Being part of the concussion space there are many different things that come to my inbox. Much of that is garbage and thinly veiled attempts at advertising for something that I am not interested in.
A couple of weeks ago I received an email about a movie that I had heard of in passing; Gridiron Heroes. I did not know what it was all about but the co-director, Seth Camillo, encouraged that I see this. He never said it was ground breaking but told me it is “documentary about the important issue of brain and spinal cord injuries that are sustained on the football field.”
I was given the opportunity to screen the film and I must say that I was not disappointed by the hour and 17 minutes. (Trailer below)
It begins with a overview and reason for a foundation called Gridiron Heroes Spinal Cord Injury Foundation; the injury and subsequent paralyzation of Chris Canales. Although rare in occurrence this type of injury does happen on the football field. Instead of being overwhelmed by this difficult situation and blaming the game the Canaleses went about helping others that found them selves in this unfortunate situation.
Catastrophic injury and death should never be tolerated in sport, but like in life there are circumstances where they happen in freak accidents. This is not unlike car accidents that are no fault of anyone and understanding that life comes with some risk. The Gridiron Heroes Spinal Cord Injury Foundation set upon trying to heal and help those that have no clue what is happening and how to come to grips with the “finality” of these injuries.
The movie interviews former professional players – most notably Decon Jones’s raw and honest opinions, “players in the game” like Alan Schwarz, as well as those afflicted regarding the sport and where it sits in their eyes. The movie even takes on the issue of repetitive brain trauma and concussion.
This movie is not about tearing down the game/sport it is about facing the realization that football can be a risky endeavor for some and that instead of ignoring and looking past the issues, taking them on is the better way to approach this.
I am not a movie reviewer, per say, but I can tell you that this is worth your time and money (all profits from the film go to the Gridiron Heroes Spinal Cord Injury Foundation). This would be appropriate for anyone that is around football a lot like coaches and parents. It is not intended to scare but to inform, mainly about the foundation, but about the sport.
Seth Camillo and Andy Lauer did a fine job of telling a trying story not only of Chris Caneles and those like him, but of the sport of football.
You can get the movie on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Walmart Entertainment, Google Play and Dish Network.
If you have seen it feel free to comment on it, here.
Thank you for your kind words and review of the Movie Gridiron Heroes. I am not a famous athlete or coach, just a Dad and and his Son who’s life changed forever playing the sport he loves, trying to make a difference in the lives of these injured athletes.
We are trying to get hard objects off the heads of young players..replaced with headgear that absorbs forces. Millions of head injuries can be prevented. See Herculeshelmet.com
Good luck with recovery
G. Malcolm Brown
The call for safer football is repeated over and over… Matt Chaney has sent me articles from 1890s, 1910, 1930s, 1960s calling for a “safer game and to stop the damage.” Sad those articles from hundred years ago could have been used as the script in this heart-felt trailer. I will watch the movie but i do not think any of the injuries and deaths are freak accidents. They are statistically part of the game and risk people chose with free will to play. All great when you are over 18. But who makes the decision for a child to play and does that adult really know the risk?
We hope younger players will not be wearing hard headgear in the future… they are dangerous…
Please see Herculeshelmet.com
G. Malcolm Brown