“I don’t own a gun. That may be the only reason I’m here right now.”
Football’s worth has been examined and cross-examined ad nausea over the past few years. The deaths of Junior Seau, Andre Waters, and Dave Duerson punctuate the argument that signing up for a career in professional football just isn’t worth it in the long run. Look at Leroy Hoard’s pained, bloodshot eyes and hear his story – as told to ESPN’s Outside The Lines – and even the most diehard among us might start to question America’s favorite sport.
When asked in the midst of the interview, how he feels, Hoard shoots back, “Like crap. My legs are both numb. I can’t feel my toes. I can’t feel this arm, and I’m getting a headache from these damn lights. Other than that, I feel great.”
More than anything else, Hoard comes off as a man living on borrowed time. The debate of “is football too violent?” didn’t begin and certainly won’t end with the former running back, but his story is hard to ignore.