city, firemen, steel mill workers, and workers in hundreds of occupations must accept every time they perform their job. But, with few acceptions, football players, unlike boxers (forgetting kick boxers, etc.) don't go to work with the idea that someone is trying to kill them if at all possible.

Is there concern? Yes, of course, but not to the extreme that it's something that you prepare for daily. While I'll agree that there is perhaps a greater chance for serious injury in football than other sports, I can think of many other sports in which the athlete faces great chances of fatality. For that matter, a recent survey showed that many CEOs have security to prevent injury or possible death because of the nature of their profession (CEO of FedEx, etc.)

Yes, a death may happen again; but I don't think that it's a serious concern at this point. And if it is, then maybe the sport, instead of taking precautions, needs to be shut down if the gladiators can't perform without unacceptable risk of death.

revbookburn Author Profile Page :

No individual should die because of a game. However, the NFL as an organization deserves to see a quick demise. After the re-hiring of Michael Vick, spending any money on the NFL is like buying a prison bracelet from Charles Manson. This would be a great time for there to be better coverage of college or lingerie football. Rev. Bookburn - Radio Volta

jimmykraktov Author Profile Page :

Just suggesting, in the media, that a player might die during a game is going to increase interest in, and profit from, a game that used to to be played, and watched, mostly for the fun and exitement of the game. Now that same game has a much different priority. Profit!!
I quit watching years ago.

cali_snowboarder Author Profile Page :

A more interesting topic of discussion would be the fact that NFL players' life expectancies are radically shorter than the rest of the population's, and whether anything can, or should be done about it. I say, no.

Nada_ Author Profile Page :

He had spoken the truth as he understood the truth. The simplicity of the decision was as astonishing to him as the decision itself. Killing was a practical matter, nothing else.

 
 
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