The pro football season opened last night with a game on NBC – colliding, to the delight of Republicans, with President Obama’s latest dithering televised address. Collectively, fans are wondering why kickoffs have to start at the 35-yard line this year rather than the 30. Most haven’t given a second thought to the death last Sunday, at 56, of Lee Roy Selmon, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Hall of Fame defensive end in the seventies and eighties.
They should. Though no direct causal link can be established between Selmon’s fatal cerebrovascular accident and the no-longer-quite-so-well-covered-up epidemic of traumatic brain injuries in football, the scenario in the round amounts to another grotesque twist on the fatal flaw of America’s sport. And the sooner we have a real conversation about all this, the better. It is not a problem that can be willed away by hard counts, play-action fakes, or John Madden’s belated brand of “concussion awareness.”
CONTINUED TODAY AT BEYOND CHRON, THE SAN FRANCISCO ONLINE NEWSPAPER: