Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What's your body worth?

[visual description: "Tsunami" Kobayashi is shown digging into a hot dog during a competitition.]

It was a headline I just couldn't resist blogging about : "World Hot Dog Eating Champion Crippled By Jaw Injury". It seems that this hot dog eating champion has developed arthritis in the jaw from competitive food eating and has to retire from the sport.

This comes on a day when Congress held hearings on the NFL's policy toward disabilities players develop. One of the players who planned to testify suffered concussions resulting in what he and doctors say is permanent disability with longstanding symptoms, yet he, like others, wonders at why so very few NFL ex-players wind up being classified as disabled.

So what does all of this have to do with the subject of disability? I think it shows how complicated an issue even defining disability is. For a hot dog eating champ, arthritis of the jaw is a career ending injury. Yet how interesting that the word 'crippled' appears when this young man's injury really isn't , in the scheme of life, that serious. Except to world champion hot dog eater.

And what about the NFL players? I'll bet their claims of disability are often true based on the beating their bodies take. Yet some of my readers may be sitting there asking themselves "Well aren't these disabilities the result of playing a sport and pushing the human body beyond its limits? Isn't that a risk these people assumed?"

If the hot dog eating champ was wise enough, he could have purchased insurance on his jaw perhaps, but only years ago before he began to develop an injury. Lloyds of London has insured others along similar lines.

Because let's face it - certain body parts and certain bodies seem to be worth much more for some than others.

[click above to read about the champion hot dog eater.]


Anonymous said...

I can't tell if you're saying that NFL players don't deserve disability benefits. I think they do if they can't work at other jobs. They are very talented people and can get big bucks for their hard work developing that talent so why shouldn't the NFL take care of them if they get permanently injured?

bob said...

anonymous, you're missing the point. The real tragedy is the hot dog eater.

I'll bet the hot dog eater with the jaw injury will wind up with a handicapped parking sticker. Parking in the spot I need for my wheelchair.