I neglected yesterday to mention that during Denver’s 15-14 win at Buffalo, Bills TE Kevin Everett was involved in a brutal collision with the Broncos’ Domenik Hixon.
On Buffalo’s kick off to start the 2nd half, Everett attempted to tackle Hixon going in head-first, helmet down. The replay is excruciating to watch — Everett toppled backwards and appears to have been rendered unconscious, instantly.
There was a lengthy delay while Everett was immobilized, placed on a backboard and loaded into a waiting ambulance at midfield. Suffering what the AP has described as a cervical spine injury, Everett was in surgery most of Sunday evening, and the likelihood of his walking again, let alone playing another down in the NFL, is questionable.
We’ve all seen and heard of helmet-on-helmet hits that have resulted in injuries ranging from minor to serious, but if you look at the angle in which Everett goes in, and the way he crumples to the floor, it’s difficult to rationalize the entertainment value. Consenting adults who are being handsomely compensated for the risks they take, sure, but that doesn’t make it any less barbaric or exploitive.
Not that I’ll stop watching, mind you. I continued to do so after the career ending injuries to Darryl Stingley and Mike Utely, and will most probably be a passive supporter of the NFL, ESPN and their advertisers for about 7 hours this evening. But for one day at least, discussions about MMA and dogfighting seem kinda quaint if not downright cuddly. It doesn’t get much more mainstream than what happened to Kevin Everett on Sunday, and while he certainly knew the risks involved, at some point or another, you’ve got to wonder what exactly is Roger Goodell’s billion dollar industry really about?
And assuming you’re neither family nor friend to Everett, you can go back to watching some more a few minutes later.