I can’t say I disagree with Troy on this one. Recent comments from Pro Football Talk reference Polamalu and statements he made about how he’s stretched the truth so to speak about his ability to play when he gets his bell rung.
If you talked to any NFL player worth his weight on his team they would tell you the same thing. We view concussions differently than players do many times. If they can see straight and function under their own power they are getting back out there.
I’d like to think I’d be the same way.
Most players have lied about that. What is startling to me is that some grown men, who’ve watched football all their lives act like they’re surprised by this. This is football, a near gladiator sport; It has been my assumption since I’ve been watching this game that these guys have always played through concussions, broke legs, etc.
All these media experts who never played the game continuing to side with league doesn’t help matters either. People who couldn’t even get on the field have no right telling players how to think, how to conduct themselves (on the field) in a sport that (unless you can actually play it) you have to be out there, in the heat of it to really know what it is all about. They “assume” to know. Those that have played rarely tell it like it is anymore either.
So frankly I’m all for Troy’s comments. He speaks the truth. It’s a fine line to walk but things are different in the NFL than you’re average 9-5 career.
Here’s the full article from PFT:
[quote]Steelers safety Troy Polamalu seems to value being on the field for his teammates more than he values his own health and safety.
Polamalu said on the Dan Patrick Show that he has lied about symptoms of concussions so that he’d be cleared to stay on the field.
“Yes, I have, for sure,” Polamalu said.
Polamalu, however, seems to see a distinction between just saying he doesn’t feel dazed after a hit to the head when maybe he actually does, and blatantly lying about a significant injury.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve had any major lies,” Polamalu said. “Somebody may say, ‘Is your knee messed up?’ It may be kind of messed up but you just kind of push yourself to be out there with your brothers. I wouldn’t say there are any major lies where I totally lied may way out of concussions. In fact, during concussions, if it’s serious enough you can’t even be conscious enough to lie.”
According to Polamalu, there’s a difference between the kind of concussion that takes you off the field and the kinds of dings that doctors might call a concussion but football players view as the cost of doing business.
“I’ve had, I believe, eight or nine recorded concussions. We’ll have another conversation after I’m done playing football,” Polamalu said. “When you get your bell rung they consider that a concussion — I wouldn’t. . . . If that is considered a concussion, I’d say any football player at least records 50 to 100 concussions a year.”
So why is Polamalu willing to lie? He says it’s all about being there for his team.
“There’s so much built up about team camaraderie and sacrifice, and football is such a tough man’s game,” Polamalu said. “I think that’s why it’s so popular, why so many blue-collar communities and people feel really attracted to it, because it’s sort of a blue-collar struggle that football players go through in terms of the physicality of the game and the commitment you need. . . . It’s that commitment you need to play football. You feel sore, you’re beat up, you’re injured, you’re legitimately injured, most people may take three months off to work in an office, we choose to play the next week.”
And sometimes Polamalu even chooses to keep playing in the very game when the medical staff would tell him he shouldn’t.[/quote]