So with all the attention and headlines head injuries have been grabbing the past couple of seasons, many people question, not only the Colts, but also Austin Collie himself on whether he should ever take the field again. Let alone as soon as this Sunday against the Bears, after he suffered his third diagnosed concussion in the past 22 months on Aug. 19, at Heinz Field inPittsburgh.
Every indication coming from the Colts organization points to Collie being fine. "Full go. Yep," coach Chuck Pagano confirmed on Monday afternoon,” he looked great," Pagano went on to say. So why when Collie’s name is mentioned, does everyone get this look on their face like the next time the guy gets hit it could all be over? I’m not just talking about his career either; some go as far as to hint towards maybe even his life. In fact, I’ve heard many analysts discuss that they fear long-term brain damage, and for not only the betterment of himself, but also his family, that he should hang it up. I’ll be honest, and this isn’t because I have Collie in two out of three of my fantasy football leagues either, I totally disagree with all of that talk.
First and foremost, Austin Collie has been medically cleared to play and has been advised by absolutely no one to retire because of the amount of times he has been concussed. With all the precautions the NFL mandates, that in itself is enough for me. On top of that, Collie himself says he wants to keep on playing. If that’s not enough, and people want to play the family card and say,” well it’s not about him, what about his family’s feelings?". His father has said that he 100% supports his son’s decision, and doesn’t think he should quit playing either.
So explain this to me again, if a player has not only been medically cleared, but also himself and his loved ones not only agree but support the decision to continue playing, why are so many people, including Indianapolis’ own sports reporter, Bob Kravitz, against the idea of him returning to the field? Oh!, that’s right, I’m sorry, I forgot, the long-term ramifications that he doesn't realize yet, right? Well let me tell you this, I’m not completely sold on all that noise either.
So is it just a coincidence that 90% of the players trying to file suit against the NFL for head related injuries (that they say they were not properly treated for while they played), are broke right now? Or is it just me that thinks some players are just looking for a payday? Now don’t get me wrong, I’m absolutely convinced that some of those cases are legit, but by no means are all of them, and by those players continuing to allege false accusations for their own selfish financial gains is disgraceful. All it’s doing is padding their pockets and giving the sport of football, which already has a bad enough reputation, an even worse one. There are too many moms that already want to bubble wrap their kids, let's not give them even more reasons to worry because a bunch of guys who either couldn't save and/or budget their money properly enough to provide for their future, are trying to fear monger so they can get paid. But Jason, "What about Junior Seau, he killed himself because of the head injuries he sustained while playing, right?". That whole statement is debatable too. There hasn't been any debates by the doctors whom examined his (Seau's) brain. Nor has any admission been evidence that can point to Seau’s head trauma, he may or may not of sustained, while playing as a factor for his suicide. Now once again, I’m not saying that the head trauma some players experience while playing doesn't at all contribute to the hardships they experience later in life. I feel for those players, but they knew even if they don’t want to admit it, the risk they were taking by choosing such a violent profession. And the media encouraging the public to just assume that every ex-NFL player killed himself because of the results of head injuries while playing, is flat-out irresponsible. What happened to just plain 'ole crazy or depressed? I mean some people are just a little off, and no matter how many times or lack of times they get hit in the head is that going to be affected, some people are just off.
I know I just went off on a tangent, but all I’m saying is before you try to use ex-NFL players law suits and suicides as a case for current players to retire after a couple concussions, stop listening to everything the media says, and do some research. The fact is a lot of former players are broke, and they aren’t being truthful SO they can get paid. Another fact, is through scientific evidence, it has been proven that not all players suicides can be attributed towards head injuries they sustained while playing.
I think if Austin Collie were asked if he understood now how the possible consequences of his decision could result in problems mentally or otherwise in the future, would he have done the same thing again and returned to the field, he would without hesitating say, yes. For anyone to judge the man or his families advice is not only unfair, but completely unjustified. I fully support Collie’s decision to return and hope people will stop looking at the guy like all he is a walking concussion. He is a very good player and deserves the right to continue his career as long as he and his family sees fit.