Thursday, February 08, 2007

Snitch of the Week: 1/28 - 2/3 (Ted Johnson)

I've always hated Bill Belichick for his general arrogance and slovenly persona but this shit puts him on a whole new level of hate.

Peep the NY Times article where retired linebacker Ted Johnson did a bit of class snitching on Bill Belichick and the NFL regarding their disregard of brain injuries and the general well-being of NFL players post-career.

From the article,

  • According to Patriots medical records that Mr. Johnson shared with The Times, the only notable concussion in his career to that point happened when he played at the University of Colorado in 1993. Against the Giants on Aug. 10, 2002, those records indicate, he sustained a “head injury” — the word concussion was not used — and despite the clearing of symptoms after several minutes on the sideline, he did not return to the game.

    Mr. Johnson said that four days later, when full-contact practice resumed, Mr. Whalen issued him a red jersey, the standard signal to all other players that he was not supposed to be hit in any way. About an hour into the practice, Mr. Johnson said, before a set of high-impact running drills, an assistant trainer came out on the field with a standard blue jersey. When he asked for an explanation, Mr. Johnson said, the assistant told him that he was following Mr. Whalen’s instructions.

    Mr. Johnson, whose relationship with Mr. Belichick had already been strained by a contract dispute, said he interpreted the scene as Mr. Belichick’s testing his desire to play, and that he might be cut and lose his $1.1 million salary — N.F.L. contracts are not guaranteed — if he did not follow orders.

    “I’m sitting there going, ‘God, do I put this thing on?’ ” Mr. Johnson said. “I put the blue on. I was scared for my job.”

    Regarding the intimidation he felt at that moment, Mr. Johnson added, “This kind of thing happens all the time in football. That day it was Bill Belichick and Ted Johnson. But it happens all the time.”

So Belichick basically dared him to risk his sanity and future for pennies relative to what Belichick gets paid to blow 18 point leads to the Colts and then shove cameramen out of the way.
No wonder Ladanian Tomlinson said something like "The Patriots' actions after the game reflect their coach" after the Chargers lost.


  • Mr. Johnson said that the first play called after he put the blue jersey on, known as “ace-ice,” called for one act from him, the middle linebacker: to sprint four yards headlong into the onrushing blocking back. After that collision, Mr. Johnson said, a warm sensation overtook his body, he saw stars, and he felt disoriented as the other players appeared to be moving in slow motion. He never lost consciousness, though, and after several seconds regained his composure and continued to practice “in a bit of a fog” while trying to avoid contact. He said he did not mention anything to anyone until after practice, when he angrily approached Mr. Whalen, the head trainer.

    “I said, ‘Just so you know, I got another concussion,’ ” Johnson said. “You could see the blood, like, leave his face. And he was like, ‘All right, all right, well, we’re going to get you in to see a neurologist.’ ”

    Dr. Cantu said that he was convinced Mr. Johnson’s cognitive impairment and depression “are related to his previous head injuries, as they are all rather classic postconcussion symptoms.” He added, “They are most likely permanent.”

    Asked for a prognosis of Mr. Johnson’s future, Dr. Cantu, the chief of neurosurgery and director of sports medicine at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Mass., said: “Ted already shows the mild cognitive impairment that is characteristic of early Alzheimer’s disease. The majority of those symptoms relentlessly progress over time. It could be that at the time he’s in his 50s, he could have severe Alzheimer’s symptoms."

Johnson came forward with his story after ex-Eagle Andre Waters committed suicide after severe concussions caused him to enter a deep depression after his career ended.

The NFL's treatment of concussions and player's pressure to ignore them to get their contracts is a real issue, one that is infinitely more important that Barry Bonds and Mark McGuire banging needles into each others ass (No Dipset) to hit homeruns.

Ted Johnson, for calling out NFL culture and ending the myth of Belichick's greatness, you are the Snitch of the Week. Please sue the shit out of that fool.


  1. Taking a fair and balanced approach to this story is imperitive. In 2002 when this blue shirt incident happened, Elliot Pelman the medical advisor to the NFL and team doctor for the Jets had been involved in lengthy concussion research. His research was centered around this very issue, when should a pro player return to play. In 2002 Wayne Crebet was knocked out cold in a game. He was brought to the sideline, sat for a while, and was sent back in within minutes of the event, by Pelman. This is the prevailing protocol the Medical advisor to the NFL was deseminating. Like him or leave him, Belechick had no idea what the neurological status of Ted Johnson was four days after the event. Players cannot be co-conspirators to their own demise. Go to for more on the dizzness, sensation of seeing stars headache related to mild cumulative head truama. Prevention, Prevention, Prevention Mr. Goodell. That is all he should be thinking til the start of the new season. Anything that has been shown to help players should be immediatly implemented into team protocol. The Patriots have the lowest concussion rate in the league (AAOP study). It is only common sense players take action to protect and lengthen their careers. WWW.MAHERCOR.COM

  2. ^Gerald Maher, how did you find this blog?

  3. I'm wondering about that my damn self...

    Anyway, it's not about the number of concussions, it's about what you do when you players get them.

    Bill Belichick knew what he was doing and he has the power over the players' careers.

    NFL players are just trying to make their money before their knees stop working or they become retarded.

    If Belichick wasn't a fucking bitch he would have respected the red jersey and let the man sit out.

  4. "NFL players are just trying to make their money before their knees stop working or they become retarded."

    exactly. i have to wonder where the league union is on this one.

    when these players are injured, their careers are potentially on the line, and they are under tremendous pressure from their families and gold-digging girlfriends. i don't think they should be expected to further put themselves out there by speaking up against nazicoaches who are choosing to defy common sense.

    as for the coaches and the league, i guess it is easy to tapdance around the issue when the repercussions of your shitty decisions only fully emerge 20 and 30 years down the line.

    the crazy thing is that the behavior of these coaches is neither in the best interest of the player NOR the league. they're developing disposable pawns, not legends, and it is going to eventually upset the quality of the game.

    it reminds me of the piss-poor strategic decision making of overpaid ceos, and their temporary/artificial inflation of profits for the short-term praise. somebody should know better.

  5. Classic football question:

    "Are you hurt or are you injured?"

    'nuff said.