Pharos-Tribune

Community News Network

July 22, 2013

NFL injury risk has Hall-of-Fame dad concerned for rookie son

(Continued)

In the NFL Howie played in, his body wasn't his own; it was a highly perishable commodity. In training camp he went through grueling, twice-a-day practices Mondays through Thursdays, and if you passed out it meant you weren't tough. "Water was for wussies," he says. He practiced five days a week in full gear, and every drill and every snap was all-out.

When he got hurt, doctors simply drained the ailing joint with a needle. They never showed him his medical records or gave him an option. "It was shocking what the training room was like and the things the team tried to explain away as something minor when it was potentially not," Diane says.

If the Long sons were going to play the game, Diane and Howie decided, their father needed to help coach them, teach them the things to look for and be aware of. Howie volunteered to coach three days a week at his sons' high school, St. Anne's Belfield in Charlottesville, Va. The boys still can quote the lectures: Football is a nasty game. There are bodies flying around — giant bodies, at all times, at high velocities. Be aware of where you are on the field.

"The guys who are just watching the ball, they get absolutely lit up," Kyle recites. "You see those guys on the 'Jacked Up' segment of ESPN? You don't want to be on that. . . . Know where people are coming from. You avoid the cheap shots. Stay away from piles. It's the guys who want to go bump into people at the piles who end up getting rolled up on.'"

He made his boys wear knee braces and gloves; he taped their ankles, wrists, fingers and thumbs. He made sure their chinstraps were buckled and taught them to get their helmets checked before every game.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.