…and decline at an even greater rate than the rest of the population.
We celebrate these achievements though. No, not the dementia…that has nothing to do with this, right?
Donna Spencer of the Canadian Press writes: “While the long-term effects of concussions have been very much in the news lately, the family is hesitant to link the Hall of Famer’s condition to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the degenerative brain disease typically found in autopsies of people who have had multiple head injuries, including more than a dozen former NFL and NHL players.”
I by no means wish to deprive this family of its sacred memories of Gordon and nor do I wish to downplay their enduring love, but I cannot remain comfortably seated as they remain hesitant. Being hesitant to believe that ramming your body into the bodies of other inhumanly built athletes and into the walls and well-trodden fields that only serve to collect the jumbled bodies thrown their way is as dangerous as believing dietary choices are not to be suspected or held accountable.
“I don’t think anybody can really answer that question,” Marty said of a connection to CTE. “He went for so long without any symptoms whatsoever. You don’t have to be an athlete or in contact sports to get dementia.” Let’s pick this one apart…
You don’t have to be an athlete or in contact sports to get dementia, hmmm. You don’t have be a NASCAR driver to get into a deadly wreck; You don’t have to hold your breath until unconsciousness seeps in to know that breathing is a must; You don’t have to be on fire to get severely burned; You don’t have read the newspaper everyday to get a paper cut; You don’t have to be a genius to know when the odds are stacked against you.
It is a simple equation:
- x = the number of incidences
- b = body ramming
- d = risk of dementia
- …and this doesn’t even factor in the rest of your lifestyle choices.
My paper cut example is silly, but so is remaining hesitant. I have a friend who in high school, freshman year, would bullishly ready his hooves and then proceed to gallop his two-hundred plus pound body a mere ten to fifteen feet into the opposing defensive line of steel lockers… head first. He didn’t put his hands up to brace himself and avert the impact, instead, he shook it off, collected himself, and made a few more attempts at breaking through this concrete-backed metallic line. I was on the sidelines, I was confused, but I was not hesitant to think this was not a good idea and nor was I hesitant to know that I would not be participating in today’s events.
I don’t mean to sound indelicate, but one has to expect the expected. Ill-equipped with a troubling diet, a sense of pride in ramming things into each other, and an unopposed belief system, I expect these individuals to become victims of chronic disease and the many mistakenly linked degenerative qualities linked to aging. Although sad, it would be highly unrealistic for me to hope and sustain a stubborn belief that you will be spared the perilous decline that those before you, especially loved ones, endurably suffer from until flat-lining.
For them to remain pleasantly hesitant and find solace in ”He went for so long without any symptoms whatsoever” is such a head-smacker (pun possibly intended). Sure, if his head came clean off when he was cataclysmically knocked off his skates, I guess we could elaborate that those symptoms were instantaneous and that the cause-effect connection was obvious. Minus the guillotine and a coliseum full of blood-hungry spectators, our ‘contact’ sports can only offer the viewer some friendly jarring nowadays, and even that is getting regulated—it’s illegal to even grab protective equipment!
Today is Super Bowl 46—46 because no one can read XLVI—and being bred as a New York Giants fan, I cast my lot in with the blue and red. For my father’s sake, I side with his blue and red, for my sake, I am thankful that my parents chose to disallow me from participating in such sports. I had no interest and I may even lack the genetic component which makes me want to ram, slam, and holy shit gaw-damn my body into anything and everything—there was a reason I avoided all tackles and any human contact with the opposing team when we played chocolate-top football after school.
Moronic…that’s what it is… stupid, foolish, senseless, brainless, mindless, idiotic, imbecile, insane, lunatic, asinine, ridiculous, ludicrous, absurd, preposterous, silly, inane, witless, half-baked, empty-headed, unintelligent, slow-witted, weak-minded; crazy, dumb, brain-dead, cretinous, imbecilic, doltish, thick, thickheaded, birdbrained, pea-brained, pinheaded, dopey, dim, dimwitted, halfwitted, dippy, fat-headed, blockheaded, boneheaded, lamebrained, chuckleheaded, dunderheaded, muttonheaded; daft, dumb-ass, chowderheaded.
I tripled-finger tapped my dictionary into action again, revealing this expansive list of adjectives for moronic. According to the remarks made within this article, Gordon is in the adjective decline. Yes, he is becoming birdbrained. What about his family? What about us? Are we in the adjective decline too?
Unfortunately and almost inevitably, yes! We are a bunch of chowderheaded morons…
- “It’s possible Howe’s dementia is vascular in nature. He suffered from heart disease later in his life and required the implantation of a coronary stent about a decade ago.”
- “The worst part of this disease is there’s nothing you can do about it.”
…because we whole-heartily believe we are by all means doing all that we can. We set up charities—Gordie and Colleen Howe Fund for Alzheimer’s—and seek cures. We devote our lives to sustaining the quality of the remaining drips of their life. We watch Sunday night football and drop the kids off at football practice or maybe their friend’s house for some UFC royal rumbling. But we are some dippy muttonheaded blockheads when we foolishly expose ourselves, just as my friend did with the lockers, to these health deterring factors on a continual basis.
Without a steak, collision, or pack of cigs leaving you on-the-spot witless, we find comfort in setting up charities and caring for those suffering until the end. We seek treatments and cures beyond the scope of practicality. We seek the impossible when the possible only requires common sense and simple avoidance. Snip the blindfolds, cancel that order of chicken wings, and realize that your locker has a combination and only becomes jammed when you…
What are your feelings on contact sports?
Should we be ramming ourselves through life without expecting the inevitable?