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COLUMN: Concussion overkill

McCoy hit debated much too long

December 15, 2011
B.J. LISKO - Salem News Sports Editor ( , Salem News

It's a pretty sad and pathetic state of affairs when a football organization and team is so bad the only thing there is to debate and talk about for more than a week is how or how not to treat a concussion on the sidelines.

Enough already.

This is football. Last I checked it wasn't touch football either. Yes, Colt McCoy got drilled and the league doled out an appropriate punishment to James Harrison for the helmet-to-helmet hit, but concussions happen every week in the NFL.

The fact that the game happened more than a week ago and it's still the hottest subject in Cleveland is absurd.

You don't even have to ask the question, because I already have the answer for you, and it's this.

The Cleveland Browns are such a bad football team this season that it's gotten to the point off-the-field and management issues are the only news there is when it comes to the organization.

You can't debate the team, because it's too depressing. So apparently we have to debate the handling of the team, or lack thereof.

I had my own opinion of how the Browns handled things, but to be honest I barely even remember it now because it's being treated as if McCoy was stabbed mid-field and no one saw it, did anything about it, and then team doctors and coaches sent the quarterback, his body draining of life in front of our very eyes back into the game.

McCoy is a player. A tough, Texas kid who looked dazed for a bit, but then returned to the field on his own accord.

If a quarterback says he's okay, looks okay, sounds okay, and there's little to believe that would suggest otherwise, every single team in the league would've sent their quarterback back onto the field.

So it turns out he had a concussion and told his father he couldn't remember the remainder of the game.

Surprising? Of course it was.

All that needs to be done are a few adjustments so when it happens again in the future the team takes extra precaution.

That's it. End of story.

The media, and specifically Cleveland media in general has got to give this a rest. They're making it the story of the season for the Browns, when really it warrants little more than a footnote.

I know the team is bad. Trust me, I'm a fan and I'm watching just like the Cleveland media who is covering the team every day. But let it go already.

It was a unique situation and the team will handle it better in the future. They've literally beaten this issue to death.

The fact the team has a game in Arizona Sunday has hardly been mentioned other than the likelihood the McCoy won't be able to play, and that didn't really happen until Thursday.

How about instead of berating how the team handled McCoy last Thursday over and over again, you try to focus on the fact they've got three games left. How about you try to focus on the fact Seneca Wallace is likely going to start Sunday and has a real chance to answer a huge question mark looming over the Browns in whether or not McCoy has no offensive weapons, or if McCoy just doesn't have what it takes to lead the team.

How about you try to focus on football? We get it. There's only so much you can write about during a 4-9 season. There's only so many spins and angles and twists you can put on things in yet another losing year by the lake. But can we at least make what you do write and report about the game and the team's performance itself? Off the field issues and team management is important. And yes, this was an important issue a week ago. It's done with. McCoy will recover. The games will go on.

Enough is enough.

E-mail B.J. Lisko at



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