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Sean Payton suspended for a year

The NFL is king. Feel free to pay your respects.


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

James Madison

Interesting take from a former player:

I went to see “The Hunger Games” the other night. In this science-fiction movie, 24 people fight to the death in a forest as entertainment for the masses. As I walked out of the theater, I found myself drawing parallels to ancient Roman gladiators and even Monday Night Football—and then wondering: Are we so different now?

“It’s gonna be a battle out there today, men”
I know the metaphor of sport as warfare is cliché. The comparison is, at best, lazy, and, at worst, blatantly offensive to those who make the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country. After all, NFL players are extremely well compensated, playing a game, and doing so with few, if any, altruistic motives.

But even if the metaphor is both lazy and offensive, it is not irrelevant. The culture in an NFL locker room, for better or worse, is similar in many ways to military culture: A team of young men, maniacally focused on a common goal, operating under a strict chain of command with enormous resources built around winning a brutal conflict. Both cultures use routine and repetition to familiarize and, in some cases, desensitize fighters to the unnaturalness of what they are asked to do.

I played strongside linebacker, a particularly gruesome position, often charged with taking on the fullback in what’s known as an “iso block.” It amounts to having two 250-pound men start ten yards apart and sprint full speed at each other. Create a pile. Disrupt the play and let someone else make the tackle. This was my job, in large part, for eight years in the NFL.

Scientists have used accelerometers to measure severe NFL hits. The equivalent in terms of g-force? Jumping off a diving board from 10 feet and landing on pavement. According to Popular Mechanics, a typical roller coaster exerts about 4 g’s of force. The most violent collisions in the NFL exceed 150 g’s. As our athletic trainer would explain when I’d hobble into the facility on a typical Monday, I’d endured the equivalent about 20 mild car wrecks the day before.

It turns out that’s not good for you. But everything about my training as a football player led to the act itself and the next day’s soreness being accepted as part of the job.

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