Several young men were in a heated discussion at the gym. The subject was concussions, long term effects and how to protect the brain from damage when it makes contact. I listened over my headphones, back and forth between the fellows and Jacqueline Kennedy’s recorded discussions with Arthur Schlesinger. Mrs. Kennedy was a thoughtful woman, her discussion insightful and difficult to ignore.
I hate my little MP3 device. It must come out of its carrying pouch, taken off hold and paused with a delicate touch. Touch the wrong spot and it gratuitously returns to the beginning of the track or goes to the next book. I don’t mind re-listening to Jacqueline for half an hour, but it’s very annoying on most recorded books. So, I paid attention to the concussion argument with one ear while I worked through chest presses, pecs and delts, biceps and triceps. Somewhere around abdominals, which was so far away from the concussion/helmet discussion that my attention was back on the second Cuba crisis, a loud and sharp clicking came from the front.
The last comment I heard about concussions concerned football players of the past who might have been protected from concussion with modern helmets. Now the clicking had everyone’s attention. The young fellow who is the shift manager held his drink bottle up high. They’re always mixing powder and drinking fountain water into drinks. He shook the drink bottle quickly from side to side. The mixing ball clattered.
“This cup is your skull. The drink mix is the padding. The crack, crack crack is your brain bouncing against your skull, because it’s not attached to anything.” In his opinion, there isn’t a lot of protection in a helmet. The little group dispersed and I went back to Mrs. Kennedy. She was just saying the President and his team went nose to nose with the Kremlin over the missile crisis, and they didn’t crack. Caroline Kennedy’s early release of the tapes is a commendable gift.
As for contact sport, I’ve never seen much point.