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

target="_blank">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

target="_blank">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


target="_blank">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


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


target="_blank">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


TMZ he almost retired so he could drink Mudslides on the


• While you watch the British Open,


target="_blank">read this compelling golf story on former PGA

tour pro Ken Green.

• There’s

target="_blank">a gender issue at the Open Championship.

• A New Jersey Devils prospect deals with


target="_blank">a tragic past.

• Jon Hamm ribbed Dwight Howard during his ESPYs


• Manny Machado is



• Jason Peters was


target="_blank">awarded $2 million in a lawsuit over a rolling


• He also


target="_blank">avoided a court date over drag racing


• J.J. Watt to guest star


target="_blank">on FX’s The League:

• Robbie Hummel is easy to root for as he


target="_blank">tries to stick in the NBA.

• Oh great,


target="_blank">another bowl game.

• Brandon Marshall


target="_blank">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


target="_blank">with a full-page ad.

• Jason Grilli


target="_blank">had a special guest at the All-Star Game.

• Bucs kicker


target="_blank">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 ”


target="_blank">officially no longer going to play the game.”

So yeah, he’s retiring.

• The Grey Cup


target="_blank">is a sellout, in case you had plans of

snagging tickets.

• Elsewhere in the CFL, Edmonton Eskimos players from



target="_blank">reacted to the George Zimmerman verdict.

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

• Tiki Barber says


target="_blank">Eli Manning is better than Peyton.

• Two parents in Texas are

target="_blank">filing a $1 million lawsuit after their son was

hurt by a line drive during a Little League game.

• Chris Johnson


target="_blank">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


target="_blank">defected during a team trip to Iowa.

• How would you fare in the


target="_blank">toughest handcycling race on the planet?

• Kansas strength coach works with the


target="_blank">Wounded Warrior Project.

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