Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Concussions continued

I have posted earlier on concussions, especially in the NFL, so I thought I should link to the latest news: the NFL is now posting in each lockeroom a poster that informs the players of the latest information:
The new document also warns players that repeated concussions “can change your life and your family’s life forever,” a clear nod to retired players’ wives. 
Much more needs to be done--legislating the correct helmets, altering practices to minimize the repetitive minor concussions, perhaps some effort to get ESPN and the other major televisors to reduce the focus on the big hits or at least cover them more responsibly, and so forth.  But progress is progress.

1 comment:

Joe Stonehouse said...

I agree that concussions are a serious problem in the NFL, and in other levels, including college. I was forced out of football because of multiple concussions, and I am glad I made the decision.
However, the average NFL career is about 3 seasons. That is not a lot of time for these guys to make money.

Playing football is their livelihood, and missing a few games this season might mean that they will not make the squat next year. Injuries can cost them the millions of dollars that they need to provide for their families for the rest of their lives.

Yes, for a major player with an established career, like a Manning or a Raw Lewis, missing a couple games to recover might make sense. But to the back up line backer who only plays because of special teams, missing games because of an injury, which might not stop you from playing, does not seem like an acceptable solution. Especially when they are ill prepared to find a decent job after their days in the NLF.

My specialist was also Eric Lindros' doctor. She forced me to sit a year right after she cleared #88. When I asked her why he got to play, she said "do you make $5 million dollars a year?"

Unfortunately, football is a violent sport, and concussions are an unavoidable side effect. I have played through many. Doing so was stupid, and I regret it. However, at the professional level, it is not easy to tell the average player to take time off due to a concussion. Trust me, if this happened, there would be a dozen guys per team injured per game.

The best helmets should be obligatory. Limiting contact in practice will result in sloppier play during games. Removing big hit highlights is debatable. I love watching them, even though they remind me of concussions that made me miss a year of school - including dropping out of your POLI 244.