‘We Were Like a Walking Pharmacy in One Regard’

The first thing you need is a doctor to tell you what you need. Then you need a nurse to write the prescription. Next you need to go pick up the drugs from the drug store. Once you get to the drug store, you need to read the label carefully and ask the pharmacist for help if you’re unsure. Finally, you need to take the medicine to the hospital to be injected with drugs, which are then needed to get your heart beating and your lungs breathing. And that’s just the first step.

The San Francisco Giants are the 2012 World Series Champions. But one of the biggest stories of the World Series was the fact that the Giants were without ace pitcher Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner was suffering from a severe elbow injury that forced him to be hospitalized and miss the entire playoffs. The Giants lost the series to the Detroit Tigers in four games, but Bumgarner’s injury was certainly a story that helped to seal the deal for the Giants.

When the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA championship in 2010, they did so under the direction of a man named Mike Brown. His strategy? He would bench his starters in the second half of every game to reward his bench players for playing well. This year, the Lakers will have a new head coach, and they will also be bringing back Mike Brown as their new assistant.

From serious injuries to contract disputes, NFL players face issues that most of us will never have to deal with. Moreover, they often have to deal with distractions and setbacks that the general public is not always aware of.

As it turned out, the Pittsburgh Steelers had three key players who needed to prevent potentially life-threatening health problems from keeping them off the field. The statements from Jerome Bettis and two of his former teammates clearly show that NFL players deserve much more respect for sacrificing their bodies and brains to entertain fans around the world.

Jerome Bettis relied on Alan Faneca and Kendall Simmons to show him the way in Pittsburgh

In my 16 years with the Steelers, I haven’t seen many (if any) offensive linemen better than Alan Faneca. Just watch the highlights of Jerome Bettis’ game to see how the 66 holes were drilled. He dominated for a decade.

– Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) February 3, 2018

Long before Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell appeared, the Steelers let their offense run through Bettis. The quarterback, nicknamed Bus because of his powerful physique and impressive running style, reached the 1,000-yard mark in each of his first six seasons in Pittsburgh. Although Bettis didn’t have great speed or elite quickness, he used his strength and power to work his way into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Of course, it helped that one of the best offensive linemen of all time was taking out defensive linemen and linebackers. Alan Faneca, selected by the Steelers as the 26th pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. All-Star selection, started 158 regular season games at left guard during his 10 years with the team. Faneca is a six-time First Team All-Pro and was elected to the Hall of Fame earlier this year. His blocking and leadership skills made him one of the most respected players in franchise history.

Bettis also benefited from using another first rounder for : Kendall Simmons. Like 30. In 2002, he was selected to the NFL Draft. He started 80 regular season games and seven postseason games for the Steelers.

Although Bettis eventually lost his starting spot to Willie Parker, he played a key role in the Pittsburgh team beating the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl 40. More than 15 years later, the legendary rider and his two former teammates have not forgotten the deadly obstacles they had to overcome together.

Former Steelers players talk about health problems during their career

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis follows linebacker Alan Faneca into the hole. | George Gojkovic/Getty Images

Ed Bouchett of The Athletic spoke with several former Steelers players about the health issues they faced during their NFL careers. Let’s just say Pittsburgh fans will appreciate Bettis, Faneca and Simmons in a new way, given some of the shocking details they gave to Bush.

In a way, we were like a walking pharmacy, Bettis told The Athletic. It’s crazy to think what each of them had to endure, it’s obvious that their lives were threatened.

So, what was it that plagued each participant?

Bettis had to use an asthma inhaler during games, which meant the device had to be next to the Steelers’ bench at every game.

As an athlete, I didn’t see my asthma [as a hindrance]. I saw it as something I had to deal with, he explained. I’ll get over it, and that’s it. When you look at the other players, you assume everyone has a problem, because that’s life.

According to Bouchette, Faneca took the pills morning, noon and night to control her epilepsy, which can cause seizures. The Hall of Fame player was diagnosed at the age of 15 and told the story of a seizure he suffered while still in the pre-NFL.

Once I went to school in my pajamas, says Faneka. I felt like I was late for school. One of my friends stopped me and said: What are you doing? I went outside, home, got dressed and went back to school.

Fortunately for the New Orleans native, he never had an epileptic seizure during his NFL career.

NFL players deserve much more respect because they put their bodies and minds on the line


Meanwhile, Simmons was dealing with his own life problem: Diabetes. He lost more than 50 pounds after his initial diagnosis and had to have his blood sugar checked a dozen times before, during and after games throughout his career.

In fact, he had to worry about his fitness while his position coach stood on the sidelines talking.

I would have shot through the sweater, right in the stomach, Simmons said. It was a struggle. That’s right.

Three former Styers players deserve a lot of credit for sharing their stories and the struggles they faced while playing in the NFL. It takes courage to talk about difficult subjects, and few subjects are as important as health and safety.

What fans should take away from the experiences of Bettis, Faneca and Simmons is that professional athletes don’t have it easy. Sure, it helps to have millions in the bank. And it should be fun to hear the fans chant your name or see them wearing your shirt. But between the physical exertion that sports bring and the mental effort to stay focused regardless of distractions, athletes undoubtedly deal with stress on many levels.

Therefore, they deserve more praise and less criticism for what they do.

After all, that’s what separates the pros from the amateurs.

COMPARED TO: Derek Carr gave the Packers another reason to worry about the future of thefranchise.

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