the fact that there is still so much emotion towards Gaither on this board tells me many people have already made up their minds and can't let go of their opinions. he's been gone for a while, why care?
I'm not sure what would lead Dr. Robert Watkins, one of the most respected orthopedic surgeons IN THE WORLD, to diagnose Gaither with a condition he didn't really have. Doctors are wrong sometimes, but Gaither's presentation is completely consistent with the diagnosis he was given and the evidence supports that. But evidence, logic, and reason don't matter to the tinfoil hat crowd. All they want are rumors, feelings, and suppositions.
Gaither's back is jacked up. It was jacked up then and it's jacked up now. He may have caused it with his poor conditioning, he may have been born with a propensity for a thoracic disc tear, or it may have been a totally freak incident. Or it could be neither of those 3 things or a combination of them. That's something we don't know and can't really know.
But the bottom line is that if you think Gaither and his people were all engaged in an elaborate conspiracy to avoid practicing, complain about being moved to RT, make a statement about his contract, blah blah blah... you need to take a deep breath and look at a simpler explanation. The simpler explanation is usually the correct one.
Start with the premise that if practicing were truly optional, Gaither would always opt out (would rather just play the games). Then tell me why, assuming at one point he was angry at his team and decided not to practice by saying he was hurt, it is not possible that he is currently saying he is hurt because he just doesn't want to practice (would rather just play the games). I don't see how you are concluding the second situation is impossible due to the first.
Like I said ...
Some believe the injury is legit, some don't.
Can we move on? Because nobody is going to change their minds.
My position, for the record, has always been this:
The injury was real, but that it, along with some of his other injuries, could have been avoided if he showed more professionalism toward his physical shape and conditioning. Since he did not, we were, never again, going to get the Gaither of 2009. He was going to break down and that is what happened.
So, in short, the injuries were real, but largely occurred due to his laziness away from the field.
I'm going to try something new and outside the box.
I'm applying the three strikes rule.
Thread will be left open on the assumption it will stay civil (lofty, I know). But if three members wish it trashed, it will go the way of the other 100 or so Gaither threads and sent to the trash heap.