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Grantland: The Head & the Heart (RGIII and concussions)


The Legend
BGO Ownership Group
Feb 1, 2010
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Waynesboro, VA

James Madison

TERRIFIC article here on concussions and the future of the NFL vis a vis our new star:

The way that Griffin came to control the game — careful, but not cautious — was clear from the second quarter, when on one drive he and the Washington offense went 91 yards in 11 plays, eating up 6:36 on the clock in doing so, to go up 10-9 and take the lead for good. Griffin chopped up the middle of the Minnesota defense, mixing inside runs by Alfred Morris with his passes, until he found Santana Moss loose on a seam pattern down the middle for 30 yards to the Vikings' 20-yard line. Five plays (and a relatively dubious roughing-the-passer call on Minnesota linebacker Erin Henderson, about which more anon) later, Morris went in standing up over the left side for the touchdown. On the drive, you could see Griffin taking care of the ball and taking care of himself at the same time, without ever losing the kind of edge he needed to play well.

"Like I told people, you stay aggressive but you just try to be smart," he said. "I felt like I got out of bounds a couple times when I should have. I threw the ball away one time and got a penalty because the guy came and hit me. You try to play smart but stay aggressive. One time, I ran up the middle and I slid for seven yards. You got to live with that and not worry about the eight or nine yards you could have got taking the hit. I told the team I wasn't going to leave them hanging, and I tried to make sure I did that today."

This is a remarkably sophisticated answer for a rookie. In fact, it's a remarkably sophisticated answer for anyone. For years, the prevailing ethic among NFL players was that a player's primary obligation was to stay on the field no matter how seriously they were injured. This created a code of self-destructive omertà, the results of which you can see limping around the various Super Bowl buffets, blankly looking for the wives they left behind a minute and a half ago. What Griffin is arguing here is that he owed it to his teammates to be honest with himself and with his doctors about whether he was ready to play. That honesty about his condition was his primary obligation as a teammate.


The Pro Bowler
Mar 8, 2010
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Middle Earth MD

Having your bell rung or your clock cleaned take on a different meaning today, that's for sure.

Dexter (drug and educational issues aside) would not have a fun time in today's league.

Thanks for the post

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