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Head games

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.
June 7, 2012 1:29:52 PM PDT
Am I being an irresponsible dad, letting my son play football, after the scathing lawsuit filed today by former pro players against the NFL?

That's the thought living rent-free in my head today. It's swirling and churning and, despite my best attempts at rationalizing and calming myself, it's still there as I write this.

Yes, playing high school football and getting concussions is unlikely to cause dementia and severe head injuries that will haunt my son the rest of his life. Pro football is a different beast, where men weigh far north of 250 pounds, where the hits are vicious and monetarily rewarded, and where, as the suit alleges, the cover-up becomes part of the story.

But I can't imagine any parent reading all these stories today and not confronting themselves with the question that matters: Am I being irresponsible?

Lots of parents are feeling like that today, and tonight at 11, we'll have the latest on this lawsuit. It has not been a great off-season for pro football. There was the bounty scandal with the New Orleans Saints for intentionally hurting people and getting money for it; the suicide of Junior Seau, the sixth former pro footballer to take his own life recently; a possible work action by the union repping referees, and today's lawsuit.

I'm just sayin'.

We're also in Carmel, up in Putnam County, where authorities now say that burning cigarette ashes in some mulch near the front porch sparked the fire that killed a police captain and most of his family. The ashes came from the cop's son, who was the only one who survived the blaze. A family tragedy - and it's hard to imagine that this young man won't be horribly scared for life.

Also at 11, a sex scandal in Washington? I know it sounds preposterous, but one might be brewing involving Pres. Obama's nominee to be ambassador to Iraq. A story in the Washington Free Beacon has emails that are apparently between then-married National Security Council member Bret McGurk and a Wall Street Journal reporter named Gina Chon. If the emails are real - they are x-rated, written over government servers, and include sensitive diplomatic information. So what now?

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho (in for Sade) and me, tonight at 11.

And a note about this column: I'm off tomorrow (Friday), and so this blog will return on Monday.

Have a great weekend.

BILL RITTER

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