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Dedicated or Stupid, It was a different era...

Eric from BBI : Admin : 11/15/2013 8:34 am
I still remember when Jack Youngblood did this.
’Blood sport: Rams great says times different, JPP should play - ( New Window )
Tittle 9 20 64 : 11/15/2013 8:45 am : link
I think a little bit of both. One thing for sure, Youngblood was one tough son of a bitch.
Ronnie Lott's finger:  
derpaderp : 11/15/2013 8:50 am : link
Aug. 2: In April, doctors looked at the badly damaged finger on Ronnie Lott's left hand and gave him two choices. They could operate, graft a bone from the wrist, insert a pin and have him wear a cast for the next eight weeks. Or they could amputate just above the first joint. Lott made what coaches like to call "the football decision." He told them to cut off the end of his finger. It was a simple procedure. He held out his hand, they numbed it and snipped off the finger tip and put his hand in a cast. After three weeks he went back to have the cast removed. The doctor took off the last dressing. "What do you think?" he asked. Lott couldn't answer. He was staring at a stub. Instead of a fingernail there was only a whitish, rounded stump. "The ugliest thing I've ever seen," Lott says. "I was trying to laugh it off, but I felt sick. I tried to stand up, but I broke into a cold sweat. It was just a total shock. I thought, 'Oh, man, I should have had the pin put in.' " Lott has had worse injuries, but emotionally this one was different. It made him feel that football was biting off bits and pieces of him, of everyone who plays. And no one seems to care. "We are losing the compassionate side of sports," he says. "We're becoming gladiators. If I ever become a coach, I hope I never lose sight of the fact that players are people. They feel, they have emotions. I could have all of Eddie DeBartolo's corporations and it isn't going to buy me a new finger. It has given me a new perspective on life."

You think that would ever happen today, even while playing in the Super Bowl? Not a chance...some would say that's good and others would say the opposite.
Ronnie Lott stunned by loss of fingertip, 1986 - ( New Window )
It was a very different era.  
ktinsc : 11/15/2013 8:53 am : link
That does not mean that Youngblood is correct here. He even
has the benefit of seeing his contemporaries as they fall apart physically and emotionally post NFL. He will always be a legend for playing with a broken leg. We know that there are similar tales of guys plying hurt, very hurt, back in the day. That does not make it right.
I also think it's guys like me,  
Tittle 9 20 64 : 11/15/2013 8:58 am : link
that grew up watching football in the 60's and 70's , that question the toughness of guys like Tuck and JPP.
exiled : 11/15/2013 9:05 am : link
There's playing hurt and playing injured and playing effectively. I'm wondering how well Youngblood played with a broken fibula. (Anyone know?) It's not just about playing with pain. Most of the time you see a guy playing with an injury, they suck. I'd rather have them be less tough, and let someone else play better. (Not that the Giants have a lot of JPP replacements just waiting to play.)
lets not forget Tiki Barber  
Gordo : 11/15/2013 9:20 am : link
played with a broken arm back in 2000, didn't even bother him
Younblood was tough, but contracturally it was different  
Defenderdawg : 11/15/2013 9:26 am : link
Many contracts were for one year and a option, salaries were lower, rosters were smaller, there was no free had to play

Starters even played deep into exhibition games...

Youngblood had a multi-year contract out of college but according to McDermott SI in 1983: "He remembers breaking into pro football, thrilled with a $21,000 salary. Deacon Jones, his idol, had hurt his foot, and Youngblood, a rookie and a rube, filled the void."

Again not questioning Youngblood who is one of the greats...but for many there was no choice but to play.

As a Giants fan Youngblood has always caused me "pain" in another way:

1971 Draft
1-19 NYG Rocky Thompson RB West Texas State
1-20 OAK Jack Tatum S Ohio State
1-21 LAR Jack Youngblood DE Florida HOF
Some players  
Tittle 9 20 64 : 11/15/2013 9:30 am : link
just have a higher tolerance for pain, Rolle is one of them, and of course LT, who had a tremendous ability to block out pain.
I get the sentiment...  
JOrthman : 11/15/2013 10:19 am : link
but isn't this the same group of older players that has testified and sued the NFL at times for what happened to them on the field? If it was bad for them now, why would you want to tell players to do the same things to thier bodies?
It's not just football  
Bill in UT : 11/15/2013 10:28 am : link
it's our whole society. Football is just a reflection. Hockey players with helmets and facemasks. No dodgeball. No one allowed to kill/get killed in a war (it looks awful on TV).
Is it just me  
Hammer : 11/15/2013 10:30 am : link
or does anyone else see the sickness in all this? We, as a society, expect people to perform, on a playing field, despite traumatic injuiries and with total disregard for life and limb. And, to add insult to injury, we vilify men who make decisions, regarding their health, with the long term ramifications in mind.

At times I wonder to myself , considering my outlook on work, workplaces, and workers, why I support the madness. I have a sneaking suspicion that, at some point, I will throw in the towel and stop.
how about LT using that horse liniment on that  
Victor in CT : 11/15/2013 10:31 am : link
broken bone in his leg in 1989?
what the hell does this even mean?  
Greg from LI : 11/15/2013 10:35 am : link
No one allowed to kill/get killed in a war (it looks awful on TV).
kinda silly  
M in CT : 11/15/2013 10:36 am : link
even if JPP were as tough as Youngblood, the coaching/training staff still wouldn't let him play if he's injured.

as Tuck said in the article, big difference between "hurt" and "injured." I expect all of our players to play hurt. i expect none of them to play injured.
anyway....the reason people remember Youngblood's broken leg  
Greg from LI : 11/15/2013 10:41 am : link
is the fact that it was astonishing even then. Playing through a broken leg was crazy tough in the '70s just as much as it would be now. It's silly to use this one exceptional incident as a yardstick for current players because it wasn't the yardstick in ANY era.
And if  
Jerry in DC : 11/15/2013 10:44 am : link
you go back further in time, coaches would deny water to players during practices. Now these losers are drinking water all the time, sometimes even Gatorade. Chuck Bednarik would've drank his own piss before taking a swig of Gatorade. It's just not the same sport anymore.
I think there is a question asked both then and now.....  
njm : 11/15/2013 10:58 am : link
can playing exacerbate the injury? It came into play back then, but with today's cap limits and multimillion dollar contracts it now is paramount.

And I think that's the question that should be asked with respect to JPP.
LT played on a broken leg and ran down Randall Cunningham from behind  
WideRight : 11/15/2013 11:02 am : link
The major difference now is the amount of money.

Risking further injury can impact earnings potential by millions of dollars, not just a few hundred grand.

Compare the career earnings of Aaron Ross and Terrel Thomas, or Steve Smith and Victor Cruz. Agents aren't going to let you make a gametime decision in a vacuum. That plus a guy like JPP may not really have any clue about the significance of the injury, because his doctors are practicing defensive medicine, and you have the potential for some bad decisions
hell, you don't even have to go back that far to find when water was  
Greg from LI : 11/15/2013 11:06 am : link high school football team was a mediocre team from a small private school in a weak league, and our practices were run as if it were the fucking Junction Boys. Water was kept on the benches by the doors to the gym, a solid 50 yards or so from the practice field. We'd get something like two minutes for water breaks. You'd sprint over to the water, fight with your teammates to get a bottle to take a quick swig and sprint back. This was in the early '90s.
once again - LT was exceptional  
Greg from LI : 11/15/2013 11:07 am : link
Part of what made Lawrence Taylor LT was his phenomenal tolerance for pain. People were astonished by it at the time.
Both Youngblood and LT broke their fibula  
GeofromNJ : 11/15/2013 2:18 pm : link
which is not a weight bearing bone. This is not to say that the break was not painful, or that the possibility of further damage was not real, but both players had full lower leg support and mobility, and so were able to play at a high level.
RE: anyway....the reason people remember Youngblood's broken leg  
81_Great_Dane : 11/15/2013 4:50 pm : link
In comment 11338874 Greg from LI said:
is the fact that it was astonishing even then. Playing through a broken leg was crazy tough in the '70s just as much as it would be now. It's silly to use this one exceptional incident as a yardstick for current players because it wasn't the yardstick in ANY era.
This. Thank you Greg for returning sanity to this conversation.
As great as LT was,  
81_Great_Dane : 11/15/2013 4:53 pm : link
I can't help but wonder how much of his high pain tolerance was from him being high, period.
Part of the story is that Youngblood's Rams lost that game and gave up  
BlueLou : 11/15/2013 6:16 pm : link
what? 40 points? I didn't bother to look at the details of the game, but maybe Youngblood wasn't exactly a force that day?
it's a much smarter and more strategic game today  
Osi Osi Osi OyOyOy : 11/15/2013 6:27 pm : link
It's not about winning battles, it's about winning wars. Both as an individual and as a team. Risking JPP's future for 1 game is not worth it for both the team or JPP.
Bill in UT : 11/15/2013 6:56 pm : link
especially this year
Youngblood making 200k at the time  
Randy in CT : 11/15/2013 7:07 pm : link
was a ton of dough and playing on a snapped fibula that hurt like being stabbed with an ice pick would absolutely hurt it further and be quite dangerous and was amazingly stupid.
There was a time  
Bill in UT : 11/15/2013 7:25 pm : link
when athletes said they couldn't believe they were getting paid to play a game they loved. Anything they made was a bonus. You don't hear that much anymore
RE: There was a time  
TheNeumann64 : 11/15/2013 8:07 pm : link
In comment 11339899 Bill in UT said:
when athletes said they couldn't believe they were getting paid to play a game they loved. Anything they made was a bonus. You don't hear that much anymore

That was never true. Pro sports have been a business since the first time the Cincinnati Reds paid a player in 1869. They just used to write fluff pieces about Mickey Mantle so everyone believes the game was more "pure" when they were a kid. It's nonsense.
Bill in UT : 11/15/2013 8:33 pm : link
It wasn't only Mickey Mantle, I've seen lots of quotes from pro athletes. But if you choose to be a cynic, that's fine :)
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