Just a hunch but I think WEEI might have their filler material until spring training after the articles from Jackie MacMullan this morning in the Globe and Alan Schwarz in the parent New York Times on former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson, who claims to have had about 30 concussions over the course of his career, and puts some blame on Bill Belichick for “playing God” with his health and putting him back on the field.
These articles tell a horrible story. The likable Johnson has been on medication for depression, has days he cannot get out of bed, has been addicted to Adderall, an amphetamine and has undergone psychiatric care. The Times article says that Johnson already shows signs of “mild cognitive impairment that is characteristic of early Alzheimer’s disease.”
Most of the events in the column in terms of his time with the Patriots takes place in the 2002 season. It’s not really mentioned that he played two seasons beyond that, nor is not a single mention made of the fact that Johnson was quoted in a Michael Felger column THIS season on Dec 20, 2006 as saying that if Belichick called him, he would’ve played this season after Junior Seau went down. He had said at the time he’d even ask for a bump in salary. From that Felger article:
Former Patriots [team stats] linebacker Ted Johnson would have considered coming back to play this year had the team called.
“After (Junior) Seau went down I must have gotten 10 messages from my friends saying, ‘You’re going to get a call, you’re going to get a call.’ And I never did,” Johnson said yesterday on 890 ESPN radio. “But say he (Bill Belichick) did call, I could go out there right now and do goal-line, short-yardage stuff.”
Johnson, who shed about 10-15 pounds from his playing days, said the post-concussion syndrome that led him to retire two years ago never prevented him from playing. He just made a choice. And if he returned, he said, he wouldn’t accept minimum-level money.
“I had independent doctors tell me I shouldn’t play,” said Johnson. “But my team doctors did not tell me that. I was cleared to play. That was a personal choice I made when I sought out second and third opinions. It’d be a health risk (to come back) for sure, and I’d ask for a little bump up in salary, if I was going to go back out there and bash my head in there, too.”
When you read the Globe and Times articles, this above segment makes ZERO sense.
The whole situation is extremely sad.
David Scott also weighs in on the two columns and the entire story. Had the Patriots made the Super Bowl this would’ve been another nice little story for the Globe to drop on them.
John Tomase has Patriots cast-off Dexter Reid taking shots at the team and specifically at the owner, Robert Kraft as he says the Patriots owner isn’t going to pay Asante Samuel, because:
“They won’t pay him,” he said. “You know that, being from the Boston Herald. You know how things work there. (Owner Robert) Kraft ain’t paying nobody.”
Tomase also talks to Solomon Wilcots about his awkward interview of Belichick following the loss to the Colts.
Dan Shaughnessy catches up with his old pal Curt Schilling, who has been in the news lately.
Shaughnessy tells us: “Taking a rare hike on the high road, in the interest of fairness, I called the Big Guy.” Schilling later explains the problem he has with Shaughnessy, and I guess to Dan’s credit, he runs it:
"I think there's things that you write that are absolutely and totally unequivocally uncalled for. I think you take personal vendettas to the paper. I think you rip people in the paper because you don't like them whether they're good people or not. As an athlete, that bothers me, but as a teammate of these people, it bothers me even more . . . I certainly came in with a little bias, but I don't think that given what's happened that it's unmerited.