You likely have already heard Sony’s cinematic release of the football drama “Concussion” is scheduled to open on Christmas Day.
It is most certainly not a gift for the sport of football in general…and specifically for the National Football League. The Will Smith movie is billed as a fact-based film about the NFL’s attempts to cover up chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) being a potential epidemic among former and current players.
What you may not have heard is The Hollywood Reporter recently reported there was at least one full scene cut from the final version deemed too close to the line of liability. This news comes on the heels of some hacked internal studio emails suggesting Sony further softened the film to avoid conflicts with the league.
If Sony wanted to avoid a conflict with the NFL the only way would to not have made the film in the first place. It is not a present the NFL wants unwrapped at all.
A present worth letting you know about is being given just down the road from me at Villanova University. You may have heard of Villanova more for basketball than football because they do not participate in “big-time” college football. One division down…but no less passionate in pursuit of perfection. They often are in the hunt for the title at their level of competition.
Tonight the Wildcats open their season against the University of Connecticut. One of their star players on the field will be 6-6, 300 pound junior offensive lineman Jake Prus. He is a big man. But the biggest part of him is his heart according to a story by Andrew Albert of the Philadelphia Daily News.
Villanova’s long-time head football coach Andy Talley has asked players coming into his program to participate in the bone-marrow registry program. In 20 years only four players have matched. Turns out Prus is one of them. The last Wildcat to actually donate was multi-talented, MVP and current Chicago Cub Matt Szczur who had his procedure done after Villanova’s FCS national championship in 2009. Szczur’s cells saved a young girl’s life in Israel.
Prus’ donation was originally planned for earlier in the year but the patient waiting for his cells was not healthy enough to receive them until now…during the football season.
Jake Prus will play football tonight and then begin the process to be ready for the procedure, which includes medications and injections each day. He will likely miss at least three of the team’s games.
A pre-med student, Prus has an additional interest in pursuing giving this gift of life to another human being. And that interest has obviously always been above playing the game of football…which he surely loves as well.
Indeed VIllanova’s pursuit of another national championship may be compromised by his absence. But a life is currently compromised and something can be done to save it.
Football has its good moments too. Sony should make a movie about Jake Prus and all the good Villanova University is doing trying to give the gift of life.
I doubt you’d need to cut any scenes.