This continuing “Guest Series” is being authored by Terry Ott and will delve into the Canadian Football League and the issues revolving around it and brain injury. His process began nearly a year ago, but Mr. Ott picked up some steam with the release of“League of Denial”. He has since found himself running into dead-ends and basically being ostracized for taking a journalistic angle on this as it pertains to the CFL. We are thankful that we can provide a space for his writings and only hope that someone who is reading this can further his cause. You can read PART 1 HERE and PART 2 HERE and PART 3 HERE and PART 4 HERE and PART 5 HERE.
UPDATE 21:19 1/22/14 – rectified link to CBC The Fifth Estate “Head Games” (see below)
HELLO, IS THERE ANYBODY IN/OUT THERE, JUST NOD IF YOU CAN HEAR ME, IS THERE ANYONE AT HOME?
“Now I remember why I gave up speaking to journalists. They are a species of foul vermin. I wouldn’t hire people like that to guard my sewer. Journalists are morons. They’re idiots. They’re ignorant and stupid.” – The late, great, irascible Lou Reed.
Well, up here in the Great White North, the question of (seriously) addressing the serious problem of concussions in the Canadian Football League would appear to be a deaf, dumb and blind one, boy.
Or, maybe as popular as baked beans on a bus trip.
For whichever way you want to turn this thing loose, up here, it’s locked up, tight.
As I’ve written before in this series, although there has been some pretty good reporting, especially by the CBC where on their website they still carry many reports and videos about concussions, about the only report on concussions and the CFL’s role that I can find is a 2008 CBC Fifth Estate report entitled, “Head Games.”
Below is the web promo, description and link but that link does not work. (The Concussion Blog originally linked to this report several years ago when the link did work.)
CBC The Fifth Estate – “Head Games” broadcast in 2008:
“They have been called the greatest football team in the history of the CFL — the Edmonton Eskimos of the 1970s and ’80s that won five consecutive Grey Cups. But, for some of the star players on that team, the years of triumph ended ingloriously in early deaths, from heart attack, suicide and misadventure. The tragedy of those early deaths was often compounded by alcohol or drug addictions, probably caused by another, less visible, killer. Recent research by neuroscientists now shows the link between on-the-field concussions and brain damage; a permanent injury that can lead to depression, suicide and severe aberrant behaviour. The damage is so profound, the researchers say, that post-mortem examinations of the brain tissue of five former professional football players can be compared only to the tissue found in the brain tissue of advanced Alzheimer’s cases.” CBC The Fifth Estate – Head Games
This 2008 report was actually ahead of its time, and again, the only one that I know of that cornered the CFL and asked some tough, prescient questions. The former commissioner had that old deer/headlamps face a few times and newspapers at the time took a toot but then everyone went back to a snore. Comfortably numb.
But now, there is a proviso on the Fifth Estate website advising thatprior programs from 2003 were inadvertently re-posted in 2013 and therefore, contact customer service, yada, yada, yada, and blah-blah.
Yet interestingly – I said interestingly - the only Fifth Estate link that I could not get to work was…TA DAH: Head Games.
I am alleging nothing-although I may later sort of spatially speculate-but there are some conspiracy theorists out there who are very suspicious.
One of them is Phil Colwell, the former CFL running back who Continue reading