Posted on: February 2, 2009 5:11 pm

Why should we care Richardson got a transplant?

(Note:  I originally posted this as a response to all121star's response "Why........." to a news item about Carolina Panthers' owner Jerry Richardson receiving a heart transplant on Sunday, February 1.)

I hate to sound insensitive as well, but if YOUR 72-year old father (or mother, brother, sister, friend or spouse, for that matter) needed a heart transplant, would you want YOUR loved one to have a transplant????  Or are you implying that Mr. Richardson used his wealth and influence to get a heart that should have gone to someone else?

Obviously Mr. Richardson would have to be a good candidate and otherwise in reasonably good health to even undergo the surgery, much less get a donor heart.  There are also ethical and legal barriers in every state designed to prevent the wealthy and privileged from gaining undue preference in the transplant process.  The only way that Mr. Richardson should or could have gotten a heart that he did not deserve or need would have been to violate numerous federal and state laws and regulations.  If he did somehow gain unfair or undue advantage or jumped in line ahead of anyone else, then he, the doctors, the transplant registry and the hospital are all in jeopardy of both legal and civil action.

Finally, I believe that neither you nor I have any business standing in judgement of whether Mr. Richardson (or anybody else) deserves this hearth transplant.  It is the height of arrogance to do so, and frankly sounds like you and others are jealous that you don't have his means, which, by the way, he worked very hard to earn.  Instead of sounding petty and mean, you should pray that he and every other person on any transplant list for any organ or other tissue (corneas, skin, etc.) gets the transplant he or she needs.

I challenge you, and everyone reading this, to do as I and many thousands have already done and make the decision to donate any and all needed organs and tissues in the event of your death to anyone who may need them.  Many thousands die each year that have been on transplant lists, and many more thousands lose the opportunity to gain or regain their sight from cornea transplants because others did not decide in advance to donate and then let family and friends know of their decision.

Many states have transplant registries, and many also allow you to designate your wishes on your driver's license or state ID card.  Even if you have designated that you wish to be an organ donor, please do three things: (1) Let your family and friends know of your decision; (2) Consider adding this designation to your will, living will, medical power of attorney and other related documents; and (3) Inform your local and national organ donation organizations of your decisions and carry a wallet card.  One excellent resource for a free card (which you should sign and have witnessed) is the US Department of Health and Human Services.  The web address is


Posted on: November 9, 2008 11:51 pm

Can Raders' fans sue Al Davis for malpractice?

I am not an Oakland Raiders fan, but if I were, I think I would lose my costume and face paint for a version of the brown paper bag that the New Orleans fans wore during the bad old days of the "Aints."  If incompetence were a criminal offense, the feds would have to reopen Alcatraz just for Al Davis.  Lane Kiffin should have fired Davis "for cause!"  My key question is this:  Can Oakland Raiders' fans sue Al Davis for malpractice? 

If Major League Baseball can take over a franchise to save it, as they did with the Montreal Expos (now Washington Nationals), maybe Roger Goodell should consider relieving Al Davis of his authority.  The team doesn't need to be moved, as they have some of the most loyal fans of any professional sports team.  I believe, however, that  the Raiders would be improved simply by having Davis removed from the owner's box during games and from any aspect of team management otherwise. 

I am well aware that Al Davis is one of the few true pioneers left in professional football.  As a founding member of the American Football League, he, Lamar Hunt and a handful of others brought real excitement to the game, eventually forcing the NFL to agree to first the Super Bowl concept and eventually to the merger that brought the Raiders, Chiefs, Jets, Oilers and others into the league.  Heck, even the Baltimore Colts had to accept it after losing to the Jets.  When the leagues merged, the Colts were moved into the AFC, which was something that would have been considered heresy only a few years earlier!  Al Davis was instrumental in that process, including hiring a young John Madden and building a team that won the Super Bowl.  But that was nearly 40 years ago.

Now Al Davis hires and fires coaches like most of us change our socks and ignores their suggestions about personnel, undermining what little authority he allows them to have.  There was no way that Kiffin, or Art Shell, or several other coaches like Jon Gruden or Mike Shanahan, who are truly great coaches, could ever succeed in such a poisonous atmosphere. 

The owner(s) should have the ability to determine the direction of the team and to make personnel decisions in the best interest of the franchise, but Al Davis has so mismanaged and micromanaged the Raiders that it is virtually impossible for any coach to succeed, especially long-term.  The Detroit Lions may have gone to the other extreme, where William Clay Ford allowed Matt Millen to virtually destroy the team until his own son had to call him out publicly before Millen was fired.  Either philosophy is destructive to a team's success.

Maybe the commisioner should consider suspending Al Davis from running team operations, as Marge Schottenheimer was suspended from running the Cincinnatti Reds after she became an embarassment to Major League Baseball.  I don't know if the NFL owners would allow Gooddell to do it, but at some point even the loyal Raiders fans could be pushed too far. 


Category: NFL
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