Philadelphia Eagles DE Jason Babin has a man card, and he’s not afraid to use it. Sack-meister by day, bear hunter and bull-dodger by night.
Jason Babin is the most extraordinary man in the world. And, he doesn’t always drink beer, but when he does, he prefers Dos Equis.
I’m sure you’ve heard by now, but if you haven’t, the latest on Babin is that he just returned from a bear-hunting expedition in Alaska and is now planning on running with the bulls in Pamplona.
Maybe I’m crazy, but, hasn’t there been people who have been killed and/or seriously injured doing this? I mean, running with hundreds of people while having six bulls come up from behind certainly seems a tad risky, right?
At the top of the list would be the risk of being gored, followed by being trampled. However, there is also the inherent risk of a “normal” injury, like a broken bone or tearing a ligament.
If Jason Peters can rupture his Achilles from just working out, then re-rupture it by having a freak accident on a Roll-A-Bout, what do you think running with the bulls could do?
Well, not to worry, Babin’s got this figured out. You see, he broke down “game tape” of the bulls…
“Everyone thinks it’s dangerous and hazardous,” Babin said. “As you guys may or may not know, I have cows, I have bulls . Done correctly and soberly . . . I’ll break it down like this: Bulls can’t turn the corner on cobblestone. As long as you’re on the inside, you’re going to be all right. I broke the tape down like game film.”
Bulls can’t turn the corner on cobblestone, gotchya. Maybe that’s because their hooves have no traction on a cobblestone surface? Cobblestone is also uneven, so it might be a good surface to sprain an ankle or twist a knee too.
Or, I’m sure cobblestone is not a nice surface to have your head smashed against as dozens of people are running over you in a panic because there are large creatures chasing them who are pissed off and have sharp horns.
But hey, some people get their thrills from an intense game of Bingo while others like to jump out of planes or run with bulls. To each their own, I say. Whatever floats your boat.
Actually, I don’t have any problem whatsoever with what Babin wants to do. I’m merely kidding here so far for the most part, and whatever he wants to do, it’s his prerogative.
However, in all seriousness, wouldn’t he be putting his contract at risk by running with the bulls?
Standard NFL contracts usually include language about engaging in “dangerous activities”, which may include playing other sports or even riding motorcycles. How can running with the bulls be an exception to this rule?
According to Les Bowen at Philly.com, “a source close to the situation confirmed there is no clause in Babin’s contract that would bar him from making the bull run.”
The wording is the funny thing here. How many contracts do you think would actually include a “no running with the bulls” clause?
Courtesy of The News-Herald, here is how some of the wording might look in regards to this particular clause, as taken from the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA):
“Player therefore agrees that Club will have the right, in addition to any other right which Club may possess, to enjoin Player by appropriate proceedings from…engaging in any activity other than football which may involve a significant risk of personal injury.”
It varies from team to team as far as actually listing specific activities to refrain from, such as riding a motorcycle, hang gliding or boxing. Heck, according to agent Leigh Steinberg (via Post-Gazette.com), the Titans get “very, very specific” and actually list “falling off a cliff” in their language about what consists of dangerous activities.
So, while Babin’s contract may not include specific wording about running with bulls, it doesn’t mean that if he were to get injured, the Eagles couldn’t cite that clause and possibly pursue a course of action involving monetary ramifications.
When teams determine that a player was injured while engaging in a “dangerous activity”, it may be able to demand the player repay a portion of his signing bonus or even terminate his contract.
Furthermore, there is also the “non-football injury” (NFI) rule that he could be subjected to, just like Jason Peters, which could also cause him to lose some contract money.
With that said, the real question to which I don’t have an answer is whether or not a contract must list a specific activity from which the player must refrain from in order for a team to impose any kind of penalties to the player.
In other words, if Babin’s contract doesn’t actually say he can’t run with bulls, but the Eagles claim it was a “dangerous activity”, would the team have any legal recourse to force him to repay any money.
At the least, it could become a source of contention between the two if Babin does end up getting injured.
Then, there’s another little aspect we have to think about here: football. This is probably what is more important to the general Eagles fan in all of us anyway (not that we don’t care about Babin’s personal health, but a significant injury would also hurt the team).
Though his run defense leaves a little to be desired, there’s no denying Babin’s presence as a pass-rusher. He recorded 18 sacks and 37 QB pressures in 2011, as per Pro Football Focus.
He was a force off the edge and made a tremendous impact as far as creating pressure. Losing him to an injury for any extended period of the 2012 season would be a blow to the defense.
It’s a good thing that the Eagles are deep along the defensive line, but I’d still prefer to have Babin as an active part of the rotation.
All in all, the chances of Babin actually sustaining a bad injury during his run with the bulls are probably slim. However, even a one-percent chance is still a chance.
We already lost Jason Peters for 2012, I don’t want to lose Babin too.