WEEI>On Demand>>Dorsey Levens: NFL is making the necessary steps to make the game safer

Dorsey Levens: NFL is making the necessary steps to make the game safer

Oct 9, 2012|

Former NFL Running Back Dorsey Levens joined D&C to talk about his new documentary “Bell Run” which centers on head injuries in football. He discusses what’s the most shocking thing he’s found from doing the documentary, what his goals were in making the film, and how the NFL can change its culture of violence in tackling.

Transcript - will not be 100% accurate

We are pleased to welcome back to the Dennis and Callahan program a guest we had on a -- a few months ago as this film bell wrong was -- in the making. Dorsey -- as most of you know all the former running back of the Green Bay Packers from 1994 to 2001. Is the executive producer of a documentary which will make its Boston premiere. Thursday October 18 at Northeastern University it's called bell -- good morning again a huge John and Jerry in Boston how are you my friend. Well -- -- doing very very well it was all but done little last week clocked it's all in the can now on ready to premiere in Boston Thursday October 18 how did that turn out in your estimation by stars. Are your mom -- there -- Get us some idea for people don't know what bell rung is because we discussed it briefly the last time era on the year the the tone and tenor of what this documentary is all about Dorsey. -- what I live without our interview. But in the twenty. -- pro football players former former pro football player from current not a whole lot though are interviewed Richard Larry -- not a problem. Couple bought -- yet to be airlifted from a helicopter. To relieve pressure from Brian -- -- the media personality down here in Atlanta. Just to give their take ought to cut and you know what you're truthful all that. Premiered in New York before -- at a greater Atlanta -- A month ago. And the response -- well you know people because people Latin people aren't the people. Shock and disbelief and give people a lot. About what it would purchase -- but it became sick. You know we kind of discussion out there on the documentary. Was probably at last report out -- -- -- cut back we're. -- -- -- -- -- informative and that's a lot of questions about the equipment -- article about concussions is relatively new. Dorsey is there a particular take away from this film that when I walked out of it I'll say. That I didn't know that -- most impact full or is it different things to different people. Are -- different -- different people. You know had a lady. Ask your questions in New York whether request but more statement about how anger she looked the only thing. About a -- in the long term effects. The only real -- on what not they're -- streaming. It because Uga football practice and are popping one of the things you'll you'll you'll you'll kickback from the from the documentary. Quite a lot and -- spelled out aren't doing well and looked and felt what it's a terrible problem shocking thing. Four people were reluctant partner for the country from the horse's mouth you know not we're talking to he's the wreck and that they're great. And how they feel about an epic about probably the most alarming figure pick a witness -- You said you'd like to get better long term coverage for for players for football players you looking Dorsey. Is it what are your goals that changed the game as we know it in anyway. No no not at all my my goal to secure long term -- our doctors are all got later and well. But -- topic what you lost starter. You'll hear that there's really need for. What about -- what about the changes they've made you happy with the changes that made the with a just increased awareness of head injuries and how seriously everybody has taken them now. Oh absolutely I mean that that needed to be -- you know armed I don't agree with a lot but the commissioner Roger Goodell does. But I think that is. If stance or an injury I think it's pretty good in the sense that we're making in the present safer for everybody involved. Don't -- change it -- I mean obviously you know the first concerns player with the most up we know now. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Is that if you cute -- like -- hope the sharks who really don't need to change again because you don't pitcher got a lot. You know you can go back to two requisite quarterback in the regular you wanna do. But it secured long term and that put the onus on the players secure themselves and not try to -- -- -- our production when we're urban. -- would you agree and maybe this is flawed thinking on my part correct me if I'm wrong. But I think it's one thing to try to initiate rules and you know head to head launching an all those -- and try to legislate player safety into the game. It's not much more difficult task. It changed the culture and changed the attitude of the guys out there because some guys you know don't want to be any different. You know Harrison from the Steelers about Clark from the Steelers and bunch of guys I mean I I'm not sure that we've seen fewer. Head to head hits since all the stuff has been legislated I still wanna play the game a certain way it is more difficult the change in the rules. You are definitely. I mean it's you know the -- from day one has always been blogger -- -- -- -- On your own you know not like not like on the good -- re trying to -- right. But the mentality we'll go to the let him know that you're going to be there's -- -- be a long Sunday because your ministry ordered composure we don't know older player. -- That that market have to change you know I know that particular -- because we've been -- our whole lives. The critic and -- supported the -- we -- it now or got the wake up right now. I'm not the biggest thing and then you know at their upheld it it would not sport everything happened in the moment that you're not agree not pertinent. What can help you do -- what -- -- -- -- -- -- -- the -- -- too well that got one more field. Because we know. Here we you know we got some article not a commodity wait to come and pick a spot if they're that determined and well. You know -- not think that that's one of the biggest banks without it we got Smart that was. Superstar guy -- long term contracts got through the year to year. Pretty troubled Kamal feel better when their chopper. You were up. You were done at the age of 34. What happened you Dorsey do you view and you look back at all with regrets running backs. On that that's not a bad run -- played ten years not a bad run for running back. No no not at all and I don't have any regrets but I'm a relatively healthy. You know the talk from -- -- -- -- document released -- -- and already suffer from dementia. He he has regrets although it. -- -- -- -- Played linebacker actually you're an all American linebacker which fortunately got on the field. An NFL you know these are you look for an guy and try to make it in nortel's historical documentary. Is jobless the bureau -- -- a lot of -- that it took her back in the in the game when the practice. -- to the top of got a job with all the -- 26. Regarded gotten into suicidal thoughts. And Atlanta is different than the 90% of the got up ought to do OK you know it it bears -- -- -- -- I guess a laughable concept is when your career is over and you do exit physicals because many of these signs. And symptoms don't appear for a decade until after your exit physicals over. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And all we got about talked to likened to a car want to have a dispute about five years of the night and everything cost breakdown. And did you here but and the and in the big deal in Kansas City with a crowd. Cheered a mom when Matt Cassel got knocked out literally. And did you hear Eric Winston's comments you think people are a little slow to come around on this one Dorsey as evidenced by the reaction in Kansas City. And so you know -- and substantially from the Arab and part partner not their job to -- But I think at some point in time -- question that I asked and the documentary a much more mature more. I want over the people on -- suspect you know the equipment helmet all the current. -- like robot out -- critic of the human beings that help. And up and that's sort of the you know that the -- look I'm. Know you have living breathing. Human beings like the rest -- because Scott -- morning -- on Tuesday. -- -- -- -- You know didn't look at human being and look at how much money maker conflict want it because Matt had been playing well they thought it was located fool not to. Not who didn't that the Iraq goes to explain to people. That we're human beings. You know like -- it's my and you know what what Arafat of all -- ridiculous. Which takes me much to my last question or two when you talk to these guys who are removed from the game and and maybe they're asymptomatic -- -- -- -- have some early onset symptoms. You find that they are more angry or more scared. 00. Angry because they're not in Britain -- And here because. You and what happened about a movement -- your straight out there who got through suicide. You know I'm done about it talked about it open. You know coming in here are your brother not a -- that in the daughter preferable all the and you thought you know I don't know if my parents are prepared -- record -- -- -- -- Lot of us are not as long term care change that what went about his own room. Or even would you just say -- -- I mean how does -- you know you get if you achieve your goal you get the lifetime care how does -- change would -- -- Junior -- I've gotten help. You know and I'm not forget all of all -- -- -- actually it helped confront -- got so thoughtful. That. You know we -- -- let your mentality that would be okay no matter what else. But -- you may initially called me and we couldn't he couldn't get help couldn't afford help. We'll Junior Seau could. Got through an opera on the I don't know would your -- -- -- Ottawa let him I'm not sure about how. But big picture. The -- all got it got it accepts. It is a compelling documentary called bell -- it's Boston premiere takes place Thursday October 18 at northeastern university's -- auditorium. On Huntington avenue it's free and open the public it starts at 7 o'clock doors open at six as Dorsey said a panel discussion to follow. Giving reservation torture out of how to they make sure that there's a spot for the when they show up in northeastern. Our American art it is a color affair in one word. That you now dot com. -- -- that work for -- it's it's color CO LO our and then OF FILMS. At gmail.com. Yes absolutely. Who are you view to show up and then you must adopt aren't hurt everybody to come and check out the commitment of shortly but I. He is Dorsey levens documentaries called bell -- Thursday October 18 at Northeastern University thanks for the time congratulations on the work well done doors to talk -- down the road. Art our our -- Evans with Dennis and Callahan on the AT&T hotline AT&T four GLT. You know you talk about retirement Twitter tough guys here in the guy. Ogilvy who for whatever for same will be nothing more halt all -- Davis and people got over me because. I said that to -- and run thirty times to win which he says that he said the jets had to run thirty times to win because when the jets around thirty as they went right. She's just stupid. And like most things might pick anyway. -- -- tough because there isn't a major pretend we do this whether it's with Dorsey live or whether it's with Chris Liwienski or someone else this issue comes up. How many people say -- -- You know they get paid may signed up for this to say no they knew what was coming and I mean. Smart people -- people in the media hosts you know screw home. Like some kid on the somebody's got from from -- floor -- all the polar. -- doesn't want all American college took a million hits to the head cause he -- one -- jumped kept -- -- -- when again being or his bell wrong and he's 26 he's got to basics got dementia and people say album. You know he knew what he was getting into. The ins and and I'm not so called surprise at all that they cheered Matt Cassel went down. -- took out an air over the back to get him off the field -- An -- They were cheering because he was being taken off and being replaced yes and I'm sure many of them in London and in a night's sleep and sober now. Felt stupid but. Eric Winston is wrong about one thing on this he has -- like gladiators oh yes you are. You are. Gladiators you -- modern day gladiators. You know we are you know he who much like policy and I mean there's no. Thumbs up thumbs -- is similar where here. Expecting you know violence real violence and the anticipation. Of the possibility. Of real bone crushing injuries. Adds to the appeal or three for three years worth of Monday Night Football what was the most popular segment. On the NFL Dallas -- Jack and I Jack let me you Jack it up and then at this is they would go to the next segment be Bob Lee and outside lines and what are we gonna do what violence. And have an immediate you know my color recently Jack come. Up oh look it's not all over again and -- it give up. I mean there is that conflict. Although it was surprised. They cheered when Matt Cassel without amnesty if Sanchez went down last night -- cheered in New York one. Leap day later they -- cheer and in New York. It's it's you know in people's acutely than in Kansas City one that's the thing that's can already and as a result of these browsers savages there's an element of seven Israel has to rank and and get flickered -- of course is flights -- -- there's gangs and groups there is an old guys we get the group and -- the -- the mob mentality. In Oakland if you think if Webber goes when they started it was done. When JaMarcus Russell went out of courtesy of the they were -- in this people 270000. View that was wrong with Steve and correct. It's probably 700. Maybe 2000 audible enough. And drunken -- and angry in there you know and I hate that castle oh good the dragon -- good Brady Quinn's coming in good. To act like this is some. An aberration yeah. This is -- Silly and naive amendment that would have an accomplice in April sports -- and more of your full legal more -- phone -- because -- taken some next would be NC.

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