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The Unmentionables — and it’s not Bugs Bunny! PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, December 01, 2013 12:00 AM

By JIM METCALFE

Sports Editor

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It’s THAT week again.

THAT refers to The Game, the archrivalry between Ohio State and That Team Up North Whose Name Should Not Be Spoken In Public.

Just kidding — almost!!! This is the week you gotta have fun with your friends who are fans of THEM, isn’t it?

Unfortunately, That Team isn’t having the kind of season Buckeyes’ fans need — not want; there’s a part of me that wishes THEY would lose every game THEY play — for them to secure a spot in the BCS title game.

The Bucks need lots of help to get there: not only must they beat the aforementioned ——- and probably badly and That Team Up North State in the Big 10 title game but they need either Alabama to lose either this week in the Iron Bowl against Auburn (which could happen) or in the SEC title game ——— or Florida State to lose this week to Florida — when Hades freezes over — or in the ACC title game.

For the Buckeyes to compete at the highest levels from here on, they not only need to get the blue-chippers that Urban Meyer will bring in and win games but they need the Big 10 teams to also get their share of blue-chippers so they can win their games, especially non-league and hopefully not against Crawfis College!

———-

Is losing a football game worth a life?

A woman at the Oakland Raiders’ O.co Coliseum — the former Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum — tried to jump from the upper deck to her death after the team’s loss Sunday.

Fortunately for her, 61-year-old Marine Corps veteran Donnie Navidad was there to lunge forward and save her life.

She plunged 45 feet and he broke her fall enough as he also fell to the concrete to prevent her death, though she currently remains in the hospital in critical condition.

This was not just an accident, either; Navidad was among a group of fans urging her not to jump.

He is being hailed as a hero but as a veteran, he humbly deflects that deserved praise; how many people would have done nothing?

He risked his own life to save a stranger added he’d do it again in a minute.

I do not pretend to know what other demons this woman was facing to make her try a “permanent solution to a temporary problem” but I re-iterate the question: is losing a football game worth a life?

———

This is along the same lines.

GQ has put together an online documentary series entitled “Casualties of the Gridiron,” reporting on what can happen to former players once the lights go dim on their careers.

One is about the plan of former quarterback Ray Lucas for how he was going to end his life, one he fortunately did not carry out.

Basically, the reason for the series is put faces to the struggles these men are facing with mental, physical or monetary issues — among maothersny — and why many of them are either contemplating suicide or have actually done so.

As I’ve written before — and probably will again sometime in the future because this issue is in the forefront of issues facing the National Football League — I have no clue as to what it’s like to play at the highest levels of any sport, what these men had to do (the work they’ve put in, for example) just to get to that level and stay there and what they go through when the game or their body tells them it’s time to go.

I think it is very apropos for the NFL to take care of these guys — without them, the NFL isn’t even remotely what it is today — as best they can and either provide resources directly or point them in the right direction.

In all honesty, I believe that most of these guys actually did know the risks of what they were doing and willingly played the game for the sake of the game; it’s what they always wanted to do. They don’t want a handout but a hand up because they do need help.

——-

Since we don’t publish Thanksgiving Day, this column is going in today’s issue.

Happy/Merry/Don’t get TOO full Thanksgiving!

 

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