Life may not be fair, but it’s complicated.

Chip Towers catches up with the former Georgia player who’s one of the plaintiffs in the new wave of concussion-related lawsuits filed earlier this week, and it’s just so sad.

In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday, Hermann said he suffers from severe memory loss. He said he has been undergoing medical treatment and getting tests from neurologists and his family doctor to try to determine if the symptoms that he suffers are the result of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (or CTE).

However, Hermann did not want to talk about the specifics of his case due to the pending litigation.

“This thing has taken on a life of its own,” he said before going off the record. “I’m a very private person. … I’ve had reporters calling me all week and I’m like, ‘this is not what I was signed up for.’”

Hermann would say only that his cognitive skills have been deteriorating rapidly over the last several years and blames it on 18 years of playing football, and those three years in Athens in particular.

In the suit itself, Hermann claims that he suffered “numerous concussions” while practicing and playing special teams for Georgia in from 1984-86 and has suffered memory loss as a result. The suit specifically references a hit Hermann took on a kickoff in which he “saw stars.”

Georgia is not named specifically in the suit. It targets the NCAA and the Southeastern Conference.

“I love UGA,” Hermann said. “This isn’t about them.”

Dignity, a love of the program… and the realization that something stemming from his playing days is wrong and getting worse.  I’m not sure how I would handle all of that were I in his shoes.  Wishing him the best seems inadequate, but it’s all I have to offer.

14 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, See You In Court, The Body Is A Temple

14 responses to “Life may not be fair, but it’s complicated.

  1. So these guys didn’t realize that football was a contact sport that (by design) necessitates hits onto yourself and other players?? That never occurred to them that injuries could be a result of that abuse?

    Are we really supposed to believe that football players don’t realize that injuries can happen from the result of the game??

    Cry me a friggin river. This is like suing McDonalds because the coffee was too hot…

    • Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that woman won her lawsuit.

      • 83dawg

        Correct.
        McDonalds was apparently represented by lawyer like the ones who work for the NCAA.
        The lady asked for $20,000 from McD;s for medical expenses (of which she had already paid $10k herself). McD’s offered $800, and the lady lawyered up.

        McD’s went to trial and promptly destroyed their side of the case with their own witnesses, who, in the only way McD’s ever looked good in this, told the truth under oath, and really pissed off the jury.

        McD’s own witnesses established that the 180-190 F temp they were required to hold the coffee at was “not fit for consumption” and would immediately scald anyone who spilled it or tried to drink it, that there had been 700 claims for coffee burns filed in the last 10 years that McD’s had paid out over $500k in settlements, and then ultimate bad McD’s witness.

        McD’s quality control manager testified that (a) 70 severe burns to customers per year were insufficient for McD’s to evaluate its policies, and (2) that restaurants had more pressing dangers to warn about.

        Ouch. Jury awarded $200k actual damages, reduced by the 20% responsibility they though the plaintiff had in the case (she spilled the coffee) to $160k. Being severely annoyed at McD’s they awarded $2.7 million in punitive damages (the amount of money McD’s gets from selling coffee for 2 days), which the judge reduced to $480k. So the total award was for $640k. Both parties finally settled out of court instead of dragging through the appeals process.

        I swear the NCAA must have hired McD’s legal team…

        • 83dawg

          Oh, and the ‘reason’ McD’s wanted the coffee that hot, especially in the drive thru, was that they assumed that those customers were commuters and that they still wanted the coffee to be warm when they got to work.

          • Mayor

            83, one time I had to defend an apartment complex that had its water heater in an apartment set so high that a disabled woman was scalded to death. You think there is a legitimate business reason behind why management does the things it does but often it is just plain ignorance. If coffee gets cold on the ride to work all the customer has to do is put it in the microwave on arrival.

        • One of those stories that sounds absurd on the surface, then perfectly reasonable once explained.

          How much of our world is like that? How many people actually care to dig?

    • Are we really supposed to believe that football players don’t realize that injuries can happen from the result of the game??

      I think they all understood that it would suck to walk in their 40’s and 50’s and they were going to have some lifelong aches and pains. What they’re asserting is that these organizations knew that football was causing irreparable damage to the brain which could literally change who you are as a person and didn’t share that information with them while still raking in money hand over first from their brain-bashing efforts. I imagine that many of these guys would still choose to play football given that information upfront, but I also think it’s fair to expect that a specific hazard like that should be disclosed to you when the organization knows about it.

      Re: your McDonald’s example – I’m pretty sure the woman won her lawsuit, but the payment was reduced because she held partial responsibility for being reckless with the cup. It still doesn’t change the fact that McDonald’s kept its coffee heated at a level that would cause burns because it provided a better aroma that made people want to buy coffee when they walked in.

      • Gaskilldawg

        You and 83 Dawg are correct about the McDonald’s case. Further info: McDonald’s knew that folks buying coffee at the drive=through often spilled their coffee due to having to drive. they knew it was scalding. Those who complain about the case where “the woman got a million dollars because she sipped hot coffee” do not know that the spill resulted in third degree burns to this grandmother’s vagina, requiring corrective plastic surgery.

    • Walt

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but Hermann’s case is not blaming football, but rather the way his concussions were improperly treated.

  2. mwo

    I played football from when I was 6 until I graduated high school. Our high school helmets were the old suspension type with a rope liner and very little padding. We used to high five each other for good hits when we saw stars or everything smelled funny. I’m 55 now and forget shit all the time. I attributed it to the pot we smoked in high school, not all the shots to the head playing football.

    • Cojones

      Would you care for a cookie to help tie down the cause (for you) forever? Take your time, but I can tell you that I know of no residuals after long-ago pot usage that could possibly phase your memory. “I once smoked pot” doesn’t seem to have a causal relationship years afterwards on what is happening to your memory now, but injured tissue could. At your age you should get that checked out pronto. Medical bloggers here could suggest the best avenue.

  3. Cojones

    Years ago, when my oldest born-in-St Mary’s son was around 11-12, he decided to try football because he was taller and athletic more so than other kids. He came home after the first scrimmage and told me that he didn’t need to play in a sport that “nearly knocked my brains out” and ,while he appreciated and enjoyed the game, he didn’t have to play it. While prophetic about football, he continued to pursue baseball that year in a summer league and was on the All Star Team having been elected to it by his new teammates.

    I had no objections when he quit nor when his All Star Team won that summer.

    “Out of the mouths of babes……”.

    • Cojones

      I truly sympathize with Hermann and feel the tearing in his loyalty. He didn’t have to clarify that he loved UGA, but he did. Good on him and good luck with trying to discern whether it afflicted his ability at a normal life.

      We all would like to know more about football and brain injury since so many great and retired players complained of it, some before their suicides. Somehow, I separate that out as faux sensitivity whenever I appreciate a vigorous tackle including separating an opponent from his cleats. Guess it’s part of the dark hypocrite side of me that wants beastly satisfaction, especially vs FU for their insulting behavior for so many years.
      When I was at UGA, FU was a doormat and whenever they tried to raise their head as they did with Spurrier at QB, Bill Stanfil was there to settle his hash. They never had a reason to insult those UGA teams after they had their asses pounded into oblivion.

  4. RugbyDawg79

    I played Rugby at UGA – yeah I got it in the head a lot –what were we talking about