Military Suicides => Traumatic Brain Injuries in Sports Entertainment => Linda McMahon Campaign

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Linda McMahon, the WWE co-founder who is the frontrunner for her second straight Republican nomination for a U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut, had a lively debate today with her primary opponent Chris Shays, the former congressman.

Shays took the kinds of shots at McMahon that you would expect. I thought he was decently effective, but what do I know? Let’s see what the next Q poll shows on how the needle moved with unwed teenage mothers in Rhode Island border towns, margin of error plus or minus the unemployment rate in West Haven. That’s the way these things work, I’m told.

True to form, most of Shays’ WWE digs involved what he called its “gross” and misogynist content. He did get off a good line when he asserted that Hugh Hefner was a “job creator,” too, though hardly qualified to be a senator. Shays also contrasted McMahon’s grandmotherly persona in the Linda 2.0 marketing blitz with the count of dead wrestlers who would never have the opportunity to be grandparents.

In my quest to be helpful in the public dialogue, let me point out that an opportunity was missed in a question to both candidates about the frighteningly high rate of suicide among our military troops in Asia. I don’t pretend that the opportunity was obvious or especially exploitable for political purposes. But it’s a connection.

There is much research and discussion surrounding traumatic brain injury in combat. The research and discussion mirror the concussion talk in contact sports and in “sports entertainments” like WWE.

As Shays put it in another context, “We’ve both been in the arena, but mine has been real.”

Dead right. I think.


Irv Muchnick

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Concussion Inc. - Author Irvin Muchnick