Glorified Gladiators

Decent Essays
Audience & Purpose:

This report is meant to address the need for the neuroscience community to focus more on the socio and psychological desire for violent sports, such as the National Football League (NFL) and the historical evidence of social appeal that dates back to ancient Rome. Introduction:

The study of Rome presents an opportunity to relate the past to the present, and analyze how social behaviors have prevailed overtime through sport. Although sent to their death within the arena, the ancient public of Rome glorified gladiators. They supplied an outlet for the public to visually glorify war and violence, while being able to choose a desired hero to root for. Similarly, the professional football players who play in the NFL
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Webster who has gone down in sports history as one of the best centers ever to play in the NFL, was known as being “the indestructible force of four Super Bowl champions, the center of gravity of the Steeler dynasty,” and as former Steeler quarterback Terry Bradshaw called him, ‘our strength,’ (League of Denial 4). What for years was not widely known to the public though was that of his declining mental status. After years of hard-hits, and minimal medical treatment or examinations, Webster would finally seen by “a forensic psychiatrist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center named Jonathan Himmelhoch. Himmelhoch would examine Webster six times over three months, more extensively than any other doctor…”(League of Denial 90). After thoroughly examining Webster, Himmelhoch wrote a devastating six-page summation of how Webster had been mentally and physically destroyed by football. Describing Webster as a confirmed ‘encephalopath,’ whose care had ‘been delivered by doctors working for two maters – 1st the Pittsburgh Steelers and second, Michael L. Webster,’(League of Denial 90). The same doctors whom for years had not only allowed, but encouraged Webster to play hurt. Himmelhoch’s also stated within his report that, ‘full recovery of subtle head injury is a necessity before resuming any job. If there is no recovery period, subtle, then manifest cortical injury is insured. One can conclude, therefore, to reasonable medical certainty that Mr. Weber’s progressive deteriorating encephalopathy began while he was still playing NFL football,’ (League of Denial
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