Jibber Jabber – Ankle bone connected to the … ouch!

Opinion

Chad T. Jones, Public Affairs Officer

There’s no good way to broach what happened to new Celtics forward Gordon Hayward’s leg, so here you go.

Truth in advertising: I did not even look at the full clip. Stories about the injury, player reaction, and one still photograph of Hayward’s foot perpendicular to his leg were more than enough to make my stomach churn.

I’m a total punk when it comes to sports injuries. I’m talking injuries so bad that the player becomes more known for it than his career before the injury. For example, “Joe Theismann’s leg”  or Villanova guard “Allan Ray’s eye.” It literally was poked out of its socket.

Of course, there is a sick contingent of Jabber Nation that likes such things. I’m looking at you Bob Johnson. (You are a Bears fan after all and obviously used to pain.)

So here’s this little gift from YouTube titled “The 10 Worst Sports Injuries Caught on Live TV.”

Being a punk, I didn’t watch the YouTube list either, but based on its April 8, 2013 production date, it probably will not include the rash of NFL injuries that may have changed the entire season:

Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. fractured his ankle Oct. 8.

Later that evening, the best defensive player in football, Houston’s JJ Watt, was carted off with a tibial plateau fracture, an injury so bad it made my physical therapist go “Oh, that’s bad!”

Those injuries left the men who suffered them, and their fan bases, in tears. But no fan base is crying like Green Bay’s after All-World quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone against the Vikings on Sunday.

Before the injury, Green Bay was a favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

After the injury, the Packers have as good a chance of winning the Super Bowl as the winner of Fort Meade’s annual Army/Navy Flag Football game on Nov. 7 at 3 p.m. at Mullins Field.

Don’t forget the free tailgate, courtesy of the Central Maryland Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs committee. And by free, I mean free food, drink and giveaways. Last year, the Joneses walked away with a 42-inch HDTV that now resides in my man cave.

Two things about the Rodgers injury sticks with me:

  • Unlike Watt or ODB, Rodgers didn’t shed a single tear after his injury. In fact, if you look at the video, he’s making arrangements with Minnesota’s Anthony Barr to meet in the parking lot to settle things for good.
  • The people who are screaming to do even more to protect NFL quarterbacks really do not like football.

What else could the league possibly do to protect quarterbacks? Put a red jersey on them so they can’t be breathed on? Make them wear flags? Turn them into bubble boys?

The fact that Jake Gyllenhall was able to build a career after that cinematic monstrosity should serve as motivation to all of the above that they can come back from their career-ending injuries.

But the point is, the NFL — the world’s most popular sport — is not flag football. People get hit. People get hurt, and people watch the game in part because of it and the fans’ desire to watch people get dump-trucked.

Clamoring for more protection for NFL quarterbacks exacerbates the looming demise of the NFL as we know it.

And make no mistake, the league could be in the midst of its own, self-inflicted demise: Player protests; months-long, back-and-forths over Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension, but almost zero traction on getting domestic violence out of the league; “gates” of all kinds; and rules that completely emasculated the game people my age grew up watching.

I currently tune into NFL programming (games, shows, recaps) with the same trepidation I get when turning on cable news: I have no idea what I’m going to see, but am confident that whatever shows up is going to make me like the game a little bit less than before I turned on the tube.

So yeah, I’m a sissy when it comes to sports injuries, but at least it keeps me focused on the game I loved — that is until people start yapping about one more thing that’s easy to hate.

If you have comments on this or anything to do with sports, contact me at chad.t.jones.civ@mail.mil or hit me up on Twitter @CTJibber.

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