Registrato: 30/08/17 10:31
|This started at a Dolphins alumni gathering, a golf tournament at Trump Resort, to ask yesterday's greats whether the standard of excellence that once defined their franchise has disappeared.
And, to be honest, the serious and painful has been drubbed for a while now. And will be again coming up. And so when a different story appeared to explain the serious pain of football in an unserious way
"It's funny to talk about now,'' Channing Crowder says.
Call it: The linebacker and the Santeria priest.
"He was my wife's aunt's ex boyfriend's guy, and he didn't have any medical registration or certificates,'' Crowder said.
With references like that
"He worked with Mike Tyson,'' he said. "I figured, 'Why not?' I was desperate. That's how you get sometimes when you're hurt."
This was in 2010, Crowder was in his second season and the double hernia sidelined him for much of the summer and the start of a season. He continued the normal training regimen for it with the Dolphins. And the team knew of the Santeria doctor.
"They were like, 'Whatever makes you happy,' " Crowder said.
And so each day for nearly five months he would meet with the priest. There was acupuncture. There was a Ziploc bag of crushed egg shells brought out to rub over him. There were the pumpkins rolled on him.
"We'd then go to a park, and we'd release the pumpkins in the water that now had the evil of the injury in them,'' Crowder said. "We'd talk about what we were doing and how it would help my body. I followed this religiously."
This isn't to mock Santeria. It's to tell of the lengths an injured player will go to regain health. They're constantly fighting football physics, Mother Nature, Grey's Anatomy and human nature.
Every player has some story. The Dolphins will induct Manny Fernandez into the Ring of Honor on Sunday, and he's still paying for squeezing every ounce of football out of his ravaged body.
Fernandez is known publicly for the 17 Super Bowl tackles in the Perfect Season. Inside the team he's also remembered for his final season in 1975 when he rotated four anti inflammatory *****, including Butazolidin, which is only used with horses these days.
"One would drive your white blood count up,'' Fernandez said. "You'd switch to another that tore your stomach lining. You'd switch to another that damaged your prostate. I just kept alternating them in hopes to control the side affects and play."
That was an extreme of the whatever it takes mindset. But every edge is sought. Crowder bought Zach Thomas' hyperbaric oxygen chamber when Thomas retired. He lined up a cocktail of high energy drinks to chug before games and at halftime.
As for the Santeria regimen, Crowder notes he returned three games earlier than expected from his injury. He kept working with the priest and wore green and black beads in games that year to ward off injury.
"If the beads broke in a game, that meant they had worked,'' Crowder said.
It's the end of December, the end of another frustrating Dolphins season. There will be time to think of the disappointment. But sports can always make you smile. Crowder was asked what the next step was if pumpkins and egg shells didn't heal him.