Sunday, July 29, 2007

"Sometimes I feel like a cripple, but I'm all right. Really. Nobody wants to hear guys like me complain, anyhow"

Currently, there is an important debate taking place off the field regarding the NFL's health care benefits for former players. Many people have no idea of the price that is paid by those who have played the game. Every football fan who wants to better understand what is at stake should read this article about those who played for the 1977 Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys. The frequency and types of physical ailments they now deal with are staggering.

Football is an incredibly popular sport -- I grew up a huge Cowboys fan, and 1977 was a great year I will always remember. The long term effects of playing the game at that level is an issue that affects the continued viability of the game. As the article notes, players do not now stay on the field with the injuries that players often continued playing with in the 1970's. On the other hand, players are considerably larger now. What today's players will look like 30 years from now is an interesting question.

The quote in the title was from Cowboys safety Charlie Waters. He is one of only many former Cowboys described as having severe and debilitating injuries.


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