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Block's Football Injury Should Have Received Better Coverage

August 06, 1988

Isn't anyone going to mention Joe Block? He is the Chicago Bruisers' player who was injured during the last minute of the Arena Football championship game.

His words could be heard through a microphone as he talked to the trainer and a physician.

"My hands and feet are tingling," he told them as he lay motionless on the arena floor. Over and over he said, "He threw me on my . . . face!" You could hear the panic in his voice.

Through the camera, he could be seen lying prone on the ground. The band kept playing. The commentators kept talking. The attendants cut away his jersey and pads. Finally, the stretcher arrived, and Joe was taken from the field to a smattering of applause.

The final seconds of the game were anticlimactic. Even the presentation of the trophy had a hollow ring to it, in light of what had just happened. No one mentioned Joe Block. He had merely disappeared from the tunnel of regret to the darkness of "So what?"

Many players in all sports risk injury every year. Rarely are we privy to the anguish of one athlete. Rather, there is a cut to commercial as the fallen human unit is antiseptically removed from view. Thus, we are spared any unpleasantness.

PATRICK MURPHY

Corona

Editor's Note: Doctors said Joe Block's injury, a spinal cord bruise, was not serious, according to Chicago Bruisers spokesman Mike McGraw. He said Block entered Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill., last weekend for observation and was released Wednesday, wearing a neck brace as a precautionary measure.

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