Tag Archives: ESPN

10/17 Quick Hits

17 Oct

HockeyNow question and answer with Charles Tator (one of the best);

HN: What have we learned about concussions that maybe we didn’t know a decade or two or three ago?

CT: There are about 30 things that we didn’t know just 10 years ago. For example, the adolescent brain seems to be most susceptible to concussion and takes the longest to recover. It’s rather unfortunate because that age is when kids are now big enough and fast enough that they are getting concussions—it’s also the risk-taking age.

Also, women appear to concuss more easily than men; and that holds for sports like hockey and basketball. We’re not really sure why that is but that’s what the data is telling us.

Unfortunately, there are still a lot of unanswered questions about concussions. We still don’t know the exact mechanism—although, rotational acceleration is more important in producing concussions than linear acceleration. And also, we don’t know how to detect a concussion on imaging techniques; for example, there is no telltale sign on a CAT Scan. And the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is still not showing us the effects of concussion. We are hopeful that some newer sequences of MRI will be more informative.

A concussion is still a clinical diagnosis, meaning that it depends on a knowledgeable examiner, like a physician, as well as a compliant patient. And not all patients are compliant; there are still people who want to hide the symptoms and signs of a concussion.

HN: How important is recognition of a concussion?

CT: All you have to do is look at Sidney Crosby—the fact that he got his first concussion on a Monday and it wasn’t recognized; and then on the Wednesday, he got his second concussion and it took a year to recover. It’s important to sit out until you’ve fully recovered and follow the six-step process of gradually incorporating more physical activity, so that your brain is ready to take another hit. If you run around the block and get a headache and get dizzy, that means your brain is not ready for the next hit and then you’re subject to the serious consequences of another concussion because your brain has not recovered fully from the first one.

Ex-ESPN exec says “Stop denying brain damage“;  Continue reading

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This Is How You Teach About Concussions

14 Nov

Stephania Bell of ESPN absolutely knocked this teachable moment on concussions out of the park.  I really appreciate her discussing not only the qualifiers/labels on concussions – BTW Eagles just as there is no such thing as a “mild” concussion there is no such thing as a “significant concussion” they are all significant brain injuries – but the recovery time associated with concussions.  Thank you for listening Stephania and thank you for this great segment!

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FWIW, from my sources around the league the NFLPA may want a specialist on the sideline, but the owners are resistant to this for two primary reasons: 1. cost and 2. unfamiliarity with the players.  The second would be more of a player issue rather than an owner issue, however it seems we will not see any owner override his MD’s on the sideline.  Again this all boils down to possible conflicts of interest.

Panacea: nearly impossible in the concussion realm

30 Aug

Definition of PANACEA: a remedy for all ills or difficulties.  Even though there are many products and claims out there finding a panacea for the concussion issue is impossible at this point.  Recently we have been examining the faulty claims made by companies about how they feel they can solve the concussion issue, mainly in sport.  Realistically it is an exercise in misinformation and even borderline fraud; and the reason why is simple.

Every brain and individual is exactly that; unique.  How can a product or protocol even come close to addressing the billions of people on this planet, let alone the millions that play sport.  Bluntly, the only panacea for mTBI is to live in a bubble and don’t move, seriously, don’t move.

Peter Keating of ESPN has been on the forefront of the concussion issue in the NFL and everywhere else since at least 2007 and as part of the World Wide Leader’s series on concussions he recently wrote what me and other feel is a pure journalistic masterpiece.  Before anyone starts claiming that I am against neurocognitive testing remember that I utilize this platform as well.  The most decisive point I can make is that what we have now at our disposal are just a myriad of tools that can help us do the job.

Let us break down the Keating article a bit here;

Concussions have become big business in the football world. With 1,700 players in the NFL, 66,000 in the college game, 1.1 million in high school and 250,000 more in Pop Warner, athletes and families across the country are eager to find ways to cut the risks of brain injury, whose terrifying consequences regularly tear across the sports pages. And a wave of companies offering diagnostic tools and concussion treatments are just as eager to sell them peace of mind.[...]

There’s just one problem. Many scientists who are unaffiliated with ImPACT don’t think the thing works.

“Through amazing marketing, the ImPACT guys have made their name synonymous with testing,” says William Barr, an associate professor of neurology and psychiatry at New York University and former team neuropsychologist for the New York Jets. “But there’s a growing awareness that ImPACT doesn’t have the science behind it to do what it claims it does.”

Marketing is a huge business, affecting the thoughts and processes of potential customers drive sales, period.  The issue becomes Continue reading

Quick Hits

17 Jul

The Ivy League once again takes proactive steps in regards to concussions.  After reducing contact days in football last year, the league Presidents approved similar changes for lacrosse and soccer;

The league announced Monday that its presidents accepted a series of recommendations made by a committee, including the possibility of suspension for hits to the head. The changes, which also will limit the amount of contact in practice, will take effect this fall for men and women.

The recommendations call for continued emphasis on educational initiatives. Consistent with current protocols, preseason meetings will emphasize learning and recognizing the signs of concussions, as well as the importance of reporting symptoms of concussions.

The Ivy league will next turn its attention on hockey.

I truly appreciate what the Ivy League is doing; non-radial with little to no cost moves that will be reassessed as time goes on.  I don’t know why it takes the smartest schools to make simple changes.  Honestly do you think they were the first to figure out that decreasing exposure will decrease concussions?

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Lester Munson of ESPN gives a insiders perspective of the law suits the former NFL players have filed;

The numbers are reaching the point where the litigation now qualifies as “mass tort,” a legal term that has been used to describe litigation on tobacco, asbestos and toxic medications.

The players are also demanding in a separate class action lawsuit that the NFL fund a program of medical monitoring for all former players (even those who did not play enough to qualify for retirement benefits), a program that would provide periodic examinations for early signs of concussion damage. The number of retired NFL players is uncertain, but players’ lawyers and their union estimate that there are at least 20,000 players who Continue reading

The Reaction in Media to Seau’s Death

3 May

We have seen a snippet of what the former players have said, in this post I will pass along articles and samples of them.  The underlying current is troubling for football.  We have posted and posted and posted about this from the word go here, caution and education seem to be the tenants to keeping football safe, however it will never be completely “safe” but in regards to traumatic brain injuries there are answers.

If one wants to really divest themselves of emotion over the sport of football then the answers are clear.  However the current answers are only a STEP in the right direction.  Eventually finding all independent information about repeated blows to the head in sport may be a doomsday for some.

The first article to highlight is by Andy Staples of SI.com; Continue reading

Tuesday Quick Hits

3 Jan

Kris Dielman would most likely do it all over again.  In a piece done by the Associated Press and posted on ESPN, Dielman explains that the drive for the ring would make him do dumb stuff;

“This was definitely a scare,” said Dielman, known for his hard-nosed, blue-collar demeanor. “Waking up in the hospital with my wife standing over me, that was pretty scary. I don’t scare easy, but that was something different.”

Dielman went on to explain that having a family and kids would most likely make the decision harder, if it were to happen again, to return.  This is the first opportunity the media has had to talk with Dielman, as players on the IR are not allowed to be interviewed by the press.

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Marc Staal makes return to ice in Ranger uniform, outdoors in Philly.  Staal had been out since February last year Continue reading

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