Hobey Baker, America’s first great hockey player, came from Bala Cynwyd, Pa.
Hobart Armory Hare “Hobey” Baker starred for Princeton from 1910 through 1916 turning down a offer of $20,000 to play for the Montreal Canadians. He enlisted in the Army Air Service in 1917 for World War I and shot down three of the enemy. He was killed in a plane crash in France just a little over a month after the war ended.
F. Scott Fitzgerald admired him and based a character in This Side of Paradise on him.
Hat tip VFW magazine
Hobey Baker was America’s first great hockey player
NFL Kneelers Dixie And The Confederate Flag — I wish I was in the land of one-percenters and owned a football team.
And if my one-percenter football players were miffed about the unfairness of life — maybe coming from a violent community where 70 percent of kids grow up in homes without a father present — and decided to express their pique by kneeling for the National Anthem, I wouldn’t get mad.
In fact, I would lower the Stars and Stripes at the start of the next game. While they were kneeling there wondering what was going on I would raise the Confederate Battle Flag in its place.
And as they, ironically, would stand in anger and confusion I would play Dixie in lieu of the Star Spangled Banner.
And when it was over, I’d announce on the broadcast system: “Now do you stupid bastards get it?”
Then I’d raise the right flag and let things continue.
NFL Means No Further Look — We’ve always looked forward to football season but various events in recent years ranging from collegiate scandals — twisted and banal — to professional hypocrisy has caused us to sour on the sport.
Football is not necessary for a happy life. In fact, we suspect that we are going to learn that it is more inclined to get in the way of one as we suspect we are not going to be watching that much this season.
There is one thing we are curious about: Will Chip Kelly cut Colin Kaepernick as he did Tim Tebow — who actually earned a spot — last year?
Concussion is based on the book based on the 2009 GQ expose Game Brain, which details the brain damage suffered by NFL players and how it has led to suicides and other early deaths.
Game Brain was inspired by a paper that pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu published in the journal Neurosurgery concerning Hall-of-Fame Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster. Webster died on Sept. 24, 2002 of a heart attack at the age of 50. He was living in his truck and often confused, angry and deranged.
Omalu, who performed an autopsy on Webster’s brain, found the veteran of 16 years had “chronic traumatic encephalopathy” which is brought on by repetitive head trauma.
Other long-time veterans also died early including Eagles safety Andre Waters who committed suicide in 2006 at age 44. Omalu described Waters brain as that of an octogenarian Alzheimer’s patient.
Smith, however, like many of us, still can’t bring himself to hate the game although it has become pretty easy to hate those who profit from it at the professional AND college level.
“Abandoning football won’t fix the sport—Americans need it so that, one day, we might learn to see ourselves for who we truly are,” Smith says.
With a little less greed, we might be able to have our cake and eat it too.
Eagles great Chuck Bednarik died last March five weeks before his 90th birthday. While family members said he suffered dementia for which they blamed football, having it in one’s 80s is not the same as having it at 50 or 44.
Bednarik played 13 season with the Eagles retiring in 1962. Like Webster, he played center but he also played linebacker. He was called the last of the 60-minute men.
So let us consider some of the differences between Bednarik’s and Webster’s careers. Bednarik, who retired in 1962, played mostly a 12-game season. Webster, who started in 1974, played a 14-game season for his first four then played the rest with a 16-game schedule. That’s 25 percent more bangs to the head in games Webster got during his career, and don’t forget the bangs received during four more weeks of practices.
Cutting back to a 12-game schedule would sure save a lot of wear and tear on players. Of course, that would wear and tear the profits as well so we can’t have that.
You don’t need to sacrifice profits, however, with a little imagination. Cut the season to eight regular season games then start a second eight-game season with different teams and players in January. Global warming is happening right? Have the champions of the different season play each other on July 4. The money would just roll in.
But that requires imagination and the willingness to think outside the box which is something clearly beyond Roger Goodell’s skill set.
How about ending the platoon system? This is something that Bednarik actually advocated. Bednarik weighed 233 pounds in his playing days. Webster weighed 255. Their opponents had the same proportional weight differences. A bigger mass and the same acceleration means more force. More force means more damage.
Ending the platoon system would mean lighter players. A 300 pound man cannot effectively play 60 minutes of uninterrupted football.
Then there are of course drugs. Not the illegal ones like steroids but painkillers distributed by team doctors. Suppose a rule is passed that restricts all painkillers to be over-the-counter medicines used in accordance with the directions on the label? We strongly suspect that would mean more players sitting out when they should. Again, creating fewer tragedies and maybe saving football.