Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

22 May 2014

The Price of Pain

Sports On Earth's Patrick Hruby has a great run-down of the painkiller lawsuit filed against the NFL earlier this week.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 22 May 2014

5 comments, Last at 04 Jun 2014, 9:09am by Noah Arkadia


by Alexander :: Sat, 05/24/2014 - 12:54am

This is another dubious lawsuit by ex players.

by Jimmy :: Sun, 05/25/2014 - 1:04pm

Another? Dubious like the one currently having the hundreds of millions of dollars settlement examined in court to decide whether it is big enough?

Have you even read the article?

by Noah Arkadia :: Mon, 05/26/2014 - 10:18am

Not that I'm on the NFL's corner, because the practices described are disgusting, but the story could have more depth. First of all, it's not the NFL profit machine that drives this -they surely allow it, but it's the coaches and GMs that will cut or bench a player for their own personal reasons if he can't play or doesn't play well.

But why not dig deeper. Isn't the purpose of college to prepare kids for their work life? And don't these kids actually have that very same job they do at the NFL in their own colleges? So what's going on at that level? Wouldn't players who get good medical treatment in college smell something funny when suddenly pumped full of drugs in the NFL?

Or maybe not because they also got pumped full of drugs at college. And does it really even start there? What about high schools? Maybe the real reason NFL players don't wonder at all at NFL doctors is because they've been getting bad medical treatment since high school -even if not as terribly bad.

Or maybe not, but that's something I would have liked to see addressed in the article. Although in the end, let's face it, it's not that players in general don't know the risks of taking drugs -you don't need to be a genius to figure that out-, but there's enormous pressure to perform. Not just for money, but from peers, coaches, fans, and even family and friends and their own glory-hungry selves.

In short, it's everything, but at the root of the problem is the violence of the sport. Which in turn leads us to the helmets and pads and tackling technique. Which is the next thing I'd like to read about in regards to this.

Who, me?

by LionInAZ :: Tue, 05/27/2014 - 6:17pm

I mostly think the same as you. I wouldn't doubt that this kind of stuff is going on all the way down to high school level -- we already know that abuse of PEDs goes on at that level, and maybe even earlier. I don't think it's even limited to football. I'd bet there isn't a single sport that doesn't have stuff like this going on. Football is in the spotlight now because of all the lawsuits.

You may be right that profit isn't the entire motive, but I'd argue that teams are highly motivated to keep stars on the field. Fans don't want to watch games filled with subs while the stars that spur sales of tickets, gear, and ads ride the bench with an injury.

It's ironic that the NFL has a big, showy anti-drug message program while the teams are turning players into addicts by feeding them masses of prescription painkillers. Criminal. It's like the Mafia organizing neighborhood watch programs.

by Noah Arkadia :: Wed, 06/04/2014 - 9:09am

Lol. You have that last part right. The league is definitely responsible for allowing team doctors that hand out dangerous medicine like it's candy. And then they turn their back, point a finger and cry "Maryjoaaannaaa!" like one of those aliens from Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Who, me?