If you’ve been waiting for a response from the NFL about that study saying 110 out of 111 of their deceased former players’ brains were basically pureed into McFlurries thanks to CTE, you’ll have to keep waiting. It’s been 24 hours now, and so far all we have is one, carefully crafted, boilerplate statement in lawyerspeak that was probably written months ago to be ready when the bad news hit. In part it reads:
The medical and scientific communities will benefit from this publication and the NFL will continue to work with a wide range of experts to improve the health of current and former NFL athletes. As noted by the authors, there are still many unanswered questions relating to the cause, incidence and prevalence of long-term effects of head trauma such as CTE. The NFL is committed to supporting scientific research into CTE and advancing progress in the prevention and treatment of head injuries.
And here’s how NFL.com is treating the biggest football news story of the 2017 off-season:
So we’ve got the gameplan for how the league intends to Hurt Locker this particular bombshell. Keep saying they’re all about supporting the research and we want all the facts. While slipping it in there that the science is not really settled and we don’t know if pro football causes brain trauma. But check out our new website to get the latest on Lucky Whitehead, the Jets tanking, fantasy football and Richie Incognito’s come-to-Jesus moment!
I can’t go another sentence without acknowledging what every Patriots fan can tell you: That nobody is better at ignoring scientific facts like the NFL. With that said, it’s going to fascinating to watch the league keep trying to ignore this problem like the Mayor of Amityville pretending he didn’t have a shark problem. Theirs is the only site on the Internet not talking about the 99% study. That one statement they’ve issued is meant to provide cover for everyone. For instance, Bill Belichick was asked about the study this morning and just referred to the league’s statement, a scene that will be repeated around the NFL with all the 31 other coaches.
And it’s because the league understands that the one thing they can’t afford to do is be honest. For all of Roger Goodell’s robotic answers filled with buzzwords like “transparency” and “facts,” the one thing they can’t be is transparent about the facts. He’ll go on 60 Minutes for a fawning puff piece about how he’s a Brain Health Warrior who’ll stop at nothing to get to the bottom of the effects of bashing your grey matter into another man’s skullbucket for 60 plays a game.
But in the end he’s just throwing a ton of owner’s money at a problem in order to come across as concerned about player safety. When the truth is the whole castle that is pro football was built with playing cards. And this CTE link is the breeze that could blow the whole thing off the table. The Nazis used to call it the Big Lie: No matter how ridiculous it is, the public will go along with it as long as you say it loud enough and often enough.
Well I’m not lying when I admit I’m part of the problem. That like most guys, I’ll be watching football until it dies or I do. Even knowing that the guys who play it are slowly killing themselves for our entertainment like Roman gladiators. It’s a hard reality to face. But Goodell and his Propaganda Ministers want us to live in their alternate reality where everything is being addressed and no one needs to talk about it. I for one will choose to live in the real world, thanks. No matter how much it sucks.