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Merril Hoge: Kurt Warner is uneducated and irresponsible

merrilhoge Getty Images

Merril Hoge has been outspoken on the subject of brain injuries in the NFL since long before it became one of the major issues surrounding the league in the last few years. Hoge’s career was cut short after he had multiple concussions in 1994, and he successfully sued the Bears and their team doctor over the way his concussions were treated during his final NFL season.

But while Hoge is concerned about players suffering brain injuries on the field, he takes strong issue with those who say that concussions are so dangerous that children shouldn’t play football. And on ESPN’s NFL Live, Hoge went off on Kurt Warner, who said on Thursday that he wouldn’t want his kids playing football before later backing away from those comments.

“I think it’s irresponsible and unacceptable,” Hoge said of Warner suggesting that football is a dangerous game for children. “He has thrown the game that has been so good to him under the bus. He sounds extremely uneducated.”

In Hoge’s view, parents can’t just put their children in bubble wrap and ensure they’ll never suffer a concussion, but what they can do is ensure their children will get proper treatment and adequate time off if they ever do suffer a concussion. And Hoge says that children playing in youth leagues that follow the proper concussion guidelines are actually playing a safer sport than youth football players of times past played.

“Head trauma is not the issue here — it’s how head trauma is treated,” Hoge said. “The game is safer than it has ever been because we’re being proactive with head trauma. That is the biggest issue.”

Hoge believes that football is a great game for kids to play, and that it’s wrong for Warner to suggest otherwise.

“I can’t believe that he would share that message because now moms and dads that are out there, and Billy wants to play, but they are uneducated and they are unsure, and they love Kurt Warner, they’re like, ‘He doesn’t want his kids to play? Why should I let my kids play?'”

Hoge said responsible parents should make sure their children’s coaches are following the concussion protocols as outlined by USA Football, but the last thing they should do is tell their kids not to play a sport that gives them great physical benefits.

“The biggest problem in our society today with our youth is obesity,” Hoge said. “You will do more damage to your son or daughter by allowing them to sit on the couch, play XBox and eat a donut, health-wise, than you will ever do if you put them on a football field and it’s in the right structure. You think of obesity and all the things that come from that — diabetes and lung and heart and joint issues, we can go on and on — the last thing we should do is discourage children from activity.”

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215 Responses to “Merril Hoge: Kurt Warner is uneducated and irresponsible”
  1. daysend564 says: May 4, 2012 5:01 PM

    Warner probably has a concussion

  2. bchapman2011 says: May 4, 2012 5:01 PM

    Does one person on this earth (even his wife)
    like Merril Hoge? I love how these marginal players become tough guys once the pads are off.

  3. redguy12588 says: May 4, 2012 5:01 PM

    I now think that Kurt Warner is responsible and extremely educated.

  4. bucrightoff says: May 4, 2012 5:01 PM

    Biggest case of pot calling kettle black ever?

  5. pooflingingmonkey says: May 4, 2012 5:02 PM

    Hoge is overstating things a bit. Obesity can be corrected… brain damage? Not so much.

  6. thompgk says: May 4, 2012 5:03 PM

    Football is one of the last sports I would let my kids play if I didn’t want them battle obesity.

    Its a sport that rewards big fat tubbos.

  7. joshsports6000 says: May 4, 2012 5:03 PM

    For once, I actually think Hoge is right on.

  8. ruggyup says: May 4, 2012 5:03 PM

    Hoge and Toomer are the real disgrace? These birds just can’t tolerate a point of view that doesn’t fit their own. Shame. Parents have every right to guide their children’s activities and speak out about it. Don’t like it. Tune out.

  9. lovinthatsomanyhateonnd says: May 4, 2012 5:03 PM

    Hoge and toomer need to zip it until they do the things that Kurt has done for the sport. While not the first, he follows in the steps of the likes of Reggie White..excellent people of faith, who give back and give athletes a good name off the field. Whens the last time hoge took his kids out to eat, and offered to pay for another families meal? Or Toomer? If they have i apologize, but I doubt it. Further, who are they to tell Kurt how to raise his kids?! I think he has that handled pretty well.

  10. theallegedone says: May 4, 2012 5:04 PM

    First Merril Hoge rips Tebow. Understandable. But now he’s taking shots at one of the nicest guys in recent NFL history? For voicing his OWN OPINION on what he thinks is best for his children?

    It’s a dangerous game. The facts on concussions are there. Who the hell are Merril Hoge and Amani Toomer to bash a man when it comes to the safety and well being of his children. I don’t wanna hear the whole “why bash the league that made you who you are”. I don’t wanna hear that. If a drug dealer makes a lot of money throughout his life and says he doesn’t want his children to sling drugs, are these a**holes gonna defend that too? Made him who he was. Good for Kurt Warner.

  11. whatnojets says: May 4, 2012 5:05 PM

    Merril Hoge is still suffering the effects of the concussions he had in 1994.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

  12. jbpanthers says: May 4, 2012 5:05 PM

    Why are people attacking Warner for what he does as a father? Who cares if he doesn’t want his child to play football. Hoge needs to take a seat and continue to stalk Tebow and Vince Young.

  13. mrbumbum2000 says: May 4, 2012 5:05 PM

    I’ve always admired Kurt Warner’s marvellous cajones.

  14. atlien698 says: May 4, 2012 5:06 PM

    The makers of Xbox and Krispy Kreme, Inc. find Hoge’s statements irresponsible and uneducated.

  15. beeronthefridge says: May 4, 2012 5:06 PM

    “The biggest problem in our society today with our youth is obesity,” Hoge said.

    Hey Merril, how many linemen are skinny?

  16. nineroutsider says: May 4, 2012 5:06 PM

    Even if he rubs you the wrong way, you have to admit that he holds no punches back. I think he’s right here though and makes a good point about obesity.

  17. greggo1545 says: May 4, 2012 5:06 PM

    Watching children tackle each other violently with coaches that scream and helicopter parents is enough to make me agree with Warner. Imagine a kid suffers a terrible injury to the brain before its developed… It’s a tragedy. Hodge is wrong. I believe any level of football prior to high school should be two hand touch or flag.

  18. mataug says: May 4, 2012 5:06 PM

    While I agree with the gist of it, I think the problem is not being tackled properly enough at the high school and college level. The NFL(besides the Cleveland Browns) is finally taking steps but for the sport to continue with its popularity, the changes have to come at the lower levels.

  19. vexey says: May 4, 2012 5:07 PM

    He can disagree all he wants, but calling him uneducated? That’s the exact opposite of what’s happening, players are finally understanding the full impact of head injuries.

  20. coolgato13 says: May 4, 2012 5:07 PM

    There are plenty of activities besides football for children to get involved with to combat obesity.
    Hoge is a loudmouth.
    Warner has more class in his little finger than Hoge has in his entire body.
    One more reason to loathe this guy.

  21. ascensionparish says: May 4, 2012 5:07 PM

    Hoge’s triple-windsor tie-knot more likely caused his head injuries.

  22. mendenhallfumblemachine says: May 4, 2012 5:07 PM

    Coming from Merill eh? How ironic…

  23. stoutfiles says: May 4, 2012 5:07 PM

    I think Kurt is entitled to his own opinion. It’s not as if possible brain damage has been a big secret until Kurt Warner said something. Also, there are other sports than football, it’s not like it’s that or Xbox.

  24. kivory2 says: May 4, 2012 5:07 PM

    Hodge is a punk

  25. jaggedmark says: May 4, 2012 5:08 PM

    Kids should just sit in front of a TV, play video games, and get fat.

    Can’t get a concussion doing that.

  26. granadafan says: May 4, 2012 5:08 PM

    The long term injuries because of football go well beyond the brain injuries. Many players can barely walk or are still having surgeries to knees, hips, shoulders, etc. All one has to do is look at the older players, even college players who never made it to the pros to see how many of them still hurt.

  27. bankai78 says: May 4, 2012 5:08 PM

    “You will do more damage to your son or daughter by allowing them to sit on the couch, play XBox and eat a donut” Microsoft thinks you are uneducated and irresponsible Mr. Hoge.

  28. tjh9985 says: May 4, 2012 5:08 PM

    His tie knot is irresponsible.

  29. thankheavenfornumberseven says: May 4, 2012 5:09 PM

    I’d much rather hear what Kurt Warner has to say than what Merril Hoge has to say. I don’t think my kid is going to be obese just because he doesn’t play football. There are other physical activities, you know.

  30. worldwidebleater says: May 4, 2012 5:09 PM

    After ripping Warner, Hoge called a security guard to help him find his car in the ESPN parking lot.

  31. azvikefan says: May 4, 2012 5:09 PM

    You still have some dain bramage Merril.

  32. naterysavy says: May 4, 2012 5:09 PM

    Sure, but there are lots of ways to get exercise that don’t have nearly the same concussion risk as playing football does. Go running. Swim. Pick up a basketball.

    Also, if Kurt Warner doesn’t want his kids playing football, isn’t that his choice as a parent? Lots of parents achieve success in fields that are dangerous. Many of those same parents try to discourage their kids from following in their footsteps and instead encourage them to find “easier” paths to success than they had to travel.

    Why the outcry over this?

  33. mrguygadbois says: May 4, 2012 5:10 PM

    Merril Hoge thinks he’s THE expert on all matters relating to the game. Hoge couldn’t carry Warner’s jock.

  34. themoonshadow says: May 4, 2012 5:10 PM

    thanks Merril

    I know all the parents are feeling better knowing their children’s head injuries are well-treated.

    Besides, everyone knows the local yahoo coaching the youth team cares more about the players’ health than living out their dreams of being the Pop Warner Vince Lombardi (because they would have been coaching in the NFL right now if not for that high school coach who had it out for them).

  35. aldonsack says: May 4, 2012 5:10 PM

    How does not wanting his kids to sustain the same injuries he did make Kurt Warner uneducated?

    Shut up Merril. Stop acting like you were such a bigshot. Kurt Warner was, and is, infinitely better than you.

  36. drmonkeyarmy says: May 4, 2012 5:10 PM

    Yeah, but there are safer, healthy forms of activity than football. Listen, I love football…it is a great game but I wouldn’t want my kids playing it either. I don’t care what kind of equipment they have, concussions and serious head trauma still happen at the youth level. It just isn’t worth it. Period. End of story.

  37. milesrunner262 says: May 4, 2012 5:11 PM

    I played football as a kid and in HS and loved it. That said, if I choose to raise my kids a certain way (whether I let them play or not), I should be able to do so without being called “uneducated or irresponsible”. It’s wrong how this has gotten so hostile.

  38. xsherr says: May 4, 2012 5:12 PM

    I’m getting this out the way early. Drew Brees wants a better explanation.

  39. sicx01 says: May 4, 2012 5:12 PM

    And this my friends is the exact reason the NFL offseason is WAY too long!!!

  40. bradentonbuc says: May 4, 2012 5:13 PM

    How can you take someone seriously that dresses like Elvis? Hoge needs to become educated in dressing like a 21st century adult

  41. bigjdve says: May 4, 2012 5:14 PM

    Hoge – you moron, Warner has every right to be concerned about head trauma. However let’s not forget he is out of the lead because of a hit where he was targeted specifically to get injured.

    Yeah, I think I would be concerned about my kids as well. It is a parent’s job to try and protect their kids the best that they can, or the best way that they know.

    Some people would hesitate, it is good to know that Hoge wouldn’t. He took to many shots to the head and had to sue his employer for not taking care of him, but he would want his kids to go through that as well.

    That is just swell.

  42. bangitfootball says: May 4, 2012 5:14 PM

    Hoges career was actually cut short because of a lack of talent.

    He suffers from SAPP SYNDROME , a medical condition where those afflicted continually spit out outrageously false and idiotic comments in order to get attention and keep their jobs for another 3 months.

  43. gadzod says: May 4, 2012 5:14 PM

    I think Toomer and Hoge are out of line. Who are they to tell Kurt Warner what is best for Kurt’s children? If he thinks football is too dangerous for his kids, it’s his right as a parent. He didn’t say football is too dangerous for kids in general. He said it’s too dangerous for HIS kids.

  44. bearsstillsuck says: May 4, 2012 5:14 PM

    He’s actually right.

  45. wholelottacrazygoingon says: May 4, 2012 5:15 PM

    The choice doesn’t just boil down to football or XBox Merril, kids can play other sports.

    Kurt Warner is right. He assumed the risk and there is nothing wrong with him acknowledging that playing football is a serious risk to a person’s short and long term health.

  46. mornelithe says: May 4, 2012 5:15 PM

    So, Mr. Hoge feels that Kurt Warner is irresponsible and uneducated because he wants more for his children and to keep them safe? Isn’t that virtually every parents desire?

    It sounds like Mr. Hoge needs to spend more time looking at his own life, and less at what other people do. That’s another big problem with America, today. People who think they have any right to infringe upon other peoples lives.

  47. bearsrulepackdrool says: May 4, 2012 5:15 PM

    whatnojets says: May 4, 2012 5:05 PM

    Merril Hoge is still suffering the effects of the concussions he had in 1994.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

    ___________________________

    What, is everyone “entitled to their opinion” until they bash someone else’s opinion with their own?

  48. fissels says: May 4, 2012 5:15 PM

    I’m with Merrill on this one. Kids shouldn’t be raised to be scardey cats

  49. cowboynation9 says: May 4, 2012 5:15 PM

    Really? Blow something out of proportion much? Kurt Warner can decide to parent his children however he wants to. If that means telling his children all the risks before they blindly go into the profession he’s experienced the dark side of, what is wrong with that? He’s just concerned for his own kids safety, as parents usually are. And are this many people around the country really going to tell their kids not to play just because Kurt Warner doesn’t want his kids to? I didn’t realize the guy had that much control over society lol.

  50. grogansheroes says: May 4, 2012 5:17 PM

    The next time Hoge says something intelligent, will be the first.

  51. 808raiderinparadise says: May 4, 2012 5:17 PM

    Forget Seau’s brain, test Hodge’s brain.

    What an idiot …. Kurt Warner is a 1st ballot HOF’er …. great Father, man of Faith and class act.

    Football is dangerous, highest risk of injuries and lifelong symptons of any sport.

    Warner never said he wanted his kids to be fat coach potatoes … you think Warner the once grocery bagger, tunred AFL QB, turned Super Bowl Champion and HOF’er doesn;t respect what the game did for him?

    Hodge is a scrub.

  52. justwinbaby29 says: May 4, 2012 5:17 PM

    Tim Tebow is flabbergasted.

  53. bearsrulepackdrool says: May 4, 2012 5:19 PM

    He’s right. You want to protect your kids fine. But, don’t stop their dream. If they want to play football, find them a program that, best, helps protect them.

    People say football is a dangerous sport. There have been thousands of football players that have played the game. Not all of them have suffered a concussion and are disabled because of it. (or any other injury) You have to smart about it. Every sport is dangerous, in some ways. It’s about how you protect yourself when you are playing it.

  54. exhelodrvr says: May 4, 2012 5:19 PM

    Merril,
    ‘Head trauma is not the issue here — it’s how head trauma is treated”

    Not true. Repeated head trauma is an issue – it’s not just concussions, the much more frequent, lesser impacts that don’t cause concussions also contribute significantly. And those are generally not treated.

  55. codymffc says: May 4, 2012 5:20 PM

    I’ve never agreed will Merril Hoge more than i do right now

  56. iplayforrexryan says: May 4, 2012 5:20 PM

    Football can be very dangerous. i know a guy who has permanent brain damage from playing football. there are better ways to tackle obesity.

    also: i play xbox and dont eat donuts. i’m not fat.

  57. Dynasty says: May 4, 2012 5:21 PM

    Kurt Warner will be fired by NFL Network shortly. No one will hear you mouth again Warner. This guys rambles were boring me for last couple years. Guy thinks he knows it all! Bye Bye Kurt

  58. mccaskey101 says: May 4, 2012 5:21 PM

    Hodge is right. Warner is wrong.

  59. themohel says: May 4, 2012 5:21 PM

    Some articles on CTE suggest that this brain-wasting illness may occur without a history of severe concussions. Just the typical head-banging by linemen may do the trick. What about that, Mr. Hoge. I think any parent falls within the ‘reasonable’ category if they avoid football or if they embrace it.

  60. guppies66 says: May 4, 2012 5:23 PM

    Merrill, how to we ensure that our kids coaches follow the protocol? Do we need to be at every practice? To ensure they are not driving the kids to win at all costs? The local 8th grade baseball coach will not allow his players to go on family vacations that conflict with practice. Does that sound like someone who values anything over winning?

  61. rosloe62 says: May 4, 2012 5:23 PM

    This is definite proof Hoge suffers from long term brain damage. I applaud Kurt Warner for not wanting his son to play football if he sees it as being dangerous. It’s every parents right to raise their own children. Hoge, stick to what you do best, I forgot what do you do best?

  62. vtopa says: May 4, 2012 5:23 PM

    Its how head trauma is treated. HEY IDIOT. You don’t have to treat it if you never get it. I hate the macho idiots who love the game so much that they can’t see the forest of the trees.

  63. mancave001 says: May 4, 2012 5:23 PM

    I’ve really had enough of this Butt Clown®

  64. trollhammer20 says: May 4, 2012 5:25 PM

    I seem to recall a guy named Molk being rated as the #1 center prospect in the draft last week.

    I also seem to recall he wasn’t drafted until quite late in the process, because at 298 pounds, teams felt he was “undersized”.

    I’d call it pretty irresponsible to encourage high school kids and college age men to pack on a bunch of additional weight in order to play a game that most will never play at the professional level. It sets a dangerous precedent for the rest of their adult lives.

    For the record, I play games for about ten hours a week (don’t have cable TV), which is also about the same amount of time I spend at the gym. I eat Clif Bars instead of donuts, though. Those chocolate chip ones are yummy.

  65. jr4real says: May 4, 2012 5:25 PM

    Can’t stand Warner’s ego. And he should advocate for safety not avoidance of the game.

  66. bryans49ers says: May 4, 2012 5:26 PM

    Not this guy again

  67. goodlookingmonkey says: May 4, 2012 5:26 PM

    Dear Merril Hoge,

    The fact that you sued your own team and that you were at best an average player, I suggest you keep your comments to yourself. Warner is speaking as a parent. Football is a violent sport. You walk around, analyzing, thinking you know everything about football but you don’t. So do the world of football a favor KEEP your own opinions to yourself. I we need information on how to sue the company that gave you the chance to play a kids game and make a hell of a lot of money, we’ll call you.

    P.S. You say the game is safer but thats from a professional stand point. Pee wee, middle school, high school, don’t have the same protection like the pros. Why? Cause they don’t make billion of dollars like the NFL. Idiot.

  68. bosoxfanpeds says: May 4, 2012 5:26 PM

    It’s the players that make the league and not the league that makes the players….Merrill Hoge were you a player??? What round were you drafted?? I don’t remember you or in college…Were you ever a pro bowler???

  69. stevebozeman says: May 4, 2012 5:26 PM

    Hoge and Toomer….I don’t want to hear Warner’s point of view. But wait a minute…here’s mine. Now listen to it…Warner has more intelligence and education than Toomer and Hoge combined.

  70. lokm88 says: May 4, 2012 5:27 PM

    ESPN only hires people like Bruschi and who have had a few too many head trauma issues to carry on a legit conversation.

  71. redskinsrule says: May 4, 2012 5:28 PM

    He complains about the game that gave him and what his family what they have now, and don’t forget the game is still giving to him and family cus he works for the NFL Network. So he gets to talk about the game that’s so awful for his kids to even play. Get real man! #KurtWarnerHater#1!!

  72. vahawker says: May 4, 2012 5:29 PM

    Didn’t hear Warner say he didn’t want kids playing football. He said he would prefer HIS kids didn’t play. But he also is allowing them to play because they have a passion for the game. Hoge is a loud mouth ignoramus who obviously has minimal compression skills.

  73. samel2003 says: May 4, 2012 5:29 PM

    Unfortunately for Hoge, the person showing the uneducated trait is him, not Warner. Concussions are not a bruise or cut. The damage is irreparable. Multiple instances only compounds the damage that has already occurred. Treatment cannot reverse damage done by way of concussion. Treatment can further prevent the next instance by alleviating the negligence of medical and training staffs of years past. Just like Alzheimer’s or AIDS, treatment or how you handle the injury does not white out the injury that is there–it only serves to make coping with the ailment and it’s attendant symptoms more bearable and manageable. Concussions DO NOT disappear when the treatment ends and the band-aid is removed. Hoge needs to realize that any amount of treatment does not negate the irreparable injury to the soft tissue of the brain which has shown NOT to heal itself. I love football. I love the first amendment. More than anything, I value truth, honesty and intellect. I fail to find any of those qualities in any of Hoge’s comments, for what that is worth. Uneducated? I think so. Hoge needs to reassess his stance. Winning a concussion lawsuit does not make you an expert on concussions. That cannot be contradicted.

  74. chrishousand says: May 4, 2012 5:29 PM

    Drew Brees wants an explanation.

  75. eaglessuperfan says: May 4, 2012 5:29 PM

    Mr Hoge is the irresponsible one. Does he remember all his rants?

  76. ndmick says: May 4, 2012 5:29 PM

    Don’t both have a right too their opinions? And what would any of US do if football changed so dramatically that it wasn’t even close to what it is today? If you read the comments from top to bottom, quite honestly were the idiots….this very page wouldn’t be around for us to act like we lived it…

  77. vincentbojackson says: May 4, 2012 5:30 PM

    Warner voiced an opinion, Hoge voiced his.

    Why all the drama?

    Parents will continue to make their own decisions like they always have regardless of what these two say.

  78. latopia says: May 4, 2012 5:32 PM

    They both love to hear themselves talk. But Warner is holier than thou while Hoge is still the guy with baggy socks.

  79. castleofcheese says: May 4, 2012 5:33 PM

    CastleOfCheese: Merril Hoge is a turd sandwich and no one cares what he thinks about Kurt Warner.

  80. drshakedown74 says: May 4, 2012 5:33 PM

    Jesus told Kurt to say that.

  81. asw1028 says: May 4, 2012 5:34 PM

    “Head trauma is not the issue here — it’s how head trauma is treated”

    …am I crazy or is that one of the most insane statements I’ve ever heard? Head trauma is THE issue, you moron. Treatment is irrelevant–the short term effects of a concussion go away after some time but the long term effects are permanent. It’s a proven fact that you are more susceptible to future concussions if you play after sustaining one.

    When it comes to allowing their children to play football parents need to ask the question: is the juice worth the squeeze?

  82. eggersthejerk says: May 4, 2012 5:34 PM

    It seems that every time Hoge opens his mouth he proves that repeated concussions and head injuries do indeed cause permanent brain damage.

  83. hawkforlife says: May 4, 2012 5:35 PM

    You’d think Hoge shot the Pope. Well in Warner’s case maybe he did but come on folks. Hoge has a point. You can’t go on TV all week during the season and talk about the great game and great hits and the great passes and runs then tell the world it’s not safe for their kids.

    Like it or not Warner made himself a public figure after football talking about football so when he says it, it’s not the same as Joe Blow down the street commenting on the dangers of football.

    He and that dingbat wife are living pretty well thanks to football AND the huge salary he makes as a commentator. he can’t have it both ways.

  84. dvdman123 says: May 4, 2012 5:35 PM

    What is it with these ESPN guys? They all should be fired. They are either writing fabricated articles or insulting someone’s opinion. Warner was just being honest…..football IS a dangerous sport…..end of story.

  85. doublej123456 says: May 4, 2012 5:35 PM

    As you said Hoge, brain trauma is not the issue here……you’re a dumb piece of crap….. If brain trauma is not the issue then why r u so stupid?

  86. pastabelly says: May 4, 2012 5:36 PM

    I doubt Warner believes that it’s a choice of football and video games. My son gets more exercise playing hockey than the football kids do.

  87. tinkletinkleonyourstar says: May 4, 2012 5:37 PM

    my dad was a purchasing agent who had the opportunity to get called on by john unitas.(who was a salesman)
    john unitas told my father that he would/did not let his kids play football.
    and this is long before concussions were getting any attention.
    real bad arthritis as well as a whole host of other significant aches and pains can and will set in real early on folks who abuse their body on a weekly/daily basis.
    i love watching the g-men on a weekly basis but i have steered my son away from football… to many risks.

  88. bigdog3838 says: May 4, 2012 5:38 PM

    Now I’m no doctor but I do know that having your brain bang around in your skull does not do it any good. No matter how good the helmet is, it’s not always about the hit but the sudden change in direction that bruises the brain and causes problems. Now we are reaching a bit with this obesity thing. Tell me that B.J. Raji, Vince Wilfork, Bryant McKinney, etc are not obese. Yes get off your ass and play some sports but it doesn’t change the fact that football is inherently violent and will cause injuries. That’s just the way it is. You can choose to play or not. But don’t tell anybody that they are wrong in saying they wouldn’t want their kid to take that risk. Keep it to yourself.

  89. shaunypoo says: May 4, 2012 5:39 PM

    He is saying he wouldn’t want HIS kids to play. He has a right to say that. He isn’t telling other people not to let their kids play.

    I like Merrill as an analyst, but lay off Warner, he has a right to state his opinion. You can state yours too, no reason to make it personal.

  90. 6kings says: May 4, 2012 5:39 PM

    “The game is safer than it has ever been because we’re being proactive with head trauma.”

    The game is not safer than ever because all the great safety equipment has created a moral hazard that encourages excessive risk taking by the players.

  91. msmith954 says: May 4, 2012 5:39 PM

    If they truly want to end traumatic head injuries, take away their helmets!

  92. sgtr0c says: May 4, 2012 5:41 PM

    Someone please define uneducated to hagi….

    An obese kid will be a drain on the medical system around age 40, a kid whose brains are scrambled eggs at age 13 is a drain on the same system at age 13. Moron!

  93. grndizzle says: May 4, 2012 5:42 PM

    Kurt Warner may have taken his thoughts a little bit too far, but all the piling on from Hoge and Toomer is ridiculous. He’s got more class and a higher IQ than both of them idiots combined.

  94. lowender75 says: May 4, 2012 5:43 PM

    Soooooo…the scrub fullback knows more than than the Super Bowl MVP and future HOFer quarterback…got it, thanks for clearing that up for me.

    Bottom line is, people are blowing Warner’s comments WAY out of proportion, and no one has the right to tell anyone else what message they should be sending their own children. Hoge thinks that a football player that a kid has never met has more influence than his own parents? If so, there’s bigger problems there…

  95. ninerdynasty says: May 4, 2012 5:44 PM

    How many kids have you hard that died from a fast ball straight to their temple? or a kid hitting the goal post on a soccer field? how many kids have you heard that died from a tackle? like hoges said, you can’t put your kid in a bubble.. every sport has its danger .. even sitting on your ass all day can kill you.

    And as for kurt throwing the sport that gave him a good life under the bus.. he should meet consequences from his employer .. thats not good advertisement for the company he works for…

    “dont let your kids come work for the company i work for, they pay too much and sit around all day that you get fat!”

  96. ruggerlad says: May 4, 2012 5:49 PM

    Perhaps all children should be home schooled because the bus could be in an accident. Perhaps all children should be in wheel chairs so they do not risk twisting an ankle. Perhaps we should all stop living our lives because there are possibilities we could be injured. Lets all go on welfare and never leave the house just to be safe.
    I agree that safety is a concern and that is why equipment and rules evolve for children.

    There is a massive difference between living and existing. I am happy to be living my life and without football my childhood would not have been nearly as good as it was.

  97. biggerballz says: May 4, 2012 5:49 PM

    Hoge played football? The only thing he has common with a football player is him and favre like sending pics of their junk to women.

  98. dvdman123 says: May 4, 2012 5:49 PM

    Now ESPN won’t even let you state your opinion without being slammed about it.

  99. tdk24 says: May 4, 2012 5:50 PM

    Kurt Warner sounds extremely uneducated? I wonder what Hoge thinks new Cowboy Claiborne sounds like.

  100. btredway says: May 4, 2012 5:52 PM

    I cannot stand Hoge…the guy is a useless analyst and media mongerer if I’ve ever seen one.

  101. absolutsaints says: May 4, 2012 5:54 PM

    Dude’s tie knot is bigger than his brain

  102. jeffm916 says: May 4, 2012 5:55 PM

    Hoge’s career was cut short after he had multiple concussions in 1994…

    ___________________________________

    That explains it all, now I know why he is such a Dumb A$$

  103. prmpft says: May 4, 2012 5:55 PM

    …at least Kurt’s hair is REAL!

  104. valcomm5 says: May 4, 2012 5:58 PM

    allright!!!! now i’m getting pissed!!! leave Warner alone!!! he is a great guy, a great qb and he is awesome for the game as well as being an analyst!!! he has never complained about anything and holds the game and his career in the highest of regards… shut up hoge! shut up toomer! just shut the hell up!!! you are both uneducated and dont have a clue!!! i dont want my daughter to be a woodworker either, but if she chooses that path, then so be it! ultimately it is their decision! my dad was a truck driver. not me! your children will decide there fate, regardless! damn. shut up!!!

  105. ebbycalvinlaloosh says: May 4, 2012 6:03 PM

    Hoge is a tremendous Xs and Os analyst that understands the game on a level far beyond the common fan, yet you all rip him every time he opens his mouth. It’s a sad but true phenomenon that most fans (like those posting here) have no appreciation for real analysis. That’s why every NFL-related show on ESPN and the NFL Network are all hype and no substance. I would far rather listen to Hoge break down a play than listen to Keyshawn Johnson speak or watch Rich Eisen ask Maurice Jones-Drew who’s on his fantasy team or listen to Jamie Dukes say one ridiculously untrue thing after another. Sadly, though, I’m obviously in the minority.

  106. butkus54 says: May 4, 2012 6:06 PM

    Set aside the topic of concussions for one minute , and focus on the inflammatory nature of the headline itself. The author of this article seems to be more interested in creating a conroversy than addressing the sensitive and complicated nature of athletes and concussions. I am sure that deep down Hoge and Warner are coming from the same place, and that is a place of concern. We are becoming painfully aware of the devastating affects of repeated concussions . Allow us to read their statements in some kind of context and save the misleading headline grabbing introductions.

  107. chiadam says: May 4, 2012 6:07 PM

    I wonder what Hoge thinks about the 1,500 players that are suing the NFL. Are they also uneducated and irresponsible? To me, pausing before letting your kids continue playing football is responsile. Look at the state of the vast majority of retired players.

  108. raideralex7 says: May 4, 2012 6:08 PM

    Wrong on ripping Tebow.
    Wrong on ripping Warner.

    Any other famous Christian athletes out there that Hoge feels compelled to rip?

    Little man syndrome.

  109. leeeroooyjeeenkiiins says: May 4, 2012 6:08 PM

    All this talk about investigating post concussion symptoms and studying the brains of dead football players, when apparently all we had to do was ask the educated, all knowing Merril Hoge.

  110. bigset33 says: May 4, 2012 6:10 PM

    i am not a man of faith, but to not respect his opinion is stupid. the guy has a good head on his shoulders and doesnt stuff his religion down your throat. hoge stuffs his steeler, tough guy act down everyones throat. how many super bowls you win, merril?

  111. tom62215 says: May 4, 2012 6:16 PM

    Merrill speaks truth.

  112. ulyze says: May 4, 2012 6:17 PM

    When did Hoge become educated… he must’ve earned an MD when no one was looking. Obesity, heart, lung, joint problems? The fact of the matter is that the concussion is not the only problem associated with football. Obesity? – how many 300-350 pound offensive/defensive linemen end up battling overweight/obesity issues in their lifetime (nearly 100%). Joint problems? – what percentage of NFL players end up having knee/ankle/finger joint problems (google Mark Schlereth knee surgeries or Torry Holt fingers) ….can go on and on about the various health problems that former players suffer.

    Most Pediatric Neurologist would not recommend sports that carry a large risk for head and joint traumas (i.e. football, soccer, boxing). Head traumas can have especially long term consequences in children than adults (stemming from still developing brains and intracranial size).

    There are countless number of sports that kids can participate in to encourage exercise and even provide better cardio component (e.g. running, swimming, basketball). Kurt Warner, like any other parent has every right to express concern for their children’s well being in participating in any sport. Hodge and Toomer are out there acting like Warner is out to destroy the sport – but they don’t realize that 99% of kids of playing football will not become NFL athletes – thus the risk of injury is not worth the reward.

  113. lasher1650 says: May 4, 2012 6:22 PM

    Given the avalanche of new data on brain injury directly correlated to football activity, Warner’s stance is completely logical. I can envision a day when high school’s stop the sport altogether to avoid liability for injury. I can envision a day when football is drawing from the same pool as boxing – inner city youth who are willing to risk anything to escape an inhospitable environment. Children of priveledge – such as Warner’s – do not need to unnecessarily risk having their eggs scrambled for the sake of playing a gladiator sport that takes years off of their lives as well as subjecting what years they have to horrible, debilitating brain trauma.

    I played football from pee wee through high school, I will put a golf club, baseball bat, basketball, soccer ball etc. in front of child in the hopes that they choose these less violent/devestating sports as compared to football. I will not stop them if that is their choice, but I will certainly encourage options other than football for the sake of their health.

  114. notmanning says: May 4, 2012 6:24 PM

    “Head trauma is not the issue here — it’s how head trauma is treated,” Hoge said. “The game is safer than it has ever been because we’re being proactive with head trauma. That is the biggest issue.”

    WHATTT??? Head trauma IS the issue. Hoge makes it sound like proper treatment makes it all go away. Once you bang your brain, you bang your brain. Sure, you can help decrease the ill-effects with better awareness and treatment, BUT, reducing the likelyhood of experiencing brain trauma should also be a goal.

    And sure, you can sustain injuries doing all sorts of different things, but who is MORE likely to experience head trauma, a kid playing basketball or baseball, or a kid with pads on playing football?

    It is INHERENTLY a violent sport. That’s all Kurt is getting at. It’s about living a full life with all your capacities.

  115. ravenzfan1 says: May 4, 2012 6:27 PM

    Hoge is out of line and really,who cares what he thinks at this point. Kurt Warner has first hand knowledge about concussions in football,so,as a parent,so what if he doesnt want his kids to play? his business as it would be mine as a parent. Football can be a dangerous sport. These commentators like Hoge,Bayless,etc. somehow think their word is golden. Pfffft!

  116. ripster65 says: May 4, 2012 6:28 PM

    ebbycalvinlaloosh says:May 4, 2012 6:03 PM

    Hoge is a tremendous Xs and Os analyst that understands the game on a level far beyond the common fan, yet you all rip him every time he opens his mouth. It’s a sad but true phenomenon that most fans (like those posting here) have no appreciation for real analysis. That’s why every NFL-related show on ESPN and the NFL Network are all hype and no substance. I would far rather listen to Hoge break down a play than listen to Keyshawn Johnson speak or watch Rich Eisen ask Maurice Jones-Drew who’s on his fantasy team or listen to Jamie Dukes say one ridiculously untrue thing after another. Sadly, though, I’m obviously in the minority.

    Uh…analyzing NFL games and calling a former player irresponsible and uneducated are 2 totally different things…I doubt he’s qualified to call Warner uneducated and irresponsible…clearly Hoge still sufffers from some of the hits he took.

  117. browns627 says: May 4, 2012 6:33 PM

    hoge is a joke… he’s the only talkig head that gets me to turn the channel

  118. jackblackshairyback says: May 4, 2012 6:36 PM

    He didnt back away from his comments he merely clarified “cant make that decision for them” for all the idiots *cough*Amaniandmerrill*cough* who are too stupid to understand what he meant.

  119. usuallysneeringatyou says: May 4, 2012 6:38 PM

    Hoge has religion issues.

    If you’re a known Christian, say something publicly — he’ll bark.

  120. greymares says: May 4, 2012 6:39 PM

    Nah the biggest problem with children today is to much parental intervention. tell your kids what they can do when their young and you wont be in their life when they’re making the decisions.

  121. lolb23 says: May 4, 2012 6:41 PM

    Kurt Warner is white trash. He was bagging groceries and married a lesbian with mullet, people! How much more obvious does it need to be?

  122. granadafan says: May 4, 2012 6:43 PM

    Hey Hoge, if you’re worried about obesity, encourage kids to play the world’s sport, soccer. There are no fat soccer players and few have long lasting brain injuries. Even with players with 3rd rate athletic ability, the US is top 20 in the world. Think about how good the US could be if some of our top athletes with world class speed and agility played soccer instead of football or basketball where very very very few people make the pros.

  123. truths4all says: May 4, 2012 6:49 PM

    Hoge continues his juvenile efforts to be relevant and to scream loud enough that folks will ignore the facts he has never accomplished anything (too brittle) and that he knows nothing about football except how to be a tackling dummy who gets concussions.

  124. gmacbigd says: May 4, 2012 7:00 PM

    Hoge took too many hits to the head.

  125. 1bbfan says: May 4, 2012 7:01 PM

    I find this all rediculouse. The players make millions of dollars to play a violent game. Harry Carson says its like soldiers being injured in war. When was the last millionare soldier killed in combat? These guys are just money grubbing spoiled brats that spent all thier money on stuff they dont need ! How much money do our soldiers get paid to protect us ? Not what these guys get paid !! SHAME SHAME SHAME ON ALL OF YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  126. steelersownyou says: May 4, 2012 7:19 PM

    Hoge played for the greatest franchise in the NFL. Therefore anything he says is correct! Embrace it losers!

  127. 12is3times4 says: May 4, 2012 7:24 PM

    At the end of the day, what Hoge, Toomer OR Warner thinks is irrelevant. It is, always has been, and always will be parents’ prerogative to make up their own mind about which sorts of activities are or are not fit for their children to participate in. If they decide football’s too dangerous to allow their kids to play, then Hoge and Toomer can go pound sand.

    The thing is, I get the feeling that deep down, Hoge and Toomer already realize this, and that’s the real reason why they’re getting so defensive here. They must know as well as you or I do that Warner’s comments speak to a fear that not only poses a direct threat to the long-term viability of the sport, but is something that they, Goodell or anyone else are completely powerless to counteract.

  128. realdealsteel says: May 4, 2012 7:28 PM

    Sorry guys but Hoge is correct.

    Warner’s opinions are based on his own personal experiences that include being so badly beaten in his last two years with the Rams, he lost his nerve and was cut. What broke Warner with the Rams is when Martz started running those 5 wide recevier sets leaving Warner with minimal protection and he was absolutely beat up the last two years with the Rams. Subsequently, he was still shell shocked when he was with the Giants. Remember, even with Warner the Giants went after Eli. Why? Because Warner didn’t have it.

    Then when Warner went to Arizona, Arizona never ran more then 3 wide receiver sets so Warner had enough protection. So..Warner sees everything with a super slant because of all the hits he took. Warner shouldn’t even be allowed to have the type of platform he does because his opinions are waaaay to slanted for offense.

    If you listen to Warner, he’d make the NFL exactly like the Arena Football league. Warner actaully thinks defenses need to be reduced to what the defenses in the AFL are. So do you still like Warner?????

  129. oldbrowndawg says: May 4, 2012 7:32 PM

    This the same Hoge who predicted Griffin would be selected #1 ahead of Luck. Dope!

  130. cinbengals69 says: May 4, 2012 7:33 PM

    If anyone would know the dangers of playing the game, Warner would…also, as a PARENT, he has the right, no the duty to do what is in the best interests of his children’s safety…period. It is his opinion, and he has every right to say this, no matter what anyone says. I do feel badly for Hodge, I understand he had to relearn how to do so many things after he had to quit football. He has worked hard to get back to where he is today, but he should not hold what Warner said about his kids against him…

  131. jjared1101 says: May 4, 2012 7:34 PM

    “I can’t believe that he would share that message because now moms and dads that are out there, and Billy wants to play, but they are uneducated and they are unsure, and they love Kurt Warner, they’re like, ‘He doesn’t want his kids to play? Why should I let my kids play?’”

    Uneducated and irresponsible would apply to parents who base decisions on their child by what one person on NFL Network says.

  132. lolb23 says: May 4, 2012 7:36 PM

    I find this all rediculouse
    ______________________________

    You must be so proud for surviving your mother’s back ally, rusty coat hanger abortion attempt.

  133. vikesfansteve says: May 4, 2012 7:36 PM

    I love when Merrill Hoge starts saying back when I played in the playoffs and Steve Levy bags on him saying you mean that one game? Then Hoge gets all pissed, classic.

  134. mjay424 says: May 4, 2012 7:37 PM

    Hoge saying Warner threw the game under the bus is “irresponsible and unacceptable.”

    Hoge is a shock-jock masquerading as an analyst.

    (Sarcastically) I’m sure Kurt Warner, like-minded parents of boys and doctors are stressed about Hoge’s comments.

    That said, he does make a very valid point in that obesity is a far-greater problem for children and that exercise and teamwork are more needed, as a whole, in society.

    Problem is Hoge blew much of his chance to convey that message with his “irresponsible and unacceptable” comments about Warner’s statement.

  135. flsnupe says: May 4, 2012 7:39 PM

    I don’t care if this is popular or not, but the hypocrisy of the people on this particular blog and surrounding this whole head injury topic is mind-blogging. The same people on here agreeing that the game is dangerous and they would not let their children play will the clowns cheering the very first big hit that happens next football season.

    Why are you all even football fans? Why are you on this site if the game is soooooo bad?!

    Football teaches teamwork, perseverance, discipline, commitment and several other great qualities that help people succeed in life. Concussion management is very important. However, if you feel so bad Kirk Warner about how dangerous the game is, then stop cashing the checks from the NFL Network. Walk you talk. Same with the amen corner bloggers on this site. Stop watching the game and go watch soccer or something,

  136. sb50 says: May 4, 2012 7:40 PM

    Hoge is an absolute clown. All Kurt said was that he is just concerned for his kids when playing football, as a parent, who the hell wouldn’t be concerned?

    And for Hoge to go out and say that Kurt is irresponsible and uneducated and lecture Kurt on how to handle his kids on national television is a disgrace.

    God forbid if this happened to Hoge’s kid, I would never wish this upon anyone, but what if your kid ran down the field on a kickoff and your kid lowers his helmet on the ball carrier and can’t get up because he’s paralyzed from the waist down like Eric LeGrand did from Rutgers?

    Would you tell your kid to suck it up, Hoge? Yeah, I dont think so.

    The game is dangerous and Kurt was just concerned about his kids playing the game. That’s all. End of story.

  137. devikesfan says: May 4, 2012 7:43 PM

    So, did Kurt Warner sign a piece of paper stating that he will not provide opinions about football once he retired from the NFL?
    If not, then what’s the big deal?
    I wonder if Hoge is just jealous that Kurt has a Super bowl ring, and he doesn’t?

  138. kingpel says: May 4, 2012 7:44 PM

    Every time Hoge opens his mouth, he makes Warner’s point for him. Brain damage is the issue, Merril. The sad part is that you dont realize it.

  139. loader16 says: May 4, 2012 7:45 PM

    5 games with the Bears – 7 seasons with the Steelers and he sues the Bears?!? WTF

  140. 69finfan says: May 4, 2012 7:47 PM

    How can anybody take MH seriously when he has a tie knot the size of a bowling ball? He’s an idiot and irrelevant, but he is entitled to his opinion.

  141. jluns275 says: May 4, 2012 7:48 PM

    How can it be that Hoge gets paid to run his mouth?
    Is anybody really interested in his opinion?

    Anyone?

    Anyone at all?

  142. wink1010 says: May 4, 2012 7:53 PM

    If Hoge hadn’t played football, perhaps he would not have had his good sense, diplomacy and tact nuggets knocked out of his now empty head. If he wants to address the issues, fine; we can all decide to agree or disagree but to come out and attack Kurt W’s intellect, etc. is just mean-spirited and foolish…

    Does anyone like this guy?

  143. electionconfidential says: May 4, 2012 7:54 PM

    Kurt just worries about his kids like many people do. Hoge ought to hold off calling others uneducated… at least until he listens to how much of a buffoon he is himself.

  144. 3ghostninja says: May 4, 2012 7:56 PM

    Kurt Warner is just doing what a good father should do. I’m sure if his sons decide they want to play football, they will do it fully understanding all the risks involved, but he’s hoping they do something different. There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s plenty of reasons that a level-headed, involved, caring parent would have as to why their kids should not play.

    Firstly it’s to understand that a minuscule amount of players are worth anything as football players. And it’s only the top 5% of them who make millions.

    Secondly (almost firstly) is all the health risks. Many players retire barely able to walk or remember where they were 15 minutes ago. We’ve seen a tendency toward suicide, although I believe there are many other factors involved and it’s not as simple as one too many concussions.

    It’s not irresponsible. It’s level-headed parenting.

  145. blacknole08 says: May 4, 2012 7:57 PM

    Seriously, when will ESPN fire this guy? Why is he worried about whether Warner wants his kids to play football or not? Warner has infinite amounts of more class than this clown.

  146. outlawshark says: May 4, 2012 8:00 PM

    After reading through all these responses, I have come to a conclusion. Man, there are a lot of bad parents here. I was prevented from playing football when I grew up and I am still ticked off. Stick a sock in it and let little Bobby decide if he wants to play or not. Encourage any and all activities he wants and let him grow up having risks and rewards. It’s called living.

    And for what it’s worth. If I were to choose between Hoge and Warner as analysts, Hoge is far more informed. Being religious doesn’t mean you know football.

  147. psdaleno says: May 4, 2012 8:12 PM

    I was shocked by his comments…, five seconds after I had to goggle “who is merril hoge?”

  148. raider8er says: May 4, 2012 8:18 PM

    Hoge is not the father of Warner’s kids. Until he is he should keep his trap shut.

  149. crubenst says: May 4, 2012 8:22 PM

    Hoge is an absolute disgrace. And he knows nothing about head trauma. Apparently he thinks head trauma is perfectly fine as long as you don’t go back out and play until you “recover.” Moron.

  150. astrosfan75956 says: May 4, 2012 9:02 PM

    Merrill Hoge and Rick Reilly are both douchers.

  151. shadeforourbattle says: May 4, 2012 9:05 PM

    @outlawshark
    You really did not say that a NFL MVP, Super Bowl MVP, 1 time Super Bowl Champion, 3 time Super Bowl QB, and the third QB in league history to ever lead an two different teams to conference championships, as how did you so moronically put it…oh, yeah, “And for what it’s worth. If I were to choose between Hoge and Warner as analysts, Hoge is far more informed. Being religious doesn’t mean you know football.” Regardless of Warner’s religious convictions, Kurt Warner has Merril Hoge clean his Super Bowl Ring, MVP trophy, and Super Bowl MVP trophy with Hoge’s mouth when you compare who is the more knowledgeable and accomplished individual in the sport of professional football. Warner has put together a career that can be argued for the Hall of Fame. Hoge, not so much.

  152. hannahsdaddy says: May 4, 2012 9:05 PM

    Hoge is a dooooosch! Warner is anything but uneducated. He spent many years educating himself on the dangers of football (Iowa, Arena, World League, NFL). If he chooses, AS A PARENT, to not include his children in the sport, so be it. Shut your hole Merrill.

  153. pftwd3 says: May 4, 2012 9:09 PM

    I missed the part where Warner wanted his kids to sit on the couch and play video games instead of football. Are those the only options?

  154. tdk24 says: May 4, 2012 9:09 PM

    Hey Hoge, you’re not a has been, you’re a never was!

  155. originalsteelcurtain says: May 4, 2012 9:20 PM

    I’m getting real tired of Warner’s “Holier than thou” comments.

    Sorry the NFL rescued you from the Grocery bagging gig…Kurt!

  156. metrocritical says: May 4, 2012 9:23 PM

    Hoge is obviously the poster boy for what blows to the head can do to impair an adult’s listening, reading and comprehension skills. In no part of the interview does Warner unfairly bash the sport, bite the hand that fed him or voice disrespect for the league. He was simply stating concern for his children’s safety. All reasonable parents calculate risk factors when considering what endeavors they would most support for their children. He never said he would forbid his kids from playing and, given the very real risks involved, a parent could certainly conclude that they’d rather not have their kids engage in the game in favor of another athletic pursuit. Why would any rational examiner of Warner’s statements criticize such innocuous statements? If a doctor said that, given the cost of malpractice insurance or changes in insurance reimbursement, he’d rather his kid not be a doctor, is that bashing the practice of medicine? If a former U.S. President state that the position is grueling and wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for his kids, is that bashing the presidency?

    Of course not. C’mon people. Read thoroughly. Listen completely. Try to comprehend.

  157. rexryanstoecheese says: May 4, 2012 9:25 PM

    Wonder what Jahvid Best thinks of all of this…

  158. ikoikofinanay says: May 4, 2012 9:27 PM

    Going off on Warner kind of shows the effects of multiple concussions.

  159. howiehandles says: May 4, 2012 9:35 PM

    “Head trauma is not the issue here — it’s how head trauma is treated,”

    Actually Hoge, I believe head trauma IS the issue.

    All these former players so threatened by one man’s opinion of what he feels best for his kid’s.

    Warner doesn’t owe squat to football, the NFL, or anyone else, outside of his family.

    **side note. I wish this site would stop having ‘Notify me of follow-up comments via email’ checked by default. nothing better than having to delete 50+ follow-up comments after my little comment yesterday.

  160. hairpie says: May 4, 2012 9:39 PM

    So are football fans.

  161. buddyjake says: May 4, 2012 9:39 PM

    I fully agree with him, in the fact that he thinks it is stupid for Warner to say that he wouldn’t let his kids play because of concussions. I’ve had two, 11th grade, and freshman year of college, the 2nd of which also had a neck aspect, torn ligaments, I decided to quit playing. But whenever I decide to have kids and they want to play football, I will support them fully, not go with the “what if this or that happens”

  162. tommikeboyd says: May 4, 2012 9:42 PM

    Can someone tell me why it would be irresponsible and uneducated to have an opinion? Its like telling a former smoker that they shouldn’t tell their kids not to smoke…

  163. howardforvezina says: May 4, 2012 9:59 PM

    Hoge does anything to get publicity and is completely unprofessional, fire him. Go Lions

  164. Patriot42 says: May 4, 2012 10:08 PM

    Hoge is a wanta be that wasn’t talented enough to carry Warner’s jock strap.

  165. howardforvezina says: May 4, 2012 10:09 PM

    flsnupe, everyone is a hypocrite it cannot be helped by any HUMAN.

  166. bowmanj35 says: May 4, 2012 10:11 PM

    Hoge is a complete idiot. Warners comments don’t dispairage football in any way. I played, and I would be ok if my kids play, but would be apprehensive as I know what concussions are like and wouldn’t shed a tear if they didn’t. I totally respect Warners opinion, and if hoge had so many concussions maybe we can attribute his stupid comments to that.

  167. davidcl77 says: May 4, 2012 10:19 PM

    Who cares what this square headed punk thinks?

  168. quicktaker says: May 4, 2012 10:24 PM

    I think Hoge has forgot a lot from his concussions.
    Does he remember saying the following?

    “Here’s what people don’t know and never see. They take me to the training room where I died. I flat-lined. My heart stopped. As a process of trying to resuscitate me, I started to breathe again.

    “They rushed me to the emergency room. I was in ICU for two days. It was after that I was basically trapped in my home for six weeks.

    “You could not take me around the block because I could not find my way home because I did not have the cognitive skills. I had to learn how to read again. In fact, months later, if you woulld have sat me down to take an inventory of the day, i would not be able to recite that to you.

    “There was a lot of cognitive issues that I dealt with that took over two years to overcome those issues.”

  169. getyourownname says: May 4, 2012 10:32 PM

    It’s OK, leave Hoge alone. Tomorrow he will have forgotten he said anything.

  170. getyourownname says: May 4, 2012 10:34 PM

    Hoge says he has only one word for the haters:

    “Go Steelers, I always pick them”

  171. bullcharger says: May 4, 2012 10:37 PM

    Hoge is a is loser. I would listen to Kurt Warner all day before I would ever listen to Hoge.

    I’m sure that based on how hard Kurt had it before he finally made it, he woudn’t want that for his son for many reasons. Not just injuries.

  172. berrianthehatchet says: May 4, 2012 10:43 PM

    Where was all the Troy Aikman bashing when he said if he had a son he probably wouldn’t encourage him play? Did any of these idiots who are bashing Warner actually LISTEN to what he said? He said his kids love playing football but he wouldn’t encourage them to play it. Unlike Toomer, who apparently is forcing his kids to play football, Warner is letting his kids decide what they want to do, which incidentally is play football! He wasn’t bashing the sport, but knowing what he knows and feels now why would any parent want to encourage their kids to continue doing something that might leave them with brain damage, muscle damage, joint damage, bone damage etc? Yes, football has been good to Warner, but that doesn’t mean that can’t discourage them from following in his footsteps. He point was if they are going to play it’s on their own accord not his. Hoge and Toomer need to shut up and actually listen to what he said. I think a borderline Hall of Famer, Super Bowl MVP, and someone with 3 Super Bowl appearances has a little more clout in their statements than these fools!

  173. bostonspaniard says: May 4, 2012 10:49 PM

    Can somebody tell Hoge that his tie knots are too big!

  174. outlawshark says: May 4, 2012 11:01 PM

    shadeforourbattle says:May 4, 2012 9:05 PM

    @outlawshark
    You really did not say that a NFL MVP, Super Bowl MVP, 1 time Super Bowl Champion, 3 time Super Bowl QB, and the third QB in league history to ever lead an two different teams to conference championships, as how did you so moronically put it…oh, yeah, “And for what it’s worth. If I were to choose between Hoge and Warner as analysts, Hoge is far more informed. Being religious doesn’t mean you know football.” Regardless of Warner’s religious convictions, Kurt Warner has Merril Hoge clean his Super Bowl Ring, MVP trophy, and Super Bowl MVP trophy with Hoge’s mouth when you compare who is the more knowledgeable and accomplished individual in the sport of professional football. Warner has put together a career that can be argued for the Hall of Fame. Hoge, not so much.
    ____________________

    Actually, I did. Kurt was a QB, but is a bad analyst.

  175. doosheabaggio says: May 4, 2012 11:07 PM

    Whether you like it or not, Merril is absolutely right… Warner is just another uneducated meathead with an employer-given platform… Oh, wait…

  176. thesilverbandit says: May 4, 2012 11:13 PM

    Merril Hoge a marginal player at best. He would not be thought about today besides the fact that he has weaseled his way into mainstream sports media. I find it ironic that the man that had to sue the bears for mistreating his concussions is going against Kurt Warner for wanting to protect his children against just that. In all truth I am writing this because every time I see Merril Hoge on espn I feel compelled to turn off my tv set before I become nauseous. Honestly espn can keep hiring crappy no name athletes and allow them to be the moral high ground for these sports!

  177. rmw1982 says: May 4, 2012 11:24 PM

    I don’t understand the issue here. If Kurt Warner doesn’t want his kids to play football, that is his choice as a parent. If Merril Hoge or Amani Toomer want their kids to play football, that is their choice as parents. Nobody should be bashed for either decision they make.

  178. bizzyb559 says: May 4, 2012 11:42 PM

    After playing in the league for years, I believe Kurt is educated enough to form his opinion on the matter.

    If you play football, there is a strong possibility to getting a concussion. Not playing football avoids that real possibility. Right now there are over 100 current and ex players who are filing suit about concussions. Hoge argument is moot.

    Kurt is discussing prevention rather than the cure. While obesity is a problem, Hoge should provide this explanation to my aunt whose son died from head trauma playing a HS game of football. Peace out.

  179. cuttyplease says: May 4, 2012 11:56 PM

    PFT has been over run by a bunch of french poodles.

  180. bigdaddy44 says: May 5, 2012 12:11 AM

    Again, I beg ESPN for everyone’s sake, please take Hoge off the air, permanently.

  181. conormacleod says: May 5, 2012 12:29 AM

    I can’t believe Warner would think about his kids well being ahead of the game of football! Football gave Warner money. What have his kids ever given him; unconditional love and happiness and the chance at eternal happiness?! Pfffffttttt…..he’s so stupid.

  182. minnysoda says: May 5, 2012 12:44 AM

    If this is the Attitude “POP” Warner has will there even be Kids’ football?

  183. sasquash20 says: May 5, 2012 12:53 AM

    You people are a bunch of tinker bells. I played football all my youth, and never had a head injury. I played offense, defense, and special teams. Started both ways all 12 years,1st grade through 12th grade. First off, youth football isn’t a violent sport at all. NFL football is because you have super big, super fast adults smacking the hell out of each other. Youth football isn’t anywhere near that. Your not that fast and until varsity football your not that big. It is a great sport that teaches kids many great lessons. Dedication and commitment, team work, work ethic, and selflessness. I don’t think Hodge should go after Warner for his opinion however I do disagree with Warner. If I ever have a son (only have a daughter right now) and he wants to play football then I will be all for it. And if he is hurt in any way he will receive proper medical attention.

  184. pantherdan says: May 5, 2012 12:56 AM

    Wow, his name almost implies he is a swine? Drop the “e” there little Merril and go visit your porcine brethren.

  185. lobo7456 says: May 5, 2012 1:00 AM

    Can’t stand to listen to Hoge

  186. robertjamis says: May 5, 2012 1:11 AM

    Concussions are forever. I’ve had about four in my life. I had serious migraines for most of my childhood as a result of a massive head injury suffered when I was 3. I was lucky enough to escape without long term epilepsy.

    Hoge is an absolute moron. Sure, Warner’s probably overreacting, but can you blame him? Seeing some of the hits that guy took during his career, it will be a miracle if he doesn’t have some sort of degenerative neurological issues in his early 60s that destroys his quality of life.

    The only problem with your kids not playing football is the only alternative in most towns is soccer. You should never let your kids play soccer.

  187. blackcatnfl says: May 5, 2012 1:13 AM

    There is a mammoth difference between the risks of playing pro football and playing football as a kid. Having been involved in kids football programs personally, I believe the game can be surprisingly safe for kids and confusing the two is ridiculous.

  188. mbj360 says: May 5, 2012 1:19 AM

    Merril Hoge can voice his opinion, that’s all fine and dandy. The only problem I have with what he stated is the moment when he called Kurt Warner “uneducated and irresponsible”. Merril is attacking Kurt’s character and that is unprofessional in any setting. He is supposedly an analyst, so he needs to state his facts and leave personal feelings behind.

  189. sports_dude says: May 5, 2012 1:23 AM

    Not a big fan of Hoge but don’t agree with what Kurt said. Football can change people’s lives for the better. But I also believe parents can choose to do what they want.

  190. rajbais says: May 5, 2012 1:51 AM

    Hoge is right! The game has been safer!!!

    Brian Billick: this game is basketball on grass!!!

  191. jimiinpa says: May 5, 2012 2:01 AM

    hoge is an idiot

  192. tapochau says: May 5, 2012 2:28 AM

    Hoge is uneducated and irresponsible

  193. bleed4philly says: May 5, 2012 3:24 AM

    Why is Hoge even here?

  194. thermalito says: May 5, 2012 3:38 AM

    Merril Hoge is an idiot. I agree with Warner. I wouldn’t let my kids play either.

  195. jeziyo247 says: May 5, 2012 7:19 AM

    These this the problem with the nfl, they bash people just for voicing their opinio, all Warner did was speak the truth and I believe he stands by his opinion even after fixing it up. It not like Warner suggested parents not to allow they’re kids to play football, he’s referring to his own and he said even if that what they want to do, he’ll still support them because that’s what responsible parents do. Merrill hogs has always been known to rip someone which is why I don’t like him, be ripped tebow liked garbage, never gave him a benefit of doubt.

  196. vex24 says: May 5, 2012 9:43 AM

    It’s kinda funny reading comments from people on this website, who obviously engage, as a spectator, with football, yet have problems with their loved ones participating. Good ‘Ol Americans. “We support the Wars in distant lands…just don’t send my family”. Wow, even in sports, this pathology has increased. It used to be a source of family pride to have a son suit up for football at any level. The fact that all sports have serious risks, AND these risks were very well known for ever, speaks to a social issue that goes far beyond football. The modern day american is quickly becoming a more of a coward (The kind that screams threats, then runs behind Mommy’s skirt). Sports have always had a serious physical risk element, even possibility of death (Gymnastics/Car Racing/Football/Basketball/Ice Skating/Basketball/Baseball/Soccer). And Sports in a pro-military culture (USA) is the largest recruiter and socialization tool of the populace. Eventually, only criminals of the american empire will suit up for Football, just as criminals of the Roman empire suited up as Gladiators…just before Rome’s collapse.

  197. lavamachine says: May 5, 2012 1:18 PM

    Merrill Hodge,

    It’s irresponsible for parents to not want thier children to put on protective gear and smash thier head into the opposing childs head, body, knee, sidelines, etc? Really? Hmmm thought that was called being an informed, educated, parent?

    Merrill maybe you are a little spiteful over the MVP’s and super bowls? I guess that doesn’t make you irresponsible just narcissistic and a jerk.

    Let Kurt raise his kids make his opinions and you can do the same, but the uneducated one does not look like Kurt here???

    Merrill what graduate course did you last finish?

  198. sizroch says: May 5, 2012 2:31 PM

    Kurt Warner is as smart and classy as they come while Merril Hoge is a moron. ESPN’s top brass are even bigger morons for employing Hoge.

  199. mickmars says: May 5, 2012 2:41 PM

    Coming soon to a city near you: The Merril Hoge Verbal Ejaculation Tour 2012

  200. mannyicey says: May 5, 2012 5:47 PM

    So the ONLY way to battle obesity is to play football, huh? I mean, NO other sport can help battle obesity?

    And what Kurt Warner wants or doesn’t want for his kid is between him and his kid. He knows his kid and maybe football isn’t the sport for him.

    For instance, I have two sons. Both played football. My eldest son is skinny, but he plays good, fundamental football. He also plays like he’s 250 lbs. For him, I kinda don’t want him to play, even though I know that he will again. But he’s getting really good at basketball, so perhaps he can major on that.

    Now I got another son, my youngest. He’s 12, but he’s built like a man. And his mentality is that football isn’t physical enough for him. So he wrestles. But wrestling came to natural for him. So he does Jiu Jitsu. He likes fighting grown men.

    With him, he will be a freak on the football field. The only problem that I have with him is that he doesn’t care about winning or losing. All he wants to do is hit, hurt and be physical. The only reason why he’s not playing now, though, is that he wants to hurt kids. So his attitude must change (even though the head coach REALLY want him to play right now.)

    So you have to judge the kid, not just the sport.

  201. commonsensedude says: May 6, 2012 1:17 AM

    Who is Merril Hoge and why should I care what he thinks?

  202. shadeforourbattle says: May 6, 2012 9:47 AM

    @outlawshark
    So you are stating that an NFL QB does not use his knowledge of football to make analytical decisions? Dude, you are a joke. Kurt Warner did. Hoge did not. Period. There are those who did and there are those who did not. Period. Kurt Warner did, Hoge did not. The scoreboard of their respective careers shows that Hoge was an average NFL player, while Warner was an AMAZING NFL player. Period. It is one thing to talk, but actions speak louder than words, and that is all Hoge is, a bunch of hot air. Here is the reality of the situation when it comes to who has the best football knowledge and analytical skills. You compare WHAT HOGE did in his career against WHAT WARNER did in his career. The person whose knowledge of football and analytical skills is the superior one will have superior accomplishments. QB’s tell everybody else what to do on offense, including the head coach when they audible out of the called play. That is what Warner did along the way to earning NFL MVP, Super Bowl MVP, Super Bowl Champion, 3 time Super Bowl QB and the 3rd QB in league history to lead 2 different teams to the Championship Game. Hoge played a position that calls for limited football knowledge and analytical skills to be used as he was told what to do, as opposed to a QB who tells people what to do. Judge a man by their accomplishments, not their words. Hoge has been measured against Warner and found wanting in regards to football knowledge and analysis based on their respective accomplishments. Period.

  203. tigerlilac says: May 6, 2012 4:36 PM

    I suffered a severe concussion playing hockey in high school that resulted in double vision. I had one of those terrible Cooper helmets which provided no protection. . At least my coach drove me home. My mother stayed up with me all night. I don’t think I missed a practice.

  204. Deb says: May 7, 2012 1:22 PM

    bchapman2011 says:

    Does one person on this earth (even his wife)
    like Merril Hoge? I love how these marginal players become tough guys once the pads are off.

    ————————————————–
    I like him. Don’t always agree with him, but he’s as entitled to his opinion as the rest of the talking heads. And I watched him play football. He was a tough guy on the field.

  205. pwoeckener says: May 7, 2012 4:23 PM

    Here Merrill…

    http://www.tie-a-tie.net/halfwindsor.html

    Evidently your lack of skills in how to tie a simple necktie have cut off circulation to your brain.

  206. 1armanisuit says: May 7, 2012 8:06 PM

    Kurt Warner is absolutely right.

    They should simply ban football, so that nobody’s sons, including his, can play it.

    This would go a long way towards protecting innocent children from that scourge of our society which is football.

    Of course it would mean that Warner would not be able to continue to draw his paycheck from NFL Network where he serves as a talking head, promoting and narrating the sport which others bash their heads in while playing, and which he doesn’t want his own kids playing.

    But, so what. Warner is 100% right.

    Oh, and BTW………another NFL season full of head bashing is on tap in a few months, and Warner will be right back at NFL Network narrating the carnage.

    PAY THE MAN.

  207. monkeesfan says: May 9, 2012 11:58 AM

    In the end Hoge is right.

  208. jj73cuda says: May 9, 2012 12:48 PM

    All I can say is that they are children and their brains are still growing and any damage to it maybe either long term or even fatal so who knows …there are doing concussion studies and reports but I haven’t seen that many on kids and they are out there just google em and I’ll let the kids parents have the last word on it…they are kids only once in a life time and I’d want mine around for a very long time without injuries to his/her brain!

  209. yizudien says: May 9, 2012 1:06 PM

    “he successfully sued the Bears and their team doctor over the way his concussions were treated during his final NFL season.”

    Speaking of “uneducated” did anyone ever tell Hoge that you are responsible for your health? Going and seeing a doctor you trust to diagnose an issue was well with in his grasp. But he took the american way and sued someone for his incompetence.

    Truth is Warner spoke from a position as a parent worried that his kids are going to take big hits that will limit their abilities to function later in life (Chances are slim they will get into the NFL). I don’t agree with it, but it does not sound “uneducated” considering you read about kids in the jr.high and high school level being treated for head trauma. Doesn’t make him hate football, or be ungrateful for all that it has given him. If Warner didnt squander his money his kids will get what he doesnt spend not having to subject the body to the physical toll of the sport.

  210. Broncofanatic7 says: May 9, 2012 2:08 PM

    First Tebow, now Warner??
    Hoge must worship the Devil and he has been summoned to try to bring down the Christians of the NFL.
    Yeah that must be it…. I mean…. what else could it be?

  211. proudwhodat says: May 9, 2012 9:20 PM

    Who is Merrill Hoge and why should anyone care what he thinks….just sayin’

  212. radrntn says: May 9, 2012 9:34 PM

    hoge is a total douche bag.

  213. comeonnowguys says: May 10, 2012 9:46 AM

    “bubble wrap”
    “sissification”

    This is not a zero-sum thing. Broken legs, sprains, etc are a part of growing up.

    But it’s becoming pretty clear that football puts players as young as high school age under a constant barrage of sub-concussive and concussive hits, which even in HS can cause CTE.

    Mr. Hoge:

    Head trauma is not the issue here — it’s how head trauma is treated

    Is it that crazy to want to avoid worrying about how head trauma is treated and just avoid putting your child at risk of head trauma in the first place?

  214. patsaintsbroncoscheat says: May 10, 2012 9:47 PM

    Hodge is out of step with today’s NFL. He still would run the ball 50% of the time which is laughable. However He is right about Warner.

  215. olduke says: May 11, 2012 3:37 PM

    Everyone knows that Hoge is an idiot, and only has good things to say about the Steelers. What has he ever accomplished? He is a disgrace to be on ESPN. No wonder ESPN is falling way behind covering the NFL compared to the NFL Network. I just can’t stand the puke.

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