Okay, I saw all the injuries during the Super Bowl, and ones in the game too!
Last week Jim Tortolano, our perennial newspaper publisher, talked about the violence in football and said I would “come charging off the back page and clothesline (him).” He was insinuating that football has become too violent. This may surprise him. I agree.
First let me define perennial. If you look it up in the dictionary, it will say it is a word to describe a “plant that lasts for two or more growing seasons.” Please note I am not calling Jim a plant.
The meaning I know means “constantly recurring, or lasting for an indefinite time.” Congratulations, Jim.
I remember when they went to the plastic helmets in the late 1950’s. My dad said then that there would be more injuries with those helmets.
Dad played football through the junior college level and, as a quarterback, had his share of injuries including two concussions in the Junior Rose Bowl. Of course he played the whole game, most of it two-way. He told me it was tough to pass to his receivers because he saw many more of them then there were.
Yes, we joked about all the injuries until I broke about every bone in my body playing through high school football in Culver City. Perhaps 155 lbs. was a bit light for a receiver and safety but our linemen didn’t seem to reach 200 lbs.
Poor Jim is worried about being labeled a communist for advocating more safety in football. If that’s the case I’ll meet you at the meetings, Jim. Something has to be done.
The problem is, what? I don’t like the helmet-to-helmet rule when the defensive player is hit with a 15-yard penalty for leading with his head. Jim, and many others, want to take away their first-born and make them live in Minnesota.
Offensive runners lead with their heads. Many times their heads come down as a defensive players come in low to tackle them. If you have these rules it has to apply to the offense too.
I have a solution. (Actually my dad did!) Go back to the hard leather helmets of the 40’s. “Believe me, no body head-butted on purpose in my day!” I agree with that. It’s time.
Jim also pointed out in his “Retorts” last week that a player feels “invulnerable” in a football uniform. Jim actually did put on a uniform on our “Talking Sports” TV show years ago and said at the time that he felt that way.
Is it time to do away with all protection like they do in rugby? Right now we have increased and increased protection for football players. The injuries are mounting more and more every year. I don’t want to go to flag football but we have to do something.
Meanwhile did I hit the score right on the ear in my Super Bowl prediction. I said that at least one team would lose at least three key players to injury. Green Bay did but won the game!
Actually the score was 31-25 with the Packers prevailing. I guessed 28-24. Close enough to come out okay on any small bets I was forced to make.
More on injuries: Actually my son Dave did not have the great Super Bowl party this year. He and his wife Linda ran the half-marathon in Huntington Beach that morning.
I told them they would have plenty of time to get back to Chino Hills and get ready form the party. Dave came up with a blister and Linda pulled something in her leg but they both finished! They are both going to run in the Los Angeles Marathon in March and I will be right there along with them.
I will be there along with them when they cross the finish line. They have trained all year for this. I wish them well.
Meanwhile congrats to Green Bay and Pittsburgh. Great game!
Write to Don Alexander at Journaldon@aol.com.
Editor’s note: So exactly what kind of a plant do you think I am, Do>n — Jim