Thursday, May 10, 2007

Long Life After Football?

Big Linemen like Larry Allen are at Risk

Kudos to my friend Bruce Wood of the Big Green Alert Blog for finding a nice article in the New York Times about Columbia great Archie Roberts and his quest to find out why pro football players have such short lifespans. The article is not free on the NY Times site, but if you have Times Select, check it out.

Specifically, Roberts is focusing on heart disease in linemen. You can read more about his work here: LHF, and here's a video of Dr. Roberts discussing the issue.

Yep, there goes another one of those Columbia athletes who bring down the school's academic standards. Please!

That reminds me... IF I get the radio gig, these are the kinds of issues and people I want to address in halftime interviews, etc. Somehow I think the great Archie Roberts might be more willing to do an interview if we talk a bit about his interesting medical research. And somehow, I think it might be a tad better if the person who interviewed him happened to be up on his records both on and off the field.

And given my media contacts, I think the access I would have to the program would help me as I continue to drum up interest in the CU program. Newsday, for example, publishes my humor for free every week, and they owe me. I'd like to pull a Norries Wilson on their "local colleges" reporter who not only doesn't cover Columbia football, but the paper even leaves Columbia scores off the stat page!

I'd also like to set something up in the pregame picnic area on home weekends, where I could host a live interview with a Columbia player of the past, or maybe just a mock "talk show" with trivia questions and prizes.

The point is, that there is a lot more I could do as a radio announcer to help increase fan interest than I can simply as a blogger. I hope I get the chance.


At Fri May 11, 04:59:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger dabull said...

It is such a no-brainer to have you do the color job. I can't believe there is anyone out there that could care more about the program than you my man. I did e-mail the AD with my opinion and she said she would forward the message to the appropiate decision making people. Good luck, it would be a huge mistake to not hire you.

At Fri May 11, 05:02:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger dabull said...

p.s.- remember that piece hbo real sports did on health issues of nfl linemen? They did an interview with an ex-player who was concerned with the sad health stats for retirees and boom two weeks later HE dropped dead. Can't remember his name.

At Fri May 11, 07:15:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...


Thanks so much! In my short 36 years, I've been disappointed a lot when it comes to jobs. This would make up for a lot of that.

I'm not sure about the lineman who died, but guys like Conrad Dobler and Keith Sims have been on "Real Sports" and they look bad.

At Fri May 11, 08:27:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the extent to which former players have life altering concussions is a national scandal which the NFL players union should address. Former Giant Great and Hall of Famer Harry Carson has written and spoken eloquently about this. Some of you mihgt remember that Harry spoke to the first Shoop team during camp. As for the radio gig, tell us how we can help.

At Fri May 11, 09:16:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

Thanks so much... I'm pretty sure the powers that be in a.d. are aware of the support, and truth be told, they've been very fair with me so far. I just wanted to air some of my ideas for doing more than just color commentary. To bring old and new fans into the mix, I want to help make the broadcasts and the game day atmosphere something special for the real fans too.

At Fri May 11, 06:49:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have earend the gig with sweat equity. And PS, we want unabashed partiality--balance is not what we need!

At Fri May 11, 10:57:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's get back to the incoming class; we have an official list of 30 plus Shane Kelly. What happened to the anticipated 37? What happened to Skakel? Do we have some preferred walk-ons, or other recruits who were not designated as football recruits?

At Fri May 11, 11:59:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You were right, Jake, the final list was worth waiting for. Leon Ivery from the Menlo School in Californina certainly has the potential to be an outstanding running back at Columbia, and the wide receiver, Mike Stephens, was an unanimous All-District selection in Texas. Small, quick receivers from Texas always do well at Columbia.

At Sat May 12, 12:09:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

Yes, Ivery and Stephens are major "gets" as is England who I;m very glad belongs to us and not Brown. I'm working on a full piece on the class right now.

At Fri May 18, 12:41:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You deserve the job, no question!

At Fri May 18, 01:36:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger Jake said...

Thanks! My fingers are still crossed, which is making writing very difficult.


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