Reflections: New York Giants' Jason Pierre-Paul's Road to Perdition

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Jason Pierre-Paul -what a tragic accident                                                      

[Sports Commentary]

For as long as I could remember children-boys or girls-globally, would begin to play sports almost from the age six years.

Sometimes as they are growing up they would compete in a variety of sports until they realized their favorite and would concentrate on it such as, Football, Baseball, or Basketball, and even Boxing.

It would be an obvious conclusion that, that youngster would continue playing their chosen sport not only through Community Neighborhood Leagues, but also through their High Schools, and Colleges with their “eye-on-the-prize” of being drafted into the Major professional franchises. The athletes drafted will finally realize their dreams while at the same time become an instant millionaire, and world famous.

Sadly or maybe tragically, hundreds of thousands of these youngsters are never drafted and never make it to the “big show” after years of sacrifices, and, they just have to go back home with broken dreams and “get a job”.

It is true that some who, don’t make it in the majors are fortunate enough to become Coaches or Managers of their sports, professional or amateur, and although not playing, they are still relatively close to the sport of their choice as a career.

As the football season gets ready to kick off I reflect on the case of Jason Pierre-Paul.

He was one of those fortunate few who made it to the big show after being drafted by the New York Giants Football team. As a Defensive End from South Florida College, in Tampa, Florida in 2010, Pierre-Paul signed a $20.05 million dollar contract.

“J.P.P.” as he is now known was a star basketball player until he injured his right knee and then concentrated on playing football.

The 6’5” tall Paul helped the Giants win a Super Bowl in 2011 defeating the New England Patriots by a score of 21-17, and became one of the major contributing and forceful players of the Giants defense in the ensuing years.

As the new football season was approaching with the mini-camps opening up especially for the rookies and those veteran players who were injured during the regular season, New York Giants star defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, suffered perhaps a career ending injury during the 4th of July 2015 celebration at his home in South Florida.

J.P.P. while lighting fireworks severely injured his right hand causing a total amputation of his right index finger, fractures of his right thumb, and 2nd & 3rd degree burns that required skin grafts.

Although still only 26 years of age the injury is so severe that I am sure it could keep him out of football at least 2 years minimum-healing and rehab.

Other examples of an injury disabling or ending an athlete’s career or life is Manny Pacquiao’s severe rotator cuff injury, surgery, and rehab which will keep him on the boxing “disabled” list for at least 1 and ½ years.

On May 27, 2012, Paul “The Punisher” Williams, 2-time W.B.O. Welterweight Champ & W.B.O. Junior Middleweight Champ suffered a career ending injury when trying to avoid hitting a car and was thrown off his motorcycle landing on his head, severely injuring his spinal cord. Williams who was not wearing a safety helmet will never walk again, and remains in a wheelchair.

Paul Williams’ accident canceled a mega pay-per-view W.B.A., W.B.C., & Ring Magazine Championship fight with Saul “El Canelo” Alvarez, September 9th 2012.

Another tragedy occurred when former W.B.C. & W.B.O. & Ring Magazine 135 Champion, Diego “Chico” Corrales, lost his life in a 3 car collision while driving his motorcycle at a speed of almost 100 miles and under the influence of alcohol on May 7, 2007.

Maybe now we could imagine J.P.P.’s serious crippling injury and he, trying to tackle a running-back, a wide receiver, tight-end or even attempt to sack a quarterback with just 9 fingers; apparently impossible.

Writing this story I remembered my career as a Firefighter-30 years of service- in the New York City Fire Department and all of the numerous times during the 4th of July celebrations, that I  responded with my Fire Engine Company to emergencies which tragically were serious burns of all degrees, fingers or hands completely blown off, and eyes injured due to fireworks. Many of these fireworks victims were children on a city-wide basis.

It is sad to see how athletes ruin their careers committing dangerous mistakes like this, and or consuming steroids, drugs, drunken driving, domestic abuse, and other incidents.

Is it possible that J.P.P. could play again adjusting to just 9 fingers? We will not know until he is completely healed, and tries to play Football.

Football is a cold-blooded demanding sport and business, especially when the injury is non-football connected, and the team could just release you for cause. Remember Jason Pierre-Paul was unsigned for 2015 Football Season.

I remember Aaron Boone N. Y. Yankees World Series hero who hit a first pitch home run into the bleachers off Boston Red Sox pitcher, Tim Wakefield leading the Yankees into the World Series. In the off-season Boone injured himself playing sandlot basketball, then there was  Joba Chamberlin N. Y. Yankees pitcher injuring himself, bouncing on a trampoline while playing with his son. Both injuries were career ending. What a pity.

The list goes on and on, and in the manner that Pierre-Paul was severely injured it is almost a certainty that his Football career with the N.Y. Giants or any other team tragically may be over.

The N.Y. Giants Football organization true to their commitment to J.P.P.’s well- being, have repeatedly tried to communicate with him, even going to the hospital, but he has been non-responsive, even refusing to talk anyone especially the N.Y. Giants and the Media.“Sad and Touching”!

The emotional question here with no rational response is; “why celebrate the 4th of July with these dangerous fireworks”, when they actually contain the same explosive power of dynamite which is utilized by the Military?

The history of the 4th of July celebration began according to history when the 13 American Colonies declared Independence from British rule or dominance.

From then on we celebrate the 4th of July with Parades, Concerts, Family gatherings, Barbeques, and unfortunately the dangerous Fireworks which at one time were legal, but not now.

Our urban home communities this past 4th of July, 2015, somehow sounded like areas under a “bombing raid” with so many fireworks exploding within that 24 hour period of celebration.

Stop celebrating the 4th of July with Fireworks for your safety and certainly the safety of your children.

My Black Star News readers what is your opinion?

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