So, I am not sure that most of you know – but I practice the Tao of Nowinski when it comes to concussions. I love sports, I love fights (be it Scott Stevens turning Eric Lindros into pancake batter circa 1996 or Jerry Lynn doing a jump from the top turnbuckle into RVD on the floor), and I loved it if I could enjoy sports and fights without screaming about brains. But, living in this post-Chris Benoit World (former ECW/WCW/WWF/WWE wrestler who murdered his wife and son before killing himself – and after he died and the scientists looked at his brains – they saw that he had the brain of a 70-year-old dementia patient. When Benoit was only 40 years old) and my personal un-favorite world of a post-Ryan Church World (baseball player for the Mets — he had two (perhaps even 3) concussions all within 2-3 weeks and thought he was fine because even though this happened a literal handful of years ago, we as a sports-loving people have only recently been able to attempt to understand the human brain when it comes to concussions. So, he got on an airplane. To Denver Colorado and could not understand why he was so sick feeling (low oxygen up there in the mountains or whatever makes Colorado important to people who are not me) again. And because of this, he was not baseball ready for at least 6-8 months (though if it was up to me, he would’ve been shut down for longer) and he was never able to be the baseball player he was before this.
So yes. My love (?) affair with concussions were shaped by those two things but they all started with not understanding why football player Wayne Chrebet was put back into a Jets game after he was knocked literally unconscious for several minutes (not seconds. Minutes. In some cultures that would mean Chrebet pretty much died) and then WAS PUT BACK INTO THE GAME?! And not very surprisingly he had to retire after that game. I’m not a big football fan in general and for the most part I become one of those pink-hat “fans” when it comes to football — I don’t understand enough of the game to know why I should like certain football players (but I do understand that I don’t know why girls like the Manning brothers or whathisface Brady) – so most of my reasons for liking a player is because I feel attracted to them. So, the lost of Chrebet (who was undrafted and a walk-on and from a town a few minutes away from my own town in Northern New Jersey and gave back to the community and barely 5’10” and all those other sorts of things that I love in a man) was also something that got me interested in concussions and awareness and what to do / not to do if someone actually has one.
And hockey has been pretty good for the most part with concussions (sort of. When compared to the NFL). And yes, I’m sure certain Flyers and Paul Kariya fans rejoiced in joy when Scott Stevens had to retire from concussions symptoms, but I also think that was one of the things that made other players stop and pause.
Because everyone knew about Eric Lindros and gave him nick-names like Glass for Brains or similar things (or I’m sure he’s skated back to his bench, only to tell his coach that “I bent my Wookie”) — but to actually stop and think that the PEOPLE (Stevens) handing out the concussions could ALSO have concussions ?!?!??!?!?!? That’s un-possible! Crazy talk!
And every fan has had a player on their team who had some sort of “upper body injury” at some time – but for the most part the “Quiet Room” that was put in place last season is still mocked and ridiculed by fan and foe alike (I mean, seriously? They couldn’t have thought of a less childish name???) but it wasn’t until Sidney Crosby; Vampire — that more people started paying attention to the concussion “crisis.”
So, while I’m not a fan of Crosby (as I mentioned in one of the earlier posts – the only time his name will be mentioned will probably be in regards to his brain …… or the day Ovechkin wins the Stanley Cup) I am thankful (which seems like a terrible choice of wording on my part) for his concussion because as the Golden Boy for the NHL, he’ll get more people talking about concussions — and hopefully more intelligently then Eric Lindros when he had finally come out of his cave.
Before I talk some more about current and former Flyers, a word on Patrik Elias’ concussion from 2010. I am not Jeremy Roenick watching the Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup without him. I do not cry or get misty-eyed over sports (frustrated tears are completely different, people). However, I cried like a little girl …. because my favorite hockey player since I was a little girl …. was sprawled out on the ice and had to be carted off. He did the same sort of “rolling my fingers to make sure I am okay” thing that I have seen wrestlers do for years, so I knew he was okay (plus, he almost died from hepatitis in Russian water, what is a little concussion and/or being unconscious for 30 seconds??) but still. This shit is scary sometimes.
So apparently over there in the Capital of South Jersey — the Flyers have two major SURPRISE~! concussions; Chris Pronger’s mystery ‘virus’ might actually be a concussion (he didn’t feel good and just assumed, you know, that he had caught a bug. And not ‘a life of playing hockey hard and sneaky (that’s what she said) caught up with him’).
This is a script the Flyers have seen before and the vibe from the bench wasn’t pretty.
“It’s scary to see Claude go down like that, but it’s the game,” said Danny Briere who filled in on Giroux’s line periodically. “We’re hoping and praying for the best right now. There’s not much you can do. I think the team probably did the right thing by not letting him go back and trying to make sure everything’s OK before letting him go back on the ice.”
The Flyers can ill-afford another injury, especially one as serious as a concussion.
“That, and you look around the league and it’s a scary injury, starting with Sidney Crosby,” said Briere. “You want to be on the safe side and hope that it’s not the same thing and after a day or two he’ll be ready to go back.”
I guess he can’t be doing that anymorrrre…..