My wife has been noticing I am leaving the house practically every time she turns on a football game.  Understand my wife is a real football fan and I used to be a real football fan as well. The big difference now is that I have played football more times than she has.

That’s why I now find football so unbearable.

My wife may yet find football unbearable if things keep going on as they are.

Since I have really always loved football since the day I first heard about it, I know that if I stick around any house with any NFL game playing on TV I am bound to be dragged toward it just as the Sirens were dragging Odysseus toward them.  So, these days when my wife is turning on a football game I often just leave the house, to go to the place where perhaps most temporarily displaced Americans end up. That is, I will often go to a MacDonald’s restaurant – with a book.

Of course, once I go to that MacDonald’s, I will still have trouble not thinking about football, since that is the only reason why I am there.  Speaking of why I end up somewhere, at some point I know I will start thinking about a recently deceased NFL player named Aaron Hernandez.

If you know football, you know Aaron Hernandez.  For everyone else, Aaron Hernandez was an outstanding Pro tight end for the New England Patriots catching the passes of champion quarterback Tom Brady.  Before going to the Patriots, Hernandez was the tight end at the University of Florida for another champion quarterback named Tim Tebow.

Both Brady and Tebow owed a lot of their greatness on the field when Hernandez was with them because of the way Hernandez played.  Like all pro tight ends, Hernandez was a big and tough guy, but he and his fellow Patriot tight end Ron Gronkowski may have been even tougher than all the other pro tight ends added together. As a tight end for Brady and Tebow, unlike a split end, the job of Hernandez was to make hard contact on every play,  When Hernandez wasn’t catching the ball usually in a close place to the scrimmage where he would get eventually get smashed right in the middle of opposing payers, he was hitting the defensive end so hard toward taking him out of the play, away from Brady and Tebow.

But today we don’t associate Hernandez with his football feats.  We instead link his name with the image of what has been created in the mind as an ultimate NFL thug, a public danger, a man who shot to death two guys because a drink was spilled on Hernandez while he was talking them at a bar.

And so we begin the saga of Hernandez now again and for the rest of his life without his football suit on, but being sought out by reporters about his charges, and then dressed in a very well-fitting suit for his huge frame suit at his trial.  I think we largely remember his clothes because his clothes were his only expression.  He did not or could not talk.  There was something I thought extremely strange about him when I saw this news play itself out.  Very bizarre. There was not even any small expression on his face that could speak for him.

This inability to talk made him seem even more like an animal, and all this gave the court more incentive to do what is often done with dangerous other animals – put him in a cage for the rest of his life.  By now you wondering why I am writing about this man in a rather sympathetic tone, because like me you cannot remember anyone else writing a sympathetic article about Aaron Hernandez so graphically portrayed in the press as the ultimate NFL thug.

But after being sentenced and after being acquitted for yet another murder, Hernandez hanged himself in his prison cell, leaving as his final note a quote from the Bible that a believer in Jesus would earn everlasting life.  Then – perhaps because his attorney Jose Baez saw something even stranger in Hernandez than I did – he was given a complete neural autopsy.

The autopsy revealed that his brain was totally dominated by the CTE damage of playing contact football.

If his brain could have been inspected for CTE during his trial, he would by any criteria of statutory or case law been declared innocent by reason of insanity.

He was finally declared innocent of all crimes anyway, because of a state law that a dead man cannot be stamped as guilty of any crime if any of his appeals have not run their course.

Whatever of these criteria we use, Aaron Hernandez was an innocent man.  The actual murderer in this case was CTE.

In fact, CTE is still free and pursuing his serial killing on all the contact football fields everywhere.  Many, many NFL football players have been committing suicide from it, like the great San Diego Charger Junior Esau, because they are terrified that their CTE disorder will make them kill someone else.  All of these NFL football suicides are perhaps among the best people in America, because they are so willing to kill themselves before they kill us.

And today all the football killing is still going on with contact football everywhere.

And so at MacDonald’s I am thinking that watching them kill themselves for my entertainment now makes me feel like a sissy.

I am thinking that we should all switch to supporting flag football.

Chris Sharp- Commentary

Chris Sharp is an Educator and a prize-winning professional writer. He has recently published a new book titled How to Like a Human Being . Sharp's latest book is an Amazon Kindle collection of his published short stories, Every Kind of Angel . His commentaries represent his own opinions and not necessarily the views of any organization he may be affiliated with or those of The SCV Beacon.