I Pick Every NFL Game - Week 11

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Why did Brian Westbrook play last week?

Westbrook was knocked out two weeks prior; this comes on the heels of multiple studies detailing the impact of concussions on retired NFL players - and those studies come as part of a larger movement to more clearly recognize what role it is that concussions have played regarding extreme depression in retired athletes.  Malcolm Gladwell recently wrote in the New Yorker that the concussion evidence is such (and the impossibility of disentangling football from causing those injuries) that, in our lifetimes, we will see football as we know it disappear.  You'd think that in the middle of that, a high profile player like Westbrook wouldn't take the field two weeks after getting knocked out - a professional boxer, you know, a lawless sport like boxing - a professional boxer can't fight for at least 30 days after getting knocked out - but in the corporate NFL, 2 weeks go by and a running back is right in the game again. 

The evidence of brain trauma caused, really just by playing the game of professional football is stronger than the evidence of harm by (here it comes) steroids, I'd suggest.  The difference in interest the media has in talking about both subjects is titanic (well, to be fair, the media never cared about steroids in football, just baseball, and it stopped.  Once the Sports Industrial Complex drove over Barry Bonds for years guys like Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez largely got a free pass.  It's a better position we're in now, but forgive a Giants fan if he can distinctly recall every Bonds at bat having to include a disclaimer "remember, what you're seeing isn't actually happening" - but ARod just won a World Title and if the word steroid was uttered at any point during the Series I missed it) and that allows Westbrook, hardly an obscure player, to maybe have ended his career by playing last Sunday. 

Dolphins +3 Panthers (win)
Lions -3 Browns (loss)
Jags -8.5 Bills (loss)
Steelers -10 Chiefs (still alive in the suicide pools, and I've got the Steelers this week)(loss, and that ends my suicide dreams)
Colts -1 Ravens (win)
Pack -6.5 Niners (loss)
Vikes -11 Seattle (win)
Redskins +11 Cowboys (win)
Saints -11 TB (win)
Cards -9 Rams (loss)
Jets +10.5 Pats (loss)
Bengals -9 Raiders (loss)
Eagles -3 Bears (win)
Falcons +6.5 NYG (win)
Denver +2.5 SD (loss)
Texans -4.5 Titans (loss)


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