The latest tempest in a spittoon in the sports world seems to be a manufactured controversy about Tom Brady refusing to say whether or not he suffered concussions last season that were either undetected by the NFL protocols or unreported by those who detected them if they existed in the first place. His wife said about a month ago that he had indeed suffered concussions last season; Brady’s answer to inquiries about that “revelation” was simple and direct:
- That’s none of your business.
Reporters are not used to being spoken to in that manner and TV pundits can fly into paroxysms of outrage merely at the thought that anyone could hold such a thought let alone express it. And you know what…?
- Tom Brady is 100% right. It is none of “the public’s” business.
- This is a personal medical matter and it is an interpersonal matter between Brady and his wife.
If this were Joe Flabeetz – a bus driver in Boston – and he was asked about his medical situation and/or some statement his wife had made to someone else a month ago, Joe Flabeetz would be completely correct to tell the questioner to go pound sand. That would be none of the questioner’s business.
If the medical condition we were talking about in the Brady instance were something other than a concussion, the same is true. Imagine the following interchange:
- Reporter: Tom, your wife said you played in several games last year with hemorrhoids and that was not on the injury list. What’s your comment?
- Brady: That’s none of your business.
The NFL has established something it calls the concussion protocols as part of its homage to player safety. Those protocols along with the NFL employees who are charged to maintain and enforce those protocols are the ones who should be questioned about this matter. Just because Tom Brady is a five-time Super Bowl winning QB, he has absolutely no extra obligation to share his medical information with the public than you do or I do or Joe Flabeetz does.
Recently, someone was arrested for shoplifting and identified himself to the police as Lucky Whitehead – kick returner/WR for the Dallas Cowboys. Whitehead was not the perpetrator nor was he the one who was arrested; nonetheless, when the team heard the news of the arrest, the Cowboys cut Whitehead and then refused to say why they did that once it became clear that Whitehead had done nothing wrong.
Whitehead was not one of the Cowboys’ star players; that is the fundamental reason he was cut when the team heard this news and why they did not fall all over themselves to “rectify the situation” once it became clear that they had reacted to what is now commonly referred to as “fake news”. You may be certain that if something similar had happened to Dak Prescott, the Cowboys’ actions would have been very different.
Lucky Whitehead was signed quickly by the NY Jets; for the moment at least, he is on an NFL roster and has the opportunity to make a team and get paid for his time and effort. Nevertheless, the “Lucky Whitehead saga” drew this commentary from Brad Dickson in the Omaha World-Herald:
“After a Dallas Cowboys return man was arrested for alleged shoplifting, he was cut and picked up by the Jets. This may be the greatest deterrent to crime I’ve heard.”
In the 2015 NFL Draft, the Falcons took CB, Jalen Collins from LSU. He started two games in 2015. He began the 2016 season with a 4-game suspension for violation of the substance abuse policy; recognize here that to suffer that suspension, he had to run afoul of the policy at least three times. From the fifth game forward, Collins was part of the defensive backfield rotation for the Falcons and wound up starting 6 games back there. This year, Collins will start the season with a 10-game suspension for – – you guessed it – – violation of the substance abuse policy.
If I understand the CBA correctly, Collins has a sword of Damocles hanging over him at this point. He can come back to the Falcons after 10 games this year – if they want him back – and his career can go forward. However, the next time he fails a test for PEDs, he will be suspended for 2 years and would then have to apply for reinstatement to the NFL. Collins is not a “Pro Bowl caliber” cornerback; in fact, he would probably not be a full-time starter for the Falcons this year even if he were available – absent an injury to one of the starting corners in training camp. To my mind, that pretty much means that one more failed test would be the end of his career.
As a second-round pick back in 2015, he got a nice signing bonus (in the $2M range) but his “cap number” and his “dead money” impact on the Falcons’ finances are minimal at this point. This young man is potentially watching his career circle the drain. Here is a statement issued by Falcons GM, Thomas Dimitroff:
“We are extremely disappointed that for the second straight season we are dealing with a suspension for Jalen. Such are the consequences when certain choices are made. Our decisions going forward will be based on what [Coach] Dan [Quinn] and I feel is best for the team.”
Finally, here is another NFL-related observation from Brad Dickson in the Omaha World-Herald:
“Viagra and Cialis will not be advertising during televised NFL games this fall. No word on how the league will recoup the estimated $6 trillion in lost revenue.
“Viagra and Cialis are done with the NFL. Now we will never again see a kick returner running in the open field while an announcer goes, ‘We’ll be right back after this word about erectile dysfunction’.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………