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Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
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Vaun Offline
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Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
Watching Frontline tonight about the supposed coverup by the NFL about the damage to player from concussions.

Its ironic that the several players that were studied were Steelers.

I am not sure what to think, apparently the NFL is still denying it, and the doctor that did the original research, Dr. Bennett Omalou, is being castigated and shunned for presenting his research, and litterally destroyed his reputation even though his is still a ME in Northern CA now. Dr. Omalou researched at least 4 former Steelers who passed away in Pittsburg, as he was the medical examiner there. He found a rare protein present, called CTE, in all of their brains, which caused them horrific early deaths around the age of 50. This protein is created after several head traumas. It slowly eats away at the brain and destroys all normal brain function. The NFL has discounted all of the research and said its false research.

Nevertheless, it opens up a huge debate. The NFL said in the documentary that if 10% of the mothers in the US decided football was not safe, it would change the course of the sport forever. I think we are seeing the beginning of that, but the lead doctor who found the evidence is now out of the debate, and a new team has taken up the work.

http://www.vice.com/read/league-of-denia...e=vicefbus

Full Story below;

The NFL is the most powerful and popular sports league in the country. At this point, it might be the most dominant institution in America, period. In its 93 years, it’s grown to become both an altar of mainstream manhood and a multibillion-dollar industry that puts on the most highly rated programs on TV. The NFL is so big that fantasy football, a game for grown men where you watch players compile numbers in another game, generates a billion dollars a year by itself. By now you’re likely familiar with the widely accepted truth that all that tackling involved in the sport damages players’ brains, often horrifically—Alan Schwarz’ New York Times reporting on that subject started way back in 2007. But if you watch the sport, you probably don’t care enough to stop watching.

PBS’s Frontline is going to try to make you care more.

League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis, a documentary airing tonight based on a book that was released today, is the most direct assault on the league to date. The film not only reviews the by-now-at-least-faintly-familiar evidence that football collisions are very bad for you, it exposes the NFL’s attempts to cover up the damage the sport does to young men’s brains. The league’s executives and doctors come off as myopic and foolish at best, and scheming and evil at worst—in story after story, League shows NFL players dying after losing their minds due to what most independent doctors agree is football-induced brain damage, then the NFL is shown repeatedly denying the connection between football and the broken families it has left behind.

One of the most powerful stories is that of Mike Webster, a Hall of Fame center who helped lead Pittsburgh to four championships in the 70s. Webster retired in 1991, only to watch his mind and body slowly deteriorate. The man once known as “Iron Mike” developed dementia and acquired a gruesome assortment of bodily aches and pill addictions before ending up homeless, “glassy-eyed like a punch-drunk boxer, huddled alone, staring into space night after night at the Amtrak station in downtown Pittsburgh,” as ESPN.com’s Greg Garber put it. League of Denial exhumes footage from a TV interview shot during Webster’s waning years that shows how jumbled his thoughts had become. “Everybody went through trauma as a kid, I’m not saying I’m different than that,” he tells the interviewer in the clip. “I’m just saying…” Webster looks away for seven seconds. “The things we do one another, OK….” He pauses for another six seconds. “Hell, I don’t know what I’m saying. I’m just tired and confused right now. I can’t say it the way I want to say it. I could answer this real easy at other times, but right now I’m just tired.”

Webster died in 2002. When Dr. Bennet Omalu, a junior pathologist trained in neuropathology, examined the player's brain, he quickly discovered that it hadn’t been shriveled by Alzheimer’s as he had assumed. It looked normal on the outside but its cells had been strangled by excess tau proteins released after collisions. Omalu thus became the first doctor to diagnose an NFL player with the progressive neurodegenerative disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Omalu thought the league’s research arm, the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury committee (MTBI), would welcome his resulting paper as a way to help NFL players. The MTBI, which was founded in 1994, hadn’t yet acknowledged a link between football and brain damage, but surely this would make the connection clear, right? Nope. Instead, Omalu was attacked by the MTBI even as more and more independent researchers backed his findings. NFL doctors told Omalu he should retract his findings and attempted to discredit him, continuing the attacks even as more former football players with CTE came to light.

“‘Bennet, do you know the implications of what you’re doing?’” Omalu recalled being asked by a league doctor. “He said, ‘If 10 percent of mothers in this country would begin to perceive football as a dangerous sport, that is the end of football.’”

League aims to let the facts speak for themselves, but it’s a strikingly one-sided documentary, possibly because the NFL refused to comment on anything. It's hard to watch it and not come to the conclusion that the NFL lied for years about how dangerous its sport is—and if enough people believe that narrative, it could destroy football in its current form as that doctor feared. That would put League in the ranks of famous pieces of muckraking journalism like Jacob Riis’s 1890 book of photos of New York City slums, How the Other Half Lives, which led to reforms that improved the lives of tenement dwellers; Upton Sinclair’s 1905 novel The Jungle, which paved the way for improvements in meatpacking plants; and the 60 Minutes episode featuring whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand that revealed that the tobacco industry was knowingly adding carcinogens to its cigarettes.

Even if the documentary doesn’t make a similar splash, it’s certainly compiled a damning case against the NFL. One of the world’s leading authorities on the topic, Dr. Ann McKee, told the filmmakers she thinks it’s possible every athlete in pro football has CTE in one form or another, and that the condition may also affect high school and college players. This means there are tens of millions of former and current players who are potentially susceptible to the disease’s long-term effects—anger, agitation, a loss of focus and memory. Even those who don’t care about football should care about what resembles a public health crisis.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at a press conference to discuss the state of the National Football League at the 2009 Super Bowl. Photo by UPI Photo/Landov

Another thing non-fans should note: taxpayers shell out billions to the NFL and other sports leagues in the form of subsidies for stadiums and tax breaks for the owners, many of whom are billionaires. Meanwhile, league commissioner Roger Goodell pulls down a cool $11 million in salary running what is for tax purposes a nonprofit organization—an odd nonprofit organization, given that it makes billions of dollars from selling broadcasting rights.

The league continues to play the part of the evil establishment that deserves to be exposed in all its ugliness. It's blocked every attempt by journalists to ask its executives questions about any of the controversies that have been reported on by every outlet that covers the sport. When football writer Gregg Easterbrook requested an interview with Goodell for his book The King of Sports the league agreed, only to cancel when Easterbrook said he wanted to talk about tax exemptions and health issues. “League spokesman Greg Aiello told me it was not in the NFL’s ‘best interests’ to discuss safety or subsidies,” Easterbrook wrote in the Atlantic.

Not only did the NFL not give League any access to any officials, it has apparently attempted to minimize the documentary’s impact in nefarious ways. ESPN was involved with producing the film, but distanced itself from it in August after apparent pressure from the league. Since ESPN pays the NFL $1.9 billion a year to show Monday Night Football games, the conflicting interests were glaring, though ESPN claimed it pulled out because it didn’t have enough editorial control. And Steve Fainaru*, one of the reporters from ESPN who helped lead the investigative team and coauthored the accompanying book, told Slate’s Hang Up and Listen podcast, “When we published stories [at ESPN], they were almost universally opposed to those stories and fought them and complained to our editors and our editors’ editors and tried to either get those either altered or killed.”

Fans will watch League of Denial and continue to give the NFL their money—it’s possible they’re in denial as well. They've heard all of this stuff about football and concussions before. But the film’s barrage of awful facts and evidence of NFL obfuscation is shocking to take in all at once, and after you’re through with the film, you can’t help but feel that the league’s days of dominance are numbered, even if League isn’t what ultimately destroys it. It’s not that football is too violent, it’s that we now know too much about that violence’s effects. A tipping point of mothers who find the sport dangerous will inevitably be reached, and football will become yet another relic of America’s past, one of those things it’s embarrassing we used to love.

Update: An earlier version of this post misspelled Steve Fainaru's name.

Evin Demirel has written for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, SB Nation Longform, SLAM, Slate, the Classical, and the New York Times. He Tweets for himself at @evindemirel and indulges in rampant Arko-centrism at thesportsseer.com.
(This post was last modified: 10-08-2013 09:08 PM by Vaun.)
10-08-2013 09:00 PM
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teh_skeeze Offline
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
If I have kids they aren't play football. Before this all came out I still would try to push them into soccer because it's my number 2 sport behind baseball, but it would be difficult to keep them away if they wanted to do it. After this, there's no way in hell I would allow it.

10/14/15: The day I learned that convicted terrorists are treated with more human dignity than veterans.
10-08-2013 09:54 PM
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The Lizard of Oz Offline
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
PBS and all the usual suspects want to destroy football (and hockey etc) as part of their campaign to emasculate America. It's that simple.

They've been gunning for this for a long time and they're going to cant about "concussions" until they get their way.

If they can't kill it immediately they're going to try to take the joy out of it by making sure no one can do anything that could possibly harm anyone else, as if that could be the way a warlike sport is played. They'll force these heroic meatheads to move around on the field with the mincingness of someone writing a blog post in the NY Times.

Fuck these ghouls. They hate and fear life and all they ever think about is "risks" and they want everyone else to get the memo and get in line.

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
10-08-2013 10:15 PM
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Vaun Offline
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
(10-08-2013 09:54 PM)teh_skeeze Wrote:  If I have kids they aren't play football.

funny how its all sort of gone away, the NFL quit funding the research at BU when it became conclusive, the Junior Seau case pushed it over the edge.
(This post was last modified: 10-08-2013 10:56 PM by Vaun.)
10-08-2013 10:16 PM
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WanderingSoul Offline
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
(10-08-2013 09:54 PM)teh_skeeze Wrote:  If I have kids they aren't play football. Before this all came out I still would try to push them into soccer because it's my number 2 sport behind baseball, but it would be difficult to keep them away if they wanted to do it. After this, there's no way in hell I would allow it.

If I have kids I hope they play football.

I didn't and I still regret it.
10-08-2013 10:27 PM
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T and A Man Offline
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
Ahhh, the outcome of the infestation of 'soccer mums'.

We have the same issue with Rugby League in Australia, with 'injury averse mothers' shunting kids into soccer.

Another premise for 2Wycked.

I take somewhat afront to that, as if my input in raising a child is once again subordinate to that of a female.

i don't take reckless abandon in injurying my child, however i do recognise the benefits of a boy playing a masculine game in an endeavour to raise him into manhood.

The fact they hey... I have testosterone..... may mean I have greater insight to what is developmentally advantageous to a boy, over and above that of a woman.

I played from 11 to 28, I never sustained any injury beyond a sprain or acute tissue tearing until I was 28. Junior RL was quite harmless.

Also, once I exerted myself in such a physical game or even trainin' (practice), I was WAY too exhausted to fight, or be antisocial. It curbed the physically anti-social tendencies boys can be want to do.

But again, this is monopoly on judgement. if women decree it to be so, men can have no valid input.
10-08-2013 10:33 PM
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
here's the link to the whole show:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/...of-denial/
10-08-2013 10:38 PM
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teh_skeeze Offline
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
(10-08-2013 10:16 PM)puckman Wrote:  
(10-08-2013 09:54 PM)teh_skeeze Wrote:  If I have kids they aren't play football.

funny how its all sort of gone away, the NFL quit funding the research at BU when it became inconclusive, the Junior Seau case pushed it over the edge.

What do you mean it's all sort of gone away? I'm not quite sure I understand what you are getting at. The NFL just settled a class action lawsuit out of court for $750 million.

For the record I'm not saying that football should be banned. I enjoy the sport. I'm just not willing to put my kid's brain at risk for recreation. I'm pretty sure I said it on this forum before, but when I taught martial arts, one of my student's father played football at Rutgers, and his uncle played a few seasons with the Seahawks. They didn't allow him to play football because of the punishment the body takes, especially the knees. There are plenty of other sports and activities that can get masculine energy out, so can we please stop with the alarmist reactions of "muh masculinity"?

10/14/15: The day I learned that convicted terrorists are treated with more human dignity than veterans.
10-08-2013 10:56 PM
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
I dunno. Goodell really wants the NFL to be Arena league. All passing, almost no hitting or running game. Watering down the game so far has resulted in massively bloated passing stats and the highest TV ratings in sports history.

I don't like it, I don't agree with it, but at the end of the day America may just be more interested in choreographed touchdowns than real contact football.
10-08-2013 10:57 PM
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MHaes Offline
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
I played high school football and I can say without a doubt it is the one activity that has injured me the most in my life.

Not wrestling, not lacrosse. Not hitting the weights hard. No, without a doubt football is the one sport that fucked me up the most (Fucked up my back which still acts up from time to time, and tore my meniscus). I count myself as lucky though - I only injured my body. Some friends got pretty bad concussions, and one kid I can think of had a total personality change after suffering a pretty bad concussion (due to one of our linebackers getting pissed at him, tackling him, and kicking him in his helmet).

Having said that, I loved playing the sport. I had so much aggression and that was just about as good of an outlet as it gets.

Wouldn't let my kids play the sport though.

"I ain't brown bread"
(This post was last modified: 10-08-2013 10:59 PM by MHaes.)
10-08-2013 10:58 PM
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teh_skeeze Offline
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
America is interested in anything high scoring. The reason a majority of Americans find soccer boring is because of the low scores, and draws, Americans hate draws.

10/14/15: The day I learned that convicted terrorists are treated with more human dignity than veterans.
10-08-2013 11:01 PM
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Vaun Offline
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
My dad is 80 years old and played div 1 college football, and what they called 'semi-pro' which was basically farm teams for pro football in the 1950's. He was a running back and got beat down, but now the guy is as smart and quick as ever, still works, looks like he is 60. I only hope I am in as good of shape as him at that age. You look at guys like Mike Webster and Junior Seau who at the time of their deaths were raging drug addicts among other stuff. So who the hell knows, they have only analyzed 50 brains so far, the doctors are convinced, but if the NFL didnt think something was up, I doubt they would have paid out $800M to the former players a few years ago right after they went in front of Congress.
(This post was last modified: 10-08-2013 11:12 PM by Vaun.)
10-08-2013 11:09 PM
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Vaun Offline
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
(10-08-2013 10:56 PM)teh_skeeze Wrote:  
(10-08-2013 10:16 PM)puckman Wrote:  
(10-08-2013 09:54 PM)teh_skeeze Wrote:  If I have kids they aren't play football.

funny how its all sort of gone away, the NFL quit funding the research at BU when it became inconclusive, the Junior Seau case pushed it over the edge.

What do you mean it's all sort of gone away? I'm not quite sure I understand what you are getting at. The NFL just settled a class action lawsuit out of court for $750 million.

have you heard much about the case after the payout? thats called a contingency plan. I dont think there is enough proof to say either way, but I think we are just at the beginning of this.
(This post was last modified: 10-08-2013 11:14 PM by Vaun.)
10-08-2013 11:14 PM
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MHaes Offline
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
(10-08-2013 11:01 PM)teh_skeeze Wrote:  America is interested in anything high scoring. The reason a majority of Americans find soccer boring is because of the low scores, and draws, Americans hate draws.

I don't buy this. I mean, partially true, but not close to entirely true.

We like action. In soccer, there is a lot of running up and down a seemingly huge field, and starting/stopping, and then shots that aren't even close to being goals.

Football/basketball/hockey is a ton of action. Once the other team gets the ball, they are going to get down to the other side and score. And if they don't score, its because the other team put up physical, aggressive defense - people got dropped.

Furthermore, I think the Hellenistic ideal of masculinity is idealized in the US, not so much in Europe. Big muscles are something Americans like/are obsessed with, and these sports all depict huge guys battling it out, brutally and physically. Soccer players are a lot skinnier, because its a cardio game.

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10-08-2013 11:19 PM
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
@puckman - If I remember correctly, part of the settlement was the NFL didn't have to admit wrongdoing. You are right though, this is just the beginning. It will be at least 25-30 years before we can say for certain what is what.

@MHaes - The NHL is all but dead to everyone but the most hardcore of hockey fans. The work stoppages have a lot to do with that, but all of their rule changes were made to try and open the game up and create more scoring. I will agree with you on the body image part. Soccer players usually look like the average Joe, while football and basketball players look superhuman. Football players because of their mass and basketball players because of their height combined with definition.

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10-08-2013 11:29 PM
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
Baseball isn't high scoring, the ideal game is two pitchers pitching shut outs.

No, the reason masculine socities irk at soccer is because the MAIN strategy of the game is to position yourself in the box and then dive to be awarded a penalty goal.

Men find it dishonourable to obtain victory that way.
10-09-2013 12:11 AM
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
(10-09-2013 12:11 AM)T and A Man Wrote:  Baseball isn't high scoring, the ideal game is two pitchers pitching shut outs.

No, the reason masculine socities irk at soccer is because the MAIN strategy of the game is to position yourself in the box and then dive to be awarded a penalty goal.

Men find it dishonourable to obtain victory that way.

When are they going to start reviewing penalties in soccer like they do in football? Combine that with a red card for diving and you've solved the problem.
10-09-2013 12:24 AM
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
I'm so tired of hearing about Junior Seau and how concussions changed his personality. Its total b.s. and can't be proven. Seau made tons of poor decisions during his entire football career. Drugs, alcohol, women, business decisions, etc. He never had solid control of his own life as a man. The stories you read about him made me question why people were surprised that he killed himself.

I saw him regularly with the cocaine crowd in San Diego in 2002, and still in it in 2009.

He must've missed the commercials. This is your brain...
10-09-2013 01:36 AM
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Vicious Offline
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
I read the report on Dr. Omalu's research way back in 2011 when it was published the first time in a mainstream periodical (GQ).

Those of you thinking there's some kind of conspiracy to this need to adjust your tinfoil hats. The average life expectancy of a NFL linebacker is 58. Almost 20 years less than the National average. This is a prime example of a little guy rattling big money and they are putting in major resources to have him smeared.

The research is extensively vetted and peer reviewed. It's not like we really needed this level of research to confirm these injuries in the first place though. If you have 400lb of muscle that slams into your 400lb of muscle any given Sunday then physical repercussions will follow. There's nothing particularly astounding about this.
(This post was last modified: 10-09-2013 01:44 AM by Vicious.)
10-09-2013 01:40 AM
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
On topic...PBS will not kill the NFL via a 1 hour, sensationalist news program. NFL has replaced religion in a lot of the U.S.

NFL will die down if they don't keep creating likeable stars, just like the NBA, just like Baseball.
10-09-2013 01:43 AM
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
There is nothing masculine about professional sports in America. They are treated like children and fined for anything. And curfews? LMAO. Also, men growing up watching/worshiping a bunch of padded males is pure emasculation. You want manly? Take the fucking pads off, fire the refs, and play ironman. The rest is dick suckery. But hey, I guess everyone needs a hero.

Oh wait, I just watched 4 hours of all men tackling each other. Does that make me more straight?
(This post was last modified: 10-09-2013 03:11 AM by Aliblahba.)
10-09-2013 03:10 AM
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
(10-08-2013 10:27 PM)RioNomad Wrote:  If I have kids I hope they play football.

I didn't and I still regret it.

I won't let mine unless they have real talent.

I boxed, been in many street fights, did tae kwon do, jiu jitsu, done infantry training at Ft. Benning, Ga, did ruck marches until my feet were bleeding and my socks were stuck to my feet.

You know what fucked my body up the most? High school football.

You did not miss out on anything other than some pinched nerves and fucked up knees.
10-09-2013 03:21 AM
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El_Superbeasto Offline
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
Football players getting brain damage? Who'd ever be able to tell the difference?

Seriously though, I'd never put my kid in football. Baseball, basketball, track, soccer, boxing, wrestling, etc. Yes, even boxing. At least there you're learning a practical skill (how to fight) and something about self reliance (no one in the ring but you and him).
(This post was last modified: 10-09-2013 03:30 AM by El_Superbeasto.)
10-09-2013 03:29 AM
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
(10-09-2013 03:10 AM)Aliblahba Wrote:  Take the fucking pads off, fire the refs, and play ironman. The rest is dick suckery. But hey, I guess everyone needs a hero.


what is ironman?

Team yoga pants
[video=youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UoeQOC-5iw&t=143s[/video]
10-09-2013 03:32 AM
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RE: Will PBS Deliver the death blow to the NFL?
Quote:what is ironman?


Ali's nickname for his hard on. Yeah try to read his post again with that in mind.
(This post was last modified: 10-09-2013 03:40 AM by Vicious.)
10-09-2013 03:38 AM
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