Originally written on In The Neutral Zone  |  Last updated 11/19/12
Bears_cultler_walks_b981
It’s the marquee Monday Night matchup of the season thus far: the 7-2 Chicago Bears, led by quarterback Jay Cutler, travelling to San Francisco to take on the 6-2-1 host 49ers, led by quarterback Alex Smith.   What a game! The Bears, the leaders in the NFC North, feature a take-no-prisoners defense that leads the league in takeaways. Their offense is inconsistent, but the combination of Cutler and receiver Brandon Marshall is potentially lethal against any opponent. The Niners, leading the NFC West, showcase a balanced offense led by Smith’s 70% completion rate and Frank Gore’s 5.4 per yard rushing average, as well as a defense every bit as stingy as the Bears.   Bears running back Matt Forte vs. the Niners’ run defense; Gore vs. the Bears’ run defense. Cutler vs. Smith! I can’t wait for….   What? What’s that you say? No Cutler? No Smith?   Not tonight, honey. Seems they both have a headache.   More to the point, they are but only two of the growing number of players who have suffered concussions in the last several years. As quarterbacks, they are obviously more vulnerable, and as such more susceptible, to brain injuries.   It’s sad. Sad not only for the fans who expected to see two of the league’s better quarterbacks (at least statistically) on the league’s biggest regular-season stage, but for the fans who shelled out big bucks to be at Candlestick Park tonight. Sad for the advertisers who paid bigger bucks for those fans to watch their commercials and maybe buy their products.   Most importantly, sad for Smith and Cutler and everyone else who has suffered a concussion on the football field. Especially Cutler, for whom this is number six or seven, depending on how many you count while he played at Vanderbilt. Sad not only because they miss their team’s games, but sad for their health, and perhaps sad for their future well-being.   The Centers for Disease Control distributed a flyer called “CONCUSSION. A must read for NFL Players.” It outlines the definition of a concussion (“brain injury.” That would scare me), as well as symptoms and what to do if you think you’ve suffered one.   What the flyer doesn’t offer is a solution. That’s not up to the CDC, of course. That’s up to the NFL. It’s up to the most popular league in the country to take the lead in assuring that concussions won’t occur on their watch, that their fans won’t be deprived of seeing their favorite players because of brain injury, and assuring that after they retire, their stars won’t become a shell of what they were during their playing days.   Want proof? Ex-Bear Dave Duerson killed himself on February 17, 2011, leaving behind a note saying he couldn’t take it anymore because of all the concussions he suffered, and that his brain be donated for research. Researchers at Boston University concluded that he suffered from a neurodegenerative disease resulting from concussions. Specifically, what Duerson suffered from, and what several others also have, is called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.   Same thing with Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau, who shot himself in the chest on May 2, 2012. He left no suicide note, and his brain was found with no apparent damage, but he did exhibit mood changes and irritability associated with concussions and brain damage. At his family’s request, his brain tissue was donated to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.   How many more Duersons and Seaus do there have to be before the league finally mans up and does something about it?  And if the league is too insensitive to offer a solution for their players’ well-being, at least it could do it for the people who really drive the league – the advertisers and networks who someday may see their revenues decline because fans stop watching.          
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Ronda Rousey knocks out Bethe Correia in 34 seconds

Von Miller earns dismissal from NFL’s drug program

Ian Kennedy watches birth of daughter on FaceTime before start

Matt Williams wants Bryce Harper to stop getting ejected

Five most underrated players in the NFL

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Larry Lucchino stepping down as Red Sox CEO

Las Vegas Mob Museum to open FIFA corruption exhibit

Does NFL have a motive to settle with Tom Brady?

Big Ten coaches opposed to 9-game conference schedule

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Hill arrested for reckless driving, clocked going 107 mph

Danny Garcia beats Paulie Malignaggi, remains undefeated

Bobby Wagner, Seahawks agree to contract extension

Blount won't talk about reported failed conditioning test

Greg Hardy helps pay Cowboys fans to fly anti-Eagles banner

Report: 7-foot Aussie center to join Kentucky's 2015 class

Eagles trade CB Brandon Boykin to Steelers

Jack Del Rio: Crabtree ‘stood out’ at first Raiders camp practice

Browns owner: ‘We haven’t given up on Johnny Manziel’

Junior Seau’s daughter will speak at Hall of Fame induction

Golden State Warriors: the rich get richer

NFL, Brady could settle to avoid appeal documents going public

Miguel Herrera apologizes for costly Philly airport fight

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

David Price traded to Blue Jays

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker