Ed Reed was suspended by the NFL for repeat offenses of the leagues mandate on blows to the head. Some former players are taking serious umbrage with this decision by Ray Anderson, NFL Executive VP of Football Operations. Fortunately I had the opportunity to listen to an interview with Anderson on Mike & Mike this morning.
The synopsis, in my opinion, was that the League is now looking at hits to the head and neck as an aggravating offense and will take serious steps to eliminate this type of hit from the game. More striking was Mr. Anderson’s statement (paraphrased) that; we know now that hits to head are not only a problem we know now that they are life altering, he emphasized that the evidence was now clear to this.
Ray Anderson kept hammering home that “times have changed” and hits like Ronnie Lott made and that were common place years back have no place in today’s game. He also mentioned that fines are not working as they had hoped, so other measures will need to be taken, including suspensions.
I really feel that the NFL is playing good lip service to this issue, and really are taking baby-steps to change the culture of football. Now getting on to getting players off the field and making sure they are sitting out long enough (although with the QB’s being out last week, again baby-steps).
If you get a chance, while on Facebook, there is a new page that is being run by some Med Students in Rochester, New York. I received and email to check it out;
My name is Viral Patel and I am a medical student from the University of Rochester. As part of our 4th year curriculum, we are required to take a Community Health Improvement Course in which we identify a target population and attempt to address an issue afflicting this population. I am working with another student (Meghan Kelly) and a physician (Jeffrey Bazarian who is researching traumatic brain injury) to improve a public Facebook site (THINKS Rochester) that was created by a previous student regarding concussions in athletes. The goal is for us to have this site be approved and affiliated with our university so that we can begin advertising this link to local schools and sports medicine offices. We are almost finished with this initial step. Long term, we will be trying to disperse this link among local high school athletes and assess how useful this site is to them and utilize their feedback to improve the site. We will also be looking to see if visiting this site and reading its content has in any way affected their perceptions on concussions.
Since we do not have medical professionals trolling this site at all times, we are not looking to make it a question/answer source for athletes/parents with concerns regarding a recent injury. However, we do want to continually post links to recent articles in sports or regarding new rules/regulations for concussions (similar to New York state’s recent guidelines on concussions) and also provide a sort of forum for interested athletes who can post and converse with each other.
Although it is a work in progress, perhaps you can go and check it out some time. I think it is a good idea in the age of social media and the new ways we consume information. I view it at a regional “The Concussion Blog”, and for that keep up the good work.
On Friday night, because I am old and have three little kids, I had time to do an interview with Laurence Holmes, of 670 The Score out of Chicago. I thought it was a very pertinent 10 minutes and Holmes asked some key questions. You can listen to the segment in this part of the podcasted show HERE. If that link does not work you can click HERE, find the 2nd hour of the show on Friday 11/16. You will have to forward to about 15 minutes in to find my interview. Enjoy!