It’s a little easier to not hate your arch rival when you’re beating them like a dog.
As a child growing up in the 1970s, I wasn’t aware of what it was like to lose to Auburn. Because of that, I was able to he
ar about players like Pat Sullivan and Terry Beasley without absolutely hating them. I don’t remember watching either play, but the photo at right is one of my earliest football memories of the enemy.
It’s a pretty cool photo.
Two players, fresh from the battle, enjoying a moment together on the sidelines.
But for Beasley, those battles – even from a relatively short football career, left him with a lifetime of disabilities:
Beasley, 63, has battled health problems related to concussions for more than a decade.
According to Anderson v. National Football League et al — Beasley and his wife are plaintiffs, along with dozens of other NFL players — a class-action lawsuit filed in a Georgia Northern District Court in May of 2012, Beasley has suffered from “multiple past traumatic brain injuries with symptoms including but not limited to, memory loss, headaches, anxiety and sleeplessness.”
Following his Auburn career, the San Francisco 49ers drafted Beasley with the 19th pick of the 1972 draft, but the toll of concussions suffered over the course of his career – Beasley suffered at least 19 concussions during his playing days in college and the professional ranks – cut his NFL career short.
Without a doubt, Beasley is the perfect example of how violent this sport we love actually is. And he’s also a great reminder that this is just a game. I pray that he and his family would be comforted by God during this most difficult time.