Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Football Is Murder

There is simply no way to justify the "game" of football any longer - it is, quite literally, murder:

When the former Giants safety Tyler Sash was found dead at age 27 of an accidental overdose of pain medications at his Iowa home on Sept. 8, his grieving family remained consumed by a host of unanswered questions about the final, perplexing years of Sash’s life.

Cut by the Giants in 2013 after what was at least his fifth concussion, Sash had returned to Iowa and increasingly displayed surprising and irregular behavior, family members said this week. He was arrested in his hometown, Oskaloosa, for public intoxication after leading the police on a four-block chase with a motorized scooter, a pursuit that ended with Sash fleeing toward a wooded area.

Sash had bouts of confusion, memory loss and minor fits of temper. Although an Iowa sports celebrity, both as a Super Bowl-winning member of the Giants and a popular star athlete at the University of Iowa, Sash was unable to seek meaningful employment because he had difficulty focusing long enough to finish a job.

Barnetta Sash, Tyler’s mother, blamed much of her son’s changeable behavior, which she had not observed in the past, on the powerful prescription drugs he was taking for a football-related shoulder injury that needed surgery. Nonetheless, after his death she donated his brain to be tested for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated trauma that has been found in dozens of former N.F.L. players.

Last week, representatives from Boston University and the Concussion Legacy Foundation notified the Sash family that C.T.E. had been diagnosed in Tyler’s brain and that the disease, which can be confirmed only posthumously, had advanced to a stage rarely seen in someone his age.

Dr. Ann McKee, chief of neuropathology at the V.A. Boston Healthcare System and a professor of neurology and pathology at the Boston University School of Medicine who conducted the examination, said Tuesday that the severity of the C.T.E. in Sash’s brain was about the same as the level found in the brain of the former N.F.L. star Junior Seau, who committed suicide in 2012 at age 43.

Doctors grade C.T.E. on a severity scale from 0 to 4; Sash was at Stage 2. McKee, comparing the results to other athletes who died at a similar age, said she had seen only one case, that of a 25-year-old former college player, with a similar amount of the disease.

The Sash family, who released the findings, said the outcome brought some clarity to the end of Tyler Sash’s life.

“My son knew something was wrong, but he couldn’t express it,” Barnetta Sash said Monday night. “He was such a good person, and it’s sad that he struggled so with this — not knowing where to go with it.”

She continued: “Now it makes sense. The part of the brain that controls impulses, decision-making and reasoning was damaged badly.”

And these concussions didn't just come in the NFL:

Sash came from a football family. His father, Michael, played in college and his brother, Josh, was a good enough high school player that he considered playing in college as well.

Josh Sash, eight years older than Tyler, said his brother sustained at least two concussions in high school, one documented concussion in college and two with the Giants, including one in the Giants’ playoff victory over the San Francisco 49ers that earned the team its berth in the Super Bowl after the 2011 season.

In the San Francisco game, Sash, who was 215 pounds, was blindsided by a brutal and borderline late hit on a punt return by a 281-pound defensive lineman.

“Those concussions are the ones we definitely know about,” Josh Sash said. “If you’ve played football, you know there are often other incidents.”

Indeed, the other, "lesser" incidents of trauma can be just as damaging as concussions:

Experts believe that less severe blows to the head — those not strong enough to cause a concussion — also significantly contribute to the damage that results in C.T.E. These lesser traumas are especially troubling, neurologists say, because they happen frequently in contact sports like football but go undiagnosed.

Like boxing, I don't think football should be banned.

But know that every time you watch an NFL football game, a good portion of the players on that field are going to end up with C.T.E or some other brain-related disease.

If you can still watch football knowing the damage that is being done, more power to you.

Same goes for the men willing to play it.

As for who gets to play the "game," I think there needs to be a conversation about it:

Josh Sash, who has two young sons, said it would be difficult for him to recommend that his children play football when they grow older. Barnetta Sash, who said she had always loved football, felt similarly.

“I want other parents to realize they need to have a conversation with their kids and not just think it’s a harmless game — because it’s not,” said Barnetta Sash, whose daughter, Megan, has three children.

I used to be a huge football fan, but as the evidence has become overwhelming in the last few years that playing football destroys men's brains, I can no longer do it.

How many NY Giants have we learned about in just the past few years who died of brain-related injuries?

There was Frank Gifford and Dave Jennings, now Tyler Sash.

You can bet there will be more.

Football is said to be the national pastime, kinda like the Roman Coliseum was the national pastime for the Roman Empire.

But with our modern day gladiators, the football players, the deaths come off the field after their playing days are over. 


  1. Great post but Dave Jennings of the NY Giants was a punter and I do not believe punters engage in that type of violent head bashing collisions. Maybe he was hit sometimes during the punt returns but I doubt Dave Jennings had any brain injuries playing as a punter.

    1. I understand Dave Jennings was a punter. He died of complications from Parkinson's Disease, which is much different than CTE and yet, is also connected to brain trauma.

      See here:

      Helmet to helmet contact in football is specifically mentioned as brain trauma that can increase susceptibility to Parkinson's Disease.

      Want to bet that Jennings, even though he was a punter, had a few of those?

  2. Then be prepared not to watch Girls soccer and boys soccer cause they get a lot of concussions which will lead to cte .

    1. I guess you do not know who Dave Jennings is then

  3. Fox Megan Kelly go embarrassed yesterday by the Donald. Its refreshing because the media in the US has become and entity that believes they know what is best for the country and they use their media propaganda to further their desires. Instead of being an even keel provider of news, the media in this country has become a real piece of shit by lying constantly, proposing their will on the american people and preying on the un educated to get them to behave in a sheep herd like manner. The press has forgotten that their role is in America because of idiot goons like the murdochs of the Post and the other billionaire who owns the 20 million dollar a year losing business the NY Daily News. Megan Kelly was exposed by Trump for imposing her will and opinion during the debate by demeaning Trump with his so called statements against woman. However, the former lawyer turned journalist Megan Kelly imposed her bull shit opinion during the debate instead of being a moderated like she is supposed to be. THe only reason Fox employees like Kelly make these terrible mistakes is because Fox is owned by the wild man Rupert Murdoch who is the tabliod king and has brought over the tabloid mentality over the the US

  4. It's heart breaking. Each football (and soccer) player is someone's child and was someone's student.

  5. Football can be a very beautiful game, but the glorification of violence (toned down a bit now because of CTE/PR concerns) and militarism alone make it impossible for me to watch. The thought of how these men are being sacrificed/sacrificing themselves makes it so much worse.

  6. SNAP cards and football - the modern bread and circuses. Keep the peeps dumbed down and helpless, it works like a charm. And now Cuomigula wants Mixed Martial Arts....

  7. It won't be too difficult to imagine such kind of more evident thoughts also we have seen those are the elements which are regarded to be of some importance to our own.