The Super Bowl is coming up in just a few days.
You’ll gather up some food and drinks. You’ll sit in front of a TV. Twenty-two professional football players will take the field and they’ll kick off the biggest game of the year. The Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks will play for the Lombardi Trophy, which goes to the National Football League’s best team of the season.
But think about something else while you watch these large athletes collide with each other. Think about the possibility that some of them may get hurt, as in seriously hurt. Their heads will get banged around. Perhaps some of them already have been hit so hard they cannot remember some things.
It’s a reality in the NFL, not to mention at the college or even high school levels.
Frontline’s acclaimed documentary, “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis” re-airs Tuesday on Panhandle PBS. It tells the story of the NFL’s once-secret malady, the trauma that some players suffer from too many hits to the head.
“League of Denial” drew lots of attention when it was shown the first time some months ago. Indeed, the production of the special drew attention as ESPN withdrew its support for the project, leaving Frontline to produce it on its own. The Boston-based WGBH-TV series didn’t flinch. It went ahead with the broadcast and drew lots of comments — both pro and con — on the story it told.
Four days before the Big Game is a good time for Frontline to re-broadcast this special.
It won’t — nor should it — take away from the game itself, which football fans all hope will be a thriller.
“League of Denial” should give us pause, though, to ponder the consequences of large, well-conditioned athletes hitting each other such force. Some folks just might get hurt.