Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sign Here Please

Jim McMahon says he wishes he had played pro baseball instead of football.  The Hall of Fame Chicago Bears quarterback, winner of the 1985 Superbowl and probably the grittiest QB of all time says if he knew that he would end up suffering from dementia in his 50's thanks to all the hits he took while playing in the NFL, he would have donned a Cubs uniform instead.  He's one of many players suing the NFL because he said they didn't warn him about the possible head injuries - like early onset dementia, Alzheimer's, constant migraines and even suicidal depression.
I don't know which is harder to picture --
Jim McMahon in a Cubs uniform OR
Jim McMahon not knowing that getting smacked in the head for a living wouldn't cause brain injuries.

I work with a lady who used to be a bank manager.  She worked at several Southern California banks during her career.  She told me that she always knew, no matter what bank she was working at, that there would be a robbery.  Eventually.  You didn't know when, but you knew it was coming. And she was right.  She said she experienced an armed robbery at every bank she ever worked at and some banks were robbed more than once.  She said she still jumps when she hears certain noises or when someone speaks loudly in a relatively quiet room.  She said it was part of the job, the robbery part, just like counting money and filling out deposit slips.  It was to be expected.

McMahon evidently did not make the connection between his job and the inherent dangers.
OK, so maybe he didn't know EXACTLY what kind of medical conditions could be caused by 300lb men crashing into you at full speed with the sole intent of knocking you into next week, but he HAD to know that it wouldn't make him smarter, healthier or more lucid.  There's a reason why they gave you a helmet McMahon and even with that on, it still hurt didn't it?  Game after game after game, McMahon took hit after hit to the head and now, all these years later, in retirement, he suddenly realizes that Scrabble is a lot harder to play when you can't remember the alphabet.  And somebody has to pay.  Somebody should have told me this was going to happen.  The NFL should have warned me.  They didn't.  So while I still have a coherent thought in my head and can find my way to a court house, I am going to sue the pants off these greedy, heartless, negligent NFL owners! 

Now I do not want to be insensitive to McMahon's pain and suffering.  His early onset dementia is real.  His condition is worsening and it must take a toll not only on him, but on all those who love him.  I hope he can get the treatment he needs to stop or at least slow the worsening of his condition.  He is only 53 for goodness sake!  What I AM saying is that McMahon's  "You should have told me about the dangers of concussions!  You hid the facts!" statements toward the NFL about the dangers of being a quarterback seems falsely naive.  Disingenuous.
I can't imagine my banker friend suing Bank of America (or whatever bank she worked for) because she is now unable to enjoy a quiet room due to her bank-robbery induced jumpiness.  Should the bank have asked her to sign a waiver stating that she understood that 1) Banks get robbed 2) Banks can get robbed regularly 3) Banks can get robbed regularly by scary people with guns 4) Banks can get robbed regularly by scary people with guns who may or may not shout, point the barrel at your nose and threaten to kill you.  5) This can and most likely will make you very jumpy in quiet rooms, semi-quiet rooms, heck almost any room that reminds you of this bank (and some that don't.).  It will also definitely make you paranoid in all banks you ever enter, no matter if you work there or not (another one of her symptoms) and this paranoia and/or jumpiness may cause you to have post traumatic stress syndrome, depression, suicidal thoughts, mistrust of strangers or turn you into a person who may or may not be able to function normally in society. (Not her problem thankfully.)
Please sign here acknowledging that this job could kill you or lead to a variety of premature debilitating conditions, disorders and/or diseases that negatively affect your quality of life!

Oh, oh. Now that I think about it, I think EVERY job needs a waiver.

McMahon says the NFL hid the effects of concussions from athletes.  Who knows if they did.  But it may just be that they didn't point them out.  They didn't state the obvious.  Hey, McMahon, all that diving headfirst for the first down that you're doing?  You might want to stop that.  Go for the feet first slide.  You know, like baseball.  Oh, but wait, before you do that, can you please sign here?  Sliding like that can cause repeat ankle injuries.  Sprains, breaks, twists and tears. Some of that may lead to premature arthritis.  Difficulty walking.  Chronic pain.  Which as you may or may not know leads to depression.  And depression, well, you know where that can lead. Anyway, this job can kill you whether you slide or take one on the chin.  Sign here please.

Then I thought about it.  We may all need LIFE waivers.  Why doesn't God give us a waiver?  He could make sure our parents take it home from the hospital after we're born.  The nurse could pack it in our take home bag right next to our blankie.  We'll need to be old enough to understand it before we sign it so maybe our parents could present it to us for signature after we graduate from Kindergarten.  Right after we learn how to print our name and get that pony we've always wanted.

Attention:______________ (Insert Child's Name)

As you journey out into life please be aware:
1)  The things you do today will come back to haunt you.

2)  When you are young, you won't think about consequences so much, but trust me the things you do today WILL have consequences.  All that eating at McDonald's will catch up with you. And that drinking? (No, not juice from your sippy cup. I mean alcohol.)  Trust me. Avoid overdoing it.  Avoid overdoing ANYTHING.

3)  If you choose to overdo it or do something dangerous or reckless, you will pay a price.  Maybe not right away, but eventually you will.  Very few people escape unscathed from the bad choices that they make. (Some consequences just come WAY later.)
4)  I say this because I love you. I don't want to see you suffer.  I want you to thrive as my child. 
5)  Feel free to ask me for help at any time.

Please sign here acknowledging that you understand the above: (In other words, don't say I didn't warn you!)
P.S.) The Bible shows you how to live to avoid negative consequences.  Start with Proverbs.

P.P.S)  Playing NFL football, especially quaterback, is dangerous.  I don't recommend it.


Hope Horner, 2012
Follow on Twitter:  HopeNote

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