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The Impact of Football

Discussion in 'History Zone' started by Hostile, May 22, 2006.

  1. THUMPER

    THUMPER Papa

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    I played OLB in high school and had 3 ribs cracked by a TE I didn't see as I burst through the line while blitzing. He had come from the other side of the play and I was focused on the QB and never saw him coming. He hit me with his helmet right under my left arm and dropped me like a stone. Worst hit I ever took but as you say, I watched from then on.
  2. JackMagist

    JackMagist The Great Communicator

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    There have been a lot of hard hitters and a lot of vicious hits. But the one that always gives me chills is Jack Tatum hitting Darrel Stingley. That was as brutal as it was tragic. The thing about Tatum was that he was truly vicious and just did not give a damn.
  3. silverbear

    silverbear Semi-Official Loose Cannon

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    Aw, I can top all of those "how I got hurt playing football" stories... and I never really played the game on an organized level (in my high schools, football season and golf season were both in the fall, and at 16 I was carrying a 5 handicap)...

    But when I was 21, I got into a pickup football game one Sunday afternoon, behind George Marshall High School in suburban DC... well, early in the game our opponents scored, and on the "kickoff" (actually a punt), the ball came directly to your friendly local Bear... not being blessed with any speed, I figured that was intentional... so I started up the middle, then swung to the right sidelines, just as fast as my stubby little legs would carry me-- which wasn't very fast...

    I actually thought I was home free, that I'd found the wall and was about to score...

    Then I got clotheslined... I mean, the clothesline from Hades, I never saw the guy coming... I did get a little revenge on that sucker some later in the game, when I clobbered him a split-second after he caught a TD pass... I knew he'd caught the pass, I knew it was a score, but it was payback time, and the hit I put on him was soul-satisfying...

    When I woke up the next morning, I couldn't turn my head more than 2-3 inches in any direction... I thought I had a whiplash injury, but I don't go to the doctors real easily, and after a couple-three days I was feeling much better... I reckon I'm a quick healer...

    Now, fast forward some 20-25 years... your friendly local Bear is in his 40s now, and one morning I woke up with this killer headache that just wouldn't go away... I was eating aspirin like candy, to no effect... I've never had a migraine, but I'm pretty sure they couldn't hurt like this headache did... even laying down, in the dark with a cold washcloth over my eyes, my head just pounded... I was nauseous, it hurt so bad...

    After about 3 days of that crap (like I said, I don't like doctors), I took myself to the emergency room... they promptly ran a head and neck series of x-rays, and the diagnosis came back as a muscle spasm in one of the big muscles that run up the back of your neck, what I always called a "neck cord"... the spasm just wouldn't relax, until they gave me some fairly potent muscle relaxers... in a day or so, I was all better...

    But when the lady doctor in the ER came into my cubicle to deliver the findings, she asked me "Mr. Cottrill, when did you break your neck??"

    Being an intelligent, articulate man, naturally I responded "What??"

    "Oh yes, it's right here on the x-rays, a nicely healed fracture of the x vertebrae" (I can't remember which vertebrae she said it was, but it was right at the base of my skull)...

    So, once upon a time, a long time ago, I broke my freakin' neck (obscure reference to the original "Longest Yard", sanitized for public consumption)... and I lived with it for more than 20 years before I knew what I'd done to myself... LOL...

    I also took the second hardest hit I ever took outside of a boxing ring in that game; I went out on a little swing pass, the QB dumped the ball off to me, and my cousin-- who was playing on the other team-- stopped me DEAD... I mean, he just wasted me...

    My cousin Lee was an Italian kid (on his daddy's side), and built like some of them are... he went 5-10, maybe 5-11, and weighed like 280-290... put another 2 inches and 20 pounds on him, and you've got an NFL nose tackle... his calves were about as big around as some girls' waists that I've known, LOL... but I never knew what a hit he could put on you until that day, and I'd played more than a little basketball with and against him (he set a wicked, Wes Unseld-esque pick)...

    Most of y'all will probably understand when I say that was the last pickup football game I ever played... basketball was much safer for me (though I beat the living bejesus out of myself playing that sport, too)... :eek:

    For that matter, I've even hurt myself playing GOLF... seriously, I separated my shoulder... had to build a whole new swing after that, which set me back a year or so but ultimately worked to my advantage (the old Bear could only hit one shot, the hook)...

    In fact, looking back on my athletic youth, I can only conclude that I was never meant to be an athlete... I had both my front teeth knocked out, had both my cheekbones raised when I broke my occipital orbits (on separate occasions about a year apart), I've broken my nose, broken ribs (on 2 or 3 different occasions)...

    I've also broken my right ankle a half-dozen different times, hyperextened my knees 53 times-- I've counted... I hyperextended my left one 37 times, my right one 16... as a result, I can now make my legs bend into a reverse C, it looks kinda weird... and playing basektball, there was like 3 years there where I spent most of my time with two or more fingers taped together after breaking of spraining them...

    I like to tell people that I've put 3 different orthopedists into brand new Mercedes over the years, LOL... of course, now there ain't much on my body that doesn't ache on me from time to time...

    But y'know, I'd do it all again... some of my most ego-gratifying moments have come in athletic competition...
  4. CrazyCowboy

    CrazyCowboy Well-Known Member

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    Nice read...thanks for posting!
  5. THUMPER

    THUMPER Papa

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    I had almost the same thing happen to me under very similar circumstances...

    We were playing in our Annual Turkey-Bowl (a mud fest at the local elementary school where one of our guys worked, he would flood the field from Wed evening thru Friday morning and we would play on Friday afternoon) and I ended up with the ball on a kickoff.

    Well being one of the biggest guys out there I wasn't usually the one to return kicks. I took off down the sidelines, avoided a couple of tackles until my best friend when I was a kid, who was about the same size as me, came flying through and caught both my feet together. I went down hard on my shoulder and heard a loud noise.

    Having dislocated that shoulder 4 times (the other one once) I immediately thought I had separated it yet again so when I got up I had my friend pull on my arm to set it back in place. The pain was excruciating! I kept playing but it hurt like heck everytime I blocked or tackled someone.

    I was a delivery driver at the time and it was very tough to pick up packages with that hand but I muddled through it and eventually it got better.

    Several years later I had hurt my back and went to the chiropractor. He did a full exam on me and then re-checked my chart. He asked why I hadn't listed a broken collarbone among my many injuries. I told him I had never broken my collarbone but he said, yes you have and showed me the X-ray of it and you could plainly see where it had been broken. DOH!


    The worst injury I ever had was a dislocated hip when I was 15. I was the fastest as well as one of the biggest players out there and loved to play the game. I was playing with a bunch of guys from our local junior college team in a pickup game. I was running with the ball after an INT and one guy caught my left leg. I tried to drag free of him when another guy came flying in and hit me with his shoulder in the groin area and I heard that horrible "POP" sound just before this loud screaming started.

    I have never felt pain like that in my life as every muscle in my lower trunk area was pulled or torn. Stomach, groin, lumbar, lats, quad, you name it, anything that was attached to that hipbone was nearly ripped out as I almost lost that leg.

    6 months of bed rest cost me my speed, my jumping ability, and about 40 lbs of muscle. I played high school football, as a freshman starting on the varsity team at OLB at 205 lbs but after I recovered from that hip injury I weighed only 165 lbs which isn't much when you are 6'3".

    When women tell me I don't know what real pain is (referring to childbirth) I just smile at them and say, "Oh yes I do!".

    I switched from playing LB and WR to the DL and OL. I still played semi-pro ball for a couple of years in the late 70s thru early 80s but I lost out on any chance for a scholarship or college ball.

    I still play football whenever I can get enough guys together for a game but none of these yuppies will play tackle (bunch of wimps!) so I am stuck playing flag, which I hate, but it is better than no football at all.
  6. superpunk

    superpunk Benched

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    Heh....since we're sharing "impact" stories....

    I broke my arm playing football in high school, countless nicks, probably broke my ribs once, still not sure about that one....but the worst impact I ever had came a year and a half ago in a Thanksgiving day flag football game.

    The other team had thrown a little dump off, to their quickest, shiftiest guy. I was in front of him, my teammate was coming from behind. I'm 6-4, 250 - he's about 5-11, 240 - both solid guys. Well, the little shifty guy slows down in front of me, I'm still going full tilt, and then he jukes right just as I go for his flag. So did my teammate.

    We smashed our heads together. His eyebrow went straight between my eyes, and split me wide open. I blacked out, hit the ground, woke up with everyone standing over me. I reached up to feel my head, and I literally thought my skull had been cracked, because I stuck my finger right in the hole. Fortunately, it just split the skin to the bone.

    Funny thing was, my wife had come with me, but had gone to take a nap in the car. So we walked over, I was pretty much fine at this point except for the gash, and I knocked on the window.

    Boy was she surprised, LOL. She just opened the door and said, "What did you do now?"

    Worst part of the story - I had just switched jobs, and had a 1 month lapse in health coverage. Stitches are expensive. :(
  7. Jarv

    Jarv Loud pipes saves lives.

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    I used to tackle players leading with my head (ILB in a 3-4 monster D)...Mostly facemask and not the crown which is spearing....But a few times I may have slipped because I broke a few ribs on RB's and recievers in HS ball.

    I paid the penalty in practice once tackeling our FB Jimmy Zimola, who lead the conference in rushing...A Czonka type of player. Sprained it or did something to my neck which forced me to wear a neckbrace the remainder of the season (On and off the field)...

    Betcha in these days they probably wouldn't even let a HS player continue the season...Oh well, no leftover issues here from it.

    Did you guys ever see the skit Joe Montanna did on Saturday night live after the hit by the Giants Lenaord Marshall or was it Jim Burt...I was at that SNL show and it was hilarious...Keep on repeating he was fine after the hit, then forgetting what he said and repeating it..
  8. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

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    Agreed.

    And not only that but No other Cowboy came to Harris' defense either...Like Lambert did.:mad:
  9. THUMPER

    THUMPER Papa

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    Let's see, in the 40+ years I have been playing football in one form or another I have had:

    1 dislocated hip, 5 torn knee ligaments, 8 broken/cracked ribs, 1 broken collarbone, 1 torn patella tendon, 4 should separations, 1 torn rotator cuff, 7 concussions (which might explain a lot), 2 cracked vertebrae, countless broken fingers & toes, a cracked sternum (my son did that the last time we played), broken nose twice, lost 3 teeth, and too many sprains and tweaks to remember.

    Playing volleyball:

    2 torn rotator cuff, 1 shoulder separation, dislocated ankle (4 years ago and it still isn't right), torn knee ligaments, 1 concussion, broken fingers, rolled ankles, twisted knee, and almost took my own eye out with the end of my pony-tail.

    My chiropractor is amazed that I can still walk at all let alone continue to play football. I haven't been able to play volleyball in a league since I wrecked my ankle but I have played a couple of pickup games the last few years and did pretty well.
  10. Jarv

    Jarv Loud pipes saves lives.

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    Wow ! I guess you've given up Rollerball too now ?
  11. adbutcher

    adbutcher K9NME

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    I feel ya.

    My laundry list of injuries is not as extent but with two knee surgeries ( I have zero cartilage in my right knee), bulging disk in the lower lumbar (nothing like getting a kidney killing cortisone shot just to play), two major finger dislocations (one of my fingers is permanently crooked because it happened during the first quarter of the second game and I had to play the rest of the year with it taped to my good finger), turf burns that have my elbows and knees feeling like a brillo-pad, several concussions, and the worst hang nail tear that went down to the bottom of my finger, I was bleeding like a stuck pig, lol.

    What's funny is that the main thing that the average fan take for granted namely special teams play is where the action really takes place, being in the wedge on kick off was the most exhilarating and most terrifying experience I have ever experienced. You learn early on to keep your head on a swivel because someone on a cross block would hand it to you.

    Having said all that I would kill to play just one more meaningful snap. :)
  12. Hostile

    Hostile Peace Zone Supporter

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    Not to mention you had a teammate trying to shoot you with a bbgun.

    :grin:

    That story needs to be shared in here sometime.
  13. Phoenix-Talon

    Phoenix-Talon Eagles Fan Liaison

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  14. Hostile

    Hostile Peace Zone Supporter

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    I know more than them. I'm a Cowboys fan after all.

    :grin:

    Bednarik was the last ever true 2 way player. He was a LB on D, a Center on O, and long snapper on STs. This guy was a true 60 minute football player.

    You oughta read his comments about Deion Sanders being a 2 way player. Classic stuff.

    This guy needs to be in the pantheon of your all time favorite players if you're an Eagles fan. Whether you saw him play or not. He's a true legendary figure to be admired, and I do.
  15. Phoenix-Talon

    Phoenix-Talon Eagles Fan Liaison

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  16. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

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    Good Lord...Man you just weren't meant to play Sports...At least Healthy anyways.:eek:
  17. adbutcher

    adbutcher K9NME

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    LOL, just one of many bro.

    You and I both know some crazy mofo(s). :)
  18. THUMPER

    THUMPER Papa

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    Me too, my friend, me too.

    If you ever get the chance to hear interviews of some of the older players like Joe Namath, Fran Tarkenton, Jim Otto, etc. they would all give anything to be able to play just one more game.

    Otto is a special case too since he can hardly move, can't dress himself without help, etc. and has been in lawsuits with the NFL for years over his benefits but he still says that it was all worth it just to be able to play football.

    Chuck Bednarik, Art Donovan, Deacon Jones, and Sammy Baugh are some of the best interviews you will ever hear. Those guys embody what pro football is all about, or should be anyway.

    As Hostile said, Bednarik was the last TRUE two-way player. He only came off the field on kickoffs and punt returns (he was the deep snapper when his team punted).

    I would have LOVED to have played in the 50s & 60s.
  19. Hostile

    Hostile Peace Zone Supporter

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    I plead the 5th because I think we were both among the crazies in our day. I know this much, I smiled all the time outside of practice. At practice I learned the hard way that is a bad thing.
  20. Hostile

    Hostile Peace Zone Supporter

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    Never.



    Here you go. Great stuff.

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