GRATUITOUS SUPER BOWL POEM
for Mike Webster, 1952-2002
February 1, 2015
Vincent Toro: “I wrote this poem in response to the omnipresent advertising campaign for the Super Bowl that happens every year around this time, having just seen ‘The League of Denial,’ a documentary concerning the NFL’s multi-million dollar effort to suppress facts about the number of players and former players who have died as a result of concussions and other football-related injuries, either by having acquired the early onset of diseases such as dementia, as in the case of Mike Webster, or as a result of players having taken their own life because they can no longer bear the suffering their illnesses has caused them, as in the case of Junior Seau and countless others. I find it troubling to see so much collective anticipation for the event in light of the lawsuits players have filed against the NFL and the league’s effort to hush the diagnoses of numerous doctors. The poem is an attempt to shed light on the negative impact that playing football professionally has caused for many young men by spotlighting the story of one particular player, one considered a legend in the sport.” (website)
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