NFL Player Paralyzed, Video Games Get Slammed… Huh?

When Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett suffered paralysis on Sunday following a big hit, it was a personal and professional tragedy.

But football injuries are common – that’s why the NFL maintains an Injured Reserve List – and even crippling ones such as Everett’s are not unheard of (see: Darryl Stingley, Dennis Byrd and others). In fact, in the early part of the 20th Century, President Theodore Roosevelt threatened to outlaw the sport due to the number of deaths among college players. Ultimately, helmets, other equipment and rule changes helped make football less deadly.

So GP was surprised to see Virginia Pilot columnist Bob Molinaro drag video games into a discussion of Everett’s injury under the headline Video-game generation may be desensitized to NFL injuries:

I imagine there’s a large segment of NFL fans that envisions pro football to be the embodiment of the video games they love to play.

…I’ve got a feeling that a certain percentage of males, those whose senses have been bombarded by video violence all their lives, are attracted to pro football by the slickly edited TV images that are a variation of their virtual-reality experiences.

This makes me wonder if the catastrophic injury to Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett will make any real impression on the desensitized adolescents and adults raised with the cartoon violence of “Madden ’08” or “NFL Blitz,” or the absurd blood-and-guts scenarios associated with other Xbox games.

…I wonder if any of this hits home with the very large and growing demographic that comes to football through the make-believe violence of video games. In that world, jacked-up players always bounce back, returning as good as new when the game is switched on.

GP: The invention of American football preceded that of video games by roughly 100 years, and it’s always been a dangerous sport. Participants opt in knowing that they risk injury. Relating what happened to Kevin Everett to folks playing Madden is simply ludicrous. Molinaro comes off looking like just another guy who doesn’t get gamers.

Meanwhile, the latest reports we’ve seen indicate that Kevin Everett is doing much better and we wish him all the best.

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  1. 0
    james says:

    Yeah, I would love to agree with the first post up yop, but i cant see the reasoning behind taking away games from the everyday player because of self-concious injuries.
    Thank you for your time
    I will ne more than happy to hear back from you.

    sincerly, John Green

  2. 0

    […] The hell? Did this come completely out of left field or what? Just because we play sports video games we can’t tell the difference between a virtual simulation and a real man’s pain and suffering? Ug. What’s next, a financial correspondent telling us we don’t care about the the economy because we are desensitized by the cartoon economics of Sim City? Everybody pile on the gaming industry! Video-game generation may be desensitized to NFL injuries [The Pilot Online via Game Politics] […]

  3. 0
    ChaosAdvocate ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    We’ve always been desensitized to violence – humans damn well love it… How else would retarded shows like ‘s funniest home videos, and the ‘greatest sporting injuries’ that come up so regularly on my FOX poisoned tv actually be popular? Hell, look at the news! How many times has the September 11 tragedy been shown – it was a horrific event, but it trivialises it just a little more every time its shown. Again. And again.

    So I fail to see how video games, despite that many think that they are some sort of free-will sapping vortex -thing- that feeds on people, could be responsible long before they were in any way mainstream… watching people hurt themselves is as old as Man himself, really, I mean the Romans did it in the gladiator’s ring – maybe we could blame them?

  4. 0
    hayabusa75 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Yes, but you seem to be implying that “stuff like this” is fairly commonplace, and I’m wondering how you arrived at that conclusion. A serious injury is a much broader term than being paralyzed. It could mean a broken limb, a concussion, a torn Achilles, etc. Losing the ability to walk or move your arms? Doesn’t even compare, and that’s why I don’t think you can just brush off what’s happening to Kevin Everett.

  5. 0
    Harry Miste ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Since I no longer feel like doing a 5-page rant, I’ll say it here:

    If Oprah says video games are bad, we’re screwed. “

    Dr. Phil slammed video games, so it’ll be only a matter of time. Start the timer.

    …and there’s no online viewable stopwatch. Damnit.

  6. 0

    […] This is simply amazing. Videogames have been demonized for many violent crimes by utter stupidiots in the past, but this has to be the first time that a sports injury has been used to attack the entertainment software industry. Kevin Everett of the Buffalo Bills took a hit this past Sunday that ended up crippling him, an obvious tragedy for Everett, his family and the sport to which he belonged. […]

  7. 0
    Baramos says:

    Wait, I think he’s trying to say that football is bad and stuff, and that we should outlaw tag in schools. Well, I added the second part, but I assume he’s all for it.

  8. 0
    Baramos says:

    I can’t really figure out what Bob Molinaro is saying. Is he saying that the guy who tackled the player and accidentally paralyzed him didn’t realize the damage he could possibly do because he played video games? Or is he saying that video game players are going to become professional football players and that they won’t realize that professional football sometimes can lead to injuries? Or that video gamers will decry giving the paralyzed player a pension because in video games no one is paralyzed?

    Or is he simply babbling nonsense, because I absolutely can’t figure out what he’s trying to say.

  9. 0
    Scottland89 says:

    WHY? OK, I’m more of a soccer fan (proper football) but in any sport, we all know if someone gets injured in real life, they arn’t going to bounce back up stirght away. I knew this when got injured playing rugby (tougher than the nfl), and had been for a gamer lnger than a rugby player. I knew had to wait ages, until i felt fit enough to play agian.

    Unfortunatly, I lost my battle as my leg has never recpvered, and I’ve not been able to play undr the presure of being takled again. That article makes me think the idiot who wrote that would think wouldjust jump back up, and play on with my leg injury.

    I know if I get shot, I won’t be able to take another 9000 bulles before i die, hell I know I can’t just pick up a medkit and tat will hel e of all my injuries, and I would imagine 99% of gamers do kow so too.

  10. 0
    Eville1 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I really want to hear JT’s take on this. For once I would actually like to see him say, “Wow, I actually agree, this is stupid.”

    It could happen..possibly, maybe. We’ve agreed with JT on here before. It’s his turn right? 😀

    Yeah, this is just the dumbest thing going right now.

  11. 0
    Nathan says:

    I hold the belief that sports are for morons, so this wouldn’t have caught my eye without the blaming of video games. However, I can safely say that this is similar to the people who, when ranting against the 38th Super Bowl halftime show (you know the one– Janet Jackson), called the Super Bowl “family programming”. Because high-speed tackling is so family friendly, innit?

    All in all, this is just some player on a bad sports team who’s been injured. That kind of thing happens in American football all the time. It’s a violent enough sport for injuries to occur every now and then. Dragging video games into the issue reeks of “ambulance chaser”. Just like Jack Thompson.

    And people wonder why the terrorists hate us.

  12. 0

    […] Sep 13th, 2007 by White-haired Journalist Virginia Pilot columnist Bob Molinaro somewhat slapped violent video games when Kevin Everett, a football player playing for Buffalo Bills, was injured during a game. Molinari thinks that some males are attracted to pro football because of the “slickly edited TV images that are a variation of their virtual-reality experiences.” Here’s a clearer statement from him: “This makes me wonder if the catastrophic injury to Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everett will make any real impression on the desensitized adolescents and adults raised with the cartoon violence of “Madden ’08” or “NFL Blitz,” or the absurd blood-and-guts scenarios associated with other Xbox games.” One of his basis in saying that adolescents and adults who are exposed in violence while they’re young may be challenged in terms of sensitivity is because in video games, football players are good as new when they get injured once the player restarts his/her console. W-h J: Uber weak point actually. It’s like asking if we care for our American soldiers if they die battling their opponents because we’ve been playing Medal of Honor so much we might think that an actual Lt. Bob Hall will actually rise from the dead after hitting the load game option. How racist is that? Are we gamers from The Republic of Gamestop really viewed that way by some people? lol Ted: (Watching NBA on TV) Dang! Kobe Bryant is injured! Ted’s dad: Dang, let’s play NBA Live 2008 son so that Kobe can get back on his feet. Save the basketball player, save the world! XD (Source: GamePolitics) […]

  13. 0
    DarkTetsuya ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Austin Lewis:

    “Also, if you’re parachuting and your chute fails? Videogames did it.”

    If you were trying to impersonate JT, you forgot to end your post with ‘HOOAH!’ 😛 but otherwise spot-on, LOL.

    This does remind me of something I read in EGM about a decade and a half ago about violence in the Madden games on the Genesis… like how when a player got injured they’d actually send an ambulance out onto the field to retrieve him but the computer controlled players would still get KO’d by the ambulance (search Youtube for further proof, I actually found a video montage of the ambulance’s appearances) I *think* JT may have been mentioned, but it was so long ago I can’t remember for sure.

  14. 0

    From what I understood, Molinaro asked if the adults that have been exposed to violent video games will give a dang with Everett’s injury. His basis is because most video game football stars are as good as new once the player restarts his/her console.

    Uber weak point actually. It’s like asking if we care for our American soldiers if they die battling their opponents because we’ve been playing Medal of Honor so much we might think Lt. Bob Hall will actually rise from the dead after hitting the load game option. How racist is that? Are we gamers from The Republic of Gamestop really viewed that way by some people? lol

  15. 0
    NecroSen ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    There wasn’t really a “focus” on video games in the article, persay. I think this article used a lot of different buzz words that work well to get attention on a Google search, but as to the article itself, there’s not much substance when it comes to the subject of video games themselves.

    There’s a lot of passing remarks about stereotypes of the gamer culture, like we’re all teenagers running into the backyard and slamming into walls to prove to our buddies how much of a pro we are. But the focus of the article has a point, albeit a weak one: do we actually care for the players, or are they just toy soldiers to the viewing audience?

    Frankly, I don’t quite give a damn. They signed the contracts, they put the gear on, they’re getting paid millions and living their dreams. If they get debilitating injuries as a result, so be it: it’s their choice to make.

    (I’m the second reply from the bottom on the article page, btw).

  16. 0
    Demios says:

    Oh man. Even I, who do not have much faith in the intelligence of humanity at large, am reeling from this one. I don’t see how in any sense one could see a connection between video games and the injury of a real life NFL player. That’s like blaming…heck, I can’t even come up with a simile equally rediculous (at least not at this hour).

  17. 0
    RadarScope1 says:

    It was more than merely mentioned. Games were practically held up as a scapegoat here — with seemingly no logic to back it up. Just a lot of “I have a feeling” BS.

  18. 0
    Wirebrain says:

    I’m not sure if I’m reading the same article as you, but the author seems to be more discussing about if football fans give a flying squirrel to the actual athlete rather than just disappointed this will change their betting pools, fantasy football leagues or worse, want to get back to the carnage ASAP like a live action video game.

    The same could be said about the disturbing amount of total apathy/support for the steroid problem in Baseball. We wanna see home runs, and to hell with the consequences for the player or fair play at large.

    C’mon everyone. Just because a video game is mentioned in a non-positive light in a story is not cause to break out the pitchforks and torches.

  19. 0
    RaZor says:

    The guy has a point about how the NFL treats its players, especially years after their careers are over, but the video game end of things is just nonsensical. Had Molinaro focused his article on the “Jacked Up” segments on ESPN, he may have had a point. I can see players wanting to be on a highlight reel and then doing something stupid that gets themselves hurt.

    But no, this Luddite chooses to gloss over the ESPN issue and focus on the all-important video games, everybody’s favorite punching bag these days.

    It’s terrible what happened to Kevin Everett. I had a youth group out for pizza last night (most of whom play a lot of video games) and the TVs at the pizza place were turned to ESPN. Sportscenter replayed that clip over and over and over again, profiting from Everett’s pain. Every time we saw that clip, we all involuntarily flinched in sympathy. We didn’t flinch once or twice. EVERY TIME. Desensitization may work for the things we play, it doesn’t work for what happens to real people.

    Molinaro should be ashamed of himself.

  20. 0
    RadarScope1 says:

    Haybausa – I already wrote him a long e-mail this evening. It was civil and well-reason, or so I thought anyway.

    I am just so sick of this stereotyping.

  21. 0
    TheTrueMrJack says:

    Wow, by using the power of a built in search tool in Operah I have discovered that even JACK THOMPSON doesn’t beleive in this crap.

    That’s fuckin sad. He seems to hate videogames with a passion yet can’t wrap his head around this one.

    Good God.

  22. 0
    Mysticgamer ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This is clearly Madden’s fault! If that damn game didn’t come out every season on every single console and hand held system, that boy who has probably been playing the real game since he was kid would have never been injured.

  23. 0
    Zigs says:

    Actually, traces of Hello Kitty: Island Adventure were found in Benoit’s system. Rumor has it he may have injected his son with Hello Kitty: Island Adventure as well, though it is unknown if it was done post-mortem.

  24. 0
    Rey ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Do I play violent games? Yes.
    Does GTA make me smile? Yes.

    Was I shocked and horrified when I heard about Kevin Everett? Yes.

    While were at it lets blame GTA for the death of Chris Benoit.

  25. 0
    Phantom says:

    I’m just amazed that this guy’s a sports writer, and has presumably followed the NFL’s macho code of playing through pain, etc. This has led to documented lasting damage in the players. And yet it’s GAMERS who are the desensitized ones? What about the NFL brass who are encouraging injured players to kill themselves for our entertainment?

  26. 0
    Ace of Sevens ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Silverstar, that was more or less my reaction. There was a story abotu this a few weeks ago. The level of violence inherrent in football would get a game abotu anythign except football a minimum T. If anything, it’s the bloodlust of football fans messing up things for video games.

  27. 0
    SilverStar says:

    It’s funny.. isn’t it a fairly large number of gamers who are disgusted by the green light football games get from the ESRB and other various ratings, along with every other damn group, just because it’s based on an enshrined and untouchable pass-time and part of Americana?

    In American Football, people get hurt, people get damaged, people get killed. But yet, not one damn group out there has any problems saying that Madden is good, wholesome family fun for all ages.

    Gee.. if video games were around 200 years ago, a game called Beat and Hang the N***** would have been considered a wholly family friendly title, because slavery was an enshrined American tradition.

  28. 0
    Mad_Scientist ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    At first I thought this guy was somehow going to try and blame video games, turns out he’s just using the injury as an excuss to criticise games and gamers. Hidden somewhere in the complete article was what might have been a semi-valid point: that many people tend to sometimes forget how dangerous and violent a sport football is, and that real people suffer pretty bad injuries fairly often. Also, some forms of media and entertainment even seem to glorify the violent nature of the sport while ignoring the serious nature of it.

    That point kind of got lost among all his absurd anti-game stuff though.

  29. 0
    National Kato says:

    “…I wonder if any of this hits home with the very large and growing demographic that comes to football through the make-believe violence of sports movies. In that world, jacked-up players always bounce back, returning as good as new when the movie is rewound.”

    I just fixed Virginia Pilot columnist Bob Molinaro’s comment.

  30. 0
    Iniquus ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Okay, I would have ignored this one if it hadn’t hit so close to home. I was born and raised in Buffalo, and still live here.

    This just bothers me. A lot. Not as a gamer, but as a Buffalonian.

    We stick together, and this story just bothers me. I might have let it slide if it was about anywhere else in the country, but not here.

    I’m used to seeing people use things they shouldn’t as a platform for an issue or idea. I really am. But this hits too close to home for me. It’s not that I wouldn’t normally have a problem with the general practice, but I normally wouldn’t say anything.

    I’m going to say this as a general statement. Linking a topic like this to something else just because it’s in any way possible sickens me.

    As of last night on the local news, the doctors in the case said he still may die from this injury. Kevin Everett is still in danger and, more obviously, will likely never fully recover. To abuse this tragedy in order to make commentary about what would generally be accepted as an unrelated situation or group is despicable in my eyes.

    -Michael Schwinger

  31. 0
    Cavalier ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m kind of with HCF on this one. It’s just one more tragedy in the news that doesn’t affect me personally, nor had it entered my life before seeing it here. Frankly, for daily tragedy intake, it’s right up there with our casualties in Iraq today.

    How this all ties in to video games is beyond me, except that I suppose some argument could be made that our culture doesn’t encourage empathy these days, and video games are, in fact, part of that culture. Of course, so is say, television, music, and George Bush’s political agenda. And your parents. And my parents. and… okay, yeah. Small factor in a much larger picture.

  32. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    His point about how ESPN and the NFL both try and use footballs violence as a selling point but at the same time push the unsavoury consequences […] under the rug.

    Notice how even he realizes that he doesnt know why hes putting that in there

    My guess? He wanted someone to bitch about for why the emphasis on violence, deemphasis on consequences was happening, and the only available target is gamers.

    He can’t berate the network, because a) he works for them, and b) they respond to market pressure anyway. He can’t berate the “regular” fans, because they’re his core audience.

    Gamers are a cheap easy shot that don’t lose him any points with his regular crowd, but allow him to throw a dart at *someone*. Most of his regular fans will just nod in agreement, “yep, must be those *gamers*” (with a hint of revulsion), and move on, to enjoy as another QB tackle is broadcast in full HD complete with bone crunching sound thanks to on-field microphones…

  33. 0
    Vinzent says:

    Monkey Spheres. (Not a video game)

    Monkey Spheres refers to the number of people we recognize as humans. We do not recognize the garbage man as a human with wants, needs, dreams, desires because he is outside our monkey sphere. He is just the being that makes the garbage go away.

    The only people who would include a football player on TV into their monkey sphere are those who’s lives are so bankrupt that they have nothing better to do than learn everything they can about their favorite sports star. Get a life!

  34. 0
    Picho ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    You wanna know why no one cares about joe blow the football player.

    I’ll give you one hint. It happened yesterday.

    Secondly, in the gamer zone, a lot of us are Nerds.

    get that.

    N E R D S.

    We sit around all day (INSIDE) playing games like DnD, playstation and the like. We dont give two rats behinds as much about a football player… cause we DO NOT pay attention to sports.

    Apperntly this guy never really went to school, cause even back then, you had the Jocks and the Nerds. While the jocks did occasianlly play games, they played these football games cause they couldn’t do it in real life all the time. They couldn’t watch football everyday.

    The nerds didnt care at all about football, and would rather invest in a nice RPG or FPS rather then some cheesy sports title. (sports games cheat)

    And yes, i dont care about this guy. Not because im desensitized to violence or anything like that. But simply cause I was not there. I did not see it, and only heard it from second hand sources.

    And if i ever actually cared about football, i might have actually wen to see the game. Then i might have actually go oh snap.

    Lastly, just like politics, People divide themselves between teams. Why would a Dallas cowboys fan be concerned that a non-Dallas cowboys guy got hurt? If anything he would be happy, especially if that person what the rival team’s lead player.

  35. 0
    Gray17 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    So, according to this assclown, gamers aren’t likely to have empathy for career ending, life threatening injuries because they’re gamers and as such football is just another “virtual-reality” experience for them? I don’t think there are any words that can appropriately describe such idiocy. Asshat Molinaro deserves any insults that come his way for such an illogical, insulting article.

    Anyways, I’m glad to hear that Everett is doing better and might actually walk again. A broken neck is nothing to laugh at, and I feel sorry for anyone that gets one, regardless of whether or not I’d ever heard of them before.

  36. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I wonder if any of this hits home with the very large and growing demographic that comes to football through the make-believe violence of video games.

    Or with any traditional armchair athletes who have only ever viewed this on the tv screen… /sarcasm

    You never see the real extent of injuries in NFL broadcasts. The padding, the camera cut-aways, etc. They blither on about injury stats, but you are so removed from the scene that even if you’re someone who’s never gamed, it doesn’t “hit home”…

    As for gamers, my roommates from university were always completely distraught when one of their players was injured in the game, because it usually f’d up their carefully crafted lineups. I would say gamers are more “sympathetic” to injuries than armchair athletes are.

    AA’s just see another player getting taken off the field (unless he’s the star quarterback, I’ll bet they rarely care). Gamers likely instead feel the same way the coach does (no! my playbook is ruined! where am I gonna find another player with his skill?)

  37. 0
    Zigs says:


    I might be, if all the jocks from my high school weren’t making my lunch and bagging my groceries (that’s a joke, I live nowhere near where I went to high school, nor do I know what became of the misanthropes. This is probably right on the money though).

    Guess again.

  38. 0
    Meggie ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “…make any real impression on the desensitized adolescents and adults raised with the cartoon violence of “Madden ‘08 or “NFL Blitz…”
    Adults raised on games released in the past year, real smooth. I would say the tying of media desensitization and a terrible NFL injury is completely out of left field, but that’s a different sport.

    Papa Midnight has it right, Madden is a simulation game, any violence in it reflects the actual sport of football.

    Probably still bitter about bad experiences with “jocks” in high school.

  39. 0
    Gameboy says:

    @ Namrepus221

    I hate John Madden. The one game I’ve watched with him commenting was terrible. Not because the game was bad or boring, but because John Madden is an idiot. EVERYTHING he said was perfectly obvious to me, as a novice. He literally spent the first half berating one team for being so poor and saying the other was going to win. In the second half, the losing team started to make a comeback, and suddenly he knew they were gonna win from the beginning. Reminds me of Aries, the Greek God of War (If I remember my mythology correct, Aries was said to fight alongside the winning army and was known to switch sides in the middle of a battle).

  40. 0
    Zigs says:

    Take one part testosterone, toss in a dash of HGH, stir it up in an adrenaline fueled nut that likes to run into people, add a god complex, and you’ve got a football player.

    Sex and Violence are very close in the human psyche. Therefore, you make people violent by profession, mix in the ‘roids for that unpredictability and college stardom and you’ve basically conditioned a rape machine. Those already at the professional level are enablers for this.

    I don’t really think ALL football players are scum, just that the conditioning begets scum. I think if ever there were a football player to admire, it’d be someone like Pat Tillman. He suffered not-so-much for his career choice, (military, not football) but more of an administrative problem (that our government is content to sacrifice anyone for the greater good/doesn’t give a shit). I’d say he is well worthy of respect, and yes, he was at one time a professional football player.

  41. 0
    Namrepus221 says:

    I still cringe at football injuries even though I play madden at times (I hate the series with a passion because of the exclusive license BS) Seriously, have any of you ever sit down and watched Joe Theisman’s leg snap on MNF many years ago?

  42. 0
    Zigs says:

    Damnit, you really can’t use a carat on these things…

    Personal Well Being (Is less than) Financial Well Being

    Everyone’s health fails them eventually, but money, money lasts a lifetime.

    I apologize for any potentially open nonsense tags.

  43. 0
    Gameboy says:

    @ Zigs

    Not all football players are scum. That’s a good amount of generalization going on there… Jack.

    Please don’t tell me you buy into Whoopi’s argument. Yes, Vick was scum, but not all football players are. Why do you feel this way?

  44. 0
    Zigs says:

    Well yeah, best of luck to him on his recovery, I can’t argue against that. Recovery is a bitch.

    I’m just saying it’s hard to be sympathetic to his injury when the same thing that got him injured also has him shitting gold for the rest of his life.

    Personal Well Being

  45. 0
    Gameboy says:

    @ Zigs

    Like I said earlier, I don’t give a rats ass about football one way or the other. I don’t like it, nor do I hate it. It’s just there, in my opinion.

    I doubt his injury will discourage anyone from getting into the sport or trying to get a NFL contract. As you pointed out, this guy has earned more money in his career, then most of us will ever earn. But don’t you think the wheel chair would be made of gold? That’s way more impressive!

    Note: I’m not belittling him or his injury. He has more than likely earned plenty of money and can afford excellent medical care. I highly doubt anyone would try to take any of the money or bonuses they have paid him (otherwise they may come of like ass holes). I hope he recovers from this.

  46. 0
    Zigs says:


    What can I say? He made his bed by choosing the sport, now he can lie in it. (Actually he doesn’t really have much of a choice but to lie in it, does he?)

    If you are wondering why I am so unsympathetic, it is a combination of having seen plenty of real-world violence, knowing that this guy could have it far worse, and the realization that today’s college frat-boy rapist is tomorrow’s Michael Vick. Or in other words, I find it to be a profession chosen predominantly by scum.

  47. 0
    jds ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “…the desensitized adolescents and adults raised with the cartoon violence of “Madden ‘08? or “NFL Blitz,” or the absurd blood-and-guts scenarios associated with other Xbox games…”

    I wasn’t raised on Madden ’08, or NFL Blitz. further, I didn’t get an Xbox until I was nearly thirty years old!! You mean I’ve missed out on over 20 years of Xbox games?

    The reporter seems to be desensitized to rationale.

  48. 0
    Zigs says:


    I have a lot of Football-hate. If this guy getting paralyzed discourages someone from getting into the sport, all the better. If he feels raw about it, he can always get a wheelchair made out of hundred dollar bills.

  49. 0
    Trowa says:

    You know lets not talk about how the average NFL career is 3 years long. Lets not talk about how the aim of the game is to throw yourself at another guy to bring him down. Lets not mention that it was a helmet to helmet hit which was banned in the NFL that injuried him. Let us forget that he isn’t the first football player to get an injury like this. Instead lets all sit here and talk about how video games are at fault for this whole thing.

  50. 0
    Costanzafaust says:

    Why do so many people these days, people who obviously DO NOT PLAY GAMES, seem to believe that gamers are unable to distinguish make-believe from reality?

    I have played a lot of games with violence and gore.
    I have watched a lot of movies with violence and gore.
    I admit that I might be desensitized to violence and gore in games and movies.

    However, I still get queasy if I see a REAL injury or accident. Because I know it isn’t just special effects. It’s a real person suffering real harm, and as another human being I empathize with that.

  51. 0
    Soldatlouis ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Gameboy :

    “OK, but do you think you could remind him that not everyone is… sane.”

    Not sure. But at least I can tell him my own point of view in a civil way and *try* to make him change his mind. That’s why I’d like to invite him to join our discussion.

    Like Morihei Ueshiba (founder of Aikido) said : if you defeat your enemy, he’ll remain your enemy, but if you convince your enemy, then he’ll become your friend.

  52. 0
    Gameboy says:

    @ Soldatlouis

    OK, but do you think you could remind him that not everyone is… sane. This is the Internet, after all. You’ll find some totally crazy people that will say things that others don’t agree with or in ways that others don’t agree with. *cough* *cough* Zigs *cough*

    @ Zigs

    Seriously, though. Think you could chill? Yes, there are safer careers, but ever think this is what he loved to do? Wouldn’t you love to get paid millions of dollars to do something you love to do professionally? You’re coming off worse than the people you bash.

    You’re right about one thing. The pixels are much safer. Its safer for the lil fans to play Madden 20XX then to go out and tackle each other into telephone poles.

  53. 0
    HCF ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Molinaro *is* just a guy that doesn’t get gamers. He’s also right that I’m totally disaffected by hearing about this injury. On some level, a human being has been injured, and you know, I hope he does recover. But…Kevin who? I wouldn’t have known this guy existed or even that he was injured except that my *gaming* news told me. I was too busy putting Resistance: Fall of Man to bed last night to go channel changing through the sports channels (really, a last resort).

    I guess I’d rather play than watch others.

  54. 0
    Soldatlouis ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @myrpok and others :

    Good idea, but I repeat what I said above :
    “the best response we can give to columnist Bob Molinaro is that we feel a lot of sympathy for Kevin Everett, and that his injury affects us, no matter which games we play and how long.”

    I also plan to invite him to join our discussion here, like we did for Eric Greene and Frank Borelli. It was a pretty success, and a lot of misunderstandings were resolved.

  55. 0
    Novacat says:

    On the Kevin Everett situation it was a freak accident, and that happens a lot in football. People get hurt, But to drag video games into it. Is just uncalled for, there was no logical reasoning for it.


    Your right, once Oprah puts her blessing/curse on video games we will either be screwed sideways with a screwdriver, or actually get some positive recognition every once in a while.

    Which only means…someone needs to get Oprah a Wii.

  56. 0
    brokenscope ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    No this injury, that could possibly kill him and leave him permanently debilitated, doesn’t hit home at all.

    Sure I have a friend paralyzed from the waist down after he was hit by some drunk asshole, I don’t feel sorry for this guy at all because we all know sports stars are somehow immune and all just jump right back. I mean I know my first thought when I saw the story wasn’t “Man I hope this guy can walk again.” I mean come on, video games are real right?


  57. 0
    HurricaneJesus says:

    I wonder if any of this hits home with the very large and growing demographic that comes to football through the make-believe violence of video games. In that world, jacked-up players always bounce back, returning as good as new when the game is switched on

    So explain to me why my QB who was hit in All Pro Football 2K8 was put out for 8 weeks from a crushig hit?

    Also, I don’t see the connection between enjoying video games and watching football. I played video games my whole life, even some fotball games, but never have I ever felt the desire to watch a football game.

  58. 0

    Huh? Whadafxup with this? Last time I checked, Madden was not cartoonish violence. NFL Blitz, maybe. But in Madden, when a dude gets hit and knocked out for the season, he’s out for the season. Period. That’s why it’s a SIMULATION. Sometimes, rarely, but sometimes, it can even end their careers.

  59. 0
    Gameboy says:

    Oh. My. God. So… is it just me? Or did this guy just disprove evolution?

    A guy gets injured in a terrible accident while playing football. Let’s blame video games. Did you know that video games caused the fall of Rome? Video games caused the Holocaust. Oh, and Katrina, too!

    I really, really hope no one is buying this garbage. I love to play video games, some of them violent, but I have NO INTEREST in football one way or the other. Despite my total lack of interest in the sport, I do feel bad for Kevin Everett. No one should have to suffer and potentially being paralyzed is terrible.

    @ Nekowolf

    I don’t think many people think that being desensitized to violence is a good thing. But if we aren’t a little desensitized we’d all gag at the sight of blood or vomit (personally I can’t stand the smell of the latter).

    You’re right, though. I never really thought of it, but a little desensitization is a good thing, and its completely different from enjoying hurting your fellow man. I may enjoy beating my buddies in a video game, but I’d never intentionally injure them (A lot of them owe me money).

  60. 0
    ~the1jeffy says:

    Bob Molinaro, you win the ever-coveted “the1jeffy’s asshat award.” While normally reserved for activist groups and pandering politicians, I am proud to announce that sport columnists are now a sub-category!

    Bob Molinaro, you are an asshat extraordinaire.

    To even think for a second that gamers are somehow made ‘immune’ to such a freak, horrific accident is asshattery defined. Look, football is about big hits, but also about learning to take them and dish them out in such a way to keep playing. When Everett went down, the stadium was silent (from what I’ve read – I wasn’t there). How many gamers were in the audience? No laughs, no jeers, no catcalls – just DEAD, STUNNED SILENCE. So, Molinaro, I humbly submit that you STFU.

    Local Coverage:
    (video wouldn’t run in Firefox, only IE)

    I hope that the initial reports of Everett’s likely recovery are not just wishful thinking. Here’s to his recovery! /cheer

  61. 0
    Nekowolf ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    There is something I don’t get, though, when people talk about how video games desensitized people to violence” or whatever. Isn’t that…kind of a good thing?

    Let’s face it, the world is a violent, brutal place. If I had a child, I’d rather have him understand and get used to that fact, rather than constantly protecting him, only for him to find out the truth in shock.

    There’s a difference between being “desensitized” and supporting violence. The former is good to certain extents, because, as said, the world is brutal, it’s violent, and it’s war-ridden, so better to be desensitized so you can handle this fact, while the latter is different. The latter means you support violence, or that you’d willingly participate, yourself, or you get off on it in some way (I mean, in real life). And that’s bad.

  62. 0
    G-Dog says:

    And middle aged white reporters slam Mixed Martial Arts for being violent and dangerous.

    There has never been a single death or major injury in a sanctioned MMA bout, while boxing and Football are given a free ride by the media.

  63. 0
    Zerodash ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wasn’t the same argument used over the 3 Stooges years ago? There were concerns that they would convince kids that you can bounce back from injuries. Thats why you can’t find the Stooges on broadcast TV these days…

  64. 0
    Dog_Welder ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Michael Anderson — I don’t live in the Buffalo area, so I don’t really know what the reaction there is like. I’m a Patriots fan. I hate the Bills. And I really was saddened to see this happen to a player. No real fan of football wants to see a serious injury happen. Ever. I was happy when his surgeon expressed optimism that he’d walk again, and it sounds like he was able to move his limbs yesterday. (It sounds like they used some new procedure to reduce the damage to the spine — very cool.) He will never play football again, and that’s a shame, but there are far more important things in life than football. This guy could have died on the field.

    ESPN has been treating this story very well.

    Dennis — add Mike Utley to your list. That was a horrific, freak injury that happened during a Thanksgiving game. David Pollack also broke his neck last year while playing for the Bengals — no paralysis but a promising career is over.

    And I’ll repeat this for the dumbass who wrote this column: NO REAL FOOTBALL FAN WANTS TO SEE A SERIOUS INJURY.

  65. 0
    Amarkov says:

    People have been attracted to sports where other people are injured long before videogames. Heck, people are still attracted to rodeo and bullfighting, sports where the point is putting the contestants in danger.

  66. 0
    MaskedPixelante ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    This has GOT to be like… one step below “He was severely injured, and paralyzed, because you touch yourself at night”.

    Seriously, besides Jack Thompson, who’s buying this?

  67. 0
    The gaming Dutch ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It seems like the writer has his cause and effect order mixed up.

    Sports inspired the creation of sports video games not the other way around.

  68. 0
    Glenn Essex says:

    A sports columnist writing about social trends = ugly, low quality journalism. Molinaro needs to stick to writing the mundane, two dimensional, uninteresting articles about sports.

  69. 0
    some guy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think it’s pretty obvious what is going on here.
    What better way to get your name out there than to create controversy where there was none?
    That’s really the only reason to stomp all over human logic in order to bash video games for something that has absolutely nothing to do with them.

  70. 0
    Austin Lewis ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    We should all blame videogames that this man got hurt playing a sport that is inherently dangerous.

    Also, if you’re parachuting and your chute fails? Videogames did it.

  71. 0
    jadedcritic ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Whoh – at the risk of arguing devil”s advocate, I don’t think he’s blaming video games for anything; Reading that quote – it sounds to me more like he’s simply speculating about whether or not we (gamers) perceive tragedies like this in the same kind of way.

    Granted, that’s a silly proposition in and of itself. Regardless of what Jack Thompson may have said, gamers are not instantly perverted into twisted, evil creatures who delight in the pain of others, (and to borrow a line from Yahtzee), who’s very piss is pure malevolence. It’s not like we’re all huddling around Tivos watching the poor guy get hurt over and over again.

    It seems to me like a more appropriate question for him to ask would’ve been regarding densensitization (sp?) to violence as a whole, or if these kinds of player injuries have the same effect now that they did 20 years ago, or even 10.

  72. 0
    BearDogg-X says:

    @ Michael Anderson

    Adding to your comment, over time, the players and the game itself has evolved, players have gotten faster and stronger, and the game has become a full-time job between off-season conditioning and mini-camps in between the Super Bowl and the opening of training camps.

  73. 0
    konrad_arflane ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “…I wonder if any of this hits home with the very large and growing demographic that comes to football through the make-believe violence of video games. In that world, jacked-up players always bounce back, returning as good as new when the game is switched on.”

    1. I seriously doubt very many people come to football through videogames. If anything, it’s the other way around.

    2. I haven’t played Madden seriously, or Blitz at all, but I have played more than ten franchise seasons of NFL 2K5. In fact, it’s probably closer to twenty. In that game at least, “jacked-up players” don’t always bounce back. Season-ending injuries are common, and from time to time, the duration of an injury is listed as “career”. I remember wincing the first time I encountered that one (and it wasn’t even a player on my own team, so I didn’t have the emotional investment you can get to a good player, even in a videogame).

    In closing: if you think playing football is too dangerous, by all means work towards making it safer, or outlawing it, or whatever you prefer (personally, I’d start with boxing, but that’s just me). But at least recognize that it’s the sport that’s the problem, not electronic representations of it.

  74. 0

    While in general I agree with what you guys are saying – here is another guy pimping up video game violence as some co-conspirator in the overall reaction to this tragedy.

    But I have a question – a genuine one.
    – Does anyone here know what the local reaction has been like? I was a teen working at Schaeffer Stadium at the time of Stingley’s injury (though it was an away game), and remember how that story gripped the area for quite a while.

    I am not saying that equivalence should be a metric of whether or not to blame video games – if anything I would attribute it to the ultra-fast media cycle.

  75. 0
    DavCube ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait.

    He’s concerned that not enough people were concerned about Everett’s injury? What’s he looking for, a national moment of silence? Some money? What? This is wracking my brain here.

  76. 0
    Mairie says:

    Not trying to make fun the tragedy for the injured player, but in response to the article: If only they had all played Madden&Co instead of doing it live..everyone would be happy and healthy, ‘cept those who argue against videogames.

  77. 0
    David Ikari says:

    Wait… weren’t there a whole bunch of videos released years ago filled with nothing but amazing sporting injuries and mishaps? Couldn’t it be that people are now used to football players being injured? Crikey.

  78. 0
    Godkarmachine O Inary ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    My problem is he treats football fans like they’re just gore loving maniacs who only want to watch football in hopes it will be as violent as the games they love.

    I remember hearing about it on the news, and I felt bad for the guy, and I play some disturbed games. Just not sports games. So how would a fan of both football and football games feel when some guy classifies them as a group so desensitized to violence, that this event is just a roadbump?

  79. 0
    Haruspex says:

    ‘raised with the cartoon violence of “Madden ‘08? or “NFL Blitz,” or the absurd blood-and-guts scenarios associated with other Xbox games.’

    Ha ha, how can an adult write such tripe without going red in the face? These video-game haters seem to have a set of stock phrases that they use increasingly liberally. I am from the UK but I would think these football players are athletes of a high standard, not some child who played Madden and thought he would take a pop at superbowl fame.

    I think any fan would be aware of the physical risks involved in the sport, perhaps they play Madden to avoid those risks for themselves. I feel for my fellow gamers in the US, if this is the stage at which the video-game witchhunt has got to.

  80. 0
    Conejo says:


    i disagree with your position, but see how you could come to such a conclusion.

    as stands, i’ve left the article a comment to show my displeasure with how tactlessly it was written.

  81. 0
    Robb ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    The article reads to me like the columnist is trying to point out how dangerous real football is. He also mentions that the real damages to the football players is downplayed by professional sports’ franchises because it’s a “bad image.” Video games really do a lot to help the NFL hide the dangerous nature of football.

    So I read the article more as a plea to remember the people in football rather than their fame and statistics. I actually don’t disagree with him. The other truth he glosses over is that spectators hope to see grotesque injuries replayed over and over, because it plays to the violent nature of humans. For example, many NASCAR fans love to see a good wreck, especially if the driver walks away from it. When they don’t, they become martyrs, practically.

    In a way, the article seems to address the guilt the columnist feels about being a sports commentator, and that’s admirable.

  82. 0
    RelaxGuy ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Bob Molinaro is a tool and is using the situation to try to earn himself some notoriety.

    it’s an insult to gamers, football fans, Kevin Everett and the people who are close to him.

    We don’t care about Kevin Everett? Who is writing the article exploiting his accident?

  83. 0
    Soldatlouis ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Well, the best response we can give to columnist Bob Molinaro is that we feel a lot of sympathy for Kevin Everett, and that his injury affects us, no matter which games we play and how long.

    I may try to write Mr. Molinaro tonight.

  84. 0
    TK says:

    At first, I thought to myself “Good heavens, GP used ‘WTF’ in a headline, how unprofessional!”

    Then I read the story. WTF.

    GP: yeah, I wavered on WTF… still am, in fact. don’t be surprised if it disappears…

  85. 0
    Chris S says:

    I’m not an American, but I’m under the impression that you won’t see a 16 year old American walk into a store, pick up Madden and think ‘Hmm, this ‘foot-ball’ thing looks quite decent, how come I’ve never heard of it before?’.

  86. 0
    Trencher ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Oh ya, its videogames fault…. guess this guys never seen the movie Any Given Sunday where the guys eyeball pops out of his head after getting hit. The gene pool keeps thinning and thinning.

  87. 0
    Paul Chin says:

    I am from Virginia Beach, and that was in my local paper… This is part of what I wrote to Mr Molinaro: “Your article tells me that you want to screen everything a person sees,hears, or does and evaluate it to make sure noone can get hurt from it. This kind of sheltered thinking will lead to many unintended consequences and censorship. If anything, I believe you care less about the well being of the players and wanted to write something sensational for the exposure. I think you have accomplished that because I did read the article, but it will be the last I read written by you. “

  88. 0
    hayabusa75 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Everyone’s pretty much covered the major points, but I just want to encourage everyone to write this guy and let him know (in a civil manner) just how off-base his remarks are. I already did, and I’ve found that writing journalists garners a far better response rate than say, politicians and imitation lawyers.


    Jesus H. Christ man, they’re football players, not drug lords.

  89. 0
    WholeFnShow says:

    On behalf of humanity (which, to make clear, I am hardly optimistic about), I feel compelled to let you know that you insulted just about anyone with a pulse with your editorial at the end. Even someone who was brainswashed by the original article could work out for themselves what to make of it in this context.

    No offense, natch, I’m just taking out my anger about this heartless hack on you.

  90. 0
    Barfo says:

    His point about how ESPN and the NFL both try and use footballs violence as a selling point but at the same time push the unsavoury consequences (such as when true tragedy strikes on the field, or the shocking details of the premature decline of long time players in their 50s and 60s) under the rug is a reall valid one and well reasoned. What doesnt make sense is how he tries to shoehorn video games into the discussion. Notice how even he realizes that he doesnt know why hes putting that in there – he starts almost every mention of video gamers with some variation on ‘I imagine that’, ‘I wonder if’, ‘I have a feeling that’. If anything he has the whole situation backwards, the more reprehensible people are the coporate interests who package the danger for mass consumption or the people who only watch football or highlight reels of sports injuries (though i really doubt that thats such a huge portion of people) because they are watching real human beings get hurt, at least people who are playing videogames for the same reasons are doing so in a world that clearly is fantasy and with fantasy players.

    His argument is much stronger without ever mentioning video games and the fact that he felt he had to shoehorn then in as some sort of cultural boogeyman causing the problems is lamentable and just shows how out of touch he is. But hes a sports columnist, so i guess its easier to blame the problems he sees in his sport on an outside cultural influence even as he is writing an article exposing it in his own sport, because then he can go to sleep at night without having to feel that he is part of the problem for covering (and thus to a certain extent promoting) football.

    Just to mention, i am a long-time football fan and i dont think its a terrible sport or something but i do think some of the recent media trends have been playing to the base impulses of humanity and i watch a lot less of it now then i used to (back int he heyday i used to watch ESPN a whole lot to follow the sunday’s events).

  91. 0
    Jack ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yes, because the first thing I think of when I play my “absurd blood and guts” scenarios is the Kevin Everett’s of the world: rich, college graduated athletes that voluntarily choose to play their sports. Not the 3,700 dead and thousands of disfigured soldiers in Iraq, a good number of which are failed athletes with only a high school education.

    Oh, looks like I just pulled a Bob Molinaro.

  92. 0
    lumi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Novacat:
    “Which only means…someone needs to get Oprah a Wii.”

    For some reason, I would bet that she has one already. I don’t know why.

    …might have something to do with the large castle made out of money that she probably has somewhere.

    But yeah. I hope that if/when she speaks out on the subject, it’s after doing some proper research.

    Regarding the article, it really is insulting. I don’t care for football one whit, but when I learned about Everett’s injury on the news a couple days ago, I felt awful. As plenty of other GAMERS here have said, NO ONE wishes that sort of thing on anyone else, and we’re ALL horrified by the implications.

    Does some asshat quarterback who treats people like dirt deserve to slip in the MUD, or get his Porsche towed? Sure, I’d laugh at that. Career-ending, life-altering injuries? Never, no matter how much I didn’t care for the guy.

    Drawing the parallel was recklessly and slanderously gratuitous. It was completely uncalled for, and I would hope for (but don’t really expect) some sort of retraction or apology, citing the baselessness for the comparison.

  93. 0
    Zigs says:

    Oh, did meathead hurt himself? Too bad he didn’t take one of those more think-y career paths or something with some semblance of career longevity. I guess he’ll just have to settle for being a millionaire cripple. Yeah, I guess you could call me desensitized to meathead’s injury, but believe me it has nothing to do with the video games.

    This country (planet?) is way too vested in sports. I find it hilarious that all these hardcore skinhead republican types love their football so much… since nine roided-out guys piling up on each other is just about the gayest thing ever.

    On the subject of the columnist: He’s either a placating opportunist, which I think is the more likely scenario… or he’s fucking nuts. I hate football as much as he (apparently) does but seriously, isn’t it safer to have a bunch of pixels collide than a bunch of HGH-infused 350 pound psychos? The latter is just asking for trouble, while the former might just get you a red ring of death.

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