The Tua tragedy

I watch a lot of football, but for a few years now, I've started feeling guilty about it. And the guilt is worse today, having watched what happened to Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa over the last week.

In the first half of his game on Sunday, Tua was knocked down and hit his head. He obviously sustained a neck or head injury, because he held his head, shook it to try to clear it, and when he tried to walk, he staggered and nearly fell down.

The pro football league supposedly has rules, a "concussion protocol," that would keep him out of the rest of the game if he had sustained a concussion. But somehow the team sent him back out there to play the second half.

Fast forward to last night, where on four days' recovery, Tua was playing again. The official line was that his injuries had been to his back and his ankle, not his head or neck. But halfway through the second quarter, when he was viciously thrown to the ground by a Cincinnati tackler, Tagovailoa's neck whipped and his head hit the ground again. When he landed, he was knocked so silly that he lay motionless for a long time, showing signs of a major brain injury.

He was carted off to a hospital on a stretcher. An hour later, the TV announcers were reporting the "good news" that he could move all his extremities. 

People, that man's life was just shortened considerably. Two apparent concussions within five days. How in God's name was he allowed to play?

Don't get me wrong, I will watch more football, but it's getting so that I may have to give it up pretty soon. The league just announced that its annual all-star game is going to be a flag football contest. Maybe they ought to start making that the norm all season long.

A decade ago I predicted that in 50 years, football would be like boxing. It would still go on, but thoughtful people wouldn't support it. There are still 40 years to go on my prediction. It may come to pass even sooner.


  1. I saw the injury on Sunday, and assumed he was out for as long as was medically necessary. I was shocked that he was in last night. Some doctor's tickets on the Dolphins' staff need to be revoked.

  2. The spin on this one has a lot of dollar signs


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