-Thou Shall Have No Other Gods Beside Me-

This post was inspired by my recent mild traumatic brain injury called a concussion and the many weeks of physical and mental rest. One of my treatments is no or minimal “screen time.” (computers, tv, phones, etc.)

A highly controversial film starring Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu, this Ridley Scott film written by investigative journalist Peter Landesman Concussion (2015) highlights the true story of one man’s discovery that rocked and exposed the NFL’s policy, treatment, and recognition of traumatic brain injuries. A highly trained black, African doctor (and Catholic,) Dr. Omalu performed an autopsy of the former Pittsburgh Steeler icon and star Mike Webster after a his tragic demise and death.This led to a series of tests, research, and linked CTE or “Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy” with Football which basically means after repetitious traumatic brain injuries like a concussion the brain proteins and tissues become damage and your brain strangles itself from the inside out leading to severe mental and emotional health imbalances. The NFL condemned the research and even sicked the FBI on Allegheny General for his research and the professional that assisted him in publication. After ten more tragic and violent deaths of retired pro football athletes, the NFL acknowledged Dr. Omalu’s research. This CTE phenomena and dementia extends to all contact sports where your brain is bashed repetitively: football, soccer, rugby, boxing, basketball, etc.

Here is an interesting line from the movie about human physical anatomy:

“The woodpecker’s tongue extends through the back of the mouth out of the nostril, encircling the entire cranium. It is the anatomical equivalent of a safety belt for its brain. Human beings? Not a single piece of our anatomy protects us from those types of collisions. A human being will get concussed at sixty G’s. A common head-to-head contact on a football field? One hundred G’s.”

Dr. Omalu, being from Nigeria, did not accept the status qou in the USA that violent, contact sports have no potential repercussions. Sports, especially pro sports, enjoy a cult following. I lived in the Northeast, Midwest, and Southeast. I know. I watch sports. I enjoy some sports. I played sports. What I found most disturbing form the movie, is how it highlight that sports is a “god” or “God.”

There is nothing intrinsically wrong about enjoying physical activity and movement in a competitive, team environment. But at what cost to our physical, mental, and spiritual selves? This movie is good for a ponder.

“The NFL owns a day of the week. The same day the Church used to own. Now it’s theirs.” 

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