Jamal Adams Thinks A Football Field Would Be "The Perfect Place To Die", And I Think He Needs Some Media Training
While a rookie's answer to a question about potential (bordering on eventual) head injuries was a bit morbid, it certainly addressed an angle I had never considered before. I think we can all agree that dying prematurely is bad, but who wouldn't trade in a vast majority of their lifespan to have it all come to an end in front of a live audience of tens of thousands screaming men, women, and children?
It all comes down to preference, really. Would you rather have your life fade to black at the perfect time or at the perfect place? If I were Jamal Adams I wouldn't go as far as longing for the day (in the not too distant future) that he tragically croaks from repetitive blunt force trauma to the brain. That said, can you really justify passing up the opportunity to have your departure from this world broadcasted on every television in the tri-state area as well as throughout every respectable sports bar across the entire nation? Jamal Adams thinks not, and if I were a 21 year old that was trying to stay upbeat about my first season despite the inherent danger that my line of work offered my long term ability to function as a human being outside of football then I might be inclined to agree with him.
All sarcasm aside, I can't really fault the kid. Putting a chilling spin on "I would die for this game" might not be the most polished response a professional athlete has ever given and it most certainly trivialized the trials and tribulations of those who have suffered from multiple severe concussions. However, it lent credence to just how impossible it is to "soften the blow" when openly discussing an undeniable issue as alarming as CTE. Maybe Jamal Adams has dreamed of flatlining on a football field since he was a young boy, but I think it's much more likely that he babbled upon the most haunting, cringeworthy way of saying that he has accepted the risks that come with playing a professional sport in which the physicality easily surpasses what the human body is built to withstand.
It certainly wasn't the smoothest of phrasing from a public relations perspective, but I'll be damned if it wasn't more illuminating and genuine than anything the billionaires owners have said about the degenerative disease that is slowly killing their (now-former) employees. Hearing that quote probably had Roger Goodell thinking that "the best place to die" was sitting next to some dim-witted rookie at a contrived, cookie-cutter fan forum. The fact of the matter is that he should have said something similar yeaaaars ago if he has any interest whatsoever in being straightforward with the athletes whose jeopardized mental capacities bolster his net worth. At the very least it would be more commendable than shamelessly lying through his teeth while talking about the permanent, potentially terminal effects of playing professional football as if they were as real as the Jets' chances of sneaking into the playoffs this year.
P.S. To the tone deaf fans that applauded a football player's wish to literally stop breathing for the sake of their entertainment: Be better. Just be fucking better.