The NFL might want to consider adding a new session to its rookie symposium about how to read a standard player contract, that section about “other activities” in particular.
Call it “What Not to Do.” Or, so there’s no room for misinterpretation, “No Hang Gliding, Driving Motorized Vehicles at High Speeds and Absolutely, Positively No Playing with Fireworks.”
Better yet, just call it “Have Some Common Sense.”
New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback C.J. Wilson won’t be getting on a football field anytime soon after each had to have fingers amputated over the weekend following fireworks-related accidents. Apparently neither paid attention to all those warnings from fire marshals about the dangers of fireworks, to say nothing of that little voice in your head that says holding an explosive device is a really bad idea.
That is what fireworks are, after all. You can call them all the fun names you want – cherry bombs, bottle rockets, Roman candles, jumping jacks, spinners, snakes – but they’re still explosive devices. Get too close to them or treat them like a toy and, odds are, you or somebody else are going to get hurt.
Using fireworks “can be done in a safe manner: Keeping a safe distance. Not mixing with drugs or alcohol. And, obviously, not lighting them off your skull or in your hands,” Taizoon Baxamusa, the chief of hand surgery at Advocate Lutheran General Hospitalin suburban Chicago and a spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, said Thursday.
“Holding the fireworks is probably not a wise idea.”
Yet every year there are dozens of stories about people losing fingers and toes — or worse — to pyrotechnic stupidity.
You would think one of those would have resonated with Pierre-Paul or Wilson, who stand to lose much more than a finger or two because of their recklessness. Millions, perhaps, since Pierre-Paul had yet to sign the $14.8 million tender from the Giants, who thought so highly of him they slapped him with the franchise tag.
This article was republished with permission from the original author and 2015 Ronald Reagan Media Award recipient, Nancy Armour, and the original publisher, USA Today.