After seeing Mason Rudolph get knocked out cold by #23 something Thomas of the Baltimore Ravens, I decided parents who allow their boys to engage in that kind of sport, especially at a young age, are asking for trouble. These kids idolize the home team's stars and want to emulate them before they turn four! Out of my six grandsons, three of them play football, but I'm not their mom or dad, so I can't say anything about their choices. I wish I could though.
When the camera focused on Rudolph, he wasn't moving at all. I looked at his chest and didn't see any signs of breathing. In that fleeting moment, my heart dropped, I actually thought he was dead. It took at least five minutes to revive him and two strong men to carry him off the field. According to reports, the Steeler's QB was hospitalized with concussion symptoms and his return to the team was up in the air.
I have been a football fan for over 40 years. I've cheered for the Steelers and had favorite players that, in my opinion, were unstoppable. Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Jack Ham, John Stallworth, Hines Ward, Heath Miller, Big Ben were just a few of the players I ranked at the top of my 'all-time favorites' list! In the beginning of my love affair with this sport, the action was mesmerizing, Watching Stallworth catch a Bradshaw pass and gallop into the end zone was thrilling. I will never forget seeing Franco pluck the ball out of thin air, which later became known as the 'Immaculate Reception' and score a touchdown in the cold dead of winter! Heather Miller was one of the best tight ends the game ever had! For many years, he was mostly used for blocking. Miller never complained and did his job flawlessly. Towards the end of his career, Heather served as a receiver and did so with humility and grace. What a guy!
During those years, hauling a player off the field due to unsportsmanlike conduct was unheard of. I'm not even sure such a call was part of the ref's repetoire! Sure guys got hurt, a few even losing their careers due to serious injury, but their misfortune wasn't the result of intentional dirty play like it is today. There are rivalries in the league today, like the Steelers vs Ravens, where certain players intent to 'take out' their opponent even before the 60 minutes begins! These guys are huge, strong brutes who will do whatever they deem necessary to maim and mutilate, behavior not only unbecoming to a professional athlete, but disgusting to say the least! For this reason, watching football isn't fun anymore, and playing it is downright stupid!
Hopefully Mason Rudolph will recover, but I wouldn't hold it against him if he hung up his cleats for good, actually it would make me very happy to see a young man value his health more than his uncertain career. If he decides to continue, Mason will be in my prayers each time he takes the field.
As for my three grandsons, I can only hope their interests in the game will gradually wane, and they will consider being artists, scientists, entrepeneurs, forest rangers, or whatever makes them happy...and doesn't cripple them or worse!
Blessings and Peace!