I am pushing sixty years watching the game. That is the National Football League my friends and readers. I was there (not in the stadium, but watching the game) when the great New York Giant quarterback Y.A. Tittle was knocked silly back in 1964, sitting on his knees, bleeding from his left temple, He was my favorite as a young kid, along with Johnny Unitas of the Baltimore Colts and Bill Wade of the Chicago Bears. I watched, in black and white on my family’s Admiral 25 incher. It was before color in our home. No matter, that photo taken after the hit (above) was significant for Mr. Tittle. It should be a game changer for many a professional football player. It is one of the two most iconic NFL photos taken in my lifetime, the other being the hit on Frank Gifford by the man named Chuck. You must understand that Mr. Tittle looked like an old man in that photo, a really old warrior of the game. But he was only 38 at the time, not forty-five or something like that. Y.A has suffered greatly in his life after football. He still lives, and at age 89 he suffers an extreme form of dementia. He has been in one form of brain damage for many years. You think hits to the head kill you early in life? No so for everyone. Some live to be old in age. Like looking at the forest but can’t see the trees. Or something like that. Old age and football hits have not been kind to this old gentleman. Football does that to young men. It makes middle age men old, very old, in later life. Sad men. Just ask the other Tony, the Dorsett Tony.
Tony Romo, laying out on the carpet in Seattle Thursday night in that needless exhibition game, reminded me of Y.A. Yes, seeing the great Tony Romo, curled up like a baby in a fetal position brought back memories of my childhood. Mr. Romo is 36, going on 60 with a continual breaking of his body. What is in store for Mr. Romo in the less than half season he will attempt to play once he comes back from his broken back? A shot to the head, knocking Tony Romo, the modern day Y.A Tittle quarterback silly, with a bubble gum brain in his later years to look forward to?
Someone needs to tell Mr.Romo not to play the rich chump. Ruin your body and brain for what? Your big contract? Money? Let us get real. A championship in Dallas with Tony Romo is not happening. It is time to hang up the cleats, call it a career. You have enough money playing football. Get a life and live to a ripe old and productive age.
Sports fans, ever view the movie “The Champ” with Wallace Berry? Mr. Romo can play that part too, right down to the final knockout. The one that you don’t get off the table from. The Champ as played by Mr. Berry was heroic, but really, he was just a “chump.” Jackie Cooper, the kid actor could tell you that.
Tony Romo Photo Credit: http://www.sbnation.com/2013/9/8/4709312/tony-romo-injury-dallas-cowboys-vs-new-york-giants