With the new movie Concussion causing a stir around the NFL and players such as Marshawn Lynch and Calvin Johnson announcing their retirement around the age of 30, the media and fans of America’s greatest sports are beginning to really pay attention to the effect of injuries in the NFL. I hope that this begins to cause some pressure on the league to make some changes in the game to protect the lives of those involved.
Last week, Outside the Lines broke a story about former MVP quarterback and Super Bowl winner Ken Stabler. The story was a very detailed and highly researched uncovering of Stabler’s problems with C.T.E. – the degenerative brain disease believed to be caused by repeated blows to the head, according to researchers at Boston University. While CTE is becoming more and more common and researchers are learning more about it, I found it interesting that many of the stories that recently included Stabler had very little discussion about his battle with colon cancer. In fact, if you were to search for it this might be one of the only articles that you see.
Learning the effects of diseases that we do not know about are important, but it is also important to play a role in sharing knowledge about the ones that we are already researching. Ken Stabler was a hero to many sports fans. He threw for 27,938 yards over his 15-year career and ended with a 96-49-1 record as a starting quarterback. He led the Raiders to victory in Super Bowl XI and earned the MVP award in 1974 and four trips to the Pro Bowl. Yet even still, we are reminded that colon cancer can truly affect anyone. Rachel Morrell of stopcoloncancernow.org reminds us that “no one is immune to this disease; and nobody is too young, too healthy or too athletic to develop colon cancer.”
We are here to spread the facts about colon cancer and help others learn that no matter who you are, cancer is subject to anyone. It is important to eat well, exercise often, and continue to get regular screenings done to detect cancer in its earliest stages. Raider nation and football fans everywhere are deeply saddened by the passing of an NFL legend.