I think everyone should read Tom Junod's piece on how pro football players relate to injury. I don't know that it's very surprising, but it is illuminating. I think this section says a lot:
"I'm going to tell you something," says PJ. "Anybody who tells you that they feel bad causing an injury is probably lying. How can you feel bad? You're going up against a guy who is just as big and strong as you are. Your coach tells you to go kick his fucking ass. Your teammates tell you to go kick his fucking ass. Your father and your brother tell you to go kick his fucking ass. The media tells you to go kick his fucking ass. Before the game, your wife tells you to go kick his fucking ass. So you go and you kick his fucking ass. And if he gets hurt, how can you go back and say, 'I didn't mean for you to get hurt like that.' You're taught to hurt people. How can you say you didn't mean to?"Ed Reed says he didn't mean to. "This year, I took out an offensive lineman against Philly. It was bad technique on my part, and I took out the center's knee. Our coach talks to [Philadelphia coach] Andy Reid all the time, so I told Coach to send my respects for the center and let him know I didn't mean to hurt him, man. It was just the second game of the year, so he lost his whole season. That one preyed on me, man. I didn't know him personally, but I wanted to let him know that I had the utmost respect for him."