Tuesday, August 08, 2017


Shank cleverly (or not so cleverly) disguises a Picked Up Pieces column as the first shot this season in his ongoing war with the New England Patriots.
■ We all love Tom Brady. Great leader. Great champion. Greatest quarterback of all time. Maybe greatest football player of all time. But his answer about his wife’s televised contention that he had a concussion last year (and that he’s had concussions pretty much every year) is unacceptable in light of his nonstop promotion of the “TB12 Method.’’

When asked Friday about his wife’s statement that he had a concussion last season, Brady answered, “I really don’t think that’s anybody’s business, you know, what happened last year.”
To be fair, I think Shank has a point, now with all the CTE cases coming out and some implied level of obligation to discuss his own situation or the situation in general.

Two other points on this part of the column - I think there's still some institutional Globe butthurt about getting called out on this column (for which I'll support Tom Brady flipping the bird to the media in spite of the previous paragraph), and in what may be a related item, there are no comments to this current column, making it two columns in a row.

The rest of the column is worth reading, and I'm not just saying that after a couple of brewskis...


Monkeesfan said...

Brady in point of fact has ZERO obligation to tell anyone about his medical issues - and no one really has a right to ask. The HIPAA law means he doesn't have to, nor is Mike Reiss (who asked the question that started this entire bollox) realistically permitted to ask him. Shank is not the only one who is wrong here - seemingly everyone else has gotten it wrong (especially the nitwits at ESPN, notably the sanctimonious Bob Ley and the always-grating Stephen A. Smith).

Worse, though, is Shank claiming Brady has had concussions in the past and had one last season when in fact there is zero evidence of this, especially with media and referees actively looking for concussion signs (in a late season game last season Tom Savage of the Texans was yanked off the field by Bill Vinovich for a concussion). Gisele Bundchen started that bollox by shooting off her mouth rather than not mouth off about something she really isn't that qualified to discuss; the reality is Brady didn't have a concussion last season.

As for Brady having some obligation to discuss the matter - why? The CTE cases ostensibly coming out are just a rehash of the demagoguery that has made credible discussion of the issue impossible. The BU study that the media has glommed onto paints an apocalyptic picture of football players in essence killed in slow motion by the game - and it's what BU's people (notably the increasingly deranged Bennett Omabu and also Ann McKee, whose research methods have apparently in the past come under criticism in the British Journal Of Sports Medicine) have been claiming since they started, and it's insultingly inaccurate. A 90-plus percent casualty rate is impossible to achieve in any actual random sampling (most wars don't see a casualty rate over 35%), and reading the heavily-footnoted Consensus Statements from the 2012 and 2016 International Conferences On Concussion In Sport, the impression is concussions are serious but eminently manageable and no existential threat to athletes en masse - the Statements' addressing of CTE is noteworthy in particular.

So as usual Shaughnessy is off base here.

Roger Bournival said...

Monkeesfan - very good point about the HIPPA law. I also tried listening to Screaming A. Smith and that WEEI interview that Kirk Minihane did with him earlier today / yesterday. He probably used 'face of the franchise' or some variant thereof about twenty times in a two minute span when discussing Brady's alleged 'obligation' to talk about the situation. For that reason alone, it was 200% unconvincing. Fuck these guys.

Monkeesfan said...

Roger - give credit to someone on Facebook (blanking on who it was) for first bringing up the HIPAA law, I'd vaguely heard of it but had to look it up when it was cited in relationship to Brady. And yes, Stephen A. Smith didn't cover himself well when interviewed by Mimihane.

What I've noticed from Shaughnessy and others more and more is what seems to be burgeoning hostility to Brady from media types. I've already seen several pieces trying to smear Brady because of his deal with Alex Guerrero - with no one noticing Gurrereo's deal obviously works, to where now Gronkowski is adapting it. Holley on WEEI may have nailed it when said media types are freaking out that Brady isn't just talking about playing to age 45 but is actually succeeding at it.

Monkeesfan said...

Speaking of DHL Dan - when will he trot out a Yawkey piece? And how many leftist cliches will it contain?

Roger Bournival said...

Monkeesfan - you just got your wish. Check it out!

Monkeesfan said...


Monkeesfan said...

BTW both the NFL and NFLPA say Brady did not have a concussion in 2016. So Gisele Bundchen pulled a Shank Shaughnessy.