Philly's Smith to star in NFL concussion film

Posted: June 06, 2014

NFL COMMISSIONER Roger Goodell isn't going to like this:

Variety reports that West Philly native Will Smith will star in a film about concussions in professional football.

The news comes a week after another group of former NFL players filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia claiming the league knowingly failed to inform them there was a link between concussions and long-term health problems.

That came on the heels of a class action - also filed in Philly - in which a $765 million settlement, reached by the league and former players last August, was declined by a judge who said it wasn't enough money to last over the 65-year span of the suit.

The as-of-yet unnamed film will be written and directed by Peter Landesman (Parkland). It is based on a 2009 GQ article written by Jeanne Marie Laskas, in which she reported on Dr. Bennet Omalu, who went public after linking concussions to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease that he found after autopsying former NFL players.

Smith is slated to portray Omalu. No word on the supporting cast or a release date. Perhaps some of the shooting will be done in town considering the lawsuits were filed here.

At least two other films centering on concussions and the NFL are in the works.

"Game Time Decision" will star Isiah Washington (Dr. Preston Burke in Grey's Anatomy). The other will be based on the book "League of Denial" by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru.

Sounds like the NFL is about to take a big hit.

Zim, bam, boom

Good Don Zimmer nugget from Phillies announcer Scott Franzke yesterday, who noted that Zim - who died Wednesday night at 83 - got his first major league hit off the Phillies' Curt Simmons on July 2, 1954 at Connie Mack Stadium. Zim, playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers, tripled in the third inning of a 7-6 lost to the Phightins.

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