FanDuel - WFBC

April 30, 2007

Former 49er's LB Kevin Mitchell dead at 36.:

posted by mr_crash_davis to football at 10:11 PM - 33 comments

First Hancock and now Kevin Mitchell. Why? We will always ask that question, but it will never be answered. All we can do is grieve for the lives that might have been.

posted by Howard_T at 10:48 PM on April 30

36? Christ, that's my age... .

posted by Drood at 11:17 PM on April 30

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posted by wingnut4life at 11:48 PM on April 30

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posted by jojomfd1 at 12:57 AM on May 01

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posted by igottheblues at 01:06 AM on May 01

Scary to die so young.

posted by fenriq at 01:09 AM on May 01

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posted by Joey Michaels at 02:02 AM on May 01

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posted by Bonkers at 04:53 AM on May 01

Can someone remind me again how professional athletes are pampered individuals who make too much money for playing games?

posted by grum@work at 08:26 AM on May 01

Terribly young. I remember watching him. I wish I could say that I'm still surprised when I hear of unexplained and sudden death in ex-football players. Seems all too common. I suppose the reasons are varied, but I betcha one of the big ones is steriods. Can someone remind me again how professional athletes are pampered individuals who make too much money for playing games? I'm not sure of the relationship, here. That is he is dead doesn't justify a high salary, nor defend a low one. One could easily argue that the high salaries encourage substance/performance abuse to the point where long-term health is ignored. That may not be the case here, but it most certainly has been elsewhere.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:41 AM on May 01

Can someone remind me again how professional athletes are pampered individuals who make too much money for playing games? yet another young death for a profession whose average life span is some 20 years shorter than the US average.

posted by bdaddy at 09:18 AM on May 01

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posted by texasred at 11:59 AM on May 01

its a crying shame at 36 to die, its way too young, and a response to grum@work you dont have to watch the sports if you dont like the fact that they get paid a lot of money and further more have some consideration for the grieving family ,atleast show some respect even if you have none for yourself

posted by coachhannon at 12:22 PM on May 01

People die.

posted by GoBirds at 12:31 PM on May 01

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posted by cobrajet at 12:33 PM on May 01

I think Grum was being ironic...

posted by ajaffe at 12:54 PM on May 01

Exactly - the implication being that athletes aren't overpaid and coddled. However, the enormous salaries certainly do tempt don't they? Wouldn't you want to hit a needle every week if it meant millions and glory? How about just glory? No? Okay - we'll make sure there are millions, too. The price? Eh, maybe you don't live so long. But who knows? Maybe you do. Willing to take the risk?

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:04 PM on May 01

It's funny. I'm a huge Formula One fan. A sport that just saw the retirement of the most highly paid sportsman on Earth. F1 drivers routinely earn 10's of millions. (Ralf Schumacher is on $20 million a year. RALF FUCKING SCHUMACHER!!!) I watch the sport, it doesn't bother me. When I watch baseball though, for some reason, it bugs me they're paid so much. Perhaps it's the risk. (Though really, these days, I'd say F1 is about as safe as baseball.) I don't know. All I know is it's a complete double standard on my part. Whenever I see someone this age die, I always hope it's drug related. That somehow makes it easier.

posted by Drood at 02:11 PM on May 01

Weedy, won't all that be a little more appropriate if and when it turns out that "the needle" was involved?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 02:35 PM on May 01

Maybe it wasn't drugs. They say Andre Waters shot himself because his brain was so messed up from vicious head-on collisions(among other things) with full speed football players. Could be he just was wore out and used up, who knows?

posted by GoBirds at 02:38 PM on May 01

my guess is coronary problems. Most football players (even the guys we consider "fit" like LB's or even safeties) are considered overweight or even obese by medical standards. That affects your heart and your arteries, even if when you have a shirt on you look like the baddest guy on the planet.

posted by bdaddy at 02:51 PM on May 01

Weedy, won't all that be a little more appropriate if and when it turns out that "the needle" was involved? Well, I suppose it could be steroids, painkillers, alcohol, recreational drugs, and other such abuses. It also could be natural causes (though certainly at an unnatural age). Is it the game, the money - what? What makes these "athletes" die so young? I mean - aren't these athletes? Aren't athletes supposed to be in better health? Football players have extraordinarily shorter lifespans. Is the game brutal enough on its own to take decades off your life without making unhealthy decisions such as those above? Really the only other group of "athletes" that occur to me that die in similar circumstances (sudden and young) are Pro wrestlers. And I'm sure it's not a mystery as to why. But really, my whole point was responding to grum's umbrage at those who woud suggest that athletes are over-paid and pampered. I think there is a health-and-safey case to be made that stems from being overpaid. Overpaid to the point where you'll essentially embrace the conditions that will reward you in the short term and put you in very, very dangerous water in the long.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 02:53 PM on May 01

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posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:36 PM on May 01

Its times like these where I step back and really wonder, "You know, its not ALL it's cracked up to be." I'm only bringing in around 15/hr, but that's plenty for me knowing my job isn't dependent upon me being biggest, fastest, hardest hitting son of a gun at work. You know, Weedy, the more I think about it in situations like these, and probably because I'm getting older, I know it's not worth the millions and the fame. There are many other responsibilities inherent with that occupation. I too remember watching him play for my 49ers. A fan since 1981. Condolences to his family.

posted by bavarianmotorworker at 04:03 PM on May 01

But really, my whole point was responding to grum's umbrage at those who woud suggest that athletes are over-paid and pampered. I think there is a health-and-safey case to be made that stems from being overpaid. Overpaid to the point where you'll essentially embrace the conditions that will reward you in the short term and put you in very, very dangerous water in the long. Mmm, yeah, take a look at sports like muay thai -- supposedly the sport is just full of guys who are willing to cripple themselves and anyone else, in the hopes of being one of the very few who gets paid.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 04:09 PM on May 01

Just because because someone dies young,does not mean they were substance abusers like weedymcsmokey thinks.maybe he had a bad heart that was never discovered.maybe he had a bad apnea problem like reggie white.to presume that he died from steroid,or any other drug abuse is just wrong.wait for some proof before you judge someone as dirty.RIP MR.Mitchell.

posted by mars1 at 06:43 PM on May 01

Weedy said in his comment that it could be natural causes. Theorizing is much different than presuming.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 07:29 PM on May 01

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posted by tommytrump at 11:02 PM on May 01

Mmm, yeah, take a look at sports like muay thai -- supposedly the sport is just full of guys who are willing to cripple themselves and anyone else, in the hopes of being one of the very few who gets paid. I'm not sure they're comparable in light of my question. Two very different animals.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:46 PM on May 01

What makes these "athletes" die so young? I just explained it in the post above yours. A 2003 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, said that 97 percent of NFL players were overweight and 56 percent qualified as obese. Again, while we look at them and think "athlete", what's going on in their arteries, veins, and heart is something quite different. Add to that the "drug" factor (i.e. steroids, HGH, recreational), the physical abuse of the game, not to mention the dangerous lifestyles most lead off field(fast cars, fast women, drinking, partying)...it all becomes pretty clear where that 20 years comes from.

posted by bdaddy at 08:18 AM on May 02

Just to add 1 more point...even the "obese" part is worse than normal because players routinely gain/lose weight, which is about the worst thing you can do healthwise. They'll balloon up in the offseason, then drop back down during the season (or vice-versa), they'll gain wait to move from OLB to DE. That all takes a toll on the body.

posted by bdaddy at 08:21 AM on May 02

A 2003 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, said that 97 percent of NFL players were overweight and 56 percent qualified as obese. Well, truth be told, I'm always leary of terminology like 'overweight' - because typically these are simply measures against a national (or worse imaginary) mean. For example: a 6'3" 235 pound wide receiver is 'overweight'. Averages and BMI ratings don't take into account muscle mass, body fat percentage, etc. Would a Shawn Merriman (6'3", 275) qualify as obese? (I think the criteria is different for 'obese' but I haven't read the study.) So while you told me, I'm not buying it as the answer. Kevin Mitchell wasn't exactly a lineman, though he may have been obese in retirement - the link doesn't say, and I can't seem to find out. However, Kevin Mitchell could very easily have died from other causes, I'm simply wondering out loud about the larger picture.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:54 AM on May 02

Like I said....Mitchell dies of heart attack

posted by bdaddy at 08:28 AM on May 03

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