66-Year-Old Woman Sues Bo Pelini Foundation for Football-Related Injuries
"We will aggressively protect the health, safety and long-term livelihood of our players, both on the field and off. We can preserve the fierce competition that makes football great, while simultaneously committing to the relentless pursuit of safer play. Our players do not make excuses on the field; we will not make them off the field." -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in a letter to NFL fans dated August 31, 2012
We absolutely cannot imagine this gentleman yelling, "GET UP, GRANDMA!!"
The cries for safety in football that have come from the NFL commissioner's office continue to echo throughout the land at all levels of the game.
Professional, college, high school, Pop Warner and old lady training camp. Wait, old lady training camp? Huh?
Yes, you heard me correctly. The Darwinian nature of football has trickled down to sixtysomething housewives in stretch pants and baggy sweatshirts waddling around on the gridiron in Nebraska.
Dateline, Lincoln, Nebraska (courtesy opposingviews.com):
A 66-year-old woman claims in court that she suffered brain injuries during a drill at a "Football 101" camp for women founded by University of Nebraska head football coach Bo Pelini.
Beverly Morgan sued the Bo Pelini Foundation and volunteer coach Tim Beck in Lancaster County Court, Lincoln, Neb.
The Bo Pelini Foundation, founded by Cornhuskers head football coach Bo Pelini and his wife in 2008, organizes and sponsors an annual football clinic for women called "Football 101," according to the complaint.
Morgan says she was injured in a gauntlet drill in June 2010, in which she ran through two columns of women with blocking pads, who tried to knock the ball out of her hands.
Okay, so those are the broad strokes. Beverly Morgan (whose name, for some reason, screams "helpless 66-year-old woman who got dumped on her head learning to play football" to me) sustained some injuries at one of those group gatherings that we see more and more schools and teams doing in an effort to broaden their female fan base. It's supposed to be a harmless, if not slightly comedic, event.
But as you'll see in the excerpts of the lawsuit I've highlighted below, to quote Stu Nahan in Rocky IV after Drago killed Apollo Creed -- WHAT STARTED AS A JOKE HAS TURNED INTO A DISASTER!!
Let's proceed. From the lawsuit document itself, here's the story, and as always, my intermittent comments are preceded by "SP:":
1. Plaintiff Beverly J. Morgan (hereinafter "Plaintiff") is and was at all times relevant a Nebraska resident living in Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska. Plaintiff was at the time 64 years of age on the date in question.
2. Defendant Bo Pelini Foundation, Inc. (hereinafter "BPF") is and was at all times relevant a Nebraska corporation registered to do business in the state of Nebraska. BPF's principal place of business is One Memorial Stadium, P.O. Box 880154, Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska 68588. Defendant BPF at all times relevant organized and sponsored an annual football clinic primarily for women called "Football 101".
3. Defendant Tim Beck (hereinafter "Beck"), is and was at all times relevant a resident of Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska with his business address at One
Memorial Stadium, P.O. Box 880154, Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska 68588. Defendant Beck was, upon information and belief, a volunteer coach in charge of a "Football 101" drill called a gauntlet drill on the day in question.
4. Defendants John Does 1-3 and Jane Roes 1-3 are at present unknown as to an exact name and address. Plaintiff could not discover their true names prior to filing this Complaint. Plaintiff anticipates particulars regarding additional defendants will be provided as discovery develops.
SP: It sounds like they're still trying to locate the other blocking-pad-wielding grandmothers who perpetrated this dastardly act. It's actually kind of funny to picture them all on the lam somewhere in Florida waiting for the whole ordeal to blow over, like Tony Soprano and Paulie when the FBI found the skeleton of Tony's first kill during a random building excavation.
5. Plaintiff was a participant in the "Football 101" clinic held at Memorial Stadium and the Hawk's Championship Training Center on the University of Nebraska Campus in Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska on June 2, 2010.
6. Plaintiff was assigned to a group of participants in a drill referred to as a gauntlet drill where several women formed two lines and were provided blocking pads while other women, including the Plaintiff, were given a football and challenged to run through the lines of women holding the blocking pads. Defendant Beck told the ball carriers their goal was to not drop the ball; Defendant Beck told the women with pads their goal was to knock the ball out of the hands of the ball carrier. The women with the pads were encouraged by Defendant Beck and/or others in charge of the drill to "Hit her!" as the ball carrier attempted to get through the gauntlet line.
SP: Okay, not surprisingly, the plaintiff is trying to twist Beck's words -- "Hit her!" -- from actual drill instructions into the demands of a maniacal drill despot hellbent on inflicting terror and pain on a helpless Beverly Morgan. Hey, Beverly, I feel bad that you fell, but "Hit her!" is kind of part of the whole "gauntlet" deal.