Thanks Max, but this CBC report just highlights the point I’m getting at: they’re NOT citing a study proving that football linemen tend to die in their fifties. They’re just stating that it’s true without providing a link to the original source.
Again, I have NO doubt that ex-football players endure great pain, pain that other men their age do not experience. Many have had knees or hips replaced, which is NOT normal for men their age. I’ve SEEN Joe Namath walk up a flight of stairs, and it was almost as painful for me to watch as it was for him to do. You don’t have to convince me that a violent sport like football takes a heavy physical toll on players.
But I keep coming back to that “average age of death” number. It just sounds bogus to me. MAYBE it’s true, and I’ll gladly admit it if I see some real numbers provided by a real doctor who’s studied the matter. But until then, I can’t help wondering if people are just citing and re-citing and re-citing a number they’ve heard tossed around.
But to give you an idea of where I’m coming from… look at the Green Bay Packer dynasty of the Sixties. Look at their offewnsie line. Forrest Gregg, Fuzzy Thurston and Jerry Kramer are all in their 70s, and very much alive. The only Packer offensive lineman from that era who’s NOT alive is Jim Ringo, who died at 76.
Now, have linemen gotten MUCH bigger since the Sixties? Sure. So MAYBE the death rate has gotten much worse. But let’s look at the Redskins’ famous “Hawgs.” Russ Grimm is still alive and coaching. Mark May is alive and doing college football commentary. Jeff Bostic is alive, as are Joe Jacoby and George Starke.
They may just be exceptions to the rule, I admit. And if I talked to them, maybe I’d learn that they’re all in ill health, due to the beating their bodies took. But so far, none of them have keeled over in their Fifties. And ,as far as I can tell, not many pro football players do.