Is This the Way the NFL Ends? T. S. Eliot, Jim McMahon, And The End of Football In America

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats’ feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom
Remember us—if at all—not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.

– From The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot.

Jim McMahon was trending on Twitter this morning because of this interview with SportsCenter that aired yesterday.

“He had a concussion, but it cleared up by halftime.”  – a Bears team doctor in 1988.

“We knew about risks to every other part of the body.  But we didn’t know about the brain trauma.  They did.  They lied.”  – Jim McMahon

Headpieces of straw.  Paralyzed force.  Not lost, violent souls. The hollow men.  The stuffed men.

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow

This the way the NFL ends, with a bang.  With a million concussions.

I hope these players get every dime.

How Bad is Our Drug Problem?

Have you seen this report last month from the CDC?  Has anyone?

This 28-year study, which began in 1980, purports to show that death by poisoning is the leading cause of death from injury in the United States, and that 90 percent of these fatal poisonings are caused by drugs (both legal and illicit).  Opioid analgesics were involved in 40 percent of drug poising deaths in 2008. 2008 also marked the first year that more Americans died from poisoning than car crashes.

Is it just me, or are these staggeringly high numbers?  This isn’t a post about the usefulness or futility of that batch of policies and military actions known collectively as The War on Drugs.  But it might be a post about the glibness with which some so easily dismiss the notion of a drug problem in the US.