There are guys in the NFL who you might think of as being concussion-prone, but Troy Polamalu is probably not one of them. Except, Troy Polamalu kind of is one of them.
Polamalu was on "The Dan Patrick Show" on Wednesday and admitted that he's had numerous, numerous concussions in his career ‒ and lied about them in order to keep playing.
"I've had, I believe, eight or nine recorded concussions," Polamalu said. "We'll have another conversation after I'm done playing football."
But that's just it ‒ will we have that conversation when your career is over? Or will someone ask you then how many concussions you've had, and then you'll drool for 30 seconds and say, "IT MAKE TROY SMILE WHEN THE COW-COW GOES MOOOOOOOO."
And eight or nine might be very, very low on the estimate of how many concussions Polamalu has suffered.
"When people say that you kind of just get ‒ you know, just feel like a little buzzed or dazed or had your bell rung ‒ they consider that a concussion. I wouldn't. But if that is considered a concussion, I would say any football player at least records 50 to 100 in the course of a year."
It's a pretty compelling interview, and you can listen to the whole thing here. Polamalu compares a football player lying about concussions to the mentality of a coal miner in West Virginia getting up and going to work every day, even though he's not well. He believes that blue-collar mentality is part of the reason that the NFL is so popular.
Polamalu is a thoughtful guy and an admirable player. He's worth listening to on this subject or any other, but his attitude toward this makes me a little uncomfortable. I know he's a big boy, and he can make his own decisions, and he'll make good ones.
But I think about getting knocked in the head, to the point that I feel dazed, and it's not a good feeling. Maybe I'd agree that such a knock wouldn't qualify as a legitimate concussion, but still, it's not fun, and if that happened to me 100 times between September and February, with the occasional "real" recorded concussion on top of that, I'm pretty sure that by March, I'm going to forget my ABCs and urinate on myself twice daily.
That's not good. I don't think the human brain is meant to handle that kind of punishment. I guess we'll find out for sure in, oh, several dozen years from now.