Fox Sports reporter Pam Oliver suffered a concussion when she was hit in the face with a football on August 18.
In a video that went viral, Oliver was standing on the sidelines during a pre-season matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and the New York Giants at the Meadowlands when Colts backup QB Chandler Harnish accidentally hurled the pigskin in her direction. Oliver, who had her back turned at the time, continued to cover the NFL game from the sidelines even after getting hit in the face during the pre-game warmups.
Although Oliver initially laughed it off, it turned out that she was seriously hurt in the incident, however. Adrenaline got her through the telecast, but afterwards was a different matter.
After the game, she developed a splitting headache; the next day she was diagnosed with a concussion.
Oliver described what she went through, which included nausea and whole body soreness. “I slept for hours on end. The minute you wake up you’re reminded. Your head is pounding, I really could not take light — the light from the TV, the accent lighting. The sun was completely my enemy. My blinds were drawn. It was miserable,” she told the New York Daily News. Fortunately, the symptoms subsided after five days, but she still gets occasional headaches.
Player concussions are a huge issue in the NFL, which just settled a lawsuit for $765 million.
Added Oliver, who will work the the sidelines for an NFL season opener between the Packers and the 49ers in San Francisco on Sunday: “Players don’t want to be reminded about their concussions. They don’t want to be known as the guy who went down with one. They downplay it. Then it happens to me and I start wondering how these guys go back to being hit, taking all that punishment, a week or two later.”
“I’m officially road kill,” she joked.
Harnish apologized to Oliver on Twitter for the errant throw.