Vince: Today we’re going to talk about athletes, and if they should go all-out. There seem to be two schools of thought about it: first, an athlete can go all-out and injure himself, or, he goes half and half to conserve himself, and gets injured.
John: I think athletes should go full out, and the game pays to see players perform at a certain level. Granted, if they are young, pitching 100 innings might not be a great choice, but when they get their experience in let them pitch. People are so concerned about the pitch count, and when a player nears 90 pitches, the manager takes him out, which can cost the team the game. A problem could erupt if the manager lets the pitcher go too long. I think when you go all-out, you’re less likely to suffer a serious injury, as opposed to putting half effort in and pulling a hamstring or something that could cost you the year. So I think going all-out is the way to go, regardless of what sport is being played.
Bill: I was thinking back to the days of the starting pitcher pitching until they started to give up hits or walks, keeping going until the pitcher was completely worn out. Money has also changed the nature of the game; these guys are $4 million-$5 million players. They are no longer disposable labor. If you are playing second, trying to get out of the way of the incoming guy, your chances of getting hurt are a lot more than the guy coming in. It’s usually the guy at second or shortstop who gets hurt, not the slider.
Russell: I’ll take the other side and say that they shouldn’t go all-out. Like some of you guys said: yes, they are getting paid the money to play hard, but they need to be around to play the game to earn the money, which won’t happen if they’re injured. In baseball there’s a lot of that going around because people are just pitching too much. I still say it’s best to just let them pitch their limit. In football however, it’s different. You get hit a lot harder and injuries could be much more severe, so you should not be going all out the whole time. Basketball is easier, so you can go all out, and those guys can keep running around to earn their $30 million!
Vince: It’s funny when you say with football you shouldn’t go all-out. I remember years ago when I was playing football and my mother was in the stands. I didn’t go all-out for a play and a guy hit me with a full arm, and I’m not lying, I was a human bobblehead for the next three minutes. After the game, my mother said, “Great game baby, what’s that boy’s name over there?” I thought my mother was going to take my helmet to go get him! I had to explain to her that it was part of the game- before begging for Tylenol. In football, it’s hard to go half way and not put in all your effort, because if you go 50-percent and the other guy goes 100-percent...he’s smashing you!
In baseball, I think young players need to be careful when being told to go all-out, because they can burn themselves out very quickly. When they burn themselves out, they have very short careers and all that promise, money, and hope can be stripped away, which was the case with Kerry Wood, the young phenom. Maybe in the first few years, there needs to be more monitoring and tracking of progress, pain, and struggles arising from baseball because the player is still developing and his body can be fragile.
John: Well, on this topic, I’ve seen a lot of changes with NFL practices. There are a lot less practices and more injuries. When you’re coaching a veteran team, you need those two-a-day morning and evening. Too many teams are getting away from that now, and you have star players getting hurt, which not only affects the team but the box office as well.
Russell: With football, it’s very physical. If I was a wide receiver who was playing the Raiders in the '70s or '80s, I don’t think I’d be playing all-out! The players hit so hard and you know what’s going to happen when you get hit. It’s like you get rewarded with a smashing hit for catching the ball! But I’m really looking forward to this upcoming football season. Go Bears!