The Colts have already said they’re going to play it safe with Austin Collie.
So could you imagine being his father?
Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com caught up with Scott Collie, the wide receiver’s dad and former BYU wideout (who played with Steve Young). Doyel wrote a really thoughtful column, showing how much the father and former CFL receiver wanted to say stop, but knowing at the same time he could not.
“He’s going to keep playing — so long as the Colts will have him,” Scott Collie said. “I don’t know what 26-year-old is going to listen to his dad. I can advise. I can’t tell him to stop.”
Scott Collie’s heard all the horror stories, and he’s seen all his son’s concussions. The latest, when he was caught by a Larry Foote forearm to the helmet Sunday night, brought back the familiar thought.
“Is this the one,” he wondered, “that’s going to be the breaking point?”
Like any parent who watches their kid put themselves at peril, Collie was wondering if he had done enough.
“No, and I realize that borders on me being a poor dad — that I should be standing up and saying, ‘Austin, you’ve got to stop,'” Scott Collie said. “I think by me not saying that, it could show ignorance on my part and not understanding the long-term possible affects that concussions could have. And again, the comments I make are ignorant, particularly where [former NFL players] have had issues later on in life. To think that’s not going to happen to my son is ignorant as well.
“But for every story you hear about the guys who have the long-lasting effects, you can talk to eight more that come away from it still able to enjoy life. The ones who suffer from depression, where does it come from? Is it because you’re so used to being the guy, the attention, [with] the money, and then it’s gone, and now all of a sudden you’re just a normal guy? Does that contribute? I don’t know — I don’t know. And that’s where I go into real dark areas, gray areas, and I know that can upset a lot of people.”
That last part is the part that’s not said enough.
Concussions, as damaging as they are, are not an automatic death sentence.
Any doctor will tell you individual cases vary. The thing that will bring one man to his knees won’t affect another.
That’s what anyone who sees a loved one suffer a concussion is banking on.
But that’s no comfort at all to Scott Collie at the moment.