Apr 252002

You gotta admire athletes.Sure, the professionals make millions and the college studs get added benefits all for playing a game, and many are not the best-behaved individuals, but these guys are tough.

Take for example the Colorado Avalanche’s Milan Heduk, who’s been sidelined with an abdominal strain since February. He’s planning on coming back for the remainder of the playoffs, not yet at 100 percent. I’ve never had an abdominal strain, but I can only imagine how much that hinders your play. Any strain I put on my stomach, meaning a couple sit-ups, has me resting for the next three days.

Playing with pain reminds me of Lawrence Taylor, that nutcase of a linebacker for the New York Giants in the late 1980s and early ’90s. I heard he once played a game with a separated shoulder. The maniac couldn’t wait until the end of the game to pop it back in, so he just taped it to his side, and then proceeded to record three sacks. Yeah, he was probably doped up on some drugs, but still, three sacks with one arm?!

Give me some drugs, I need ’em. I sprained my ankle the other night in an intramural volleyball game. Seriously.

The thing swelled to the size of a softball. So did I block out the pain and sacrifice my body for the good of the team? Our undefeated season was on the line, so was I inspired by LT to worry about some measly injury after the game?


I hobbled to the nearest chair and asked for some ice. I’ve been 10 minutes late to every single class since because I walk no faster than a crawling newborn. I was supposed to play in a football game last night. Did I? Hell, no. I’m on injured reserve and watching the hockey playoffs. The weekend’s coming up, do you think I want to limp to a party?

This is why I’m a writer, and they’re the athletes. I don’t know how these guys do it. The Avalanche’s Peter Forsberg missed the Stanley Cup run last year and the regular season this year because of a ruptured spleen and ankle problems. But now he’s back and getting hit more than a joint.

You take out my spleen and I won’t have as much contact as golf. You never know when you’ll get tagged with a golf ball, right? But playing hockey spleenless? If I were Forsberg, you would have heard, “Damn, what a nice career it was.”

Sure, rag on Terrell Davis for being hurt ever since John Elway left, but have you ever played football with a malfunctioning body part? Neither have I, so don’t knock it ’til you try it.

This guy once played in the Super Bowl, among other games, with a migraine. No, it’s not just a headache; it’s also stomachache with blurry vision. A migraine makes even a pillow feel like a brick, so a helmet must feel like a sidewalk wrapped around your head. Throw in the lack of vision (which usually isn’t ideal for a running back) and an upset stomach, and you’d find me on the nearest couch.

You see, that’s why I signed up for volleyball: Pain is not my friend. Whether it was some bad luck (I landed on a teammate’s foot) or the fact I’m not that athletically gifted, you decide. All I know is that with the injuries I’ve had, I usually quit for a while. Real athletes don’t.

But I do have a weekend to live out, so LT, where are the drugs?

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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