Thursday, March 14, 2013

Garo Yapremian Yells At His Wife of 40 Years, So Blame the NFL. Or Something...

If you want a good sickening read on how many guys are trying to angle for some easy class-action money off of our most popular pro sport, tackle football, then read this piece by Matthew Futterman of The Wall Street Journal titled "The NFL's Courtroom Playbook."
But there are also some 400 plaintiffs who never played a single down in a professional game, but participated in training camps or served time on a practice squad. 
"You've got situations where cases could be sent back from one court to another because the plaintiffs have such wildly different circumstances," said Gabe Feldman, director of the Tulane Sports Law Program. 
So far, publicity around the litigation has centered on players who incurred countless blows to the head and have been diagnosed with dementia and memory loss. So vulnerable are quarterbacks that in recent years the league has imposed new rules to protect them. 
But the list of plaintiffs seeking damages for repeated mild traumatic brain injuries also includes roughly 50 former punters and kickers—men who spent the bulk of their time standing on the sidelines for all but a few plays each game, and often took no hits at all. 
The punters and kickers argue that even occasionally taking a block or tackling a returner poses an extraordinary risk. "I weighed 142 pounds and I didn't wear many pads," said Garo Yepremian, the 5-foot-7 field-goal specialist who played 15 years in the NFL. 
"Every hit was like a car crash. Maybe you only get hit eight or 10 times a year, but if you experience eight auto crashes a year you're going to feel it." 
Although free of dementia symptoms, and although medical tests have yielded no diagnosis of brain injury, Yepremian, a plaintiff against the league, said he suffers from mood swings that he says may or may not be related to football injuries. Sometimes, he said, he'll be sitting with his wife of more than 40 years and "the slightest thing gets me so aggravated. I'll throw a tantrum for 45 minutes, screaming and shouting."
Yeah. Sure, Garo. It's the football. Not your wife.

Hard to be sympathetic to former players now, when it didn't take being a neurologist from Harvard to deduce that repeated head smashes were, um, BAD for you and could have consequences.

And just wait. Once Tony Gonzales retires - again! - he'll be quick to rush in himself, if this whole debacle isn't thrown out of court by that time.

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