By Brad Hubbard @bradhubbard
If you weren’t watching the Louisville v Duke college basketball game on Sunday then you missed one of the most gruesome public sports injuries you may ever see. If you want to see it for the first time or the 15th it can be found on some major Internet sites. The bigger question is why are so many people outrages by CBS’s replays?
Louisville’s Kevin Ware broke his leg right after contesting a jump shot in the first half of an Elite 8 match up against Duke. He landed right in front of his teams bench. It was immediately apparent that his injury was serious. Several of his teammates looked immediatly away while others were doubled over on the court in shock. Players and Head Coach Rick Pitino had tears in their eyes as the medical staff attended to Ware. Turns out that his leg is broken in two places and the bone was sticking out.
The reaction on Twitter was first asking for prayers then by half time of the game the conversation turned to ‘Why are people showing this replay?’ CBS did not show a replay of the injury during their half time show citing the gruesome nature of the injury. They did show several replays after it had happened. Last fall several media outlets replayed South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore’s injury in which he dislocated his knee tearing just about every ligament imaginable. ESPN (who broadcasted the game in which Lattimore was injured) replayed the injury more than CBS did. Are all injuries not created equal?
Gruesome injuries are just that, gruesome. People turn away in shock and horror and rightfully so. It doesn’t help anyone to see something like that multiple times. Once is enough. The uproar over seeing Ware’s injury a few times vs no uproar over seeing Lattimore’s several times does lead us to look at the circumstances.
The Louisville v Duke game is on National TV during March Madness. The winner goes onto the Final Four. It’s a big deal. Lattimore’s injury happened in a conference game during the regular season. The game was also Nationally televised however it was not the main game of the day, kicked off and was on ESPN. Did the high profile stage on which Ware was injured lead to more people seeing it? Of course.
Ware plays basketball and Lattimore football. Do we expect more gruesome injuries in football than in basketball? Are we more mentally prepared for the possibility of a gruesome injury during a football game because of the physical contact and not in basketball because they don’t wear pads and helmets?
Either way you look at it a gruesome injury makes the game secondary and rightfully so. Let’s also not forget that in the NHL superstar Sidney Crosby had emergency surgery Saturday night after being hit in the face with a puck. He has a broken jaw. Last weekend Denny Hamlin of the #11 car in NASCAR suffered a compression fracture in his back after a wreck. injuries are going to happen in sports and sometimes they are very, very hard to watch. Let’s hope we see less of them the rest of the year.