I have to confess that I watched the first, oh, 20 minutes of the new American Gladiators show last night. And a little bit more tonight while I was at the gym. It's even possible that there is some correlation between having watched American Gladiators and being at the gym tonight. The show has some flaws and doesn't seem to have been all that well thought out in places (you're saying to yourself, 'Oh really? Not that well thought out? Hm).
But one part that was personally quite interesting and / or distressing to watch was the female competitor who appeared to have blown out her ACL and maybe a few other knee ligaments in the first event. "Powerball" is quite similar to football in that you're trying to run around with a ball and some big scary Gladiator chick is trying (quite successfully, in the case of poor Jessie Adams of Donahue, IA) to flatten you. The article doesn't say exactly what injury she sustained, but it was classic: she got knocked down with her foot sort of out sideways, got up limping and tried to keep running on it, then it just buckled under her and she fell the next time she planted her foot to stop and turn around. Something like that. A few minutes later they showed her on crutches with a knee immobilizer. I couldn't find a Youtube video of it yet. Maybe later.
Football seems like a much simpler way to...gladiate. I don't understand why I find the idea of these combative games so appealing, and the reality of them (to the degree I've experienced it) so scary. Maybe when it comes to appetite for warrioring, my eyes are a bit bigger than my stomach. However, if not for my knee and the expenses arising therefrom I would definitely have gone back for another season of football, scared or not. I was less scared at the end than I was when I started. That's something.