Vikings' Stringer dead after being stricken with heat stroke.
August 1, 2001 7:15 AM   Subscribe

Vikings' Stringer dead after being stricken with heat stroke. For much of Monday and Tuesday just about every Twin Cities media outlet was warning people to stay inside and take it easy. The Vikings decided to go ahead with their summer training anyway.
posted by mrbula (15 comments total)
Because it's only tragic when an All-Pro making millions of dollars dies of heat stroke. It's horrible, yes. But about hte "18 high school or college [football] players have died of heat-related causes since 1995?"
posted by dissonance at 7:27 AM on August 1, 2001

I think it's too easy to criticize one team for their decision to go ahead with practice on a hot day. Instead, shouldn't we realize that an individual made a personal decision not to rest himself despite obvious warning signs that he may be harming himself (Stringer repeatedly vomitted during morning practice).

Then again, isn't this element of danger, this pride in manliness one reason we are drawn to the sport in the first place?
posted by mecawilson at 7:37 AM on August 1, 2001

Dennis Green is known to be a very flexible coach, and very player-friendly.

He normally holds shorter practices then other coaches due to the worse heat and humidity.

But Training camp is to GET IN SHAPE. Granted, most players are, and should be in shape before reporting to camp, but there are those who aren't in shape who use Training Camp to get into shape.

One such player was Stringer. He reported to camp admittedly out of shape, and was probably pushing himself harder then everyone else to get into shape.

I can only fault the player for allowing himself to get out of shape, and then pushing himself to the brink.

These players are PAID to stay in shape almost 365 days a year. The really Super Caliber players (Walter Payton) trained 50 weeks out of the 52 weeks a year.
posted by da5id at 7:45 AM on August 1, 2001

He reported to camp admittedly out of shape.

Can you back that up? I thought I had heard that he came to camp in the best shape of his life. I could be wrong and it doesn't really matter anyway. Even someone in great shape will feel the effect of a heat index of 110.
posted by emoeby at 7:59 AM on August 1, 2001

And this comes not even a week after University of Florida football player Eraste Autin also dies of heat stroke. I'm not sure how valid this is, but the sports talk guys here in Atlanta have been wondering if some of the many supplements athletes are taking these days may have contributed to it.
posted by trox at 8:46 AM on August 1, 2001

Okay, indeed he was pushing himself a lot harder Tuesday after faltering a bit from the heat on Monday, but they have trainers and medical personnel who are supposed to be keeping an eye on the players. Where were they? They knew he'd been sick on Monday. They knew they ought to keep an eye on him with the heat on Tuesday. There were no fans or water misters in place as they'd used in the past, and they knew Stringer was having problems keeping water down. 2+2=4, for chrissakes... keep an eye on the guy and watch for overexertion. This all could've been prevented and instead, a 3-year-old boy lost his father and a woman lost her husband, along with a team losing one of their beloved players.

Also, Stringer said he was in the best shape of his life as he began camp, which refutes da5id's claim that he came to camp to get in shape -- he'd lost weight and was quite healthy at the time. That's been referenced in most of the news bits out there on this story.
posted by evixir at 10:43 AM on August 1, 2001

Stringer said he was in the best shape of his life as he began camp

I don't really don't know what the Viking should or shouldn't have noticed or done but the "best shape" quote is a cliche. It's what any athelete is going to tell the press at the start of training camp.
posted by rdr at 11:01 AM on August 1, 2001

Three Hundred Thirty Five Pounds.
posted by fnirt at 12:19 PM on August 1, 2001

fnirt, can I see your Ph.D? Thanks.
posted by hijinx at 1:24 PM on August 1, 2001

Why does fnirt need a Ph.D to know a player's weight. NFL player's weights are published in a variety of places. To top that off, those weights are typically "Lower" then what the actual wight is. If Springer was reported being 335 lbs, you can bet he was closer to 350.

Also, I would like to admit that my earlier statement about him admitting that he was out of shape was wrong. I had heard it on ESPN radio, but that was later retracted as being stated incorrectly.
posted by da5id at 1:43 PM on August 1, 2001

Why does fnirt need a Ph.D to know a player's weight.

fnirt needs a Ph.D to tell me that this player wasn't healthy. That's all.
posted by hijinx at 1:50 PM on August 1, 2001

OK, why does anyone care? Ooohhh, someone died. Thousands of people died today, in ways that are infinitely worse, many of them leaving behind orphaned children and dependent elders who will probably die of disease or starvation now.

...and we're worrying about one NFL player? The only reason this is in the news is because it's remarkable that someone with so much "backup" would die of something so simple. That's all. If a farm-worker died of heat-stroke, nobody in CNN would care. But an NFL player, with all that money to protect him? Gosh, what a tragedy, let's make it the top story!
posted by aramaic at 2:05 PM on August 1, 2001

I think the assertion you are making here, aramaic, is ridiculous. When a farm worker dies, it is a tragedy, but is it newsworthy? Obviously it is to their family and freinds, members of the community, etc. A farmer died of heatstroke here in Smalltown, USA last summer, and it was front page news.

On the other hand, a football player who is known to millions that happens to die from heatstroke is front page news everywhere, because it affects Vikings fans and football fans across the country.

I certainly share your empathy for anyone who loses their loved ones, but it's just too easy to bitch about it when the unfortunate victim has a lot of money. This story isn't about class differences, it's about a husband, father, and professional athlete who died tragically. Chill out.
posted by the bob at 3:38 PM on August 1, 2001

Anybody surprised by this has not seen Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday, where a team doctor (James Woods) substituted MRI images of one minor player's uninjured shoulder for a star's ... to the star, so that he would have the confidence to continue playing at the top of his game. A horrendous ethical breach, to be sure, and perhaps an exaggeration -- but representative of the conflict of interest in which team medical personnel find themselves.

The story linked above listed his weight as 346 lbs.

I'm heavy (not that heavy, but I'm not as tall, either) and I feel every extra pound in this heat. (I've had to skip the nightly bike ride, too, which is rather ironic.) I can't imagine actually physically exerting myself at that level. I do think a combination of factors occurred, including the player's own recklessness, but there should have been people aware that heat stroke was a potential and acting to prevent it and monitor anyone vulnerable. The players are supposed to be concentrating on their performance, and are thus placed in a conflict of interest with themselves vis-a-vis monitoring their own health. That's why there should be someone else helping them come to the conclusion that they're in danger, or at least in need of a cool bath to lower their core temp.
posted by dhartung at 4:10 PM on August 1, 2001

Is no one going to suggest that Olive Garden shold have provided the man with some cool water?
posted by thirteen at 4:15 PM on August 1, 2001

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