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Hargrove video could open a can of worms for NFL in concussion litigation

NFL-Films-Sign AP

The notorious Anthony Hargrove “Bobby, give me my money” sideline video from the 2009 NFC title game eventually could cause bigger problems for the NFL than simply undermining the overall potency of the bounty case.

The decision of the NFL to rely so heavily and publicly on a 10-second snippet of tape harvested by NFL Films has created concern in some league circles that the entire NFL Films vault will now be scrutinized by the lawyers suing the league for concussions incurred by former players.

It’s not an unreasonable concern.  NFL Films uses cameras and microphones extensively during every regular-season and postseason game.  Players and coaches routinely wear a wire, and NFL Films captures everything they say.  Everything.  As in every word, snort, cough, sneeze, and any other bodily sounds that are within range of the device.

Only a small fraction of it all is ever used.  If the bulk of it is archived, the lawyers in the concussion cases will seek permission to review every second of the NFL Films footage for anything that could be used to prove the existence of a culture that encouraged players to return to action despite possibly being impaired by a head injury.

Given the stakes involved in the concussion litigation, expect the discovery process to include a request for the production of every piece of raw tape in the possession of NFL Films.   And expect a team of lawyers and paralegals eventually to descend on the NFL Films headquarters to watch it all.

Though the lawyers likely would have thought of this approach even without the release of the Hargrove video, the release of the Hargrove video has convinced some that it’s only a matter of time before it happens.

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6 Responses to “Hargrove video could open a can of worms for NFL in concussion litigation”
  1. rogerdodger16 says: Jun 30, 2012 1:12 PM

    Just like on the golf course…every shot makes someone happy.

  2. elohim7ks says: Jun 30, 2012 1:14 PM

    this is a dam witch hunt. Some of these lawyers are as greedy as some of these players. I agree with making the game safer, and the NFL is doing all they can to do this. When a soldier goes to war he come home for life with head trama’s that last a life time, boxer, and a hell of lot of others. Their is’nt nothing special about you, you get paided millions to play this game, if you don’t want to play, go get a job like the rest of america. Play the game or don’t, it’s that dang simply, but after you’ve blown all that money, don’t expect us to feel sorry for you, T.O. the NFL is doing what they can to make this game safe. It’s a contact sport, you knew before you stepped on the field, yes on going treatment should get better, but they don’t owe you a dime, it’s a bussiness, if your broke now, shame on you!

  3. j0esixpack says: Jun 30, 2012 1:15 PM

    Per NFL rules, all teams also have their own game and sideline films complete with telescopic microphones…

    … But don’t tell that to the numerous PFT members who think that the Patriots crime was filming period – and not that they were simply in violation of a new 2006 rule prohibiting taping from the sideline.

  4. qmizzle says: Jun 30, 2012 1:18 PM

    I honestly think that sometimes these lawyers/owners/players take advice from this site. So I will be expecting this to happen.

  5. jigga757 says: Jul 1, 2012 2:27 PM

    look like goodell got no gain on 1st and 10..no gain on 2nd and 10 so now he had to go back to the huddle to decide what he gon do on 3rd and long…vilma’s suing now which mean he just called an audible and now we waitin to see what goodell gon come out with. if that fail then 4th and 10 mean reinstatements r coming cuz he have to punt

  6. dretwann says: Jul 2, 2012 11:37 PM

    @elohim, you do understand that the vast majority of the litigants in the concussion lawsuits are not recent players, right? Instead they are players who, for the most part did not earn the millions you speak of. Don’t assume by the high profile names the lawyers put out for the public that all litigants were the high dollar players. Nothing has been proven yet and the courts may throw it all out, but it will take the courts and the discovery process to get at the truth if the NFL is really hiding anything. If anything, this year has shown us the NFL can’t be trusted to be truly forthcoming.

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