The More Things Change...

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The More Things Change...

Post by DolFan 316 on Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:07 pm

The more they remain the same. I was doing my usual web wandering and found an article about...WR Anthony Miller joining the Cowboys 20 years ago, just in time for their downfall.

http://www.nytimes.com/1997/09/07/sports/miller-aims-to-prove-his-critics-wrong.html?mcubz=1

What's so interesting about that? Nothing. It's what I read further down the page that I want to highlight. Remember, this is from 20 years ago.

The 49ers' Falling Fortunes

The San Francisco 49ers have a new fight on their hands. They are usually gunning for dominance in the National Conference, but now they just want to stay competitive with the St. Louis Rams in their division.

The 49ers trying stay competitive with the Rams? In the name of Joe Montana, what's going on here?

Injuries, that's what. The future Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice tore ligaments in his knee that will very likely put him out for the season. But perhaps even scarier is what happened to quarterback Steve Young, who received his third concussion in 10 months after he received a knee to the head against Tampa Bay. The backup Jim Druckenmiller, a rookie from Virginia Tech, gets the start today against the Rams in St. Louis.

Young is one of the most competitive players in the league, and while that is indeed honorable when it comes to concussions, that drive to stay on the field at all costs can be dangerous.

Has Young learned from this experience? ''Denial has been a part of his life,'' said Leigh Steinberg, the quarterback's agent. ''From Pop Warner football to the N.F.L., it is drilled into the heads of players, 'Real men play with pain.'

''But finally, with Steve, I think his denial has been punctured.''

Steinberg has sponsored seminars to study the effects of head injuries on players. He feels the league does not take the issue seriously enough.

''It is a horrendous thought,'' Steinberg said, ''but it might take someone to die on the field before the league takes this issue seriously.''

What would Steinberg do to try and cut down on these injuries? Based on his interviews with specialists and players, he said the N.F.L. should:

*Eliminate the artificial surface, which is less forgiving than grass when the head hits the ground.

*Stop allowing the quarterback to get hit after he delivers the ball.

*Have a neurologist on the sideline at all times during a game. ''We talked with the 49ers about having one on the sidelines during a game and they were not willing,'' Steinberg said. ''If they don't want to pay for it, I will.''

*Improve the helmets so they provide more protection.

*There are more sophisticated ways to test brain functions than holding up two fingers and asking how many there are to a player with a concussion. Steinberg's advice is to use them.

''The league has a curiously ambivalent point of view when it comes to concussions,'' Steinberg said.


''The symbol on 'Monday Night Football' is two helmets colliding in an explosion,'' he said, adding that bit of symbolism shows what a dangerous game the N.F.L. is playing.

''I guess the bottom line is we need real changes,'' Steinberg said, ''and we need them now. In Steve's case, if he has one more concussion, there is going to be a serious discussion about retirement. I mean, very serious.''


DolFan 316

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