|Type of paper:||Essay|
|Categories:||Violence Sport Movie Human behavior|
One of the things that emerge right from the beginning of the film is that the players are not fully aware of the dangers that they expose their bodies to every game. In the film, there seems to be confusion between being tough and being careful. For example, Webster must have realized that his body was not coping well with the torture of the game especially his teeth coming out and the big cracks on his feet. However, he seems to think that by continuing to play, he shows toughness. The same can be said of Jim Otto, a former player who on being interviewed explains that he is not "crying about it." Hence, the players and the football world seem to confuse toughness with injuries and this seems to encourage National Football league (NFL) to continue to deny the allegations by the specialists. If everyone, players and former players included came out to criticize the sport, maybe more changes would already have been implemented.
The other thing that emerges from this film is that basically the injuries, especially those relating to the brain reduce one's quality of life tremendously. The injuries on the pitch are terrible especially the broken but they are not as cruel as the social consequences that take place much later on. As revealed by his wife and son, Webster quickly went from being the leader on the pitch to sleeping in the car. During those few years, he had managed to break up his family and descend to poverty because of his state of mental and physical health. As revealed by the autopsy, at only 50 years old, Mike Webster looked much older and physically worn out. His brain had been much more damaged because as revealed by his son, sometimes he could not remember the way home or even finish a sentence.
In addition, it feels that the NFL has managed to keep on making the denials because society as a whole has become more violent and encouraging immediate gratification. As highlighted by the film, football with all its aggression has been elevated to the status of cultural activity. As reveals, apart from the touchdowns, the impact crashes between players, that obviously lead to injuries seem to draw the most cheers from the crowd. This means that the society, including those members that do not like football, have accepted it as part and parcel of their daily routines. The fact that two heads hitting together is the highlight of the TV broadcast signifies that the society accepts the violence and the aggression that the sport serves. The NFL has been able to seek refuge in this culture because it knows that the occasional backlash will be drowned by the cheers of the majority despite the known dangers.
Lastly, from this film, it has emerged that one is only relevant to the sport and the amusement of the fans when playing and nobody cares about those players who get injured. As revealed by one of the agents, players are elevated on the pitch but when one is fighting concussions and dementia in the dark hospitals, almost nobody is bothered with them because the lens of the camera and the crowd only seem to focus on the glory and those that fall by the wayside are quickly forgotten just like Mike Webster when he was struggling and sinking into debt.
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