Archive for July 10th, 2010

More Chilling NFL Concussion Anecdotes

Catching up on some old business, I want to make sure I point everyone to Alex Marvez’s Thursday column at

“Cleeland’s post-NFL battle with concussions”

Concussions? I Don’t Remember No Concussions.

Q  Are  you  aware  of  any  incident  where  a  wrestler  in  a  match  received  a  concussion?

A  No.

Stephanie McMahon Levesque to the staff of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, December 2007


(Thanks to Keith Harris and David Bixenspan for this information. It is in their comments on a previous post but merits its own post.)

At World Wrestling Entertainment’s SummerSlam show in 2000, Linda McMahon’s son-in-law Paul “Triple H” Levesque knocked fellow wrestler Kurt Angle unconscious with the former’s “Pedigree” move. The injury was caused by the failure of a gimmicked prop. Linda’s daughter Stephanie was a central figure in the storyline and saw everything first-hand and at uncomfortably close range.

For details, see

In his memoir It’s True! It’s True!, Angle recounts the incident in full. You can view the relevant excerpt at

Irv Muchnick

Linda McMahon Mingles Among the People, With Whom Her ‘Image’ Remains Good

Ted Mann of The Day in New London today has a passable piece of boilerplate coverage of the Linda McMahon campaign. See “McMahon gets warm welcome at Sailfest,”

McMahon indeed exhibits a certain facility for retail politics along with her saturation mass-media buys. Her Democratic opponent, Richard Blumenthal, indeed has the burden of proving that his sloppy and hyped accounts of his military service don’t disqualify him before the voters. And it is indeed a crazy political year in which insiders posing as outsiders have an advantage over run-of-the mill insiders.

But is boilerplate good enough? It is a question worth putting politely to Mann, a good reporter whose earlier coverage kicked open the door on one of the most explosive elements of McMahon’s record as a businesswoman: what any reasonable reader might conclude was her obstruction of justice when her pro wrestling company was under federal criminal investigation in the 1990s.

The Day kicked that door open. However, it hasn’t tried to close the loop on the story of how McMahon passed along a tip allegedly originating with a U.S. attorney in Pennsylvania. Nor has it touched at all the story of how the McMahon family’s trial lawyer’s husband later leaked smears of government prosecutors and tried to suborn the testimony of Vince McMahon’s ex-Playboy model secretary.

In a passage that makes today’s story read more like he’s covering his ass with both hands than like he’s telling two sides of a story, Mann writes: “If Democrats are hoping that McMahon’s Republican bid for the U.S. Senate will be undone by the controversies over steroids and the premature deaths of the wrestlers who have worked for the company on which she and her husband have built a fortune and entertainment empire, the candidate’s visit to New London on the opening afternoon of Sailfest was the other side of that coin.”

Oh really? Please show me where anyone in the Connecticut media has given substantial attention to “the premature deaths of the wrestlers who have worked” for WWE. From where I sit, the acceptable language in mainstream media to this point remains something along the lines that WWE says a grand total of five performers have died under contract, while a pesky critic or two are believed to maintain that the toll is worse than that.

A “controversy,” you see.

Give Mann and The Day a gentleman’s C. We’re not even at midterms yet, so there’s hope they’ll get their marks up.

Irv Muchnick

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