Monday, October 19, 2015

1543 Remembering Cam'ron

1543 Remembering Cam’ron

Probably you never had heard of Cam’ron Matthews or his hometown, Alto, Texas.  And probably you never had reason to. Now you have and you do.

Matthews was a 16- year- old high school junior and Alto is a town of maybe 15- hundred people about 150 miles southeast of Dallas and surrounded on all sides by … nothing.

But they have a high school.  And the high school has a football team.  This weekend, Matthews became the sixth high school player this year to die in the line of duty.

Cam’ron Matthews with sister Paige Matthews. Family photo via KETK/NBC Tyler TX

Right near the end of the first half of Friday’s game, Cam’ron had a seizure and a few hours later he died in a Tyler, TX hospital.
One relative is quoted as saying “Football didn’t kill him. God chose this time for him.”  Yeah, sure.

The real key thought in the outpouring of stories: Cam’ron’s been playing football ever since he was a little kid.

Uh huh.  Are we going to learn some day that football is the deadliest team sport played in North America?  We going to give those players aged six to maybe 45 who don’t die right away the medical help they need?

Nah.  We’ll babble about safer helmets and thicker padding and fewer direct shots to the head from now until the next teenager or college or NFL player dies of chronic brain hits.

Collectively, football has adopted the public relations strategy of the National Rifle Association: “Guns don’t kill people.”

Guess what, folks. Guns kill people and so does football.  And sometimes death is better than the alternative.  What alternative? Living the rest of their lives as rutabagas.

So what’s the answer?  Do you really need that pointed out?  Okay, if you say so: kill the sport before it kills more.

Seditious thought, eh?  The money crowd sure thinks so. So does the crowd of fake macho groupie dads who live their pathetic lives through their sons’ football prowess.

Everyone describes Matthews as “a good kid…” “a bright kid…” a “fine athlete.”  Of course.  Every dead kid becomes a saint at burial. But in this case, the praise seems apt and deserved.

But even if weren’t true his was still a human life, damaged and then destroyed by a “game” in which the odds are against the players of both sides.


--The Mets lead the American League championship series with the Cubs 2-0, giving rise to the hope that the expansion team from Queens will have a shot at playing in and even winning the World Series.  The Mets have won only two World Series since their creation in 1962.  And good as they’ve been this year, they’re still the Mets, so don’t put the champagne on ice just yet.


-It pays to remember, though, that the absolutely worst players in the majors are better than you or I by a long shot.

More Shrapnel:

--When does one take the “ette” off of baguette? The Guinness Book just awarded “longest” to one that was 400 feet long.  To most of us, that would be a whole Bag.

--What were they thinking dept: the third Republican presidential debate is scheduled for October 28th in Boulder, Colorado, the last major hippie enclave in the Mountain West. Bound to be more protesters than audience at this one.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2015

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