The above photo features Harry Carson, the former New York Giants linebacker and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
I don’t know him, but—at this moment—I love him.
Earlier today, in a radio interview, Carson said that he regrets playing football; that the concussions he absorbed throughout his lengthy career were absolutely not worth the glory and money. Were he able to do it all again, Carson says he never picks up a football. He says his grandchildren will absolutely, positively not play.
I mean that. Bravo. Far too many ex-players don’t take the leap Carson made today. They’ll express reservations about the sport. They’ll say they prefer their offspring turn toward basketball or baseball. They’ll moan about replaced knees and crooked fingers. But, only on the rarest of occasions, does a player say he made a horrible mistake. That football, as a game, isn’t worth it.
With everything we’re finding nowadays, from concussions to depression to ALS, no real arguments can be made in favor of participatory football. It’s a violent, brutal game that does bad things to good people.
Perhaps more ex-gladiators will follow Carson’s lead.