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Priest Holmes recalls hits changing the color of the sky

Priest+Holmes+Kansas+City+Chiefs+v+Oakland+42jHPvRaVbEl Getty Images

The stories continue, a seemingly daily stream of players talking about the long-term impacts football has had on their health.

But sometimes, there are still lines that stop you in your tracks.

Former Ravens and Chiefs running back Priest Holmes was describing the impact of hits to the head, and sounded like a man describing a near-death experience.

“This color obviously isn’t going to be blue. It can be a color that can be orange. It can be red. The sky could turn green,” Holmes told Chris Corbellini of The Daily. “There’s even an episode where you see a clear light, like light at the end of the tunnel.”

For a three-year span (2001-03), Holmes ran as often and as productively as any back in the league. He still feels it to this day.

“The frontal headaches, the migraines. Laying in bed, it’s tough to get out mornings just because of the pain that is setting in with an arthritic condition, it’s things like that that you never would have really thought about,” he said.

At the moment, Holmes isn’t among the hundreds of players joining concussion lawsuits, but you wonder how long that will hold.

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8 Responses to “Priest Holmes recalls hits changing the color of the sky”
  1. bosssixty says: Jul 8, 2012 9:03 AM

    i think todays game is alot safer just because the advanced helmet technology. i wore an old schutt helmet once, and it was horrible. but with the revolution i have no problems at all

  2. icewalker946 says: Jul 8, 2012 9:09 AM

    Wow.

    About 15 years ago I got hit playing football and I described having the feeling of having negative vision…what was supposed to be white was black and so on. Just for a second, maybe less.

    I thought it was just an illusion. After reading this I guess I better think about seeing a doctor.

  3. quonce says: Jul 8, 2012 9:48 AM

    by no means am I comparing the two, but I can (vaguely) remember 2 hits in high school football that changed the sky color.

    No one was as big nor as fast as the pros so I can only imagine the jolts they must take.

  4. fink says: Jul 8, 2012 10:53 AM

    I love football and I love boxing. When I was in high school, I played a lot of football and when I was in the Army, I used to compete in boxing tournaments (my dad was a Golden Gloves boxer in his day). I am a tough guy. But I have two sons. I will not allow my sons to be boxers, nor will I ever allow them to play football. Too dangerous.

  5. halfdoctor84 says: Jul 8, 2012 12:43 PM

    ummm “sky changing color’s” was jus an example holmes used… its almost an every hit occurence for alot of pepl…. jus cuz we’d look at the sky and it would obviously look very different hence the reason its a good example…. but i guarantee u ask old me or any other <140lb hs football player… its everyday… almost every hit… THE WORST WAS PRACTICE…. DRILLS WHERE U'D HAVE TO RUN INTO ANOTHER TEAMATE WITH MAYBE a 10 YARD RUNNING HEAD START…. i jus remember crumpling after getting crushed atleast once a day… we'd prbly have bout 10-15 these simulated hits everyday…. i dont know the name of the drill but it was the same every year of football and every school i went to ….. but i dont know if it shoudl be banned cuz u want players to be not afraid of getting hit… and this is prbly the best at doing that… i dont know…

  6. chazzmon says: Jul 8, 2012 3:14 PM

    Somewhere along time the helmet went from protection to a weapon. It may sound goofy but padding on the outside of the helmet may cushion blows and make less of weapon.

  7. jjackwagon says: Jul 9, 2012 8:38 AM

    You are right on target Chazz. If the players helmets were padded on the outside they would be less likely to use them as a weapon.

  8. brainsmasher says: Jul 9, 2012 10:33 PM

    What is really sad is that Priest Holmes career might have lasted several more years and Larry Johnson’s, too. LJ would have been happy to back up Priest; but Dick Vermeil had him third string.

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