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Jul 8 / King Kaufman

Shoutouts: Stories on the Nets owner, concussions, Pat Tillman

We didn’t get to do any Shoutouts during the short holiday week, so I thought we’d start out the new week with a few.

The Billionaire Behind the NBA’s Newest Super Team, Mikhail Prokhorov by Josh Martin is a fun read about the majority owner of the Brooklyn Nets.

And you thought it was Jay-Z.

In Why the NFL’s Concussion Problem Is Bigger Than You Think, Gary Davenport does a great job injecting life into some ground that’s been heavily covered in the last year or so.

Davenport’s argument is that as much as we’ve talked about concussions in the NFL lately, it’s still an underappreciated problem. The claim of former Chargers linebacker Gary Plummer that his former teammate Junior Seau may have had 1,500 concussions underscores just how massive the problem may be.

Finally, one of the ways we celebrated the Fourth last week was by Remembering the NFL’s Greatest American: Pat Tillman. In that piece, Ty Schalter argues that what made Tillman such a great American wasn’t his sacrifice of a lucrative football career to fight for his country, great as that was. It was the way he handled himself when he came to realize that the war he was fighting in Iraq had nothing to do with the World Trade Center attacks that had inspired him to enlist:

Pat Tillman was the NFL’s greatest American because when he believed his superiors, his Commander-in-Chief, were no longer serving the interests of the country, he encouraged his fellow soldiers to exercise their right to vote that president out of office.

That is faith in democracy. That is belief that America is great. That is patriotism.

Tillman could have protested, could have deserted, could have spoken to a hundred media outlets that would have giddily run the story to a nation boiling with tension over the operations in Iraq …

Instead, Tillman continued to honor his country and his commitment. “I enlisted for three years,” he said. “I owe them three years. I’m not going back on my word. I’m going to stay in the Army.”