NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

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

Offbeat
NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Two women barely avoid being hit by train Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans