Kyle Williams

Thoughts on the Kyle Williams situation from someone who’s suffered multiple concussions

By Raiders Sports Guy

I’ve had a few concussions, unfortunately … one so serious I peed my pants and was out cold for at least a few seconds and as long as a minute after being hit by a car while riding a bike.

I had another concussion while wrestling in high school and was out for about three to five seconds. Luckily it happened at the end of the second period and I landed out of bounds or I would’ve gotten pinned. I woke up to my coach screaming at me, and I guess I never closed my eyes and he thought I was being lazy.

The ref grabbed my arms and asked if I knew where I was. Fortunately, the tournament banner was right behind him and I just read it to him. I then came from behind and methodically beat my opponent. The best way I can describe the
feeling is … loose. You are there, but you aren’t. It’s very dissociative. After the match, I was kind of blank and walked around the gym with one strap of my singlet off, cave-man style. This was strange because you are supposed to (by rules or etiquette) take down your straps and put your warmup on right when you leave the mat.

I remember the trainer looking at me funny and making me sit next to her. Years later, I remembered my parents being there but they weren’t. The headache doesn’t come until later and its very dull, then the fatigue sets in and you sleep forever. You also have this kind of tunnel vision. The other thing that stands out is my extremities felt very heavy or numb — or an odd combination of both.

I will say this: while I finished the match in that dissociative state, I’ve never felt more calm while wrestling. But I wouldn’t have wanted to play “Operation” or make a house of cards … same with catching a football or performing a task requiring the “nimble” skills.

I never gave much thought to my “minor” head injuries until I read about Dave Duerson. But I do have a seizure disorder now and, though its controlled by medication, I had a fairly late onset of the condition and my neurologist says there very well may be a connection.

I made a trip to the Sansum Clinic a few years back when I had a flare up, and the well-regarded neurologist I saw told me that brain injuries are still poorly understood at best, and that everyone reacts differently.

As someone dealing with fairly mild consequences of what are probably minor concussions compared to what NFL players deal with, I can confidently say I hate the Giants for employing such a strategy against Kyle Williams, and that kind of utterly depraved thinking is what will drive me away from being a fan of the game.

The Giants seem to have not only broken a code of Fair Play, bit also a fundamental human code as well.

But what do we expect from a league that is built around macho euphemisms for inflicting life-altering injuries?

To wit; “rang his bell,” “seperated him from the ball,” “broke up the pass,” “made him think twice with that hit,” and “for inside his head with that hit” … those are all friendly ways of saying “he was tackled with sufficient force as to cause mild to moderate brain injury that negatively affected his ability to perform tasks.”

I feel sick over those comments. There is no honor among thieves, apparently.

The thing that always strikes me about the gruesome video of the hit that severely broke Joe Theismann’s leg and ended his career is Lawrence Taylor’s reaction. Taylor delivered the hit, and he immediately jumped up and frantically waved the Redskins’ medical team onto the field. The he put his hands to his head in grief.

Taylor was an all-time great and a champion. His play redefined the linebacker position.

But his reaction to the outcome of that play defined his humanity.

This league may be like concussions themselves … progressively worse with time and very difficult to treat.

The Raiders Sports Guy, Francis Mayer, has extensive experience in radio as a producer in Bakersfield, as a former morning show host at 106.1 KRAB and now producing a local morning news show. He and BASG played on the same Babe Ruth baseball team as 13-year-olds, and Francis still talks about that time he struck out the side in his only pitching appearance of the season. He’s also a fan of the Oakland Raiders and Minnesota Twins, a strange pairing of teams that’s never been fully explained.

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