Everybody Knows

Has football left us mute? The facts are right in front of your nose; here are a few:

Junior Seau, All-Pro linebacker, Chargers/Dolphins/Patriots. 1969-2012.
Dave Duerson, All-Pro safety, Bears/Giants/Cardinals. 1960-2011.
Mike Webster, All-Pro center, Steelers/Chiefs. 1952-2002.

They are just some of the most famous ones. There are others, and there will be more. The evidence piles up, more long articles appear, here, there, the New York Times, ESPN. We watch, we see the hits, we know what they mean, and yet most of us are unable to speak. Watch the game video below, all the way through. Listen to the announcers; what’s not said is terrifying.

“Everybody Knows” is a song by Leonard Cohen, in which the singer manages to speak plainly about our inability to speak plainly. Cohen was not writing about football, but he may as well have been:

Everybody knows the dice are loaded,
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed.
Everybody knows the war is over,
Everybody knows the good guys lost.
Everybody knows the fight was fixed,
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich,
That’s how it goes, everybody knows.

Everybody knows the boat is leaking,
Everybody knows the captain lied.
Everybody’s got this broken feeling,
Like their father or their dog just died.
Everybody talking to their pockets,
Everybody wants a box of chocolates,
And a long-stemmed rose. Everybody knows.

Everybody knows it’s now or never,
Everybody knows it’s me or you.
Everybody knows you live forever,
When you’ve done a line or two.
Everybody knows the deal is rotten,
Old Black Joe’s still picking cotton
For your ribbons and bows. And everybody knows.

Let’s speak plainly. And let’s stop watching snuff films football.


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