OT: Jim Plunkett is a Complete Physical Wreck

Submitted by FauxMo on August 4th, 2017 at 2:35 PM

Definitely not an advertisement for playing professional football:

"His body is a patchwork of medical magic: Artificial knees, an artificial shoulder and a surgically repaired back. After 18 operations, Plunkett’s activities have been reduced to golf and light workouts at home on a Crosstrainer."

Also appears to have some brain-injury-related issues emerging. Lots of people his age are in poor physical health (my dad was a mess at 69, for instance), but it's hard to imagine his huge list of conditions is unrelated to his long, violent football career. There's a great quote in the article: Playing football is like "getting in 50 car wrecks a week for 20 straight weeks a year." 





August 4th, 2017 at 3:52 PM ^

Exactly. What a terrible analogy. My wife had her life changed forever thanks to one stupid fucktard that decided to turn left from the center lane on a Friday afternoon when she was 20. She's lucky as heck that she survived it. But comparing that to football is media sensationalism.


August 4th, 2017 at 10:58 PM ^

My wife was a judo champion in France and blew out her knee, thus ending that sport for her at about age 18. She's a relatively young woman that hobbles around and has had a surgery from one of the best orthopaedic surgeons in Florida who operates on the knees of the Tampa Bay Bucs (or has in the past) but still, her knees are rough.

It's the choice someone makes when they participate in sports, your body can get jacked up. The media IMO likes to make hay while the sun is shining and go after football. And then I assume  there are those that would have a financial interest in a NFL payout..


August 4th, 2017 at 4:46 PM ^

and if anyone has played the game at the NFL level or even been close enough to the action to see how fast these guys move and how hard they hit you would understand the anaology. It damn near is car wrecks on the field.  People also don't see the training rooms after games and what these guys go through weekly.

Longballs Dong…

August 4th, 2017 at 5:29 PM ^

It is not an accurate or precise analogy.  It's just dumb.  They are very different things and comparing them is not smart.  

Using some rough math I found from a random website but that seems about right, in 2015 there were 35,000 fatal accidents out of about 4 million in the US.  That's a fatality rate of 0.875% per accident.  Assuming 50 players per team x 1,000 "NFL accidents" annually x 32 teams =  1.6 million "NFL car accidents annually"  If they were comparable, you should expect 14,000/2 (NFL accidents are typically 2 people) 7,000 NFL players to die every year.  You can cut that in half again if you are only talking 22 starters but it's still clearly a terrible analogy.  

Mr. Owl

August 4th, 2017 at 4:58 PM ^

If I could upvote you I would.

I played football (poorly) for 8 games of semi-pro before my knee gave out.  No hit ever compared to the windshield my head destroyed (wear a seat belt, kids.)  I saw double.  With all the talk of CTE these days I wonder if that had any impact on my ability to concentrate & the "low-level" migraines I frequently get.


August 4th, 2017 at 2:50 PM ^

not to be dismissive of all this football is evil stuff, but the man is 70 years old.  The article says he is limited to golf and light work outs.  Isn't that kind of what all 70 year olds are "limited to."  Does he want to climb Everest? 

My dad is 75, has two artificial hips, hits his driver like 50 yards, can't eat ANY salt, and sometimes confuses me and my brother.  And he never played football.

Clarence Beeks

August 4th, 2017 at 6:44 PM ^

Yes, actually, quite serious.  It absolutely is ageism.  It's a stereotype.  If you disagree, perhaps check the definition of ageism: "Ageism (also spelled "agism") is stereotyping and discriminating against individuals or groups on the basis of their age."  You're stereotyping characteristics of people solely based upon their age.  It may not be an inaccurate stereotype for a lot of older people, but it's ageism nonetheless.  Sorry, but the number of people Plunkett's age and older who can do a heck of a lot more than play golf and do light work outs is not insignificant.


August 4th, 2017 at 4:19 PM ^

...the sample size matters, but compare Plunkett to my dad, a former professional cyclist who turns 75 in November and who still can roll off 100 miles on a Saturday and makes me look like a fat and lazy slob*.

Genetics and good luck matter, but you have to think that someone who at one time was probably in substantially better shape than virtually everyone else in his age cohort should have also aged better than the average.

*Actually, not just a perception thing. I think I am a fat and lazy slob by comparison.


August 4th, 2017 at 2:55 PM ^


Attribute my fappy posts here to brain injuries suffered from football, wrestling and rugby. Hey, that's all I got unless the cumulative hypoxia from my aviation/skydiving/mountain climbing days is accepted by the insurance companies.

The human brain floats in a pan of water adjacent a hard shell. The physical laws apply. Any activity which involves the brain slamming into the hard shell can, in any single event, permanently damage said brain.

As a kid I loved Plunkett. mostly, and the Raiders. I hope that someday treatments become available to repair the damage. We're not there yet - take care of yourselves as well as your children.


August 4th, 2017 at 5:00 PM ^

If football didn't exist someone would invent it.   Just like rams but heads, walruses duel (or whatever you call that, and wolves and lions fight to be alpha, real men want to tackle and butt heads.  Football just takes it out of the parking lot.


August 4th, 2017 at 5:29 PM ^

I'm fairly sure someone said something similar to this about gladiator combat 2000 years ago, and pistols at 50 paces 200 years ago. There is not some limited amount of barbarism society "must" have to survive. I am not saying football is at all like those things, but I think your argument is a non-starter. 


August 4th, 2017 at 4:08 PM ^

It is a "sport" where the primary objective is to batter your opponent about the head. Yeah, you may get some play and scoring points from body punches, but the lauded pinnacle of boxing victories are KOs. That is, you've battered your opponent's head long and severely enough that he/she is temporarily rendered unconscious. While head injuries may be a by-product of many other sports, they are the focus of boxing. Just a dumbass sport.


August 4th, 2017 at 8:56 PM ^

Boxing at one point and time was the national sport. Biggest thing there was now boxing mostly exists as a niche sport that has the occasional big fight. I'm a combat sports guy but people die every year in boxing and if it still had the same level of national prominence that it once did you would see this level of scrutiny for sure.


August 4th, 2017 at 2:57 PM ^

played high school and college football in that era and has not aged gracefully, partially to football and I think he gotta a shitty roll of the dice.  Two fake hips, a double bipass, two hiatal hernias (stomach moves up behind the lungs), and now has ataxia (numbness of his extremities).  The only one that I would attribute to football is the ataxia (and even that's a stretch).

Some people just don't age well.  Pops is one of them


August 4th, 2017 at 3:18 PM ^

Not trying to be funny because that's some serious stuff but for some reason I read his list of ailments to the 12 days of Christmas.

2 fake hips
A double bipass
2 hiatal hernias
And now numbness in his arms and legs


August 4th, 2017 at 4:06 PM ^

I've always thought it weird that people place such value living to 75 years versus 85.


Just have BETTER 0-60 years old!!!

The quote here at the UM medical school is "A well-lived life ends in the Orthopedics office more than the Cardiologists office."

Also modern medicine (particular when it comes to orthopedics) is much better than before. The minimally invasive surgical techniques and post-operation modalities have increased quality of life/outcomes 10-fold for someone today, compared with what a patient aged 60-70 had access to when they were 20. Actually, make that 100-fold and in some cases infinite, literally. ACL/PCL surgeries are actually very new, and the techniques are vastly improved over even 25 years ago. They now know (though sadly patients are environmentally unable, and/or, unwilling to make changes) that back surgeries are almost completely detrimental barring impending paralysis. (also professional athletes are outliers, not only genetically/skeletal, but there is a lot of coercion, investment, and of course, their "love" and "desire" to be on the field at all costs).

I mean, I'm obviously completely exaggerating, no one really wants to die, and old age can be great too, but man, live life NOW, too many people are "waiting" for life to happen, and truthfully, you really don't know what the future holds. Life does end abruptly for some, every day in fact. Life your life NOW. (it's so tragic to see this in the hospital, the regrets, the anguish, there's literally nothing more heartbreaking).

And respect the old, they've made it VERY far, and they have AT LEAST a few things they can teach you (even if you have to wade through the b.s.!!!).