A Modest Proposal

By Johnny Ginter on May 14, 2012 at 1:00p
10 Comments
YOU JUST GOT HAMSTER WHEELED, BABY!

Football, and by extension America (which loves football), has a problem.

Contrary to popular belief, however, concussions and neck injuries and people being forced into wheelchairs in the mid 40s is not the problem. Far from it! In fact, those might just be the solution to the problem.

No, the real problem that football had these days is a PR problem. All around us, people are attacking our most beloved and beautifully brutal sport, calling it "dangerous" and "potentially life-threatening" and "maybe not worth the risk." Of course, though these comments have been spewed forth from such uninformed terrified children like four time Pro Bowl QB Kurt Warner and two time Super Bowl champion Osi Umenyiora (who is British and probably more comfortable playing a game of footy than a real man's game like football), they're still damaging a previously sterling reputation.

But that's not the only issue facing America. Indeed, our energy crisis has reached levels not seen since the Carter administration. With gas prices approaching four or five dollars in some locations, and America continuing to struggle to achieve the goal of energy independence, it's becoming clear that we need to seek out new alternative energies to solve this problem, and sometimes that requires a few "radical" ideas.

Maybe you see where I'm going with this.

I have but a modest proposal: because of the apparent increased lifespan of the average NFL player over the general population AND the obvious decreased brain function of NFL players over time, I submit to you that we place former NFL and college players in large, electricity-generating hamster wheels to live out the what remains of their semi-lucid lives as the elite athletes/pieces of meat that they were always destined to be. Forever.

It really makes quite a bit of sense, once you strip away all of that whiny PC pandering about "mental health" and "quality of life." After all, this is football we're talking about! There is no greater quality of life! As NFL and college players well know, their lives are essentially over once they hang up their pads anyway, so why not spend their remaining years contributing to society with their (mostly) intact bodies?

Kurt Warner doesn't seem to want to help his fellow man. Instead, he selfishly insists on maintaining the brain function of his sons:

"They both have the dream, like dad, to play in the NFL,” Warner said. “That’s their goal. And when you hear things like the bounties, when you know certain things having played the game, and then obviously when you understand the size, the speed, the violence of the game and then you couple that with situations like Junior Seau. Was that a ramification of all the years playing?

"It scares me as a dad. ...I love that the commissioner is doing a lot of things to try to clean up the game from that standpoint and improve player safety, which helps, in my mind, a lot. But it’s a scary thing for me."

PROGRESS

Hey Kurt, you know what your kids could be doing at 35 after 25 years of football INSTEAD of math equations or raising equally healthy children? Running in a giant hamster wheel.

Consider the math: according to this website, an adult human running in a hamster wheel for a half hour can generate 120 watts of power. That means that two concussion addled future Kurt Warner Juniors could feasibly contribute up to or more than 2880 watts of power per day. Extrapolated, that's 720,000 watts over the course of a normal working year, easily enough to power the lights for, say, a high school football game.

And all it requires is for Kurt to stop being such a wussy helicopter dad and allow his sons to destroy their brains to the point where they can't function in normal society already.

Look, I'm talking about creating jobs, I'm talking about not just saving the freaking environment, but also I'm talking about saving football. Consider this ESPN roundtable where mental and moral giants Stephen A. Smith, Cris Carter, and Skip Bayless debate the future of the NFL if this rampant neutering of this great vegetable producing game is allowed to continue. And here Cris Carter makes a great point, that concussions in football are really just an FBS and NFL problem, not a problem for high schools and lower tier colleges. It's simple medical science; a 240 pound linebacker playing for Mount Union lacks the capability to inflict concussions like a 240 pound linebacker attending UConn can.

Which of course has dire ramifications for my personal plan of placing barely-lucid former football players in hamster wheels, so as far as this pertains to my plans, it's not great. Neither is players like OSU's Andrew Sweat forgoing the NFL and deciding on education instead. So here's a simple five step process for coaches at the college level and beyond to preserve the manliness of football and also my plan to solve America's energy problems.

  1. Ignore every recommendation listed here, especially the last one, which calls for independent, unaffiliated neurologists to be present at football games. Instead, hire 20 nurses with cortisone shots in their place. Saves money, gets players back out there more quickly. Still, I suppose I would reluctantly consent to one dependent, affiliated, amateur neurologist. Named Cris Carter.
  2. Replay huge hits on some kind of popular sports clip show, and then rerun that show on the same network. Over and over and over.
  3. Make sure that people manufacture some kind of extreme outrage whenever a player acknowledges that they are injured and cannot play. Bonus points if it is an NFL player from a "blue collar" city and during a playoff game.
  4. By that same note, be sure to idolize (and eventually eulogize) football players who take significant risks with their personal health and well-being, and hold them up as mythic heroes instead of likely idiots.
  5. Make "Boom" by the seminal rock band P.O.D. the unofficial rock song of football in general and reinforce this by having it in the background of every possible video featuring football on YouTube.

These steps, closely followed, will create a veritable army of disabled and mentally deficient former football players, ripe for the wheel. Rest assured, these slabs of meat that we call athletes will be well cared for. Water, food, bibs for spit... all will be provided so that these great athletes can continue to put to use the only part of their bodies that still properly function for the good of society. We need these giant hamster wheels. Not just for football, or even for America. We need them so our brave, concussed football veterans can finally feel good about themselves. After all, they're gonna live a lot longer than the rest of us.

"But wait!" you may be saying. "What if the physical toll of football has been so great that they can't run the wheel, that they can't function mentally OR physically? How would those players go on after football?"

Oh, easy question! They wouldn't.

10 Comments

Comments

tennbuckeye19's picture

Very nice Johnny. A good and entertaining Monday read.

nickma71's picture

Really? The assult on football is....absurd, that is true.

OHBuckInCA's picture

Sorry, but being an engineer, I feel compelled to recommend a minor change. A watt is a unit of power, not of energy. Power is essentially energy per time. An analogy would be like saying Warner's sons could run 10 miles per hour or 240 miles per hour in a day, etc. The units on their energy output should be Watt-hours (which is what the energy company bills you by).

Other than that, a great article! Always live for the articles/forums on this site to get through the day.

"The time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect." - Woody Hayes

Buckeye in Illini country's picture

It's always about the units.  Huzzah for engineers!

Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!

hodge's picture

...I see what you did there.

pcon258's picture

as i read the title, i was preparing to comment explaining the connotation of a piece entitled "a modest proposal," but i think youve got it haha. fantastic stuff, shades of jonathan swift

William's picture

I remember reading A Modest Proposal junior year in an AP English class, when a girl clearly could not comprehend that Swift was being facetious. In an ensuing paper/debate assignment she reamed him for be such a savage, the rest of the class then commenced in face-palming.
Also good work, enjoyed the piece. 

klfeck's picture

My only problem with the medical community trying to diagnose the impact of brain trauma on the cognitive abilities of former football players is who is to say many of them had that much "ability" to begin with..........
 
Maybe the studies should be relegated to former academic all American only ;-)

Kevin

OH!!!!!

Proud parent of a Senior at The Ohio State University

smith5568's picture

I feel that as long as the players make an informed choice regarding whether to play or not and what the risks associated with it, than player safety should not be such an issue. Physical trauma is a part of the game, if you do not like it or do not want to suffer it, then don't play football.