Ed Cunningham has been a college football analyst for Mickey for the better part of two decades. He just resigned his job because he’s grown uneasy with the risk of brain trauma associated with the sport.
Football has seen high-profile N.F.L. players retire early, even pre-emptively, out of concern about their long-term health, with particular worry for the brain. But Cunningham may be the first leading broadcaster to step away from football for a related reason — because it felt wrong to be such a close witness to the carnage, profiting from a sport that he knows is killing some of its participants.
“In its current state, there are some real dangers — broken limbs, wear and tear,” Cunningham said. “But the real crux of this is that I just don’t think the game is safe for the brain. To me, it’s unacceptable.”
… He made it plain that he was not becoming an antifootball evangelist. The sport’s long-term success hinges on moving more urgently toward safety, especially at the youth and college levels, he said. He has pointed suggestions on ways to make the game safer.
But he grew weary of watching players be removed from the field on carts with little ceremony. (“We come back from the break and that guy with the broken leg is gone, and it’s just third-and-8,” he said.) He increasingly heard about former players, including former teammates and peers, experiencing the long-term effects of their injuries, especially brain trauma.
“I know a lot of people who say: ‘I just can’t cheer for the big hits anymore. I used to go nuts, and now I’m like, I hope he gets up,’ ” Cunningham said. His eyes welled with tears. “It’s changing for all of us. I don’t currently think the game is safe for the brain. And oh, by the way, I’ve had teammates who have killed themselves. Dave Duerson put a shotgun to his chest so we could study his brain.”
Makes you pause and think, if nothing else.
Despite breaking a bone in his foot that required surgery, Malkom Parrish hasn’t been ruled out for the Appalachian State game by his head coach.
If Parrish does play in the opener, that’s just more proof that Ron Courson is a wizard.
Texas Tech offensive lineman might seek approval from the NCAA for an eighth year of eligibility.
As you might suspect, he’s been a wee bit injury-prone.
The Tech lineman missed the 2011 season, his true freshman year, due to an injury sustained in summer camp. The same thing around the same time happened again in 2012. And again in 2013. And, unbelievably, again in 2014. That’s right, Morales missed four straight complete seasons because of injury.
Morales’ myriad health issues have consisted of a torn labrum in his right shoulder (2011); a strained knee ligament (2012); a torn labrum in his left shoulder (2013); and another knee issue in 2014.
To give you some perspective, Morales was signed by Tommy Tuberville, which means his playing career has survived Tuberville’s coaching career.
Talk about your inquiring minds want to know…
Former LSU center T-Bob Hebert, now a radio personality in Baton Rouge, decided to get a little more personal with Etling.
“Lloyd Cushenberry and Will Clapp — whose ass feels better?” Hebert asked the quarterback of LSU’s two centers.
“I can just tell you what you’re looking for as far as that in a center,” Etling responded without hesitation. “What you want is a nice, plump bottom. A surface area to put your hands on. You want them to feel you.
“As much as I love Will, and as great a football player as he is, he doesn’t have the biggest bottom. But him and I have really worked toward it. We’ve found a nice surface area to put my hands on.
SEC football, baby. Puts a whole new spin on it just means more, don’t it?
Holy crap. Former UK quarterback Jared Lorenzen now weighs more than 500 pounds.
The NCAA, you may have heard, has ended the long-standing practice of two-a-days. There’s evidently some pretty good data behind the decision.
According to the NCAA’s Sport Science Institute, 58 percent of the football practice concussions that occur over the course of a year happen during the preseason. Brian Hainline, the NCAA’s chief medical officer, says August also is a peak month for catastrophic injuries resulting from conditioning rather than contact, such as heatstroke and cardiac arrest.
“There was just something about that month really stood out,” Hainline said. “We couldn’t say with statistical certainty if this was because of the two-a-days, but there was enough consensus in the room and enough preliminary data that it looked like it was because of the two-a-days.”
It was a fairly easy call, as well, because of the current realities of college football.
Coaches say that because players are on campus working out all year, there’s no need to work them quite as hard once preseason practices begin.
“Back in the day, we used two-a-days to get in shape,” Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said. “You weren’t there all summer. You didn’t come until the second half. They didn’t train from January until June like they do now.”
Jimbo really did a “back in the day” there? That’s real grizzled, man.
Anyway, we finally got a positive from amateurism. Not having a life is good for your health, kids!
That’s Nick Chubb, squatting 600 (!) pounds.
I’m beginning to think there’s something to this whole mind over matter thing.
If he leads Georgia to a win in Knoxville this year, I hope he tears up a piece of the turf and walks off the field with it afterwards.