I’ve been happy as a clam not paying that much attention to the Super Bowl hype. It’s not that I’m not interested in the game — it’s just that I’m interested in the game and not the two weeks of media overkill preceding the game. That said, there is one brand of story I always ...
I've been happy as a clam not paying that much attention to the Super Bowl hype. It's not that I'm not interested in the game -- it's just that I'm interested in the game and not the two weeks of media overkill preceding the game. That said, there is one brand of story I always find interesting -- interviews with retired football players who bemoan how the game has changed. A classic example of this genre is legendary Eagle Chuck Bednarik. The Associated Press' Dan Gelston reports that Badnarik doesn't want the current incarnation of the team to win:
I’ve been happy as a clam not paying that much attention to the Super Bowl hype. It’s not that I’m not interested in the game — it’s just that I’m interested in the game and not the two weeks of media overkill preceding the game. That said, there is one brand of story I always find interesting — interviews with retired football players who bemoan how the game has changed. A classic example of this genre is legendary Eagle Chuck Bednarik. The Associated Press’ Dan Gelston reports that Badnarik doesn’t want the current incarnation of the team to win:
Chuck Bednarik holds a grudge only slightly larger than his legacy as the last of the 60-minute men…. He also is protective of his Hall of Fame legacy. While he boasts about playing both center and linebacker for part of his 14-year career, Bednarik is equally as proud to have played on the last Eagles team to win a championship (1960). That’s why Bednarik will be rooting against the Eagles in the Super Bowl against New England. He has no desire to ever see the franchise win another title. “I can’t wait until the Super Bowl is over,” said Bednarik, who played for the Eagles from 1949 to 1962. “I hope the 1960 team remains the last one to win. I hope it stays that way.” Bednarik admits he’s jealous and resentful about the salaries and spotlight today’s players receive, calling them “overpaid and underplayed.” Bednarik says he never made more than $27,000 and supplemented his income with an afternoon job selling concrete, earning him the nickname “Concrete Charlie.”
Read the whole thing — I think it’s safe to say the Bednarik doesn’t pull any punches. He also sounds like the last person with whome you’d want to be stuck in an elevator. [Yeah… think of him as the anti-Salma–ed.] If Bednarik seems a bit too “old school” for modern fans, SI’s Peter King looks at former Los Angeles Ram Jack Youngblood — whose comeback from injury makes Terrell Owens look like a complete wuss:
Youngblood snapped his left leg in the second quarter of a 1979 playoff game at Dallas, then played the next two-and-a-half games with the leg tightly wrapped. Now, six weeks after surgery to repair a broken leg and damaged ankle ligaments, Philadelphia wideout Terrell Owens will attempt to play Sunday in Super Bowl XXXIX. I will get to the specifics of Youngblood’s tale in a moment. It’s a great story, and because it happened 25 years ago, there are probably an awful lot of you out there who don’t know it very well, or at all. But I thought the most interesting thing I noticed in conversing with the Hall of Fame defensive end was the edge I caught in his voice when I asked him what sort of advice he’d have for Owens right now, seeing as though there’s only been one guy in history to play in a Super Bowl with an honest-to-goodness broken leg, and he was the guy. “To be honest,” Youngblood said, “it’s hard to compare my injury to [Owens’]. He’s been out of the game for what, five weeks? He’s been convalescing. After four weeks, an amputation should be healed. Shouldn’t it?” Touché.
Definitely read the whole thing. As someone who has suffered the exact same injury that Youngblood did, let me just say that I’m very impressed with Youngblood’s threshhold for pain.
Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and co-host of the Space the Nation podcast. Twitter: @dandrezner
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