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El Minion
09-09-2010, 02:59 PM
Playing Pro Football Was My DreamóBut the Dream Is Painful (http://www.slate.com/id/2266532/entry/2266549/)
From: Nate Jackson

"You can't make the club in the tub." This is an old adage in the football world, typically said to an injured player by a coach who believes that the player may be milking an injury. What it really means is, Don't be a p***Y.

Football is a game about toughness. Every man in the NFL has dealt with this reality for most of his life. He was the toughest kid on his street, his high-school team, and his college team (unless we're talking about kickers, which we are not, Stefan). When a player's manhood is questioned by a coach with a completely separate agenda, it pulls the veil off of the myth that the NFL cares deeply about the health of its players.

As a player in the NFL, your body is not your property. Your contract makes this clear. You play football. We tell you what to do, and you do it. If you feel that you are injured, we will listen to you, but weócoaches, athletic trainers, team doctorsówill be the ones who decide whether you actually are hurt. We will decide this based on how badly we need you on the field. Your test resultsótypically your private informationówill be reviewed and discussed by us first, then presented to you in a dumbed-down fashion. Whether we like you as a player or not, the faster you are back on the field the better. If we want to cut you, we're not allowed to do it until you are "healthy" again, which just means that you have to practice once, even if it still hurts. At that point, we'll let you go. And if we need you, then hurry up! You are letting your teammates down when you can't practice.

A team will diagnose a player's injury and give him an extremely optimistic timeline and an aggressive rehab schedule. If a player doesn't respond favorably to treatment, it's the player's fault, and he will be told that he "should be" ready to go by nowóas if every injury and every player are identical. Nearly every time I was injured while playing in the NFL, I was pushed back on the field before I felt I was ready. I had a high hamstring pull in 2005 training camp that never healed because of a haphazard diagnosis and a hasty rehab. It finally required surgery last October, essentially ending my career.
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The NFL really has no answer for the concussion debate. The gray area is bigger when it comes to brain injuries and the symptoms less measurable, so the likelihood of a pudding-brained athlete facing institutional pressure to get back on the field is much greater. The head is also the most effective weapon on the football field. It is the tip of the spear. The moment you change your tackling form, you'll get trampled by everyone who won't. The head is always the first point of impact in a high-speed block or tackle. This will never change.

Commissioner Roger Goodell is stuck here. He knows that the big hits bring in the bucks, but it's exactly that style of hit that turns cerebellums to mush. Putting up posters in the locker room (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81952853/article/leagues-new-poster-uses-stronger-language-about-concussions) is his way of saying he cares. The players have their doubts about the commissioner's compassion, and they won't read the posters anyway.

Goodell's push for an 18-game season (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81a0299a/article/goodell-owners-support-18game-season-players-concerned) does little to quell doubts about his compassion. A player's season starts in March and ends in January. It's a grind that destroys bodies. After the 2008 season, my last in the league, I had a laundry list of bodily issues to attend to, in addition to my wrecked hamstring: shoulder, wrist, fingers, neck, back, feet. Goodell knows about the pain we go through, but pressure from team ownership, and the commissioner's need to put his stamp on the NFL, have created an atmosphere in which the player's well-being rarely, if ever, comes first. I just hope that the players' union can somehow regain the leverage that it will need to prevent the NFL from becoming the bloodthirsty monster that it apparently wants to be.

Now that my playing career is over, I am able to observe the system without being inside of it, and the contradictions are infinite. Ever since childhood, the NFL player has wanted to be exactly where he is. The dream has come true, except the reality is much different than the dream. Only the player knows that the dream has been exploited. Everyone else (family, friends, fans) still believes in the dream, so the player plays along and becomes his town's shining example of dreams coming true. He is treated like a superhero and learns how to talk like one. This superhero becomes his identity, so much so that he forgets there is a world outside of football, outside of the adulation, the "go get 'ems," and the "good games." There is nothing else, until there is something else. Yet that something else is terrifying for an athlete, so he holds on, fighting to wear that cape for one more year, knowing that a lifetime of Clark Kent awaits. Stefan, you shouldn't worry. I don't think you were ever issued your cape.

So, Tom: Got any nagging injuries we should know about? What's on your mind in advance of the new season?

Nate

BroncoBuff
09-09-2010, 03:01 PM
What's he whining about ... I thought the Redskins hired him to be Shanahan's valet ???

Atwater His Ass
09-09-2010, 03:06 PM
So how long until society just abolishes football for being too violent?

24champ
09-09-2010, 03:08 PM
Nearly every time I was injured while playing in the NFL, I was pushed back on the field before I felt I was ready. I had a high hamstring pull in 2005 training camp that never healed because of a haphazard diagnosis and a hasty rehab. It finally required surgery last October, essentially ending my career.


I guess we can add him to the growing list of former Broncos that complains about the Broncos medical staff.

Chris
09-09-2010, 03:09 PM
Great, passionate article. And yes... I see this as partly an indictment on the Greek (though he seems to think this applies to all football).

Atwater His Ass
09-09-2010, 03:11 PM
I guess we can add him to the growing list of former Broncos that complains about the Broncos medical staff.

I think you would find similiar issues with every team in the league.

The money and the pressure is too much. If as a trainer you stand up for a slower time table, you'll just be canned for a guy that's "with" the program.

JJG
09-09-2010, 03:25 PM
Nate Jackson might actually be a better author than he was a football player.
He may make a career out of it. At least his body wouldn't be in any physical harm (except for the dreded carpal tunnel syndrome). I doubt the pay is as good though...

Cool Breeze
09-09-2010, 03:26 PM
Clearly Nate Jackson is still a pussy.

enjolras
09-09-2010, 03:36 PM
I love the armchair guy on the couch calling an NFL football player a p*ssy. The guy has a very legitimate point. He didn't say abolish it. He simply called for the NFL to be more respectful of its player and their health. We've all seen the toll professional football takes on a human being. Just watch any HOF induction and you get a real sense for just how awful this game can be to a person.

The problem is that it's only getting worse. Players have gotten bigger AND faster. The collisions are worse. I think the way the NFL treats it's players is deplorable. Particularly those on the bottom end. Not everyone makes enough money for a lifetime, but that physical toll can certainly last the rest of their life.

Non-guaranteed contracts, what appears to be rather lax anti-doping procedures, and the NFL's complete disregard for players after retirement are all really awful things. I hate it both as a person and as a fan.

scorpio
09-09-2010, 03:36 PM
I thought his dream was to make crappy music. And he accomplished it.

ColoradoDarin
09-09-2010, 03:52 PM
Good article, and anything to get more Broncos in the media is good.

Cool Breeze
09-09-2010, 04:02 PM
[QUOTE=enjolras;2925771]I love the armchair guy on the couch calling an NFL football player a p*ssy. The guy has a very legitimate point.

Humor is great
You should try it some time :clown:

Gort
09-09-2010, 05:04 PM
I love the armchair guy on the couch calling an NFL football player a p*ssy. The guy has a very legitimate point. He didn't say abolish it. He simply called for the NFL to be more respectful of its player and their health. We've all seen the toll professional football takes on a human being. Just watch any HOF induction and you get a real sense for just how awful this game can be to a person.

Nate Jackson had it tough. it's really unfair that he had a guy with a gun pointed at his head, forcing him to play football year in and year out. if not for that guy forcing him to play, i'm sure he'd have had a wonderful, injury free career as something else, like perhaps a surgeon or a nobel prize winning physicist. but unfortunately, he never had a choice. had had to play football. the guy with the gun wouldn't let him do something else for a living. he was forced to show up and play the game. it was all so very, very, very unfair...

wait.

what?

there wasn't a guy holding a gun to his head??

nevermind.

Nate Jackson is dumbass liberal angling for a job with the NFLPA. didn't like him when he played here and don't like him now.

Jay3
09-09-2010, 06:00 PM
The NFL should employ/contract doctors like referees. Have a separate corps that does not answer to the team. Job protection and answerable to a medical hierarchy, not the coach and management.

And they should wear a uniform that looks sort like Starfleet or something.

MaloCS
09-09-2010, 08:18 PM
The NFL should employ/contract doctors like referees. Have a separate corps that does not answer to the team. Job protection and answerable to a medical hierarchy, not the coach and management.

Great idea.



And they should wear a uniform that looks sort like Starfleet or something.

ROFL!

yerner
09-09-2010, 09:20 PM
Good article. Very honest. Seems like a stand up guy.

baja
09-09-2010, 09:33 PM
I love the armchair guy on the couch calling an NFL football player a p*ssy. The guy has a very legitimate point. He didn't say abolish it. He simply called for the NFL to be more respectful of its player and their health. We've all seen the toll professional football takes on a human being. Just watch any HOF induction and you get a real sense for just how awful this game can be to a person.

The problem is that it's only getting worse. Players have gotten bigger AND faster. The collisions are worse. I think the way the NFL treats it's players is deplorable. Particularly those on the bottom end. Not everyone makes enough money for a lifetime, but that physical toll can certainly last the rest of their life.

Non-guaranteed contracts, what appears to be rather lax anti-doping procedures, and the NFL's complete disregard for players after retirement are all really awful things. I hate it both as a person and as a fan.

This is another thing I respect about Josh McDaniels. He said the other day there was much discussion about rather to put Doom on IR or not and in the end they decided to IR him so to make sure he was healthy when he came back and the temptation to rush him back was eliminated with the decision to place him on IR.

Steve Sewell
09-09-2010, 09:36 PM
This article would be more credible from someone who actually had a lengthy and productive career. I understand there's pressure from teams to get players back on the field as quickly as possible, but it's a two way street. A lot of the players want to get back on the field as quickly as possible so that they can get on tape and get stats in the book to earn their next contract.

baja
09-09-2010, 09:37 PM
I will always believe the Bronco organization ended TD's career early by similar tactics such as Nate describes.

Steve Sewell
09-09-2010, 09:42 PM
I will always believe the Bronco organization ended TD's career early by similar tactics such as Nate describes.

You think they rushed him back? Didn't he have like a year to recover from his ACL?

extralife
09-09-2010, 09:47 PM
Yeah, I think it's probably time for independent doctors that answer to the league rather than the teams.

baja
09-09-2010, 09:51 PM
You think they rushed him back? Didn't he have like a year to recover from his ACL?

After he came back from his knee he played a few games than couldn't go, came back for a game or two than was out again. Turns out he was playing with an "undiagnosed" hair line fracture in his shin. TD was the ultimate team player and did whatever was asked of him and I believe the Broncos (knowingly or not) took advantage of he desire to please and that resulted in effectively ending his career. Bottom line they should have known his leg was broken even if it was only a hairline break.

baja
09-09-2010, 09:55 PM
The NFL should employ/contract doctors like referees. Have a separate corps that does not answer to the team. Job protection and answerable to a medical hierarchy, not the coach and management.

And they should wear a uniform that looks sort like Starfleet or something.

Great idea - glad you are here.

Will Tebow bring other intelligent and common sense based posters?

extralife
09-09-2010, 09:56 PM
This article would be more credible from someone who actually had a lengthy and productive career.

No, it would be less credible. Teams are more likely to coddle stars. 95% of NFL players aren't stars.

A lot of the players want to get back on the field as quickly as possible so that they can get on tape and get stats in the book to earn their next contract.

I'm pretty sure this has never happened

SouthStndJunkie
09-09-2010, 10:05 PM
The NFL is a meat market and always has been.

Football is a tough business. Players are compensated for their toughness. They should save their money while they can, so they aren't limping around and broke at 45.

Nobody is forcing these guys to play football for a living, they know what they are getting into.

Archer81
09-09-2010, 10:08 PM
So...Jackson's contention is he was hurt all the time because the Broncos needed him for his outstanding performance on the field and leadership in the locker room?

Legend in his own mind.

:Broncos:

easymobee
09-10-2010, 12:25 AM
Good read.

Despite his critics on this thread, NJ obviously has tons more perspective on the subject in question (unless Gaston Green posts here anonamously).

Never a NJ fan really. Didn't really care one way or the other if he survived the final cut-down from year to year, but he writes decently.

Couple of the bigger critics here would probably take a month off of their part time jobs at the putt putt course after straining their backs picking up stray balls.

Does anyone really think that the ones calling him out are firemen or something like that and are putting off their hernia surgery and working through the pain until the new year ......not really.

baja
09-10-2010, 12:48 AM
Good read.

Despite his critics on this thread, NJ obviously has tons more perspective on the subject in question (unless Gaston Green posts here anonamously).

Never a NJ fan really. Didn't really care one way or the other if he survived the final cut-down from year to year, but he writes decently.

Couple of the bigger critics here would probably take a month off of their part time jobs at the putt putt course after straining their backs picking up stray balls.

Does anyone really think that the ones calling him out are firemen or something like that and are putting off their hernia surgery and working through the pain until the new year ......not really.

No I think they are boys in their teens whose Idea of working through pain is jacking off with a splinter.

easymobee
09-10-2010, 01:16 AM
No I think they are boys in their teens whose Idea of working through pain is jacking off with a splinter.

Good point.

Also young enough to think that the veteran minimum salary in the NFL (Minus Taxes -40 % or so) is so much money that anything you have to do to attain it should be fantastically enjoyable.

For anyone who think that only boxers and Mark Schlereth show the wounds of their sports ..... take a look at Earl Campbell or Emmitt Smith in an interview on youtube sometime.

-edit- actually emmitt might have been like that way before football, but poor Earl looks and communicates like he is 75 and on his 3rd stroke. He only played a half dozen years in the NFL, but its easy to forget about the 7 to 8 yrs of hits taken at the HS and College level.

Speaking of which, it blows my mind that Favre has been playing QB for about 30 years if you take into account HS and College.

baja
09-10-2010, 01:50 AM
Good point.

Also young enough to think that the veteran minimum salary in the NFL (Minus Taxes -40 % or so) is so much money that anything you have to do to attain it should be fantastically enjoyable.

For anyone who think that only boxers and Mark Schlereth show the wounds of their sports ..... take a look at Earl Campbell or Emmitt Smith in an interview on youtube sometime.

-edit- actually emmitt might have been like that way before football, but poor Earl looks and communicates like he is 75 and on his 3rd stroke. He only played a half dozen years in the NFL, but its easy to forget about the 7 to 8 yrs of hits taken at the HS and College level.

Speaking of which, it blows my mind that Favre has been playing QB for about 30 years if you take into account HS and College.

Funny I was looking for a picture of Earl Campbell for a response to a cavalier post by Junkman about "they know what they are getting into" post.

Absolutely theses guys should have better safe guards while playing this violent 'game'.

Concerning Farve, he looked very old tonight. I have my doubts he will make the season, course it may be just a case of him not being in football shape seeing as he had no training camp again.

Gort
09-10-2010, 07:05 AM
No I think they are boys in their teens whose Idea of working through pain is jacking off with a splinter.

it's not that people don't have empathy for the physical ailments these guys will have to deal with later in life.

we just don't like guys whining about it. they know the risks. they make the choice.

50 years ago, players didn't understand the risk.

but players of Nate Jackson's generation DO know the risks. in fact, they've known since they were in grade school and they still chose to pursue it.

i have no sympathy for him when he complains that the NFL should have done more to protect him from playing while hurt.

if he didn't like it, he should have quit and gone to dental school.

bronco militia
09-10-2010, 08:00 AM
what a puss

bronco militia
09-10-2010, 08:01 AM
http://passionforcinema.com/wp-content/uploads/unbreakable3.jpg

Cito Pelon
09-10-2010, 11:15 AM
WTF? What's this mutt whining about? I was a paperboy for the Denver Post at 12 years of age delivering papers at 25 below zero at times, pushing a bicycle loaded with 110 papers through 18 inches of snow at times, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. And we also had to go collect the money from the subscribers when it was 25 below and 18 inches of snow. There was no crying allowed. That was our job at 12 years of age, and we did it, or we didn't get paid. And this mutt is whining? Phhht.

Jay3
09-10-2010, 11:21 AM
To the pro football players, I appreciate the emotional stress of trying to make a team, I really do. It's a type of thing only they can understand.

But try getting out of bed a 6:00 A.M. and donning a blue vest, and going into Wal-Mart to work, and standing on your feet all day, and making about $18,000 a year. Now do it for 20 years. That's real, hard work, full of honor and deserving of praise that never comes. Society is built upon such people.

Life ain't so bad playing in the NFL. Enjoy whatever time you are blessed to be even considered.

baja
09-10-2010, 11:41 AM
To the pro football players, I appreciate the emotional stress of trying to make a team, I really do. It's a type of thing only they can understand.

But try getting out of bed a 6:00 A.M. and donning a blue vest, and going into Wal-Mart to work, and standing on your feet all day, and making about $18,000 a year. Now do it for 20 years. That's real, hard work, full of honor and deserving of praise that never comes. Society is built upon such people.

Life ain't so bad playing in the NFL. Enjoy whatever time you are blessed to be even considered.

Ever see Earl Campbell try to walk today?

Like Gladiators of days past these players are considered little more than meat by the organizations they play for. You can still have a good football product and protect these players from their owners that would abuse them so as to cause life long health issues.

Cito Pelon
09-10-2010, 11:52 AM
Ever see Earl Campbell try to walk today?

Like Gladiators of days past these players are considered little more than meat by the organizations they play for. You can still have a good football product and protect these players from their owners that would abuse them so as to cause life long health issues.

Baja, these NFL players have nothing to complain about, NOTHING. They're some of the most pampered people on the planet.

Gort
09-10-2010, 11:56 AM
Ever see Earl Campbell try to walk today?

Like Gladiators of days past these players are considered little more than meat by the organizations they play for. You can still have a good football product and protect these players from their owners that would abuse them so as to cause life long health issues.

Tom Brady's new contract extension: 4 years. $72M. $48.5M guaranteed.

:contract:

but, um yeah... the owners consider these guys little more than meat.

/sarc

baja
09-10-2010, 01:05 PM
Tom Brady's new contract extension: 4 years. $72M. $48.5M guaranteed.

:contract:

but, um yeah... the owners consider these guys little more than meat.

/sarc

I'm not saying it's done casually, sure they care about the players but the pressure to win is so great that players are asked to play injured and risk permanent injury in some cases. I really like the idea someone here suggested that a third party doctor have the final say if a player is to play or not (or at least some appeal system) and not a doctor employed by the team. The current system is flawed and lots players play when they really shouldn't.

It's not like this is a secret, look at all the posters here clamoring to hold out Clady so as to not re-injure him. They know there is strong pressure within any organization to rush players back. I think TD's career was cut short because of this very thing.

Atwater His Ass
09-10-2010, 03:03 PM
To the pro football players, I appreciate the emotional stress of trying to make a team, I really do. It's a type of thing only they can understand.

But try getting out of bed a 6:00 A.M. and donning a blue vest, and going into Wal-Mart to work, and standing on your feet all day, and making about $18,000 a year. Now do it for 20 years. That's real, hard work, full of honor and deserving of praise that never comes. Society is built upon such people.

Life ain't so bad playing in the NFL. Enjoy whatever time you are blessed to be even considered.

Is this a serious post?

People not bettering themselves with relevant skills and abilities is worthy of praise?

Archer81
09-10-2010, 03:21 PM
Is this a serious post?

People not bettering themselves with relevant skills and abilities is worthy of praise?


Apparently.

Without these lowskilled workers how would society survive? HOW?


:Broncos:

Jay3
09-10-2010, 04:33 PM
Is this a serious post?

People not bettering themselves with relevant skills and abilities is worthy of praise?

Dead serious. A man that you can count on to give a day's work for a day's wage is a man who is in full possession of his dignity, and deserving of respect.

Not everybody can play sports.

Not everybody can be of even average intelligence.

But everybody is capable of working and doing his part to live as if nobody owes him a living. And it's a thankless task to work your whole life for low pay.

SouthStndJunkie
09-10-2010, 05:00 PM
Funny I was looking for a picture of Earl Campbell for a response to a cavalier post by Junkman about "they know what they are getting into" post.

Absolutely theses guys should have better safe guards while playing this violent 'game'.

Concerning Farve, he looked very old tonight. I have my doubts he will make the season, course it may be just a case of him not being in football shape seeing as he had no training camp again.

Cavalier....how so?

SouthStndJunkie
09-10-2010, 05:06 PM
Ever see Earl Campbell try to walk today?

Like Gladiators of days past these players are considered little more than meat by the organizations they play for. You can still have a good football product and protect these players from their owners that would abuse them so as to cause life long health issues.

Earl Campbell was not a slave.

Nobody forced him to play football.

He could have walked (before he limped) away from the game any single day of his playing career.

Does it suck they wreak havoc on their bodies and do irreparable damage?

Yes, it does, but they play a game where car like collisions occur on every play.

If players did not play hurt and take their bodies to the limit, there would be about 20 players suiting up for every game.

I don't know that there is a solution for the problem....unless they change it to flag football....and then nobody would watch.

SouthStndJunkie
09-10-2010, 05:09 PM
Ever see Earl Campbell try to walk today?

Like Gladiators of days past these players are considered little more than meat by the organizations they play for. You can still have a good football product and protect these players from their owners that would abuse them so as to cause life long health issues.

Gladiators were often slaves.

Pro football players have free will and are free to use their college educations to pursue any other career field at any single moment and time.

baja
09-10-2010, 05:14 PM
Earl Campbell was not a slave.

Nobody forced him to play football.

He could have walked (before he limped) away from the game any single day of his playing career.

Does it suck they wreak havoc on their bodies and do irreparable damage?

Yes, it does, but they play a game where car like collisions occur on every play.

If players did not play hurt and take their bodies to the limit, there would be about 20 players suiting up for every game.

I don't know that there is a solution for the problem....unless they change it to flag football....and then nobody would watch.

I not talking about playing hurt everyone is hurting I talking about playing injured.

baja
09-10-2010, 05:16 PM
Gladiators were often slaves.

Pro football players have free will and are free to use their college educations to pursue any other career field at any single moment and time.

The pressure to play injured is often tremendous.

The line "We can always go in another direction" comes to mind.

baja
09-10-2010, 05:17 PM
Take this shot the team needs you is another.

baja
09-10-2010, 05:19 PM
Saying a player can just refuse to play is like Nancy Reagan saying "Just say no" to a ghetto kid.

baja
09-10-2010, 05:23 PM
Cavalier in the sense that it's easy to say the players can easily say no to the pressure to play injured. I'd love to see a honest list on players that were chorused to play injured and suffered irreparable life long damage

Cito Pelon
09-10-2010, 05:54 PM
Cavalier in the sense that it's easy to say the players can easily say no to the pressure to play injured. I'd love to see a honest list on players that were chorused to play injured and suffered irreparable life long damage

Football is an addiction to some of these guys, that's their career path, that's what they want to do. They could have chosen a lot of different career paths having been in college, but they chose the NFL as their career path.

They don't have a lot of room to negotiate, and I don't give them much room. They're doing just fine right now, don't try to steal more than you've already been given.

baja
09-10-2010, 05:57 PM
So they should play injured right

You can play with a concussion just fine so they should just suck it up and play like they did in the olden days right?

Cito Pelon
09-10-2010, 06:37 PM
So they should play injured right

You can play with a concussion just fine so they should just suck it up and play like they did in the olden days right?

No, the morons should take their millions and do something it.

vanbrugh
09-10-2010, 06:45 PM
Watching Nate survive the cut year after year was painful at least he got paid for it! Still maybe this stuff about head trauma and the NFL has legs - i mean the guy now thinks he's springsteen:clown:

I dont even get me started about his love fest with the sheff!

Atwater His Ass
09-11-2010, 03:40 AM
Yeah, Nate's opinon doesnt' matter because he wasn't a super star. Instead let's listen to all the internet posters that have never even played D1 football.

KipCorrington25
09-11-2010, 01:32 PM
Nate Jackson should have worn a ski mask picking up that NFL paycheck for however many years, the guy sucked and I wish he'd just shut up and go away, he's coming across now with the lame music, the lame You Tube videos, the lame articles as someone that's too lazy to actually get a real job and make a living and just wants to coast by as a "famous" person.

This is the kind of guy that will start showing up on any reality show he can find talking about how he played in the NFL blah blah blah, for a guy that did nothing on the field and is milking that for all it's worth he really has a lot of nerve to complain about it.

Go away Nate Jackson, you've been cut.