This. Is. Brilliant. In an article from The Nation, Dave Zirin highlights the occupational dangers of the NFL. For instance:
This isn't about superficial appearance, of arthritic knuckles or the altered gait that comes with age. It's about the long-term effects of brain injury and concussions. As William C. Rhoden wrote in the New York Times, "The legion of retired players has become a haunting presence for the National Football League and especially for the N.F.L. Players Association, which keeps one foot in and one foot out of the retired players' lives."
Sean Taylor was born. And no one thought it was funny.
As evidence that the league is more dangerous now than it was in the past, the author notes this terrifying fact, emphasis mine:
Let me cut back for a moment because it is a serious article on a serious issue. There very well could be a legitimate point about player safety and I don't want to minimize that. I find the assertion that players are getting bigger as a priori evidence that the game is more dangerous a bit absurd; afterall, the people these large men are hitting are also getting bigger. It's not as if defensive tackles and bone-crushing Meast safeties increased in size, while the rest of the league shrank or else remained constant.
But if you are looking to edumacate yourself on the facts at hand, the article fairly addresses pensions and benefits (which have increased dramatically recently). My only criticism with its handling of what is a sensitive and serious issue is the overuse of quotes from clearly interested and unobjective parties. This debate needs less hyperbole, characters, not more.
But I think it is awesome that Sean Taylor's mere existence is presented as evidence that football is more dangerous today than it was in the past. He is a dangerous man, I tells you.