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Story Archives: Bush had it right
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|Bush had it right|
Sometimes the media just needs to get over itself.
You have these guys who want athletes to be more forthcoming, and then when someone speaks honestly on a subject, it becomes a firestorm.
I'm talking about New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush doing an interview on October 30 on The Monty Show on Sporting News Radio.
Asked if he thought the Saints could go undefeated, Bush replied: "Yes. I do think we have the players, the chemistry, we have the heart and dedication, (and) the coaching staff."
Now there are people doing handstands, acting as if Reggie Bush is the new Joe Namath.
I'm sorry, but I would have had a bigger problem if Reggie would have said, "No, I think we're going to lose two games."
I hope he thinks they can go undefeated. I hope they all think that way.
I hope every player on the Indianapolis Colts think they can go undefeated.
Some folks in the media get upset when athletes don't comment on certain questions.
And then when they do, they jump all over it.
Speaking of the NFL, just like guys who caught passes in the 1960s like Allen Brown, who wonder what it would be like playing now in college where they throw the ball 30 times a game, I have to wonder what guys like Ray Lewis would have been like in th 1970s.
Football is a brutal game. But, believe it or not, not near as brutal as it used to be.
Yeah, I can hear Joe Fortunato now — no kidding!!!!
Fortunato remembers the old Chicago Bear days of hitting a quarterback anytime and anywhere.
George Cupit Jr. can tell you it was a rough game in the 1970s even at the college level when he played at LSU.
Today, you better be careful or a yellow flag is going to be flying.
And let's face it - that's a good thing.
While no one wants the game to become two-hand touch, you only have to watch the kicking part of the game to see how dangerous it can be.
I'm no saying the game has become totally safe now, because you can just watch on Sunday afternoon and see it's still a brutal battle out there. But at least the league is more strict on cheap shots.
I bring this up because I came across an article in a November 1974 Reader's Digest that was stuck in the back of my bookshelf.
"Pro Football: Is It Getting Too Dirty?"
The story by Bill Surface tells of how during the 1972 and '73 seasons, the 1,040 players who started the NFL season - plus replacements for those disabled - suffered an average of 1,101 injuries so severe that they could not return to either that game or a subsequent game or practice.
The article stated that 191 players were hospitalized with such injuries as brain concussions and broken limbs, and of these, 136 underwent surgery.
The story relates of how when two Oakland Raideres saw that they stunned New York Jets' quarterback Joe Namath, they literally danced back to the bench yelling, "We got him! We got him!"
A picture from that game showed Ben Davidson punching Namath when he was down and breaking his cheekbone.
Al Davis, then the Raiders' managing general partner, placed a life-sized copy of the photograph on a wall at the Raiders' offices.
"Mean Joe" Greene was quoted as saying, "There's no such thing as hitting too hard."
The story said the NFL did little to dilute the game's savagery.
It stated that when superviosry officials reviewed films (this was 1974) of every game, any player who they noticed wasn't penalized for a flagrant foul is supposed to be fined. During the 1973 seasons, however, not one such offender was spotted or fined.
With players faster and bigger now, it's good to see the game has been cleaned up.
Maybe now they need to move on to basketball.
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