“Would I do it all over again?” It is a cruel question for anyone. To answer “no” is to deny all we’ve done and all we are and those who are most important in our life, who have loved us, helped us, believed in us. “No” also means that the one chance we get in life we’ve wasted. If the possible answers to Dorsett’s question are “yes” or “no,” the answer, proudly, defiantly, protectively, must be “yes.” And if it is “yes,” the last defense for football leaders, after ignorance and nonchalance, after denial, after inconsequential change, becomes choice. Players have a choice, and it’s theirs and theirs alone to make. Who, after all, has the right to stand in the way of that? But what is the choice offered, and who frames it?
…Offer Dorsett’s grandson a real choice, so that at age 59 if he asks himself the question his grandfather asked, “Would I do it all over again?” he can answer “Yes,” and not have everyone who hears him cringe and feel sad.
If it is a cruel question — and others would certainly agree — it’s because life will always contain tragic choices, regardless of human inventiveness.