It is the night before the Super Bowl and the end of the roman numerals. We survived all the way to 49 until the pretentious nature of the number system overwhelmed the powers who control the multi-billion dollar sport of pro football. there was an article in the Milwaukee Magazine recently about Lionel Aldridge, who played defensive end on the first two Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers. Unfortunately he played in an era before much was known about the impact of brain injuries. In those days, they called it getting your bell rung. Lionel broke a lot of ground, as the article explained. At the height of his career, he was fast and strong. But off the field, he was most notable. Lionel went to college in Utah, Mormon country, and fell in love with and married a white woman. And those were things you did not do.
Seau was an opponent you loved to hate, with a long career spanning 20 years. Frankly I was worried that he could have been injured during one of those years, especially with the New England Patriots. He played a position similar to Aldridge in an era many years later and some would have thought safer. Before Seau committed suicide in 2012, he asked that his brain be preserved for science and studied for science. The tests showed conclusively that he had suffered as a result of his occupation as a football player.
We are going to be there cheering in living rooms, bars, hotel rooms and elsewhere across the world to see the outcome of one of one of the most violent sports events of the year. It will be satisfying and people will enjoy the spectacle. Will the quarterback’s bell be rungs before he passes? Will your child’s bell be rung in high school or college? Can any of us break our addiction to this sport?