Have I previously confessed that hockey is an afterthought in my little head? I think I have. So I'll proceed with the disclaimer of paying only casual attention but retain the mythical power sports business executives bequeath on such casual observers...
If, indeed, Sidney Crosby, the hero of 2010 Olympics, the boy wonder, Halifax's Lebron, is down for the count with concussion-related injuries, then I quit. I've read just enough on CTE to know that I don't want it anywhere near anyone I care about. I'm as libertarian as the next guy: If people want to smoke or inject heroin or drive race cars into concrete walls, as long as you're not hurting anyone else, good-on-ya'. But I care about Crosby. He's truly an important cultural figure in my life. I remember where I was, in the Pour House pub by the table in the corner, when he put Team Canada on his shoulders, lay down le hated Americanos, and gifted me the opportunity to send "SUCK IT" texts to my American friends.
And it's not because it's Crosby. It's because of what might happen to the next Crosby, the next great talent that gets me to flip away from the Raptors game to check out what this dude just did with a puck. For that guy, I want it out: Fighting, head hits, whatever. I don't care if it's surgically removed or hacked off with a rusty axe. I don't care if the game isn't the "game" anymore. I don't care if Don Cherry induces a stroke. I want Gary Bettman, the players, six doctors and the Ghost of Christmas Precautionary Principles, to get in a room and not emerge until we have reason to believe the skulls of people I care about are no longer in immediate and existential danger. Do it now.
Listen clear, NHL: You lose Crosby, you lose me.