Finley’s first thought: Is God punishing me?

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In an era when so much time and effort and worry have been devoted to the potential long-term consequences of minor brain injuries suffered by most if not every football player at most if not every level of the game, it’s easy to forgot the more immediate risk.  The one we’ve known about for decades, due in large part to the hit applied by Jack Tatum on Darryl Stingley.

Football players can suffer serious neck injuries with permanent consequences.  While so many players are now immobilized as a precaution and then quickly determined to be OK, the risk of paralysis remains — as we all learned through the experiences of men like Mike Utley and Dennis Byrd.

Most recently, Packers tight end Jermichael Finley became the relatively rare NFL player who exits on a stretcher but who instantly isn’t proclaimed to be healthy or close to it.  Finley suffered temporary paralysis from a two-centimeter spinal-cord bruise in Week Seven, and he has written a first-person account of the experience for TheMMQB.com.

“Is this God punishing me?” Finley said.  “Is this Karma?  This was my initial thought when I was down on the field.  I felt as if everything that I had ever done wrong came crashing down at me at that one moment.”

Finley instantly knew he had something possibly worse than a concussion.

“I was very conscious, but I could not move,” Finley said.  “I looked my teammate Andrew Quarless directly in the eye and whispered, ‘Help me, Q.  I can’t move; I can’t breathe.’  The scariest moment was seeing the fear in Q’s eyes.  I knew something was wrong, but his reaction verified it.”

So how did it happen?  By trying to protect himself from a legal hit to the legs, Finley put himself in position for a dangerous collision.

“I remember seeing the defender out of the corner of my eye, and I intentionally lowered my head and shoulders to protect my knees,” Finley said.

Players consistently say they’d prefer a concussion to a torn ACL.  But they surely wouldn’t prefer a neck injury.  Even though Finley has improved dramatically, he possibly has a long way to go before he can return to the field.

Finley explained after his recent collision that multiple family members were trying to get him to quit playing.  Now, he makes no mention of family resistance in the wake of the neck injury — and he makes clear his plan to return to the game.

“Based on the feedback I’ve received from doctors at this point, the question is not if I’ll play again, but when,” Finley said.

We wish him a return to the level of health that will allow him to play, and that he’ll remain healthy once he does.

71 responses to “Finley’s first thought: Is God punishing me?

  1. God does nothing to prevent children from being raped at Penn St. yet we’re so self absorbed to think he/she/it cares about a football injury.

  2. Yeah I know exactly how it feels to have something go wrong and you know it, but looking at someone nearby and seeing the fear in their eyes, boy it just makes the moment all the more scarier.

  3. God isn’t punishing you, Jermichael. You play for His team.

    So glad to hear that he will be back to full health, but I question whether or not he should play. It’s a game, man.

  4. “Based on the feedback I’ve received from doctors at this point, the question is not if I’ll play again, but when,” Finley said.

    Good news. Here’s to a swift and speedy recovery.

  5. Can you imagine how good a born again Jermichael would be? One who can Let Go and Let God. I can. And the rest of you will find out next year.

  6. Oh, we’re so sorry you’re a multi-millionaire that became injured playing a childs game. And yet, God’s punishing you. Grow up ya moron.

  7. Really well written account by Finley. He has matured a lot over the past couple years. It’s more evident now than ever.

  8. hay, that’s incredibly short-sighted
    if you got near-paralysis from a neck injury when your livelihood depends on your physical condition, you’d be questioning god’s plan too
    that’s like saying, “Children are starving in Africa, how can I be upset about my terrible meal at this restaurant?”
    but I’m sure you’d be complaining if you got bad service or food, wouldn’t you?
    it’s all relative

  9. If God woke up early on Sunday and went down to any tailgate parking lot near any NFL stadium and took a look around…. I think he might decide to eradicate the human species.

  10. $10m tax-free via insurance if he never plays again may be too hard to pass up. Although, the specifics of his policy may prevent him from collecting if he is “cleared” one way or another.

    Maybe I’m wrong, but Finley never seemed like a guy who was absolutely devastated that he wasn’t part of GB’s title run. In the end, he got a ring just like everyone else.

  11. If you consider being a millionaire before 26, playing in the NFL in front of millions of fans and having a clean bill of health, not injury, but health to live the rest of your life, I would take that punishment.

    Finley should consider it a blessing.

  12. Of course you guys make your comments about God because you are not laying on a football field temporarily paralyzed. I am sure it was something that popped into his mind given the extreme circumstances he found himself in. Leave the man be.

  13. I am choose not be religious, I believe that science has determined when two bodies that size collide injuries will happen.

    Its because of science that they can help people with those injuries.

    For those of you who choose to bash someone, because he chooses to believe a religion, with all his heart and passion. To help them get through life.

    You bash Rodgers for giving honest answers on his radio program is one thing, but when Finley, shares his thoughts and feelings, about what others have nightmares about, and you choose to rip him for it? … Forget you guys.

  14. “I remember seeing the defender out of the corner of my eye, and I intentionally lowered my head and shoulders to protect my knees,”

    The new rules caused this injury. Simple as that.

  15. It’s just a game, dude. Your life should mean more than that as should the privilege of watching your kids grow.

  16. “The scariest moment was seeing the fear in Q’s eyes.”

    Powerful stuff right there. The domino effect by the NFL’s faux safety regulations are only getting worse.

  17. doctorrustbelt says:
    Oct 29, 2013 1:50 PM
    If God woke up early on Sunday and went down to any tailgate parking lot near any NFL stadium and took a look around…. I think he might decide to eradicate the human species.

    ====================================

    Why wait til Sunday? He could just read half the comments in this thread.

  18. The man get’s temporarily paralyzed and yet there are a bunch of people on here calling him moron, idiot, and slamming him for mentioning God? Those of you making those comments are disgusting, pathetic excuses for human beings.

    Hope you get well soon, Jermichael.

  19. As an atheist it doesn’t bother me one bit that his first thought was to his faith.

    When someone thinks god stepped in and left enough milk for supper or popped $10 in the ole wallet for gas money that gets way under my skin…but a guy going to his belief system at a time he thought his entire life just changed? I can handle that.

    If it bothers you that he went there…get a hobby.

  20. doctorrustbelt says:
    Oct 29, 2013 1:36 PM
    Idiot.

    Retire for your kids (all of them… even the other four you don’t see).
    ————————-

    What a trash comment. Get some respect.

  21. I love the way athiests jump into a forum at the moment Gods name is mentioned,they are hugely outnumbered by Christians and it upsets them that God is still in the vocabulary.if you dont believe in God and Christianity nobody in the world cares that you dont.

  22. Seems like 90% of NFL retirees all wish they would have retired earlier, almost always at a specific point in their careers.

    This might be that time; I hope Finley seriously considers leaving while he can walk away. Even if his neck is fine in the long run, legs, hips, knees, feet… brain… the NFL really catches up to former players HARD when they get older.

  23. Praise be to the all-mighty and forgiveness to those who turn their backs.

    Some of us can’t get out of our own way. Good luck out there.

  24. I am choose not be religious, I believe that science has determined when two bodies that size collide injuries will happen.

    Its because of science that they can help people with those injuries.

    ———

    God invented science.

  25. A Catholic priest invented the scientific method.

    A Catholic priest developed the Big Bang Theory.

    A Catholic priest invented germ theory.


    …here come all the Ad Hominem attacks. (See formal rules of logic.)

  26. Yes, an all-powerful entity has nothing better to do than decide which athletes get injured. You know, since theres only an infinite number of worlds in the cosmos. I’m sure a God is micromanaging the games that we primates play.

  27. Hey Viking fans ….. It’s not March / April or May……. So it’s not your Time to speak….. This is the time good football teams get to strut….the losers can talk smack in the spring…THAT is your time !!!

    So take your godless poems and comments and drive drunk listening to prince on your way to an Al Franken rally arse and move to the Mary Tyler Moore site. Losers !!!

  28. packerfan1000 says:
    Oct 29, 2013 4:21 PM
    God invented science
    /////////////////////////////////

    Prove it.

  29. God invented science
    /////////////////////////////////

    Prove it.

    ———-

    God created man> man discovers cause and effect> science.

    Something (the Universe) cannot come into existence out of NOTHING? There MUST be a first-mover *Creator* [An infinite regression cannot logically exist]

  30. acerun87 says:
    Oct 29, 2013 5:55
    God created man> man discovers cause and effect> science.
    (the Universe) cannot come into existence out of NOTHING? There MUST be a first-mover *Creator* [An infinite regression cannot logically exist]
    ////////////////////////////////////////////////

    That’s called an opinion, based on your personal choice (ie; blind faith.)

    And let me guess……the Earth is less than 10,000 years old. Right?

  31. acerun87 says:
    Oct 30, 2013 8:21 AM
    Something cannot come out of nothing. That is a fact, not an opinion.
    ////////////////////////////////

    What does that prove?

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