The Orange Mane -  a Denver Broncos Fan Community  

Go Back   The Orange Mane - a Denver Broncos Fan Community > Orange Mane Discussion > Orange Mane Central Discussion
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Chat Room Mark Forums Read



Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-09-2010, 02:59 PM   #1
El Minion
Ring of Famer
 

Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,750
Default Nate Jackson:Playing Pro Football Was My DreamóBut the Dream Is Painful

Playing Pro Football Was My DreamóBut the Dream Is Painful
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.
Advertisement

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 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 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
El Minion is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 09-09-2010, 03:01 PM   #2
BroncoBuff
***************
 
BroncoBuff's Avatar
 

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Seattle
Posts: 25,834

Adopt-a-Bronco:
MALIK+QUANTERUS
Default

What's he whining about ... I thought the Redskins hired him to be Shanahan's valet
BroncoBuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 03:06 PM   #3
Atwater His Ass
Ring of Famer
 
Atwater His Ass's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 5,624

Adopt-a-Bronco:
None
Default

So how long until society just abolishes football for being too violent?
Atwater His Ass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 03:08 PM   #4
24champ
Livin' the dream!
 
24champ's Avatar
 
Keep Calm and Chive on

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Southern California
Posts: 19,675

Adopt-a-Bronco:
DomCasual
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Minion View Post
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.
24champ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 03:09 PM   #5
Chris
Millenium Scrooge McDuck
 
Chris's Avatar
 

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 7,560

Adopt-a-Bronco:
OrlandoFranklin
Default

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).
Chris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 03:11 PM   #6
Atwater His Ass
Ring of Famer
 
Atwater His Ass's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 5,624

Adopt-a-Bronco:
None
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 24champ View Post
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.
Atwater His Ass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 03:25 PM   #7
JJG
Seasoned Veteran
 
New to the Forum

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Boise Idaho
Posts: 350

Adopt-a-Bronco:
None
Default

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...
JJG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 03:26 PM   #8
Cool Breeze
Ring of Famer
 
Cool Breeze's Avatar
 
Broncos Rock!

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: south of town
Posts: 1,223
Default

Clearly Nate Jackson is still a p***Y.
Cool Breeze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 03:36 PM   #9
enjolras
Ring of Famer
 
enjolras's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,596
Default

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.
enjolras is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 03:36 PM   #10
scorpio
Cubicle Pimp
 
scorpio's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,501
Default

I thought his dream was to make crappy music. And he accomplished it.
scorpio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 03:52 PM   #11
ColoradoDarin
Not Too Shabby Poster
 
ColoradoDarin's Avatar
 

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: St Augustine, FL
Posts: 7,499

Adopt-a-Bronco:
T J Ward
Default

Good article, and anything to get more Broncos in the media is good.
ColoradoDarin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 04:02 PM   #12
Cool Breeze
Ring of Famer
 
Cool Breeze's Avatar
 
Broncos Rock!

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: south of town
Posts: 1,223
Default

[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
Cool Breeze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 05:04 PM   #13
Gort
Ring of Famer
 
Go Broncos!

Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 6,410
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by enjolras View Post
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.
Gort is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 06:00 PM   #14
Jay3
Guest
 

Posts: n/a
Default

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.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 08:18 PM   #15
MaloCS
Seasoned Veteran
 
New to the Forum

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 342

Adopt-a-Bronco:
None
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay3 View Post
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.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay3 View Post
And they should wear a uniform that looks sort like Starfleet or something.
MaloCS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 09:20 PM   #16
yerner
Ring of Famer
 
yerner's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Charlottesville VA
Posts: 3,936
Default

Good article. Very honest. Seems like a stand up guy.
yerner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 09:33 PM   #17
baja
Elite Sissie
 
baja's Avatar
 
Because

Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: in the present moment
Posts: 59,411

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Cito's Sissies
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by enjolras View Post
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.
baja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 09:36 PM   #18
Steve Sewell
Oh Tyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!
 
Steve Sewell's Avatar
 
Patrick and Ty's pimp

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 4,621

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Reggie Rivers
Default

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.
Steve Sewell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 09:37 PM   #19
baja
Elite Sissie
 
baja's Avatar
 
Because

Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: in the present moment
Posts: 59,411

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Cito's Sissies
Default

I will always believe the Bronco organization ended TD's career early by similar tactics such as Nate describes.
baja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 09:42 PM   #20
Steve Sewell
Oh Tyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!
 
Steve Sewell's Avatar
 
Patrick and Ty's pimp

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 4,621

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Reggie Rivers
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by baja View Post
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?
Steve Sewell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 09:47 PM   #21
extralife
Ring of Famer
 

Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 4,959
Default

Yeah, I think it's probably time for independent doctors that answer to the league rather than the teams.
extralife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 09:51 PM   #22
baja
Elite Sissie
 
baja's Avatar
 
Because

Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: in the present moment
Posts: 59,411

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Cito's Sissies
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Sewell View Post
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 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 09:55 PM   #23
baja
Elite Sissie
 
baja's Avatar
 
Because

Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: in the present moment
Posts: 59,411

Adopt-a-Bronco:
Cito's Sissies
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay3 View Post
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?
baja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 09:56 PM   #24
extralife
Ring of Famer
 

Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 4,959
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Sewell View Post
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.

Quote:
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
extralife is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-09-2010, 10:05 PM   #25
SouthStndJunkie
Ring of Famer
 
SouthStndJunkie's Avatar
 
Shannon Says: Listen to The Junkman

Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 16,125
Default

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.
SouthStndJunkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:41 AM.


Denver Broncos