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No replay needed for Kevin Ware broken leg video

Updated: April 2, 2013 1:59PM



My wife heard the moans and came running into my office.

``What’s wrong?’’ she said repeatedly.

``One of the Louisville players just went down with the most gruesome sports injury I’ve ever seen,’’ I told her. ``It looked like the lower part of his leg just snapped in two. I hope they don’t show that again.’’

And to its credit, CBS didn’t.

My wife being a nurse, not to mention someone interested in sports, I backed up the DVR so she could look. But only one time did she look at the two quick replays.

I agree completely with the network’s decision not to air the replay again. In this digital age, as Sean McManus, the chairman of CBS Sports, pointed out, anyone who wants another look could do so on Youtube or a variety of other options.

``In today’s world, if you want to see a piece of video instantaneously that you just saw on television, there are a million ways to do that,’’ McManus told the Associated Press. ``I’ve seen statistics on the millions of views this piece of footage has had on YouTube and I have no problem with that.’’

On NBC’s Nightly News program, Brian Williams began a report on the injury by advising viewers not to worry, the stomach-wrenching video would not be shown.

Most other national news outlets also used discretion, either not showing the video or, in the case of CNN, blurring Kevin Ware’s leg as he tumbled to the court.

The decision was in sharp contrast to the gruesome broken leg suffered in 1985 by Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann during a Monday Night Football game, when replays were shown repeatedly. Without DVRS and the internet, those who wanted another had few options.

``Current technology makes it a whole lot easier for [television network officials] them to take the high road,’’ Jeff Billings, a sports media professor at the University of Alabama, told the AP.

McManus indicated that CBS is unlikely to show the footage during its Final Four telecasts.

``I just think that it’s not necessary,’’ he said. ``It’s not journalistically important that we do that now because we told the story. I think we’ll move on from that footage.’’

Strangely, while America cringed—from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to my home office to television sets everywhere—Ware said he wasn’t in the agonizing pain we all imagined.

``I jumped and my leg felt kind of funny,’’ Ware told ESPN.com. ``When Coach [Rick Pitino] tried to help me up, he gave me a funny kind of look. I’m looking at him and then I look down and I see my bone sticking out. It wasn’t a hurt feeling. I just went into shock. In the moment, you don’t know what’s wrong with you. You’re just looking, thinking, `How did this happen?’ I never watched the replay. I never want to.’’

Ware, who had a steel rod inserted in his leg during a two-hour surgery late Sunday night, hoped to return Louisville on Tuesday.

``Hopefully I’ll be back in time to watch practice,’’ Ware said ``It hurts but I’ll be fine. I’ll be fine.’’

Ware, who’s from Atlanta, also hopes he’ll be able to accompany the Cardinals to the Final Four there later this week.

The sophomore guard faces a long road back, but the prognosis for his return is very good. There’s no question in Pitino’s mind that Ware will be in Atlanta.

``He’s up and about,’’ the coach said Monday. ``He’s on crutches walking. They want his blood flowing. ``It will be a long recovery, but we expect him to make a full recovery in a matter of time. It will take lengthy time, but we expect him to make a full recovery. He’ll be with us in Atlanta.’’

Anyone who wants to see the injury again, they’re welcome to dial up the replay on demand. But it’s unlikely to be shown by television networks.

And that’s a good thing.



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