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Sue The NFL For Concussions? Get Your Head Examined!

Now that the Super Bowl is over, the really big game begins. And it’s going to be a head-knocker .

On one side we have the raiders. No, not Oakland, but the Trial Lawyers, who delight in raiding everything good and decent in America. They are representing former NFL players in their fight against the evil empire, a.k.a. the National Football League. At stake? Upwards of ten billion dollars, and possibly, the existence of the NFL itself.

And what is the nerve center of this federal lawsuit, filed in Philadelphia, that have the plaintiffs so mad they’re seeing double? What went so wrong that these former players, given a life of royalty by the NFL, now want to ring the League’s bell?

They suffered concussions playing football.  No lie.  That’s actually the basis of the lawsuit.

The sheer stupidity of such a suit makes you wonder if they really did get hit too many times, because no one of sound mind could dream up something like this.

It would seem, therefore, that their motive is rooted in something else. In the preferred legalistic nomenclature, they’re looking for a handout.

Maybe they’re bitter because they didn’t play in the era of massive contracts. Maybe it’s because they can’t function as “regular” guys after being worshipped for so long, which, for many, started in grade school. Others may feel lost, with football the only thing they know. But their commonality is thinking they are entitled to something.

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The outcome of this lawsuit should be a no-brainer. But given the insanity in America’s civil legal system, a jackpot jury award is definitely possible.  (NFL Properties and helmet maker Riddell are defendants, too.)

The players claim the NFL hid information linking football-related head trauma to permanent brain injuries (such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease). In addition to monetary damages, they want the NFL to assume responsibility for the medical care involved for those players suffering from those health problems.

Let’s look at the case objectively:

1) This sense of entitlement is not just misguided but inappropriate. No one held a gun to players’ heads to sign lucrative contracts and become celebrities to play football.  They’re big boys, and chose their profession — with its risks — of their own free will.

2) And yes, there are risks. Plenty of them. Football is not a contact sport; it’s a collision sport. It is an intensely physical, violent profession. That’s why God made pads and helmets, but any third grader can tell you that those things only help to minimize injuries, and can never totally prevent them. The NFL is not a flag-football league, but one with punishing hits. That’s the game. Players can take it or leave it.  Not surprisingly, they take it.  Always.

3) The pass-the-buck, take-no-personal-responsibility attitude so prevalent in America is once again on full display. Players knew the risks, reaped immense rewards, and now, after the fact, want to blame the NFL for their issues. And are we really supposed to believe that the NFL willfully engaged in a grand conspiracy to keep players in the dark about the effects of hard tackling? To swallow that, we must assume that the League had every doctor in the country on the take, preventing them from speaking to any player who had questions about concussions. And that it somehow inhibited medical professionals from conducting research into concussions and brain injuries.

4) Did the NFL, the medical community and our society know as much about concussions several decades ago? No.  Is there a concerted effort now to better understand brain trauma, and to make all sports — including NFL football — safer? Absolutely.  That’s not malfeasance. It’s progress.

5) Is the NFL culture one that glorifies big hits, highlights them on NFL films, and encourages playing through injuries? Yes, but so what? Fans love when players get leveled, and players love delivering big-time jolts, which often help their team. Gutting it out has always been a source of pride for players, who do it not to secure the next big contract but because they love the game.  An admirable choice, but a choice nonetheless.

6) Where does it end? Should a firefighter who gets burned sue the fire department? Is a baker responsible because an obese donut-eater develops heart disease? And should office workers who develop carpal tunnel syndrome have legal standing to sue their company?

Some jobs have higher risks, and playing NFL football is one of them. But given the lavish rewards, it’s an acceptable risk to players — past and present.  And regarding former players who state that, if they had today’s knowledge back then, they would have opted out — give us a break.  Not a chance in the world.

7) The NFL (and the Players Association) has spent more than a billion dollars on pensions, medical and disability benefits for retired players.

The NFL also operates numerous health programs for current and former players, and offers medical benefits to former players, such as joint replacement, neurological evaluations and spine treatment programs, assisted living partnerships, long-term care insurance, prescription benefits, life insurance programs, and a Medicare supplement program, according to the League. Equipment has improved, and safety has increased, including outlawing certain types of hits.

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Is it sad that some former players have trouble walking, concentrating and living a “normal” life? Sure.  Is it a tragedy when a few commit suicide? Absolutely.   But it’s time that these players stop blaming others for their situations and look in the mirror. They made their choices, and for most, lived a fairy tale.
If they now choose to feel sorry for themselves, or regret their choices, fine.  But it’s a personal foul to ruin the game not just for current and future players, but for the ones who allow the League — and its former players —to be so successful: the fans.

And you don’t need your head examined to see that.

Nationally in Newsmax:

http://www.newsmax.com/Freind/NFL-Concussions-Lawsuit-brain/2013/02/07/id/489347

 

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television/radio commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com  His self-syndicated model has earned him the largest cumulative media voice in Pennsylvania. He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com

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February 12, 2013 at 10:03 am Comments (0)

Ravens’ Cheerleader Has No Right To Super Bowl

 

Baltimore Has Every Right Not To Send A Plump Cheerleader To Big Game

“Originally I would have loved to go to the Super Bowl, but at this point it looks like it’s not going to happen…. I can’t say I didn’t expect it, but at the same time, they owe that to me.”

So pontificates Courtney Lenz, a Baltimore Ravens cheerleader whom the team did not send to the Super Bowl.

Talk about carrying the massive chip of entitlement on her plump shoulder.

But fear not! A movement is underway by misguided souls (aka idiots) using social media to mount a campaign aimed at changing the team’s mind. One of the organizers even threatened to boycott the game, stating that because of this unconscionable incident, people want to burn their jerseys and no longer support the Ravens.

Great! Do it! Burn everything with a Ravens logo and stay home from New Orleans! One empty seat at the world’s biggest sporting event will most definitely teach those mean-spirited Ravens!

And, naturally, the national media has picked up Lenz’ cause, fawning over the “beauty’s” plight and unashamedly biasing their stories to reflect negatively on Baltimore — without, of course, looking at its side of the story.

Thank God we don’t have any problems in this country other than rallying around a cheerleader who admitted being somewhat overweight and who announced her intention that she was quitting at the end of the season.

So before we see a politically-correct decision by the NFL to pressure Baltimore to reverse itself, let’s set the record straight in this case:

1) The Baltimore Ravens employ 60 cheerleaders. The NFL allows only 32 from each team to attend the Super Bowl. Given America’s educational ineptitude, let’s say it another way: 28 cheerleaders, by definition, cannot go to the big game.  This isn’t a new rule, and every cheerleader in the NFL should explicitly know that.  That’s the job — take it or leave it.

2) Understanding the aforementioned rule, no one is entitled or “owed” anything. Get over it, Ms. Lenz.

3) The Baltimore Ravens, like every NFL team, has set forth criteria that must be met in order to be considered for Super Bowl duty.  In its opinion, Lenz came up short in some capacity. Is Lenz the only one with more than three years of service that isn’t going to New Orleans (according to her)? Yes.  Does that stink for her?  Yes. Does she deserve to go on that basis alone? No.

Thankfully, the Ravens don’t employ a tenure system whereby one is guaranteed benefits regardless of his or her performance — kind of like how our public education system and public unions are operated. And look at how well both of them are doing.

4) If Lenz’ weight was the deciding factor in the Ravens’ decision, so be it. Cheerleaders, like dancers and other entertainment professionals, must meet stringent physical standards. Not only is fitness critical to optimally performing the cheerleaders’ demanding routines, but no one wants to look at an overweight woman shaking her assets.  Call that ignorant, sexist, and chauvinistic.  Fine. But make sure you call it something else: reality. We may be a fat country, but we don’t want to look at corpulent cheerleaders. And that’s a fact.

It’s like portly pop singer Adele recently slamming Madonna and Lady Gaga for using skimpy, sexy outfits to sell their music. Maybe they do, but they also have fantastic voices and dynamic entertainment abilities. Adele also has great pipes, but she is an anomaly, as most singers are highly fit and often (but not always) wear provocative outfits. Adele can lament all she wants of the sensual nature of top female vocalists, but that is what the vast majority of fans — both male and female — not just gravitate to, but demand. Maybe if Adele cut down on her caloric intake and worked out just a bit more, she wouldn’t be so envious.

5) The Ravens’ decision on Lenz is discriminatory —and that is a good thing, exactly how it should be.  Discrimination has become a dirty word, yet it is an everyday part of life. We discriminate — another word for making a choice — all the time, from what clothes we wear to what kind of latte we order.  No one held a gun to her head ordering her to be a cheerleader, and the Ravens have every right to make personnel decisions as they see fit — no explanation warranted or necessary.

They may have chosen not to send her to the Super Bowl because she weighed more than they preferred. Or because she was ending her career as a cheerleader and they wanted an up-and-comer who would be continuing her service with the Ravens. Or because they didn’t like her attitude. Or because they thought she smelled.  Who cares? Lenz apparently wasn’t denied the Super Bowl because of color, creed or religion — and certainly not gender — so no one has the “right” to feel that that “entitlement” was wrongfully revoked. Not Lenz. Not her Facebook friends. And not the news media.

*****

If there is one underlying factor at the root of America’s demise, it is widespread sense of entitlement. It is a cancer that has become pervasive throughout all levels of society — not limited to just the “welfare dregs” that some so wrongly label as the biggest offenders. It is millionaire CEO’s looking for a government handout. It is billionaire sports team owners demanding their stadiums be built with taxpayer money. It is college graduates believing they are entitled to a six-figure salary right out of school. It is retirees thinking no reform in benefits is ever warranted. It is public sector unions rejecting generous 401k’s, instead demanding unaffordable defined-benefit plans. It is politicians and parties— Democrat and Republican, liberals and Tea Partiers — thinking they are entitled to the offices they hold, offended by anyone with the gall to challenge them.

And yes, it is cheerleaders who think they are “owed” a trip to the Super Bowl.

Go Baltimore!

Newsmax Link:

http://www.newsmax.com/Freind/Ravens-Cheerleader-Super-Bowl/2013/02/01/id/488462

 

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television/radio commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com  His self-syndicated model has earned him the largest cumulative media voice in Pennsylvania. He can be reached at FFZMedia@Gmail.com

 

 

 

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February 1, 2013 at 11:33 am Comments (0)

Gun Show Boycott

If you can’t sell or display “assault rifles” (an invented non-sensicle term, btw) and high capacity magazines at sports and outdoors show, and now people are actively boycotting it, what do you have left?

A couple of kayaks and some hiking boots I think.

Lee and Tiffany Lakosky, hosts of “The Crush” hunting and outdoor show, said they won’t attend next month’s event at the state Farm Show Complex because its organizers have banned the sale and display of assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

In a statement, Lee Lakosky said it was a “hard decision” for him and his wife to boycott the Harrisburg show, “but we can’t support a show that doesn’t completely support the Second Amendment.”

Outdoor sporting gear retailing giant Cabela’s Inc. and other smaller firms also have announced they won’t participate in next month’s show because of the ban by its organizers.

Strangely enough the largest outdoors show in the Northeast didn’t have a problem with those sales last year. Suddenly they found Jesus?

January 21, 2013 at 9:29 pm Comment (1)

NFL Donations to the Top

The Washington Examiner notices that donations to President Obama & Governor Romney have a decided right-ward lean.

How about the local guys?

Chief among the Obama supporting owners is Dan Rooney, who has donated $35,000 for the president’s re-election campaign. Rooney campaigned and donated extensively to Obama during the 2008 campaign and was appointed as Ambassador of Ireland. A Bears fan, the president publicly supported the Steelers that last time they went to the Super Bowl.

No surprise there.

Other NFL owners who have historically donated to Democratic candidates such as Arthur Blank of the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens’ Stephen Bisciotti, Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie have yet to do so as of the last reporting period.

Lurie chipped in $4,600 to Hillary ’08 and $2,000 to Bush in 2004. Interestingly, he gave $2500 to Clare McCaskill in Missouri last year.

Mrs Lurie gave to Jon Huntsman.

October 2, 2012 at 4:02 pm Comments (0)

Catholic Mass, Andy Reid, School Choice And Dumb Security Measures

 A compilation of random observations

The best thing about being a columnist is that there’s never a shortage of material — especially the kind that leaves you shaking your head.  The bad part is that there isn’t enough time to cover all those topics thoroughly.

So the following is a brief perspective on various events, many of which the media has missed:

Pennsylvania School Choice Disaster:  For the last year, those fighting for educational reform (comprehensive choice in education) but against Senate Bill 1, the fatally-flawed bill in Harrisburg that would have neither educated nor reformed (and is now dead), were lectured on the merits of “incrementalism” by SB 1 proponents. “You have to get a little at a time,” they scolded.

Well, despite never actually trying to pass a broader bill that would include the middle class, which is why school choice failed, the SB 1 folks pushing the incremental approach were, admittedly, smashingly successful.  They set the entire Movement back incrementally.  Comprehensive school choice passed the senate in 1991, and garnered 89 votes in the House (of the needed 102). In 1995, an even broader bill had 101 votes — just one shy.  Yet in 2011, with a Governor who made vouchers a number one priority, major Republican majorities in both chambers, and literally millions at their lobbying disposal, the SB 1 forces couldn’t even get 90 votes, as evidenced by the vote this week.

So let’s see. In 20 years, we went from 89 to 101 to 90.   Not exactly progress, but definitely incrementalism. 

Political Motivation: The “politically motivated” charge is an overused — and   meaningless — line uttered by those who refuse to confront the truth.  Consider two recent examples, with the typical lack of follow-up by the media to call the complainers on the carpet:

Herman Cain is certainly an affable chap, but had no business running for President for two reasons.  First, he was simply clueless on the issues, as his entertaining responses illustrated.  Second, if you’re going to be under the most intense spotlight in the world, you need to be up front with your skeletons so that they are revealed on your terms. But Cain didn’t do that, and he got burned.

How could he possibly think that three sexual harassment suits wouldn’t come to light? In his announcement speech, he could have denied wrongdoing, blamed bloodthirsty trial lawyers and wimpy settle-happy insurance companies, and moved on.  Instead, he just kept blaming Rick Perry and later the Democrats for leaking it, self-righteously stating that the story was “politically motivated.”

Hey Herman, here’s a newsflash.  You were running for President of the United States! Of course it’s politically motivated!  So what? It’s not whether something is politically motivated but whether the allegations were true — which the national media never seemed to ask. Politicians leak things about their opponents all the time, motivated by their desire to win.   If he had just been honest from the beginning, he might well still be in the race.

And locally, we have all the Democratic leaders fuming about the new congressional districts, redrawn every ten years by the party in power in Harrisburg, which happens to be the GOP.  Therefore — you guessed it — we have the Dems leveling the charge that the gerrymandered districts were drawn that way for political purposes (or, as one classicly described the new 7th District, “Meehan-mandered”).

Well, let’s see.  They are congressional seats, filled by… politicians.  They are designed by… politicians.  They will remain unchanged for the next decade, so the drawing was done for … political purposes.  Where’s the surprise?  That’s the way it’s always worked.  Interestingly, the Dems’ statements could be swapped word for word with Republicans when they were out of power.

Wouldn’t it have been refreshing to hear a Democratic official just be honest and say, “Yes, the districts suck for us. Kudos to the GOP.  They got slaughtered in 2006 and 2008, but won when it counted (2010), and now we have to live with the results. It’s our Party’s fault, so we’ll be sure to gear up in 2020 to gerrymander them to our liking.”

But that type of honesty is just a pipe dream in politics.

Catholic Church changes: Church leaders decided that it would be a nice idea to substantially change the liturgy using new translations.  Brilliant move.  It took centuries for most Catholics to even begin mumbling the prayers at Sunday Mass (though singing is still nonexistent), and now they change the whole works?  You can hear the crickets…

Fair or not, it has also left many wondering why the Church spent so much time and energy on such an endeavor while still not cleaning up its own house regarding the (continuing) sex scandals. And not coincidentally, more Catholic school closings will be announced next month.  Sorry, that’s not because of the economy, demographics and population shifts, but lack of leadership, very little transparency and an image of arrogance that will be very hard to break. Amen.

Safe To Fly? Think Again: A hugely important story that got very little attention is the new Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rules that don’t require children under 12 to take their shoes off for x-ray inspection. Additionally, children will receive significantly fewer pat-downs (which, despite the inevitable claims by one or two loud-mouthed whining parents who just want to get on TV, are not intrusive. And the parents are never separated from their children during pat-downs).

Well, at least it’s reassuring that terrorists don’t know about this new policy.  Oh wait…they do.

Not only do we implement such an insane, politically correct procedure, but gleefully announce it to the world.  And since there are numerous examples of terrorists strapping bombs to their children’s bodies in the name of God knows what, does anyone really think they won’t gleefully accept this gift, change their strategy, and place explosives in Junior’s shoe?

And when the next disaster occurs, we’ll all stand around wondering how on Earth this could have happened.  For that answer, just look to the TSA signs announcing the policy.

Of course, before that tragedy occurs, we could end the security theatre and start profiling, make everyone take off their shoes, and have no exceptions for pat-downs.  As always, those who don’t like it can take the bus to Europe.

And finally, for all the Eagles fans who have been praying for Andy Reid’s firing at the end of the season, keep dreaming. The Birds will play just well enough to keep the best three-quarter coach in football right where he is.  After all, this is Philadelphia, and we revel in the misery heaped upon us, year after year, by boneheaded decisions made by our teams.

And you can take that $10,000 bet right to the bank.

Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television/radio commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com  His self-syndicated model has earned him the largest cumulative media voice in Pennsylvania. He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com

 

 

 

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December 16, 2011 at 2:43 pm Comments (0)

Paterno Done

End of an era.

Penn State trustees fired football coach Joe Paterno and university president Graham Spanier amid the growing furor over how the school handled sex abuse allegations against an assistant coach.

The massive shakeup Wednesday night came hours after Paterno announced that he planned to retire at the end of his 46th season.

But the outcry following the arrest of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky on molestation charges proved too much for the board to ignore.

Speaking at his house to a couple of dozen students, Paterno said, “Right now, I’m not the football coach. And I’ve got to get used to that. After 61 years, I’ve got to get used to it. I appreciate it. Let me think it through.”

The Beaver Times wants to know who knew what when.

It seems logical to ask: What did Paterno know, and when did he know it? What did Penn State’s administration know, and when did they know it?

Best-case scenario: Charges are never brought, and Sandusky walks away with his reputation permanently scarred. The rumors, the jokes, the sideways glances – they won’t ever stop. Paterno and Penn State do the great escape.

Worst-case scenario: Sandusky is charged. Then it seems reasonable to wonder: Did Penn State not make an issue of Sandusky’s alleged behavior in 1998 in exchange for him walking away from the program at an age premature for most coaches? Did Penn State’s considerable influence help get Sandusky off the hook?

Don’t kid yourself. That could happen. Don’t underestimate the power of Paterno and Penn State in central Pennsylvania when it comes to politicians, the police and the media.

In 1999, Penn State was rid of Sandusky. His rep was unblemished, which allowed him to continue running a charitable foundation that gave him access to underage males. To be a volunteer assistant with a high school football team, thus gaining access to underage males.
If Paterno and Penn State knew, but didn’t act, instead facilitating Sandusky’s untroubled retirement – are Paterno and Penn State responsible for untoward acts since committed by Sandusky?

This is far from an outrageous hypothesis, especially given the convenient timeline.

November 10, 2011 at 12:07 am Comments (0)

Joe Pa – OUT at PSU

Joe Paterno is bigger than any Pennsylvanian, ever.

Joe Paterno’s tenure as the coach of the Penn State football team will soon be over, perhaps within days or weeks, in the wake of a sexual abuse scandal that has implicated university officials, according to two people briefed on conversations among the university’s top officials.

The Board of Trustees has yet to determine the precise timing of Mr. Paterno’s exit, but it is clear that the man who has more victories than any other coach at college football’s top level and who made Penn State a prestigious national brand will not coach another season.

Discussions about how to manage his departure have begun, according to the two people. The board is scheduled to meet on Friday, and Gov. Tom Corbett will attend.

November 9, 2011 at 12:19 am Comments (0)

Sports Heresy

We Pittsburghers take it as an article of faith that Philadelphia Is The Cause of Everything That Is Wrong With Pennsylvania. Admit it. You believe that, too. So join me in my gleeful mockery.

Ha.

Ha ha.

On the plus side, Rutgers did beat the living p*ss out of Pitt yesterday which I wholly endorse.

October 9, 2011 at 4:32 pm Comments (0)

Phillies Lose

A 1 – 0 loss to Cardinals in Game 5 of the NLDS knocks them out of the playoffs.

Just by watching the reactions in Facebook, I fear that this post-season is the one where the Phillies lose the hearts of the fans. High hopes in the spring lead to this kind of disappointment?

Philly fans need winners, and this is going to sting for a loonnnnng time.

October 7, 2011 at 11:12 pm Comment (1)

Flyers to Host Winter Classic

It’s true

As expected, the Philadelphia Flyers will host the New York Rangers in the fifth annual Winter Classic on Monday, Jan. 2, 2012 which will be hosted by the Flyers at Citizens Bank Park, the home of the Philadelphia Phillies.

The National Hockey League, Flyers and Rangers formally announced the game during an afternoon press conference at the eight-year-old facility.

A layout of the rink on the field, outlined by temporary fencing, showed the rink running diagonally from first base to third base on the dirt portion of the infield.

This will be the second Winter Classic for the Flyers, who played Boston at Fenway Park in 2010.

Citizens Bank Park will be the third baseball stadium to host the NHL’s annual outdoor showcase but the first built since World War I. Wrigley Field also hosted the game, while the other two were played at Buffalo’s Ralph Wilson Stadium and Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field.

I’m still rooting for a Flyers-Pens game in Happy Valley.

It would be epic.

September 26, 2011 at 3:16 pm Comments (0)

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