Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Andrews Battling Depression

According to the Daily News' Les Bowen, it appears that Shawn Andrews is battling clinical depression and should be in camp shortly. That is good news, both that Andrews got the help he needed and for the Eagles to get their All-Pro guard in camp.

Some thoughts this story:

1.) If you haven't heard the rumors that Andrews is gay, you probably don't go on a lot of blogs. Les Bowen referenced the internet rumor mill, without getting into specifics, but it is obvious he was referring to rumors of Andrews' sexual preference being one of the reasons for the absence.
This sort of rumor mongering likely feeds into why mainstream media outlets constantly demonize blogs and blog commenters. It's a very different beast, speculating on someone's personal problems than it is, say, speculating on why Brett Myers threw a 2 - 0 fastball in a particular situation. Hopefully, that difference is clear.

2.) I mentioned this elsewhere yesterday, but I'll mention it again: does this mean that "clinical depression" will now show up in NFL injury reports?

The Eagles should do Andrews the favor of levying a nominal fine against Andrews and donating that money to charities related to mental illnesses. That will tie up the loose ends between Andrews and the team, but the big question going forward the league needs to ask itself is do they recognize clinical depression as being a very real, treatable illness that can affect how you perform on the field? There is research (too lazy to reference, but I will find it when I get a chance) to suggest that depression in some athletes is a result of frequent, untreated concussions.

I'm not suggesting Andrews is suffering from post-concussive syndrome (it could be), but it's not out of the norm for football to get concussed and come back far too soon, likely resulting in other problems (see the story of Teddy Johnson for details on that).

Later today: Phillies July 2008 "by the number"

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