Monday, September 2, 2013

Hard knocks

I had the pleasure of meeting Joe Auer at the YMCA yesterday.

Joe is a former NFL running back and he's probably best remembered for his 95 yard kick-off return in the first regular season game the Miami Dolphins ever played against the Oakland Raiders in 1966.

He ended up being the Dolphins MVP that same year.

He lives in my town and regularly works out at the "Y."

We briefly talked about the recent NFL settlement for 765 million dollars for the former players and families in regards to information that was reportedly hidden pertaining to the potential long term effects of head trauma and multiple concussions.

Joe played for a total of 5 years and is getting a small NFL pension.

He's now 71 years old.

He has some evident word finding difficulties and he had me introduce myself three times so as to help him remember my name.

I did not ask him the one question I would have loved to ask:

"If you had known about the potential effects of head trauma and concussions, would you have still played nonetheless?"

Like most athletes, I suspect he would have said yes.

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