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NFL Breeds Culture Of Violence, And The Players Are Paying The Price In Brain Injuries

Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – If I understand what has happened here, players who think they may have suffered some dain bramage because of incessant blows to the head, helmet-on-helmet blows, may have suffered minor concussions and didn’t know it, their case is: They never told us we were suffering concussions.  They should have told us that.  They probably knew, they just didn’t tell us.  They bring this lawsuit.  Check out today’s transcript for the rest…

 

Begin Mike Church Show Transcript

Mike:  Andrew, what is the sum total of the settlement from the NFL towards the 4,000-plus players?  Did I see the number as $765 million?

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Is Davis a Traitor? In Paperback, get it signed by the Editor! Click here to find out how!

AG:  That is the correct number, although it’s somewhat confusing getting into all the legalese of it, in the sense that it appears if former players have ALS or dementia or Alzheimer’s, then they’re eligible for up to $5 to $10 million, although I’m not sure if that’s calculated into the number.  There are a number of players that could drop out of the lawsuit or the proposed settlement.  I don’t know if that would then lessen the amount.  It would appear as if at first glance $765 million, which is pennies to an organization that’s going to make $9 billion this year and has the hope of making $25 billion a year in the next ten years.

road-to-independence-BH-RTIDE2-detailMike:  I was just reading this story from ESPN.  Who is Kevin Mawae?

AG:  I know he’s the former center for the Titans.  I think he’s retired by now.

Mike:  NFL Lawsuit

[reading]

NFL lawsuit net outcome? Big loss for the players now and the future. Estimated NFL revenue by 2025 = $27 billion.

[end reading]

Mike:  He’s probably shorting it.  You’re saying it’s $7 billion a year.  Between now and 2025, that’s 12 years.  $7 billion times four is $84 billion.

AG:  That’s in a single year.  They make $9 billion a year singly.  They’re hoping to make $27 billion a year by 2025.

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Mike:  Wow!  This is pennies on the proverbial dollar here.  The reason I think this is a big story is because the lawsuits — let me see if I understand this right.  I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to this, although I have been following the lawsuit story since it began, I guess about three years ago.  I’ve been following it with great interest in the last two years.  If I understand what has happened here, players who think they may have suffered some dain bramage because of incessant blows to the head, helmet-on-helmet blows, may have suffered minor concussions and didn’t know it, their case is: They never told us we were suffering concussions.  They should have told us that.  They probably knew, they just didn’t tell us.  They bring this lawsuit.

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[private FP-Yearly|FP-Monthly|FP-Yearly-WLK]

Some players, and the cases are very famous and very public, have suffered brain trauma to the point where they begin to lose the ability to function in everyday life.  There’s not much they can do.  Some of them have even killed themselves.  They commit suicide in a manner in which preserves their brain.  They leave notes behind saying: I’m telling you why I’m doing this.  Something is wrong with my head and it’s the NFL’s fault.  Please donate my brain to science.  One Harvard researcher actually did receive four NFL brains.  He’s one of the doctors that concluded there is something seriously wrong with these guys.

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For more on Ben Franklin, pick up your copy of The Spirit of 76 right here!

Despite all the medical stuff, you have a gladiatorial society that loves war, that’s us, and loves violence, that’s us, and loves the big hits, that’s us.  Football players basically volunteer to be the people that go on television and in front of packed stadium houses and sacrifice their bodies.  The payoff is huge.  You’re all familiar with the multi millions of dollars that NFL stars can make.  Of course, the ones that make the big, big amounts of money, like your Robert Griffin III, Drew Brees and what have you, you don’t want them getting concussions.

There are two levels of violence here.  You have the skilled positions where you don’t want that guy getting hit in the head.  You don’t want RG3 taking a helmet to the head from Roman Harper.  You don’t want Roman Harper of the Saints going head to head with Robert Griffin III.  The rest of the league is expendable, though.  If you’re a wide receiver or just a running back or tight end or linebacker or safety or corner back, you’re expendable.  There’s someone waiting to take your place.  This is great theater here.  People enjoy this. They pay for it and cheer it on.  Does ESPN even still do “The Big Hit”?  I know they used to.

AG:  They do not do “Jacked Up” anymore.

Mike:  That was what it was called.

AG:  It’s “Come On Man” now, so it’s different.  I don’t think it has anything to do with the hits.  I think the NFL Network has pulled back on doing any of those 30-minute biggest football hits of all time type specials as they recognize it’s like having our cake and eating it, too.  Many sports leagues, we barely touched on the NCAA, they were selling Johnny Manziel pictures at the same time that they were suspending him.  A lot of these sports leagues have certain hypocritical issues that they’re facing.

Mike:  There’s a lot of hypocrisy out there.  [mocking] “Mike, what does this have to do with Syria?”  It doesn’t specifically have anything to do with politics or with Syria.  That’s one of the problems.  We can’t spend all our time on politics every day.  It would drive you insane and it’s not productive.  What I think is at issue here is the insatiable desire of a culture that has completely lost touch with its once very profound, very spiritual and very well-mannered past.  These things are all related.  What you get in concert with the big hit and with all the violence and with the desire to see the violence, with the desire to see what ultimately amounts to, what used to be the darker side of life.  What comes along with that are the Miley Cyruses of the world.

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Here’s the point: there are fewer people paying to get in to see the opera or the Baltimore Philharmonic Orchestra or what have you, or to go take in an act at the theater, or anything else that used to be, it wasn’t even high culture, it was the culture.  Today it has been replaced with these less-than-desirable activities that people like to complain about.  Here is the principle indication to me that we have absolutely lost our way.  You simply cannot use as a defense for all this the one that I keep hearing and seeing, which really annoys me: If you don’t like it, turn it off.  The French are running around cutting people’s heads off in the streets during their revolution and I don’t like it, so just close the window.  Nothing to see here, move along.

That’s when you know the civilization itself is on the decline, when, using the Wheel of Fortune game show as our guide, the RSTLNE is: If you don’t like it, turn the channel, Mr. Church.  That is the lamest of all lame answers to this.  There is something going on here that does not portend great things for the future, folks.  To me, this lawsuit is just another part of that.  It may also be — I don’t know because I wasn’t there — that the National Football League and the Riddell helmet company — correct me if I’m wrong, players can still sue Riddell, right?  They have to sign off on the settlement?

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AG:  I’m not positive if the helmet manufacturer is at all involved in this lawsuit.  Listening to a bunch of different people talk about it yesterday, the biggest issue that this settlement negates is the fact that now the NFL doesn’t have to release any of their documents in regards to what they knew about the concussions in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s.  There’s a big portion of players that think they were either willfully ignorant or negligent of these kinds of injuries at that time.  By having this settlement, the NFL avoids the disastrous PR mess that would ensue if they actually covered up or decided not to even examine these head injuries in the ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s and early 2000’s.

Mike:  Something tells me that the settlement is not the last to be heard of this, and that there will still be people, especially those that are really curious about this, the Erin Brockovich types, that are going: I’m not buying this and I’m not buying your little settlement there.  The way I think about it is, unless you have fundamentally changed the way that the game is actually played and the possibility for this to happen, here we are in 2013 talking about this settlement and it’s very easy to see that in 2028, after another 15 years have gone by, that there will be another 4,000 players that will be lining up going, [mocking] “They ain’t fixed it last time.  I’m still messed up in the head.  You guys didn’t fix nothing back in 2013.  All you did was give a bunch of money away to try to shut people up.”

End Mike Church Show Transcript

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