Fun Chatting With Jaguars’ Fans

Live Chat With Mike Ryan

My “Live Chat” today on the Jacksonville Jaguars’ official website was so much fun.  The number of questions and the interest that the fans had in injury management, for both the Jag players and themselves, was impressive.

I loved being able to see first hand the type of questions the Jag fans had on their mind.  As you can imagine, the questions ranged from specific injuries to general advice to avoid injuries and from the serious to the hilarious.

I was happy to see so many questions regarding health and safety for young athletes in our communities.  This a topic is dear to my heart and I have strong opinions about caring for athletes in our youth leagues.  Proper concussion management and the importance of having an emergency-trained Certified Athletic Trainer involved with our school systems dominated those replies.

There were some entertaining questions that we were not able to answer because…..we either ran out of time or if I did answer them like I wanted to, I may not have been asked back to the Live Chat!

Today’s Best Unanswered Questions:

Q – “How the hell do you tape 53 ankles every day before practice?”

A – I have two great assistants, Rod Scott & Justin Bland, and we can all tape an ankle is less than 40 seconds from years of practice.  NEWS FLASH: Each player actually has two (2) ankles and the head coach likes it when we tape both of them before every practice and game.

Q – “What is the coolest thing you’ve seen during your 23 years in the NFL?”

A – The cool factor is large in this business.  If I had to pick one, I’d have to go back to October of 2001.  During an uneventful practice on the south side of then-Alltel Stadium, the unmistakeable sound of three Apache helicopters suddenly froze everyone on the field.  These amazing war machines suddenly stopped and hovered over the St John’s River looking down on our team.  Still numb from the horrors of Sept 11th just 4 weeks earlier and understandably shaken by the new threat of domestic terrorism, the image and sound of those helicopters overhead was impressive, to say the least.

What happened next still evokes strong emotions in me, 9 1/2 years later.

The middle helicopter suddenly draped a long USA flag as the three war machines proudly watched as a field of grown men cheered and paid their respects to the very people that protect our freedom.  Many of us wiped away tears as the copters made their way back to NAS-Jax while we all stood a little taller and proud to be Americans.  The goosebumps on my arms as I type this blog proves that the military’s presentation of our USA flag that day was beyond “cool”.

Q – “I know that you’re an athletic trainer but do you actually enjoy the sight of blood?’

A – Do I look like Dracula?  The sight of blood does not bother me as long as the source of that squirting blood is not me.  On a serious note….With any injury I see from an athletic injury to a car accident, if there’s blood visible I know it’s my job to help that person.  As a sports medicine specialist, that becomes my only concern.  I’ll worry about the “gross factor” the next day.

It’s the end of another great day and Jaguars’ fans made today special.  Thank you for your great questions, your loyal support and your interest in sharing my mission:  To Enhance the Health of Others.

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