Rick Telander, a longtime writer for Sports Illustrated, now writes columns for the Sun-Times several times a week.â†µ
This morning, he’s written something that should be mandatory reading for anyone who plays football — or is a fan of football.â†µ
Telander played for Northwestern in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s — an era when the WIldcats had their only winning seasons between 1963 and 1995. Among his teammates was Mike Adamle, who played six years in the NFL, including two with the Bears.â†µ
Telander’s article talks about the violence of the game and how it has led to brain injuries for many men of his generation — and younger men, as well — and wonders:â†µ
My mind is flooded with thought. I wouldn’t have given up football. I couldn’t have. Could I? Is it possible the beloved game is not only dangerous but as reckless as juggling chainsaws?â†µ
I wonder what my former teammates think.â†µ
Indeed. With professional football players growing ever larger, and the game seemingly growing ever more violent, the injuries that former players are dealing with are going to grow in number and severity.â†µ
I don’t know what the answer is and I don’t think Rick Telander does, either… but the issue is worth examining. His piece should be required reading for anyone who loves the game of American football.