Pam Oliver Suffered a Severe Concussion When Football Hit Her Face, Spent Five Days in a Dark Room


Pam Oliver got smashed in the face by an errant pass two weeks ago while covering a Colts preseason game. A throw from Chandler Harnish caught her while she was standing on the sideline pre-game.

The New York Daily News now has the story of what Pam Oliver dealt with following that blow. We talk about players returning to games with concussions, and how it has become a point of emphasis. Oliver continued on the sidelines after that incident on Sunday Night, though she did not remember getting hit.

Adrenaline got Oliver through the game telecast (“You don’t want to be wimpy, you just have to push through it.”), but in the car riding back to the hotel, when she began to relax, the slight headache turned into one of the pounding variety. She tried reconstructing what happened leading up to the moment.

Oliver had just finished doing an interview with referee Ed Hochuli for a piece she was doing on NFL refs for Showtime’s “60 Minutes Sports,” which airs Wednesday night, and returned to the sidelines. “That’s all I remember,” she said. “I asked the people around me, ‘What happened?’ They told me I just got hit in the head with a football.”

Sound familiar? Oliver did not want to appear wimpy and pushed through the haze. Of course, she was less likely to take a second hit that could do further damage than a football player returning to play with the same mentality.

After getting back to the hotel, Oliver experienced more symptoms. The pounding headaches began. The next day, light sensitivity and nausea kicked in. Oliver says that she spent five days in the dark, because light hurt her. She slept for hours at a time, and would still wake with headaches. They downplay it,” she said. “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.”

Related: Pam Oliver on the Perils of Dating While at ESPN: “Three-year drought”
Related: Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network Got Hit with a Football on Live TV

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