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Sports world knocked for a loop

Football season is back! Last night was the Hall of Fame game, which, as the Achenbro puts it, "is always a nail-biter." Actually, there are fewer things more pointless than football in August. I'm trying to think of even one. But it's still an excuse to fire up the grill and the bean pot for a little preseason gluttony, just to practice for the regular season when the gluttony really counts.

You may dimly recall that last September we spoke in this space about football's ticking time bomb, the concussion/brain damage problem. Wilbon has more on this today, reporting that the NFL is finally starting to acknowledge that the game may be damaging the health of the players. A year ago, the NFL was still pooh-poohing the latest scientific findings. Unless the entire football establishment, from Pop Warner leagues up through the NFL, figures out this problem, the sport could be imperiled at its foundation -- which is kids putting on a helmet and pads and playing the game when they're 9 and 10 and 11.

Here's a crazy thought: Play without helmets. The highly protective helmets of today simply encourage players to become battering rams. What would happen if football gradually transformed into something that looked a bit more like rugby or what the rest of the world calls "football"?

At least football isn't tennis. Americans suddenly can't play tennis. At least American men can't. The Williams sisters still dominate, but there are no American men in the Top 10 anymore. Andy Roddick got knocked out early in the Legg Mason tournament here in D.C. The headline in today's paper:

Nalbandian tops Baghdatis to capture Legg Mason title

To my knowledge, it's the first time that a player from the tiny Balkan nation of Nalbandia has won a tennis tournament.

At least we sport fans can count on golf to be exciting, thanks to the continued dominance of Tiger Woods. He played this weekend, right? Let's quickly check to see how he did....

Oh.

74-72-75-77 -- 298 -- +18

Tied for last place.

What is this (sports) world coming to????

By Joel Achenbach  |  August 9, 2010; 8:21 AM ET
 
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Comments

Wasn't playing football without a helmet how Gerald Ford ended up in politics?

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

No helmets is the method Dr G (who is currently being paid to be an expert in traumatic brain injury) supports.

My mother was always glad she had no sons to play football, because she loved it so much, but knew she couldn't bear to watch a child play.

I'm happy Son of G gave no thought to playing. I just wish he'd follow football, though. Or even just watch.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 9, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Visualizing a remake that combines the best parts of Home Alone, Weird Science and Risky Business.

Rd, for domestic animals, dogs are remarkably unhelpful in cleaning up unless it involves food or blood. I'm sure you got it done, though. I'll bet you have that rhoomba programmed to do great things.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 9, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Joel, have you mentioned to Gene it's polite to give credit where it's due?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/artsandliving/comics/barney_clyde.html?name=Barney_Clyde

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 9, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Since we all got mudge'd ...

Jumper, thanks for the link. I have a good friend who is very helpful with bikes and other things, but he dropped by and started to go on about what he thinks is a trial balloon to federalize all 401K's. I tried to suggest that, if he is hearing it, the source was probably a right-wing operative making stuff up to get people excited. The problem of this is his great willingness to accept the veracity of the proof.

Here is a return link through the WashPost for Politico

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0810/40800.html

I think that the big Washington-based right wing fund raisers are doing their work for the Republican locals and not sharing with the grassroots people. I hear that money is flowing big time for those fund raisers. Seems that they are just riding sentiment of the tea party locals who are funding much of it "out of pocket."

If you follow the money, you find out the true nature of the beast. We are almost at the one year anniversary of the Post's article about the large funding source from the Koch family around the tea party. Add in the millions of free exposure on Fox and you see what is going on (IMHO).

I figured that the best test of where someone is politically (or tea-pary-ee) is to ask about their opinion about the estate tax. If the response is that it represents double taxation, I try to offer that it doesn't and, for the most part, is a tax on, as yet, untaxed accumulated wealth, the argue, that's the test.

Further, the anecdotal examples of common people (in their mind) cases where folks lose everything because of the tax usual are exempt under current law.

Again, Jumper, thanks! Mother Jones has some nice pieces.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 9, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Football in general is pointless. And boring. And slow.

Did you ever read about the study done for the NFL by George Allen which found that in the typical three-plus-hour NFL game there's less than 12 minutes of actual action?

http://masnsports.com/2009/08/bits-and-pieces.html

Give me a game with strategy and skill, excitement and speed, something like hockey or baseball.

Posted by: greggwiggins | August 9, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Mornin' all!

Yoki, to expand:

It just seemed a bit out of character for him. His mom is one of those who will start calling hospitals in the area if you are later than she expects or if you don't answer your cell when she calls (repeatedly). At times, he has exhibited similar behavior. This time he didn't, and it wasn't what I expected. Hence, puzzlement and confusion (bemusement) on my part.

No big deal, I was just wrong in predicting his reaction.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 9, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I've been saying that we should take away the helmets and pads for years. The first few games would be absolute carnage, but then the players would learn how to tackle without maiming each other. Concussions, while they do occur in rugby, are rather rare, and players are required to use their arms when tackling, rather than turning themselves into human missiles.

Posted by: ttyymmnn | August 9, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Two words: Powder puff (or is that one word?)

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Pointless?!? Heavens Above Man, have you no decency? Here....knock this chip off my shoulder!

When I was a child, only boys were allowed to play organized football, so girls played pick-up games, usually in the street or on large median strips with curbs and manhole covers. No nice manicured fields for us. And wussy boys got safety equipment and cleats. (Try running a play pattern and stopping on a dime while wearing Keds or flip-flops...not so easy.) The closest we came to a uniform was wearing a knock-off Billy Kilmer or Sonny Jergensen jersey.


Posted by: LostInThought | August 9, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Committee meetings and violence -- yep George Will was right about the NFL.

Want to make the game worth watching? No protective gear, 3 substitutions per game (Rosters of 20, maximum), no time outs, no clock stoppage except for injury. And you could play 180 minutes of this in the amount of time it takes to play "60" under the current rules.

And let's make it a real season -- 162 games a year like baseball.

Posted by: vinlander | August 9, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Give me a game with strategy and skill, excitement and speed, something like hockey or baseball.

Posted by: greggwiggins

-------------------------------------

Or curling. Now that I know I'm 1/16th Canadian, I can embrace my obsession.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse


Give me a game with strategy and skill, excitement and speed, something like hockey or baseball.

Posted by: greggwiggins | August 9, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Yeah theres no strategy and skill involved in football. Its like, who wouldnt be able to hit a receiver running at full speed 30 yards away with a DB all over him. Snagging a pass in the endzone while keeping both feet in bounds at the edge? Easy Peezy!

And strategy? Yeah right! Its not like NFL coaches spend hundreds of hours watching film on opposing defenses and gameplanning for them. They are basically just winging it out there! All you have to do to be an NFL coach: "Ok Guys, I need you to get this ball into the endzone. Ill let you take it from here!"

Baseball is much quicker! Timeouts when the pitcher or batter feel like it, there like, no down time between batters, its not like the manager can stop the game and come talk to the pitcher when he feels like it.

The NFL is dead America, face it!

Posted by: ElPresidente1984 | August 9, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Using helmets as battering rams seems like a classic case of relying too much on the technology. It's sort of like pilots who stop paying attention when the autopilot is engaged. Or train operators who assume the automatic braking system will keep things safe. In all these cases we act as if the technology is perfect, when it really isn't.

Now we could, indeed, get rid of such technology, which would certainly keep people on their toes. But this is sort of like eliminating medical insurance as a way to encourage employees to remain healthy. There really are things out of our control. Accidents do happen and an accidental head ram with a helmet is probably a lot better than one without.

So the reasonable response, of course, would be change behavior so that the imperfect technology is relied upon as little as is possible. But this is an awful lot of work. And in the specific case of Football, as Joel implies, you have existential questions.

Now, we have discussed this before to which the interested reader can refer, but essentially the issue how much can we change the rules and still have it be football?

Or, more precisely, how much can we change the rules before fans reject the sport? I like to think that what fans consider good football doesn't require devastating blows to the head, but sometimes I wonder. Even the elegant acrobatic play of wide receivers are often made possible by bone-jarring hits on the line of scrimmage.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 9, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I love football- have always loved playing it- but eventually realized that it is just too hard on the body to keep doing it. (Having a family to support changes your thinking in amazing ways!) I've told my boys that while I love the sport, I will do everything I can to discourage them from playing. They are now rabid golf-nuts, with the twins playing on their high school team...that whooshing sound is the sigh of relief from me and my wife.

Posted by: lee54 | August 9, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

And since my Canadian ancestors came from Scotland, I take umbrage at TBG's mentioning of the phrase 'scot-free' as a term meaning 'avoiding taxes' as if all Scots were stereotypical misers.

Ironically, it is my father who is of Irish-German ancestry who is the one who is a wee bit frugal. Fortunately, that gene has skipped a generation.

(For the record, I got all four 'who's in there on the first try.)

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

hmmmm... *running over to the front page*

Yep. Alert! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 9, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

For a much more formal exegesis on how much violence and mayhem fans will tolerate in their sporting events, might I recommend the James Caan version of 'Rollerball.'

Spoiler: A lot.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I love football- have always loved playing it- but eventually realized that it is just too hard on the body to keep doing it. (Having a family to support changes your thinking in amazing ways!) I've told my boys that while I love the sport, I will do everything I can to discourage them from playing. They are now rabid golf-nuts, with the twins playing on their high school team...that whooshing sound is the sigh of relief from me and my wife.

Posted by: lee54 | August 9, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

I think an in depth analysis will find that being slammed to the turf, especially with the head whipping downward, that accounts for many concussions in American Football (and form tackling is very unique to that sport). Removing head gear won't help that. So unless you want to go to flag or two-hand touch, I can't see forgoing helmets.

Joel's right, its football's Achilles heal.

D

Posted by: rockdoc1 | August 9, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

lee54 must be using google Chrome

Posted by: bh72 | August 9, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Well, it's not boxing. I used to love the heavyweight matches. I thought if they didn't die in the ring, then they'd recover. But I was wrong. I can't watch it anymore. Getting a pretty bad concussion in the '90s gave me a lot of awareness of the problem too. It's a way to lose weight I can't recommend.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 9, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Then there's the matter of padding below the waistline. Football girdles.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 9, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

The entire homoerotic exaggeration of football uniforms has made me uneasy for years. RuPaul couldn't make those pants leave less to the imagination. And I say this as a person who regularly wears biker shorts.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Numerologists take note. It has just come to my attention (via my wife's Facebook page) that today is 8-9-10.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, all.

I played football on just about every level there is, up to college (Too skinny and slow for Bobby Ross. And just as well, as it turns out.). The most fun for me to play were those disorganized street, playground and backyard games full neigborhood kids utlizing natural terrain ("Cut out behind the Pinto and I'll hit you on the sideline at the curb."), but they weren't much fun for anyone to watch because of the unwritten protocols and arguing and general scrummage. Plenty of broken bones, teeth, and blood, though...

Before we get all crazy about playing without helmets, I've said for years that a redesign of football gear was in order. Instead of banning helments and shoulder pads, let's redesign them to reduce their impact when used to deliver blows. Lighter gear (hello, carbon fiber and kevlar), with with soft coverings of a mandated compostion and thickness (think SFI manufactuing standards). Folks used to manufacturing motorcycle and auto racing safety gear should be able to help the current football gear manufacturers with the engineering and development...

Oops, gotta run.

Football in August is an excellent reason to drink beer and argue about training camp dramas (see Hanesworth, Albert, and Farve, Brett).

bc

Posted by: -bc- | August 9, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Dangit, and I already missed 05:06:07!!! *L*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 9, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Ahhhh, street football...

"Filbert, go down to 9th Street, catch the J Bus.

Have 'em open the doors at 19th Street.

I'll fake it to you."

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 9, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

bc,
Sorry about your college career being cut short. It's a shame you never got to play on Bobby Ross's 1985 Cherry Bowl winning team.

Or watch in person his 1990 Citrus Bowl National Championship victory over Nebraska. Oh, wait, that was my team, and I did see it.

And I have no idea how he found time to coach football and still paint all those landscapes.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I wish I had job that paid 6 or 7 figures where going to work involved three hours in which I only had to exert myself for five or ten minutes. "Pointless" applies to American football in every month.

Posted by: dubhlaoich | August 9, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

testing...

Posted by: -TBG- | August 9, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

bc, you and jkt are such youngsters. I watched one of those spring alumni games that they had at MD for a while (maybe in '93) with my brother in law (Les) and Stan Gelbaugh was on the other side of Les.

Posted by: russianthistle | August 9, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

amen!

Posted by: Washington Post Editors | August 9, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I give up. I had a very good post in response to bc about head injury, but the filterbot doesn't like it for some reason.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 9, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

If American football morphed into something like rugby or soccer, it might pick up some fans. But it would lose many more who want bone-crunching action, and these fans would probably gravitate to WWE or UFC. (I saw part of a UFC fight once and many of the holds looked homoerotic.)

Sports Illustrated wrote about quarterback concussions years ago, and I don't remember the name of QB, but he said he was driving home once and couldn't remember where he lived.

Posted by: Carstonio | August 9, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Can't a person use the words "blow" and "head" in the same post?

Posted by: -TBG- | August 9, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

The only time I've attended a football game with a Bobby Ross-coached team, it was the Citadel back about 1977.

Pepper Rodgers was the Georgia Tech coach when I attended, and it was not during Tech's glory years. In 1979, Tech managed to provide a miserable Florida team with Florida's only non-loss (a 7-7 tie) of the season.

On the other hand, Pepper Rodgers did provide us with this quote: "My only friend was my dog, and I told my wife a man should have at least two friends. So she bought me another dog."

Posted by: bobsewell | August 9, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Off-kit: Does anyone else keep reading the name of the woman in the HP scandal as Jodie Foster?

Posted by: -TBG- | August 9, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I agree about the pointlessness of football in August, with the excemption the CFL because of the Canadian climate. Football is a fall sport. I feel the same way about hockey - the Stanley Cup should be held no later than the spring thaw. And no NHL team should be further south than D.C. or Cincinnati or Denver. Having teams in Phoenix and Miami sounds like something out of a Star Trek alternate universe.

Posted by: Carstonio | August 9, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

TBG...

Posted by: russianthistle | August 9, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Me too, TBG.

We finally caught a chipmunk in one of the traps. I'm waiting for "S" to get home to deal with it.

I'm for anything that will minimize the head injuries football players suffer. There was a former Patriot who worked as a commentator on one of our local stations here until he got into some sort of domestic set-to with his wife. When some of the details came out, all I could think of was too many concussions. These players deserve to have lives after their careers that aren't cut short or complicated by the long term damage caused in their playing days. And yes, it's way too early for football!

Posted by: badsneakers | August 9, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

"And you could play 180 minutes of this in the amount of time it takes to play "60" under the current rules."
Posted by: vinlander

Yes, but then you'd lose the bulk of the advertisements, and we all know televised football is mainly a vehicle for the delivery of advertising. A beer-saturated audience is a plus as it lowers the critical reaction levels.

On the other hand, the short bursts of football leave fans time to actually socialize. Perhaps it's the macho equivalent of the ladies' book club?

The real danger of football, however, lies not in what it does to the players' heads but in what it does to ours.

Did it ever occur to you how football, for many, seems to work as an unrecognized cognitive frame for international relations? Ever relation is zero-sum, every conflict is to be solved by force, the only morality is binary good/bad and our side must win?

If we changed the assignments of the media types covering sports and politics, would it be noticed?

Posted by: j3hess | August 9, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I keep reading it as Joely Fisher. I do fear there is some chance I have seen some works it the oeuvre of Jodie Fisher. Like I remember the titles to those movies.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0167546/

And how great a name is Mark Hurd when making punny headlines about a sex scandal?

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Who's spring thaw as the cut off for Hockey, depending where you are that can be pretty early. Although I do like your thinking Carstonio - May 24 should be the end of hockey season.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 9, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Yellowjacket, thank you for upholding your Canucki 1/16th. You are doing a fine job.

On curling you are covered 2/16ths. Curling was invented by the Scots, or so they claim.

Posted by: --dr-- | August 9, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

I would add here that of all the sports and games I watch and follow, NFL Football is far and away my favorite.

As with any athletic endeavor performed well, by the best in the world at what they do it's a pleasure for me to watch, but I identify with football. A lot. (Probably comes from the head trauma I also endured when I went through a boxing phase as a teenager.)

Meant to add - LiT, I have a Sonny Jurgensen jersey. Hey, it was a gift. But a gift I wanted. I liked Billy, but loved Sonny.

TBG, break out the bumperstickers.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | August 9, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I've got 'em all, bc.

Mom's collection--now mine--begins with "Bring Pro Football Back to Washington" from when Otto Graham (with his clipboard) was the head coach.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 9, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

There should be a lot of technology available for better football pads. This company uses a flexy material that hardens when shocked. A number of sports applications, not football:
http://www.d3o.com/

I don't think the University of Florida football field became one of the very hottest in the business through deliberate planning, but the locals seem to use it against visiting teams somewhat the same way the University of Wyoming does with their stadium's 7215 foot altitude. I think Wyomingites pray for snow on game days.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | August 9, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

It's the two-a-days during August for Texas high school ball that really kill off the kids. Everything about competitive sports is designed to either kill you or maim you for life.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Making helmets better is a very sensible thing and one that is hard to oppose. But there is a risk. There is a possibility that in the absence of new regulations intended to discourage excessive violence, improved helmets will simply enable an even more aggressive style of play.

Outlandish, perhaps, but I keep envisioning some future article on the rash of inadvertent decapitations in pro football and what kind of new helmet might prevent this.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 9, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

The Answer: Full anime-style mecha suits.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

My girlfriend just noted that shortly after 17:00 this afternoon, it will be 05:06:07 08/09/10.

Posted by: Yoki | August 9, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Of course, it was that early this morning.

Posted by: Yoki | August 9, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

RD, that's why I suggested using an SNELL or SFI-like organization (or maybe the SFI itself) to develop and maintain football equipment stafety standards, including test facilites and regulation of sale of said equiment to established standards.

Granted, the SFI has the DOT to work with on the government side for vehicular safety equipment -- not sure who at this point would do that for American football. I imagine the NCAA and NFL could put together a new (or fund one of the existing) sports safety organizations to focus on that football equipment specfically.

As great as that sounds, I am leery about safety standards and regulation of baseball bats and hockey sticks.

Or pucks. Oy.

yello, I've been there and done 2-a-days in saunalike Washington Augusts. It's not Texas for sure, and I'm glad of it -- for many reasons.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | August 9, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

We have the worst nanny state in the world and now they want to take football away from us. It is our most popular sport.

There is a reason most of the best players are millionaires - they get paid to take risks.

The NFL needs to crack down on the worst excesses - late hits and deliberate injuries with heavy fines and long - long suspensions - and make players retire at age 36. High School football coaches should be fired permanenly when deaths result.

Posted by: alance | August 9, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

RD, I meant that not only helmets but all football equipment could be revised for greater safety.

As far as your decapitation scenarios go, Auto Racing folks has to face 200+ mph impacts (and attended wicked decelerations) with guardrails and concrete walls a long time ago. And Jim Downing invented the HANS device 20 years ago or so, and has since been mandated by auto racing organizations the world over - seems to me that an adaptation for football rather than auto racing helmets wouldn't be out of the question.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | August 9, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to burst your bubble, but Rugby has a concussion problem too. It's just that no one cares about rugby, so we don't hear about it.

Posted by: allknowingguy | August 9, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

allknowingguy,
Love your alias. Stick around, this blog need more know-it-alls. We keep running low.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

The ScienceGrandpa played high school and two years of college football (disabled by a knee injury, not a brain injury -- so far as he can remember) at a Mid-Western institution with a decent reputation. They wore objects that were misleadingly referred to as "helmets". I have seen the pictures, and they were really more like padded caps, at best. These were in the days when they were just beginning to provide sissy QB's with face guards -- providing a useful handhold for opposing players to try to twist off the head. I believe my Dad would support the contention that inadequate helmets did not make the players more gentle. Exhibit A: two of the three broken nose injuries he has suffered.

As has been noted elsewhere, brain injury results from the brain sloshing around in the skull and bumping into the interior walls, because there is not much in the way of suspension to absorb the impact internally. Thus, it really doesn't matter how good your armor is, if you have a sudden change in momentum (like, say, when a 350 lb. monster stops your forward charge and reverses your direction at the same speed), the only way that your brain can change direction in similar fashion is by bashing into your skull on the inside. With modern helmets, there will be no skull injury, but a brain injury can ensue nonetheless. There are only two ways to prevent it:

(1) Avoid the situation. Stay off the dang field, play a different sport, or learn to dodge Mack trucks that can move like Ferraris (that's a metaphor, son). Every single time.

Or,

(2) Use impact-absorbing armor, like the crumple zones in modern cars, so that the accelerations are moderated. A side-effect is that critical safety equipment may have to be exchanged after every single play. This will make equipment manufacturers very, very happy.

Actually, there is one other possibility: breed football players for desirable traits. That means that you may have to restrict reproduction to players in their 40's, so that they have a chance to exhibit early signs of brain damage and thus establish which ones are better-adapted to football. A female football league is desirable in order to provide trait-selection among a larger population, but not absolutely necessary -- you could select female participants from offspring of football players. And, of course, members of the normal population will still be able to compete for at least a few generations, before the Homo Sapiens Giganteus becomes overly differentiated.

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 9, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I run pretty high myself, yello, at least when the endorphins kick in...

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 9, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

For no particular reason:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVT8t0oHdWY

Heavy, heavy fuel.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Ahem. Football is NOT the favorite sport in my corner of the world. That would be BASKETBALL, thankyouverymuch.

To Mr. T's eternal regret, I have no ability to appreciate football. I've tried, oh how I have tried. Just doesn't do it for me. Too slow, too episodic, etc.

Got great news this afternoon...the peripheral blood stem cell donation that I did a month ago worked! The person who got my cells has been discharged from the hospital. I'm so glad to know he is doing well.

Posted by: slyness | August 9, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

YAY, slyness! And good for your donee!

Posted by: ftb3 | August 9, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

You want football? Rugby football. Far less violent, far more exciting, continuous, far better skilled players, much smarter players. No armor except for some incidental minor padding, strict rules on tackling - that are enforced by ONE referee, not an army of goose-stepping, whistle-manic old men. Rugby football, the ruffians game played by gentlemen, the game for intelligent players and intelligent fans not for the TV/NFL money grubbers and muddle-headed hypnotized viewers.

Posted by: dubhlaoich | August 9, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

SciTim,

I like Dr. Strangelove's Mine Shaft Gap Plan better.

We are well into the Homo Sapiens Giganteus breeding plan already. There have been 158 NFL players who had fathers who also played in the NFL.

http://www.coldhardfootballfacts.com/Articles/11_2270_The_NFL%27s_158_father-son_combos.html

Please note that I am assiduously avoiding quoting Jimmy The Greek.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

slyness, that is awesome to hear!

I'm going to have to disagree on the basketball, actually for the same reason. I rarely have any clue what is going on unless I'm glued to the screen because it moves too fast. Football and baseball I can multi-task or watch at a bar and still enjoy.

As a side note, I prefer to listen to baseball on the radio and watch football. The hits and formations make up too much of football to not have visuals, whereas the slow pace and repetitive nature of baseball makes it easy to follow simply from the commentary.

Posted by: MoftheMountain | August 9, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

I was left completely broke after an nasty poker injury.

Posted by: Boomslang | August 9, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

-dbG-

I love that you spelled Roomba with an "h". I'm going to spell it "rhoomba" from now on. Thank you for your contribution to the language!

Posted by: jlm101514 | August 9, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Hello friends. Football without the helmet would be like asking the players to wear a ballerina outfit instead of their regular uniforms. The violence and the battering is what the guys go for in football! They love that stuff. And all over a piece of pigskin! As to what the NFL knew and when they knew it, the lawyers will figure that out, I'm sure.

Just got back from the surgeon for the back. He can't help me. He suggested this little "dohicky" for pain that is placed in the spine,about the size of a fifty cent piece, and basically just live with the problem. I kind of saw that coming, still kind of sad to hear it though. Oh well, just another wrinkle to cope with in this daily journey of getting older.

I'm planning on attending church tonight, and boy is it hot outside. When it eventually turns cold, I hope I can remember this hot, hot, weather, and feel the heat.

Have a good evening, folks, and love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | August 9, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

*faxing gentle hugs to Cassandra*

Is there any way you can get a second opinion on your back? Is the surgeon an orthopedist or a neurologist? Back surgery can be very dicey. Wish I could send you to my docs. . . .

Had to read the Swedish newspaper to see that the Detroit Red Wings are not re-signing Andreas Lilja on defense. He's been with the Wings for 5 years, I think (one of the colony of Swedes there). Ah, well. Just made me think of hockey season starting in a few months -- well, actually, I just want the weather to change back to winter weather, so I read about hockey news, thought about an ice rink, scrunched up my eyes really tightly, clicked my ruby slippers together three times, saying "I want winter weather. I want winter weather." Fat lotta good that did me, alas.

Book recommendation (if I haven't recommended this before; if so, do ignore): "Cutting for Stone" by Abraham Verghese. Excellent. Tearing through it at breakneck speed. I'm not wearing a helmet, though.

Posted by: ftb3 | August 9, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Good ol' dubhlaoich!! Big, big fan of ruggers. Once you've read a few of his/her often shrill comments about football, you've read most of them, but on other subjects, can be a clever and amusing read.

-----------------
[posted at a celebrity piece about Prince William breaking up with his girlfriend]

Why should we care what this son of perfidious Albion does with his noble time? Does anyone recall that we fought two wars against his ancestors to free ourselves from the tyranny of the crown. Forty million Americans claim Irish ancestry. They are here largely because of the genocide perpetrated upon their forebears by England. Enough!
By dubhlaoich | Apr 15, 2007 9:47:08 AM

-----------------------------
[posted at an "On Faith" piece about Pope Benedict & orthodoxy]

"So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!"
-- John Godfrey Saxe

Posted by: dubhlaoich | October 30, 2009 12:16 AM

Posted by: bobsewell | August 9, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Jim. Now see, if I had a roomba I might have spelled it correctly.

I'd love to get one, but between 2 large, furry dogz (one of whom sheds every day), rugs, tile, wood, I fear i'd return home to find it cowering in the corner.

And that's completely ignoring the issue of the lab who would carry it to the top of the stairs and drop it so she could chase it.

Posted by: -dbG- | August 9, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Oh, on boodle--

I once saw my last lab, Lucia, run head down, head first, full speed into a column holding the back porch roof. She moved it 2 inches by hitting it once.

She backed up immediately, adjusted her path and continued after the ball.

Helmets? Who needs helmets?

Posted by: -dbG- | August 9, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Football is never pointless. Everything else is pointless.

Posted by: Jihm | August 9, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

OMG, dbG! That is painfully funny. Really.

Gotta love them Labs.

*snorting and laughing*

Posted by: ftb3 | August 9, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

I played more than my share of sandlot football, much more than baseball (Little League was too constricted for me and my family that liked to travel and camp in the summer). We were fortunate in having a friends yard big enough for a field. But we were also 11-14 yrs old at the time, and most of us of a particular size (I really wanted to play HS football, but was deemed too small). Not big enough to inflict real damage on each other.
Basketball was the high profile game at my HS (Pat Riley came from there), but I had zero talent, or real interest.

I always thought that baseball was a game designed for the radio (as futbol ['scuse me, soccer] is in Europe), and football was ready-made for TV. Rugby looked great, we had clubs in Schenectady/Albany, but they were certainly subject to injury a lot.

Motor racing has improved safety enormously, with the HANS device and SAFER barriers, but risk in any competitive endeavor is part of the fun! Without risk, what's the point?

Posted by: chip6 | August 9, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

RDP and bc, the problem isn't the equipment, it's the people who organize, coach and play the game. They frame it as a matter of kill or be killed, and any improvement in helmet safety would simply be tranlated into more violence, more danger, maybe even decapitation as RDP suggested (even if it was tongue in cheek).

Rugby "helmets" are to prevent cauliflower ears, not to protect the skull. Let them play with those, or no helmets, for a while, and pile driving would vanish, replaced by different sets of skills, more like the football I remember from the 50s, where a good tackle was grabbing the ankles and letting the runner fall rather than driving head-first into the upper body. Perhaps also change the rules to minimize the need to get/prevent that last inch which likely encourages the head-first upper body play. Like, place the ball at the location of the runner's knees when tackled. (Wasn't that the rule long ago?)

Posted by: Jim19 | August 9, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

One time a few years ago, Dr G, Son of G and I were shopping at Home Depot. Like mature adults, when we were in the aisle where they sell aluminum vent hoses and caps, we put them on our arms (and heads) and pretended to be robots (Son of G did not participate, but laughed at his parents nonetheless). When the (elderly) Home Depot employee found us doing this, he politely asked us to stop.

Dr G, in his serious manner, told him that we were interested in robots. So the guy told us that we should check out the Roombas on Aisle 7.

We've been laughing about that ever since and to this day, we have to avoid the vent aisle in order to keep a straight face.

Posted by: -TBG- | August 9, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

I was going to share this awesome website...

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2009/12/11-emoticons-for-advanced-writer.html

But then my attention was drawn to this MOST AWESOME story...

http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2010/08/09/fed-up-flight-attendant-pops-planes-emergency-chute-at-jfk-slides-away/?KEYWORDS=jetblue

Posted by: -TBG- | August 9, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

It's the two-a-days during August for Texas high school ball that really kill off the kids. Everything about competitive sports is designed to either kill you or maim you for life.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2010 3:06 PM |
-------------------------------
Yeah, makes you wonder why the Republicans have Primaries at all ...

Oh, you mean like real high school football. Sorry thought you were making an abstract comment about pseudo-religions.

Posted by: gannon_dick | August 9, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

I got a concussion once playing touch football. Coed touch football.

Bob S, I like that Pepper Rodgers quote. My guess is that Bess Truman would have done the same for Harry.

Posted by: -pj- | August 9, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Please let me be clear. I was in no way arguing against the need for better equipment, and auto racing seems to have some great technology. But auto racing, if I am not mistaken, has done more than just develop better helmets. They have also taken steps, have they not, to reduce the speeds. This is the part that is hard to replicate. You can give the players better helmets, but how on earth do you successfully install a restrictor plate on an offensive lineman?

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 9, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Joel,

Minor correction - Woods tied for next-to-last yesterday. The results in the Sports section didn't quite go far enough.

Posted by: -pj- | August 9, 2010 7:59 PM | Report abuse

ummm, isn't football any time of the year pointless? I mean it is afterall (at whatever level) merely a game. Second, hate to break the news, but the helmet - even back in the day of leather helmets has been a weapon - I mean many of the players disabled by dimentia are well into their 70's which means their playing days ended in some cases prior to the creation of the Super Bowl. Big difference in helmets from 1970 and today. lastly, rugby? what about Australian rules football - another worthy substitute for American rules Football - which is really pretty boring - 11 minutes of actual action spread out over the course of 3 hours - no wonder so much beer is needed to watch - nudge me when it's the 2:00 warning!

Posted by: notamullethead | August 9, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Just saw that JetBlue item, TBG -- SOMEBODY was having a bad day! :-O

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 9, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of robots, ever seen the movie "Surrogates"? Silly film, but the brief shot of the poster for Monday night robotic football made me laugh.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | August 9, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

>

How about football in Sept., Oct., November....?

I have been trying for years to figure out a more worthless activity than football and I come up empty every time.

Posted by: spike591011 | August 9, 2010 8:16 PM | Report abuse

I remember this article appearing in a human resources newsletter that I receive. Also someone who must have been having a bad day.

http://www.hrmorning.com/what-were-they-thinking-vp-curses-out-unhappy-customer/

Posted by: Bob-S | August 9, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Well, I had a cock and bull story about head blows suffered on-the-job I was going to relate, but it's time for me to go watch SpiderWoman at her nightly work.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 9, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Hey, August football is so relevant that half the season is over when September comes around.
A friend was part of a team that developed a new infantryman helmet in the early nineties. The kevlar-carbon composite helmet was largely resistant to penetration by the widely used 7.62x39mm bullets and a lot of shrapnels but the test dummies kept "dying" from concussions. Back to the drawing board for a better deformation vs penetration compromise...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | August 9, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

There are few things more pointless than American football, American pro and "amateur" sports in general, along with the vast sports-industrial complex with thousands over overly-paid talking heads. How I long for the days when one could turn on the TV at 1:00 PM on a Saturday, watch a couple of Gillette and/or Schick commercials, watch the coin toss, and then watch a quick, no-fuss game of football. I rarely watch football or hockey anymore, never watch basketball or baseball or other sports. They have simply become money-sucking enterprises, less useful to our economy than hedge funds, that drain local economies and suck taxes, while producing nothing. Team owners and athletes are ungrateful and spoiled, and often have far more money than they know what to do with. And I end up paying for it, not because I watch or care about sports, but because, so many companies I have to do business with sponsor this garbage.

Posted by: ptgrunner | August 9, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Changing football will be impossible. It is part of the culture. It is a voluntary thing, typically done by guys who like to show off their strength and skill and compete physically. I bet to a man they don't think there is anything wrong. Many voluntarily do things to improve their performance that they know will ultimately cripple them and/or shorten their lives. They do it anyway because of their love of the competition and the desire to make decent money doing it.

My argument against football is more with the trend towards extremely annoying fan behavior. I can't go to an NFL game any more without having to listen to drunk guys screaming profanities nonstop for hours, all the while playing to the crowd.

I watch on TV instead.

Posted by: baldinho | August 9, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

spike - I'm somewhat more interested in football than you, but am woefully apathetic compared to almost anyone who considers themself a fan.

I follow the Redskins more than any other team, although I still root for Atlanta, and generally have a soft spot for underdogs and interesting stories. At any given time, I can probably name the Redskins' starting quarterback and head coach, and maybe some random mix of a few other players. I know Dan Snyder's the owner. At most points in the season, I'll have some approximate idea of the team's win-loss record, and I'm usually aware of whether they won or lost the previous week even if I don't know who they played.

I probably watch two-to-four football games per season in something approaching their entirety, and some portion of another 6-12 games. If the NFL had to make a living from people with my level of interest, there would be no players holding out on multi-million dollar contracts.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 9, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Q:|

Posted by: Moose13 | August 9, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of borrowing from motor racing, the material they use for rollbar padding is pretty good at absorbing shock and impact.

To be clear, what I'm really interested in seeing are the development and testing of multi-layer football equipment products, such as possibly a helmet with a very slick-surfaced soft outer layer of shock-absorptive padding (to allow helmets and pads to slide off of each other in the event of contact), a kevlar-type composite inner shell, and an inner shell of absorptive padding as well, along with the fitment pads. Heck maybe some sort of impact absorbent liquid/gel-filled helmet liner, too?

Shoulder pads and other pads, too.

And possibly HANS- or Hutchens- type helmet restraints to reduce other head and neck injuries as well.

RD, I don't think it's possible to slow the development of larger, faster players beyond the restriction of chemical assistance (doping/steroid use/HGH, etc.) with testing regimes and penalties to support that, but you can make the equipment less effective as weaponry and more effective in protecting players against trauma-type injuries.

That's all I'm suggesting.

We may not be able to eliminate the problems entirely, but if effective steps can be taken to reduce the chance and severity of injuries, why not develop, deploy, and mandate equipment that meets agreed-upon safety standards? Over time, the technologies and products will evolve and get better, but without some sort of incentive, it's not going to happen.

F1 did a lot in the wake of Senna's fatal accident in '94, and NASCAR after Earnhardt Sr. in '01, and there have been lots of trickle-down of those technologies and products as they've been developed and refined over the years to lady- and gentleman-racers like myself. Not sure how many lives have been saved and injuries prevented by amateur racers worldwide by that (and SFI, SNELL, etc.), why not the same for American football?

bc

Posted by: -bc- | August 9, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

"RD, I don't think it's possible to slow the development of larger, faster players beyond the restriction of chemical assistance (doping/steroid use/HGH, etc.) with testing regimes and penalties to support that, but you can make the equipment less effective as weaponry and more effective in protecting players against trauma-type injuries.

That's all I'm suggesting.

We may not be able to eliminate the problems entirely, but if effective steps can be taken to reduce the chance and severity of injuries, why not develop, deploy, and mandate equipment that meets agreed-upon safety standards? Over time, the technologies and products will evolve and get better, but without some sort of incentive, it's not going to happen."

bc, my suggestion is to modify the rules so that player-as-weapon isn't part of the game in the first place. (Why is this not questioned?) I don't know the game in enough detail to say just how to do that, but I think that would be a useful way to approach it.

LTL-CA

Posted by: Jim19 | August 9, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Despite some intemperate comments last season about swearing off football, I watched some and will watch some again this year. My level of interest is a notch or two higher than Bob-S's, perhaps, but still well short of the true fan. It takes a lot a concentration to watch a game properly, and I don't have the time.

On the other hand, I can't stomach boxing at all. It wasn't always that way. Like a lot of college kids in the 1970s, I was a Muhammed Ali fan, and I remember how enthralled we all were by the Rumble in the Jungle (the rope-a-dope fight), which actually took place live on regular free TV. But I also saw the fight in which the Korean fighter was killed, and that did a lot to ruin boxing for me. I have to admit, however, that the lack of quality American heavyweights, and the circus that the heavyweight division became, also contributed. It wasn't all pure on my part. In any case, nothing now could make me go back, not after too many times seeing the great Ali in his current condition.

So what about football? Sometimes things do change, and cultural shifts do occur. I wouldn't be sorry.

Posted by: woofin | August 9, 2010 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Jerry G

Posted by: teddymzuri | August 9, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Let's see. We already have rules against clotheslining, facemasking, clipping, spearing, roughing the kicker, roughing the passer, and who knows what else. With every new rule, they come up with a creative new way to maim each other.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

It's all been downhill since they banned bear-baiting.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 9, 2010 10:05 PM | Report abuse

The great thing about Donovan McNobb is he wins souper bowls.

(With a real panhannel twaing) HERE WE GO COWBOYS, HERE WE GO!!!

Posted by: teddymzuri | August 9, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

We miss you, senor.

Posted by: teddymzuri | August 9, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

The present shape of the game is the result of rules changes to prevent injury. Pre-WWI, the favored formation was the flying wedge. An arrowhead-shaped phalanx of blockers would run over the opposition and basically trample them, causing a lot of serious injuries. That, combined with a problem of professional "ringers" on college teams, caused Teddy Roosevelt to pressure college football to clean up its act. At that time, this meant the Ivy League. They were the original football factories. Anyway, one result was the rule requiring seven men on the line of scrimmage, and I think possibly the rule about ineligible receiver downfield, as well.

But I daresay y'all already know this.

Posted by: woofin | August 9, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

I want to watch a show I made up: about ten teams are formed, and each team, containing celebrities, coaches & athletes, scientists, sports doctors and whatnot, develops a BRAND NEW SPORT. Over a few episodes, each team hones and refines the rules, and each team is kept separated from the others, video-ed in secrecy. Then each team unveils their created sport and demonstrates it to the audience! This is good for another ten shows. Then the judging! Stupid brand new sports are eliminated and only the coolest new sports remain. Finally the best brand new sport wins, and people start playing it!

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 9, 2010 10:15 PM | Report abuse

woofin, I'm still confused. How does the designated hitter rule work in all of this?

jumper, I'll go with the game Calvin and Hobbes invented. What was that called? Calvinball?

Posted by: -dbG- | August 9, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

A good friend offered to teach me football. It didn't take. So sorry I have nothing to say on topic.

Posted by: Yoki | August 9, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I vote for 43-Man Squamish.

Posted by: woofin | August 9, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

"Let's see. We already have rules against clotheslining, facemasking, clipping, spearing, roughing the kicker, roughing the passer, and who knows what else. With every new rule, they come up with a creative new way to maim each other."

Right. What we don't have is rules about the basic objective of the game that make all that mayhem counter-productive.

LTL-CA

Posted by: Jim19 | August 9, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

The finest participatory sport ever: "Moopsball is a contact sport played by up to three hundred and twenty-four people, divided into two teams, for three days, on a field more than ten times the size of a football field."

http://eblong.com/zarf/moopsball/index.html

Posted by: ScienceTim | August 9, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm holding out for Hooverball with camels.

Posted by: Jumper1 | August 9, 2010 11:07 PM | Report abuse

*Snort!*

Posted by: Yoki | August 9, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

SciTim - It will probably not astound you to find that when I was attending Georgia Tech (1978-1980) Moopsball was a fairly frequent reference, and I'm pretty sure I heard about (but didn't witness) a attempt or two to stage a match.

Posted by: Bob-S | August 9, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

woofin - It's definitely not just you who's moved away from boxing. Howard "The Mighty Mouth" Cosell gave up on it when nobody stopped the severe beating that Larry Holmes laid on Tex Cobb, just weeks after Kim died from the injuries in the Mancini fight. [Horrific sidenote: Both Duk-Koo Kim's mother and the fight's referee - Richard Green - committed suicide within about six months of that Mancini-Kim fight. Mancini never really got over it.]

He (Cosell) said he wouldn't comment on any more professional fights if they didn't have the integrity to stop the Holmes-Cobb fight, and I don't believe that he did so.

Wasn't long thereafter that I started down my path, first to disinterest, then to revulsion. You can probably imagine my feelings about the current "Mixed Martial Arts" circuit. The thoughts are not kind or tolerant.

Here's an old Sports Illustrated article regarding the concerns about brain-rattling, circa 1983.
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1120728/index.htm

Posted by: Bob-S | August 9, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

how about lacrosse? in some cases, thousands of people could be involved as a means of settling intertribal disputes without a war.

Posted by: -jack- | August 10, 2010 12:27 AM | Report abuse

That would be a melee.

Posted by: Yoki | August 10, 2010 12:33 AM | Report abuse

no, the bog at watkins glen during. the race weekends ca. 73-79 was a melee

Posted by: -jack- | August 10, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

SCC: forg. ot how to. use. a period.

Posted by: -jack- | August 10, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Hah!

Posted by: Yoki | August 10, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

yeah most of us can save huge on our car insurance by making few simple changes find how much you can save http://bit.ly/d4HSCH

Posted by: devinjoel10 | August 10, 2010 1:32 AM | Report abuse

I hate bots.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBQ0wLT2g9g

Posted by: Yoki | August 10, 2010 2:34 AM | Report abuse

Warren Zevon and Boom Boom Mancini

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCpdkbo-_co

Posted by: yellojkt | August 10, 2010 5:27 AM | Report abuse

Hit Somebody: The Hockey Song

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PokDj9u09A&feature=related

Making Warren Zevon the poet laureate of violent contact sports.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 10, 2010 5:32 AM | Report abuse

And nobody ever talks about those fatal broom injuries from Quidditch. If you fall off chasing that golden snitch, it's a long way down.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 10, 2010 5:35 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if JA's left the Zapper on some shelf in a back closet or something...

It's not too terribly difficult to be repulsed by MMA or ultimate mangling or human (male chicken)fighting or whatever you want to call it. And SI had a recent piece on the Iroquois lacrosse team -- don't recall much mention of concussions, but violence aplenty.

Speaking of violence, my back is taking revenge for having been forced to transfer a window A/C unit through narrow spaces in order to replace the unit damaged by our siding contractor...

*it's-gonna-be-a-naproxen-and-rest-at-home-kinda-day Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 10, 2010 6:11 AM | Report abuse

And they don't even wear any protective gear, much less a parachute. Irresponsible.

Posted by: gmbka | August 10, 2010 6:13 AM | Report abuse

Scotty, I went to a small-scale MMA event about 4 years ago. The crowd watching was more interesting to me than the bouts. My wife worked with someone who was dating a participant (a former North American kickboxing champ). I met him a few times afterward. He is a pretty good guy. He is now in the military. Despite his late-30s age, he enlisted a couple years ago.

MMA is the refuge of the tough-guy and tough-guy wannabe. I say this with no disdain. There are certain folks that live and love that lifestyle. They don't play football any more, and boxing is too black, probably. MMA is the way to go for them.

I do not begrudge them. Different strokes for different folks.

Posted by: baldinho | August 10, 2010 6:50 AM | Report abuse

I don't begrudge anyone a (quasi) legal avenue for their homicidal tendancies, baldinho. It's the audience's bloodlust that bothers me. I just don't watch MMA.

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 10, 2010 6:57 AM | Report abuse

For context, think of 4chan as the anti-boodle:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/09/AR2010080906102.html

And don't ever visit the /b/ forum. Take my word on it.

Posted by: yellojkt | August 10, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

This article on nuclear safety sure could have used some quotes from a knowledgeable source:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/09/AR2010080904141.html

Posted by: yellojkt | August 10, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse

The Oregon Tea Party apparently didn't do a lot of research before trying to appropriate 4chan's "Anonymous" meme, and I don't think they'll win that particular contest.

yello, it's entirely possible that Slate writer spoke to an absolutely authoritative source. Who knows, that source might even find the piece fairly reasonable... :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 10, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

Good morning everyone, very steamy here, yesterdays rain (much needed) did little to cool the air, currently temp and dewpoint almost the same (around 70), going to be a hot uncomfortable week.

Have a great day everyone.

Posted by: dmd3 | August 10, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Morning, friends. Thanks for the love, ftb3. Doctor just said the area was too big for surgery. In other words, whole lower back pretty much gone. The "dohicky" thing is to help the pain, though, I suspect I could become a lightening rod of sorts. You think? Ah, technology, got to love it.

It's suppose to be 98 or 99 here today. Just thinking about it makes me sweat. That is just so hot, hot. That kind of weather just drains a body.

I know some of you may think my imagination is running wild with me, but I'm not making this stuff up. Some of these folks are getting really nasty in these stores. I went to the grocery store Sunday after church, and the cashier didn't have her light on but was still checking folks out, so I asked her if she was off, and she said yes. I went to another check out. Bless me, the one I asked if she was off, has a whole line of people she's checking out. Her line is longer than the line I'm in. And not a one of them looks like me. What happened?

Have a wonderful day if that's possible with all the heat, folks, and love to all.

Posted by: cmyth4u | August 10, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all. Hi Cassandra, I hope you will get a second opinion.

Hot here today also. I think I'll stay in as much as I can.

Yesterday's trip to the local kids' science museum with my favorite twin boyz was a blast. So much fun to watch them having a great time!

Much to do today, so onward...

Posted by: slyness | August 10, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

*faxing more gentle hugs to Cassandra, along with a buncha air conditioning*

Cassandra, if possible, you might get some benefit from physical therapy -- at least to get some exercises to do (even from your bed, so you don't have to get down on the floor and then try to get back up again (I know how *that* goes!)). Since I've started doing some exercises, my back isn't nearly as bad as it once was. Not perfect yet, and I may still need surgery, but it is better.

Posted by: ftb3 | August 10, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

*additional gentle HUGSSS & cool breezes to Cassandra*

It's always interesting when contractors want to share their political views with you. *eye roll*

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 10, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

And a NEW KIT! :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | August 10, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

You are my hero and once and for all the customer(that includes me)is NOT ALWAYS RIGHT!!!

Posted by: corintonic | August 10, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

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