Just a totally wild and random thought here but there's another football
player who died recently - Billy Neighbors (a white guy). Can you imagine ever
seeing a headline that read: "White football stars react to Billy
Neighbor's death"?I'm not trying to be provocative or
racist or anything other than just simply illustrative. If writers are going to
point out race, be equal or fair about it. If news stories involve race then
report on it. I'm good with that. But how in the world does Seau's
death have anything remotely newsworthy about race?
@KBB its not about race it's about culture. If a Mormon football player
comitted suicide you would read about it in headlines everywhere. This was odd
and unexpected especially from the polynesian culture and especially from a rold
model like Seau. That's why it's a headline.
KKB:Because he meant a lot to the Polynesian community...to me
that's newsworthy and part of Seau's legacy. Not seeing a red herring
KKB - it might be helpful for you to understand the audience. There's a
big Poly community in Utah, many of whom have and play now for the local
universities, so Seau's death is relevant to them. You've seen a race
issue where none exists.If you go to the SD Union newspaper, you
might be further offended because there's a big Poly community in SD too
and they'll do similar stories. Relax. It's ok. Harmon isn't a
racist nor is the DN.
Maybe I'm weird here, but I never thought og Junior as a Polynesian or
anything other than a stalwart football player. Black, white, Irish,
Polynesian...who cares? It is just a very sad story. I hope people will begin to
take mental illness seriously and that a rime will come when a man like a great
football can receive the help he needs without the stigma I suspect he was
afraid of. Now that would make a great headline.
When kids are young, they love the game and they love the glory. They
don't realize or grasp the long term effects of participating in a violent
game like football. Just one concussion can do serious permanent damage. In
boxing, they used to call it "punch drunk" but it's the same thing.
How unfortunate it is that our public schools sponsor these violent sports. At
the same time they are trying to help the kids brains to grow, to get educated,
to think better, they are destroying their brains in this senseless sport.
KKB,He was a HUGE star representing for such a small group of
people. What do you think would happen if say, Manny Paquiao were to suddenly
pass away. Don't you think the media would get reaction from the Filipino
community??? Remember "Linsanity"??? I personally loved seeing Chinese
Americans, as well as Chinese Nationals getting excited for one of their own who
made it big!!!
I agree with sports fan, and kkb
KKB,The answer to your question: Billy Neighbors was an offensive
lineman, a largely unheralded position, more than 40 years ago who died in
Alabama yesterday. In short, nobody in Utah cares.Junior Seau is
regarded as one of the best players of his generation. His polynesian heritage
is relevant in a Utah newspaper because he was a hero to a generation of young
polynesian men and made many believe that with hard work they could transcend
the economic difficulty that many first generation immigrants face, as he did.
His success meant a lot to polynesians as detailed in the article. It was disappointing to see that the first comment on this story was a comment
illustrating the authors ignorance instead of honoring a man that meant to much
to so many.
What really bother me about this is the loss of a good man. I don't care if
he was a poly, white, black or purple his death is a loss to us all. I do not
like that some pseudo-scientist-doctor taking the opportunity to put forth his
theory of what caused this tragedy. Let us all remember these same type
scientist thought the world was flat for over 2000 years and honor this man for
who he was.
@silas brill,I see the pattern. Don't worry the pattern for
society as a whole is religousless ; )
@JSB,Football can do a lot more good for a youth than bad. You obviously
have never played football or seen the benefits of youth participating as a
team. Football is not a senseless sport. It instills many good qualities in
youth. Good qualities which Junior Seau had, that's why he was so
successful. It is convenient to blame this on football, but who is to say that
Seau didn't suffer from depression, or any other mental illness. Either
way, I don't think that should be the focus right now, rather honoring a
Dick - I'm trying to understand the final comment in your article about
fame may come but at what price. Are you suggesting young people don't
play football? Or are you suggesting that those who do are in it for the fame
and couldn't care less about the potential consequences?There
are multiple problems with any of the above insinuations. Those who commit
suicide post NFL career are clearly in the minority, even if they are slightly
more likely to do so than the average general population. I've read
dentists are also more likely to commit suicide than the average population as
well, but does this mean those who pursue a career in dentistry are somehow
throwing caution to the wind for the fame and fortune?I think the
appropriate point here is the NFL needs to understand better the effect of
concussions and then attempt to do something to minimize them, whether it's
a change in the rules, padding, etc. But knee jerk reactions to minority
situations generally creates greater problems.
SS. I've been an assistant high school football coach and, in retrospect, I
question the value of the sport when you consider the injury/health risks. There
is risk in all sports but most of them don't have the potential for
permanent damage to the participants as football does. Another problem with
football and many other sports is that there are many who want to participate (I
was one of them) but who are eliminated from doing so just because they
don't have the physical qualifications (too small, etc.). A comprehensive
intramural program allows for far more participation and the benefits you
mentioned of playing on a team, etc. Many more people would be able to
participate if we dropped interschool sports and went to intramurals. Also,
studies have shown that participation in debate, drama, music, school newspaper,
yearbook, student government,clubs are all significantly better predictors of
long term sucess than is participation in high school athletics. Our young
people would be far better prepared for life if we took the money spent on
football and put it into these other areas. We'd get much more long term
bang for the buck.
@ JSB,I agree with much of what you have said about alternative
extracurricular activities. However I can't agree with what you have said
about sports and their value. Sports do great things for those involved. A lot
depends on the coaches and where they put their emphasis. Yes, not every kid
will get a chance to play, but it doesn't mean that they won't get a
chance to work harder than others and develop themselves to a level that they
could play. And even if they still don't play, not everyone gets everything
they want. That's just a fact of life. If we just give everything to kids
then they will never learn how to work for anything and the quality of
performance will go way down. Neutralizing competition is not the answer. In
fact that's what is wrong with kids today who think they are entitled to
everything and it has led to big problems in our society.
JSB,The problem with your logic is that very, very few people will
pay $40 plus for a ticket to watch a school debate or something similar, so your
hope that money directed to football be re-directed to other things is futile.
People are willing to pay a lot of money to watch football which is why money is
spent for it at the high school and college level.
Interesting debate. We have a sport called Rugby League over here, and we have
had a couple of recent suicides in top-ranking players. The doctors over here
have put it down to coping with the loss of fame, and how it affects them.
(Rugby is like your football, except we do all of the hits with no padding, no
helmets, and no rest between tackles. We run for forty minutes, set for ten
minutes, and then run for forty minutes again, taking hits and giving hits as we
go. You can only hit the man with the ball though) In Rugby League, (which I
believe is the sport played in Heaven) we get six tackles to go up to 100
metres. You can lateral the ball as often as you like per tackle, but the ball
is not allowed to be passed with forward momentum. Also, you don't need to
be big in order to succeed, just good enough.) (I am five-seven, never weighed
more than 160lbs when playing, and played at the top level.) We have several
great Polynesians that play the sport also.This did make me think
about the possible cause for the suicides though.
hmth8tr: The tickt revenues from high school football don't even begin to
cover the costs. Consider coaches's saleries, equipment, travel, field
maintenance, etc. etc. Football is no money maker. It's the most expensive
sport in high school. Most sports don't cover the costs with the exception,
possibly, of basketball. The purpose of the high school sports program should
not be to provide fans with some entertainment; it should be to develop the
students' character. That's why intramural programs are so much
better. More students get to participate for much less cost. Current high school
athletics is so that super jocks can get more glory while the average kids sit