Daily Buzz: Use your head, people!

The Detroit Lions released Javhid Best on Wednesday, ending the
concussion-plagued running back’s time with the team, and,
perhaps his days as a professional football player. But really, it
felt like a move that was four years in the making.

After suffering
one of the most startling concussions
you’ll ever see in what turned out to be his final game at
Cal, in 2009, Best was picked 30th overall in the 2010 draft.

Best had a productive rookie season as a part-time starter, and
seemed to show no ill effects of that scary fall, picking up more
than 1,000 yards from scrimmage with six touchdowns. And he was off
to a great start in 2011 — one that included an electrifying
88-yard touchdown run on Monday Night Football
— when a concussion ended his season after six games.

Lingering concussion symptoms kept Best off the field for the
entire 2012 season, however, making his eventual release something
of an inevitability, and
Best’s statement following the move
doesn’t necessarily sound like one made by a guy expecting to
play football again:

“I want to thank the Detroit Lions organization for drafting me
and giving me an opportunity to fulfill my dream and play in the
National Football League. My time as a member of the Lions was a
very special time in my life. My teammates, the members of the
organization, the Lions fans and the people of Detroit will hold a
special place in my heart. I’ll always be a Lion.”

Given the sports world’s evolving understanding of the
seriousness of concussions, and its growing emphasis on player
safety, it’s probably for the best that Best call it
quits.

Even if he does have aspirations of a future in the league, it
seems unlikely that an organization would take a chance on Best,
given his history, and truthfully, it’s probably fair to ask
whether a player with Best’s college concussion history would
even be drafted at all today.

The issue of concussions and their lingering effects is one that
isn’t sport-specific, though, and it’s important, if
heartbreaking, to see Best join others across the landscape who are
putting their health ahead of the games they love and the earning
potential that comes with them.

Just this week, 25-year-old Montreal Canadiens center Blake
Geoffrion retired, citing brain trauma related to a skull fracture
sustained during an AHL game in November 2012. And last month,
35-year-old St. Louis Blues forward Andy McDonald retired due to
concerns about his post-concussion symptoms.

“The hockey mentality is to always be tough and play through
it,” McDonald
told FOX Sports Midwest. “But this part about
head injuries and concussions, if players don’t speak out, and help
other players, and further awareness, then things are never going
to change.”

McDonald admits that, while he officially suffered five
concussions as a player, the actual number is probably at least
double that. And every year we hear more stories of players
skirting the rules or downplaying the seriousness of their own
injuries for the sake of staying on the field. But that kind of
stubbornness isn’t helping anyone.

Most of us will never know what it’s like to play with
multimillion dollar contracts on the line, so it’s tough to
point fingers and tell athletes what they should be doing. But
personal accountability during an athlete’s playing days is
vital to making sure they can enjoy life after their careers are
over, and it’s refreshing to see players like Best, Geoffrion
and McDonald prioritize safety, even at the expense of their own
earning potential.

Now, for some links:

• Metta World Peace
tells
TMZ
he almost retired so he could drink Mudslides on the
beach.

• While you watch the British Open,
read this compelling golf story on former PGA
tour pro Ken Green.

• There’s
a gender issue at the Open Championship.

• A New Jersey Devils prospect deals with
a tragic past.

• Jon Hamm ribbed Dwight Howard during his ESPYs
monologue:

• Manny Machado is
doubles-trouble.

• Jason Peters was
awarded $2 million in a lawsuit over a rolling
walker.

• He also
avoided a court date over drag racing
charges.

• J.J. Watt to guest star
on FX’s The League:

• Robbie Hummel is easy to root for as he
tries to stick in the NBA.

• Oh great,
another bowl game.

• Brandon Marshall
blamed his offseason hip surgery on a lack of
other Bears targets.

• Johnny Manziel got props from Drake for his handling of
SEC Media Day:

• Meanwhile, another SEC quarterback wants you to know why
he’s not at the ESPYs:

• But maybe he’s just mad that his girlfriend was at
the show without him:

• The Miami Heat thanked recently-amnestied Mike Miller
with a full-page ad.

• Jason Grilli
had a special guest at the All-Star Game.

• Bucs kicker
out for the season after tearing his Achilles
at a charity game.

• Here’s how you celebrate a wrestling win:

• Derek Lowe says he isn’t retiring, but he is ”
officially no longer going to play the game.”
So yeah, he’s retiring.

• The Grey Cup
is a sellout, in case you had plans of
snagging tickets.

• Elsewhere in the CFL, Edmonton Eskimos players from
Florida
reacted to the George Zimmerman verdict.

• One NBA star has a personal tie to the case:

• Tiki Barber says
Eli Manning is better than Peyton.

• Two parents in Texas are
filing a $1 million lawsuit after their son was
hurt by a line drive during a Little League game.

• Chris Johnson
will be a guest judge on a reality tattoo show
called Ink Master.

• And if the Titans win the Super Bowl, he’s going
to smoke a big cigar:

• A Cuban national team pitcher
defected during a team trip to Iowa.

• How would you fare in the
toughest handcycling race on the planet?

• Kansas strength coach works with the
Wounded Warrior Project.

• Here’s a guy hula hooping a 100-pound tractor
tire: