August 27, 2010
Any fighter who watched the HBO "Real Sports" piece on the possible connection between head trauma and concussions to ALS had to shutter with fear. Bernie Goldberg's story indicated that there may be a link between athletes that often get their heads smashed -- football, soccer and boxers -- and the dreaded disease.
Referencing the story, WEEI's "Dennis and Callahan" show asked UFC president Dana White about safety issues in mixed martial arts. White launched right into his defense of mixed martial arts and the moves to make it safer. He also added his personal feelings about the safety of football by using his sons as an example.
"Both of my sons, they're 8 and 9, train in mixed martial arts. Not that I want them to be fighters I just think as a dad you should teach your kids how to fight," White told the Boston radio show. "My oldest son, who is 9, is a really good quarterback. He's only lost one game in two years. He plays flag football ... I don't know how he got into football but he likes it. But I'm terrified for this kid to play football."
To the average American sports fan that sounds crazy, right? With evidence emerging that ALS cases are popping up at an alarming rate amongst former football players, parents may want to think twice about what sports their kids should play.
Listen to the entire interview here. Gerry Callahan sounded like he was lukewarm on MMA, but John Dennis was well-informed and even talked about possibly attending UFC 118. We know Dennis is a scrapper. A few years ago he was ready to throwdown on Ryen Russillo, a host from another Boston radio station. Dennis called Russillo's cell phone one day in 2005 and left one of the best phone messages (audio - NSFW) we've ever heard. Russillo now does middays for ESPNRadio nationally based out of Bristol, Conn., but he must look over his shoulder anytime he visits Boston.
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