It Still Has Its Dangers Be It On The Field Of Play Or Off It ………….

One of the most staggering stories that I’ve heard in a long time came about the USC Trojans’ running back Stafon Johnson. The tragic accident that has taken place and has now left the player in a critical but stable condition, should remind us of the dangers of sports as a recreational passtime. Be it on the field of play or off it.

USC tailback  Stafon  Johnson  (13)  seen  here   on the  sidelines  during  a   Trojans'   practice  .    picture  appears courtesy  of    latimes.com/sports/   .............
USC tailback Stafon Johnson (13) seen here on the sidelines during a Trojans' practice . picture appears courtesy of latimes.com/sports/ .............

Johnson, a junior with the Trojans , is a highly competitive and exceptional player. He does nothing by half measures and that’s perhaps one of the reasons he’s so well liked by his fellow teammates and by his coach Pete Carroll. The incident as it occurred is something of a mystery. What we do know is that while working out in the campus gymnasium with the team’s strength and conditioning coach, an unfortunate accident took place. Johnson at the time was said to be bench pressing weights when his hand slipped and the bar-bell came down across his throat , crushing his larynx. Assistance was sought and the player was rushed to the California Hospital Medical Center. He’s had to undergo several hours of intricate surgery to repair whatever damage had been sustained . But the belief is that the player will survive the injuries sustained and make a full recovery. As to what form that will take , is clearly open to intense speculation at this moment in time.

It came to be known as ‘The Drive’.

If one remembers Johnson was an invaluable member and contributed greatly in USC’s 18-15 defeat of Ohio State in week 2 of the 2009-10 college season. Joe McKnight and Johnson made the victory all the more poignant for Trojans’ fans over their arch rivals.

While we can all appreciate that incidents such as this, though rare. It gives us all a sense of our own vulnerabilities and that of the athlete at play, be it on or off the field of play. At this moment in time , my thoughts goes out to the player , his immediate family and that of the program.

Courtesy Yahoo Sports and Associated Press

USC’s Johnson has throat surgery after accident

By Greg Meacham AP Sports Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP)—Southern California tailback Stafon Johnson is unlikely to play again this season after a falling weight bar crushed his neck and larynx.

The senior who scored the No. 7 Trojans’ go-ahead touchdown against Ohio State two weeks ago was bench-pressing when the bar slipped from his right hand and fell onto his throat.

Johnson was in critical but stable condition late Monday night after more than seven hours of surgery, said Katreena Salgado, a spokeswoman for California Hospital Medical Center.

He was treated for crushing injuries to his neck as well as severe injuries to his larynx, said the hospital’s trauma medical director, Dr. Gudata Hinika.

It’s unlikely Johnson will be able to play again this season, but his prognosis is good and doctors expect him to make a full recovery, Hinika said in a statement released by the hospital.

Johnson is the Trojans’ second-leading rusher with 157 yards, and he leads USC (3-1, 1-1 Pac-10) with five touchdowns. He led USC in rushing last season with 705 yards and nine touchdowns, but has become into the Trojans’ short-yardage specialist this season behind starter Joe McKnight.

“It hit him with a lot of force, and it hurt him,” coach Pete Carroll said after the Trojans’ brief practice Monday night. “No broken bones as far as I understand, but he’s got some damage in there somewhere, and they’re working it out, trying to figure out what it is.”

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Any sporting endeavor has its dangers and for the fans in attendance who are there to watch their teams do battle . It can’t be lost on them ,that a player is only but one hit away from being seriously injured. While the dangers are there and the players are willing to subject themselves to those inherent dangers. It’s also not lost on them how grave those dangers can be. But yet like the gladiators of ancient times they’re prepared to do it for the glory and the willingness to sacrifice themselves for the team .

Teammates  James  Wilson, left  and  Matt  Patchan  look  over  Tim  Tebow   as  he  lays  on  the  ground  motionless  having  been  sacked.    The  player  was   unresponsive  for  several    minutes  and   had  to be   led   from    the  field  having     incurred  a  concussion.       picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/   Ed  Reinke  ....................
Teammates James Wilson, left and Matt Patchan look over Tim Tebow as he lays on the ground motionless having been sacked. The player was unresponsive for several minutes and had to be led from the field having incurred a concussion. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Ed Reinke ....................

For the #1 ranked Florida Gators and their Heisman Trophy winning quarterback , Tim Tebow. They face a dilemma of a different sort. The player coming off yet another resounding defeat of another non-descript program,in Kentucky 41-7. During the game , Tebow in the third quarter was tackled and sacked by Wildcats’ defensive end Taylor Wyndham . Having fallen with the full weight of the defensive end on top of him. Tebow’s head came in contact with that of his teammate’s Marcus Gilbert’s leg, sending his neck back violently upon contact. In the ensuing incident , Tebow suffered a concussion and lay motionless on the field for several minutes unresponsive.

Tebow is   helped  off  the field   as  a  stretcher  lies  in the  background.   The  player  was  determined  to  have   suffered   a  second   degree  concussion     during   the  game.     picture  appears  courtesy  of ap/photo/  Ed  Reinke  .........................
Tebow is helped off the field as a stretcher lies in the background. The player was determined to have suffered a second degree concussion during the game. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Ed Reinke .........................

Courtesy Yahoo Sports and Associated Press

No.1 Florida wins but Tebow injured

By Will Graves AP Sports Writer

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP)—With one scary hit on Tim Tebow, the fate of No. 1 Florida — and really, the entire complexion of the college football season—could have changed.

The Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback was knocked out of Florida’s 41-7 victory against Kentucky after a hard shot to the head in the third quarter, and taken by ambulance to a hospital.

“I don’t know, I think it’s a concussion,” Florida coach Urban Meyer said. “I think he’ll be all right.

“He took a pretty good shot.”

Tebow was scheduled to stay overnight in the hospital, Florida spokesman Steve McClain said.

The Gators were leading 31-7 and driving deep in Kentucky territory when Tebow was sacked by Kentucky defensive end Taylor Wyndham on a vicious but clean hit. As he fell back with Wyndham on top of him, Tebow’s head struck teammate Marcus Gilbert’s leg, violently bending his neck forward.

Tebow, a tank of a quarterback at 245 pounds, lay motionless for several minutes while Commonwealth Stadium fell silent. He sat up with some help then slowly made his way off the field to a loud ovation. Florida’s medical staff attended to him on the bench and his parents came down from the stands to join him.

He was eventually carted off the field with concussion-like symptoms, vomiting several times.

Florida is off next week, then plays at LSU on Oct. 10. It’s probably the toughest game on Florida’s regular-season schedule and would be even tougher without Tebow.

A third national title in four seasons for Florida, a second Heisman for Tebow, all that becomes iffy if his injury causes him to miss games. Oddly, Saturday started with questions about Tebow’s availability because of a respiratory illness.

Meyer said Tebow had just one question after the hit.

“He asked me ‘Did I hold onto the ball?”’ Meyer said. “I told him he did and he winked at me and said ‘It’s great to be a Gator.”
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The player it is said after the incident wasn’t completely aware of his surroundings. Though his initial response to a question asked of him , was ……” did I hold unto the ball ? ” Thereafter , he was taken to a nearby hospital in Lexington, Kentucky to undergo a battery of neurological testing for the concussion sustained. As it is , with any concussion it can’t always be determined how serious they are. Especially one of the variety that was sustained by Tim Tebow. Second degree concussions do have a tendency of lingering or they can just as quickly disappear.

But already questions are being asked of the Florida Gators’ coach , Urban Meyer , as to whether or not the player will be available to play in their next scheduled game. If anything the utmost priority ought to be concerned health and well being of the player. Rather than whether or not he’ll be ready to play in their next game. It’s not as if he’d just sustained a sprained ankle or a pulled groin muscle. Those type of injuries can be easily overcome through the usual efforts. In the case of a concussion they can have a lasting effect-long after his career has come to an end. And though no one at this juncture would suggest that the player’s collegiate career is about to come to an abrupt halt. Missing a game or two mightn’t be out of the question , as to what’s best for his long term future.

Would that sacrifice be too dear a price to pay for the program at this juncture ? Well for the Gators’ fans and the program that just might be the case. As to the player , himself , only he can answer that question at this juncture.
The chances are that he’ll be prepared to take that risk should he be given the all clear by the medical staff to do so. But then again , we’ve seen cases where the medical profession have made mistakes concerning incidents of this nature.

In this case do you feel it’s worth the risk for Tebow to make an immediate return to the field of play ? And if so why do you feel that way ? And in the case of Trojans’ running back Stafon Johson . Have you ever heard of an accident of this type ever taking place under such conditions ? Your comments on this topic would make for an interesting discussion . So by all means do leave a comment. I’ll look forward to reading and then replying to each .