James Harrison, the oft criticized football player – rather punisher – of the Pittsburgh Steelers has now found time to make comments regarding safety of players brains. I will admit that this tact is much more productive than blaming “soft” rules for his repeat offenses of the illegal hitting rules. I suppose he would be a very good “test subject” for a new product that may provide protection of the head;
After enduring what he estimated as “double digit” bouts with concussion-like symptoms throughout his decade-long career, Harrison began using a special layer of padding inside his helmet last fall and is pleased with the results.
“I haven’t seen any spots or had any blackouts,” Harrison said Tuesday.
Although the article and the statements from Harrison seem more like an advertisement, it is clear and important to remember that the CRT technology does not and will not prevent concussions. Interior padding is something helmet companies have been working on over the years; it is the place on this piece of equipment where changes can have an impact – rather reducing impact.
Before everyone runs out to get the CRT technology, which in my opinion has real and definite helpful qualities for its other uses, we need to remember that concussions are mainly a result of Continue reading
After James Harrison of the Steelers basted Colt McCoy of the Browns with a borderline illegal hit everyone (well not everyone but many) were concerned with the immediate effects and a possible concussion.
The Browns were fast to let the world know that McCoy didn’t have a concussion. This was required speak because they did not even properly evaluate McCoy for a concussion. I did not see any overt signs at the time, but that means nothing. What is even more interesting is that McCoy was reported to have some delayed symptoms;
They’re awfully quick to dismiss the possibility considering McCoy showed the after-effects of a player who had been concussed. McCoy told the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram that he didn’t remember the hit, and he was still glassy-eyed 20 minutes after the game. The Browns P.R. staff also asked reporters to turn off their lights during McCoy’s post-game availability session.
Straight from the horse’s mouth we have: memory loss, vision disturbance/fogginess, and sensitivity to light. When I evaluate for a concussion on the sidelines and after games of high school players 3 reported symptoms are enough to warrant the assessment of concussion. In fact after a report and clinical evaluation/questions that would end the assessment right there and they would be sent off to a quiet room/home.
So why are NFL teams so afraid to label concussions, concussions? I have no freaking clue.
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk does a great job of covering the NFL. He has great observations and fact based information that those who read about the league find informative and refreshing. One such entry from Florio came today in his Week 4 10-pack;
5. League’s concussion procedures continue to cause skepticism.
Time and again, we see a player who apparently has suffered a concussion, but whose injury receives a different label altogether. Whether it’s neck or head or jaw, teams know that mere utterance of the “c” word knocks a guy out for the entire game.
On Sunday, the Steelers said that linebacker James Harrison suffered an eye injury. Harrison insists that he didn’t suffer a concussion, claiming that the forehead pad in his helmet hit him in the eye after he made a tackle.
The only problem with this is that the injury appeared to happen on a helmet-to-helmet hit from Texans left tackle Duane Brown, and the video doesn’t show any padding sliding into Harrison’s eye. And he didn’t make the tackle on the play. Continue reading
In last week’s preseason game between the Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh acted in a way that opened the doors yet again to the debate regarding illegal hits in the National Football League. A conversation that was fueled by contrasting opinions sparked uproar in the football community, in relation to the professional establishments themselves as well as the game’s followers, revived itself at the sight of Suh’s withholding of Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton’s head in his chest, and tearing him to the ground as the quarterback’s helmet snapped off of his body. Where most defensive players would say they witnessed a play that should be applauded for its fearsome nature, others may say that Suh’s pursuit and finishing of Dalton would be clear and deserving of punishment. From my own perspective, I viewed an act that steps too close for comfort upon the line of an active play being before a defender’s eyes, or rather behind the defender’s ears. No matter what perspective you take on the situation that occurred in the preseason match-up between the Lions and Bengals, it is clear the National Football League had to take action, and did so by fining Suh twenty-thousand dollars, which has since been appealed.
How much blame can one put on the aggressiveness displayed by Suh? We all very well know that this is going to be, and quite so is, a matter of one being the product of the environment he was raised within and continues to dwell within. Since the beginning of Suh’s football career, there is no doubt that such violence was encouraged and applauded by his peers and mentors, as the ones who catered to his very needs as a developing football star were themselves accustomed to such play. Sure, this will be Suh’s third go-around with a fine delivered by the National Football League, but as a former football player myself, and as one who has been surrounded by football fanatics my entire life, I know that such athletes function upon short memories. This style of play that Suh has displayed, more specifically in his man-handling of the likes of Andy Dalton, Jay Cutler, and Jake Delhomme in the past two years, will continue to be engraved within the defensive tackle’s arsenal. Of course he’s outraged at the fine, but I do also believe that with everything you align yourself within, there will be restrictions, and in our adjusted sense of awareness in regards to the medical evidence of today, football needs to adapt to the day, rather than continue the promotion of the game of the past. As much as we want to hold on to it, there will inevitably be increased rates of fines and suspensions. Continue reading
The recent campaigns to raise awareness of the long-term repercussions of repetitive mild traumatic brain injury have succeeded in opening the eyes of many, but has also failed to plenty making their living within the guidelines of the National Football League. Never have we seen such conflicting parties at work in the past establishing sides that put forth the future of their lives, as well as the lives of their families, in opposition to those who maintain the ‘old-school’ mentality that generally supports the commandment in which “pain is weakness leaving the body.” Never have we seen such a deflation in the all-around machismo of the game of football, where there has been even the slightest consideration of one’s future after the game of football.
In an article published by Alan Schwarz of the New York Times, such an extraction of the changing culture of the game is depicted through a conversation between Donald Driver and Aaron Rodgers after the quarterback had sustained a concussion following a collision against the Detroit Lions on December 12, 2010.
“I went behind him and told him that this game is just a game,” Driver recalled this week. “Your life is more important than the game.”
Heresy! Planting a seed of long-term consideration for Rodgers’ health is an unwritten offense in the culture of the NFL. You can imagine that as Driver approaches the end of his career, he has given much thought about the long-term issues that may or may not be in his future. But even so, there are a handful of players who are open towards criticizing such an issue.
Hines Ward and James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers have been two outspoken individuals about the faults of the league’s attempt to limit the occurrence of head injury through serious enforcement of helmet-to-helmet hits, which led to a series of fines for the ‘tackling’ that James Harrison put on display this season. As Schwarz puts it: Continue reading
James Harrison is not showing remorse in a post game interview published by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. I will let you read it and decide for yourself. However here are some quotes from him;
“I thought Cribbs was asleep,” said Harrison, the 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. “A hit like that geeks you up — it geeks everybody up — especially when you find out that the guy is not really hurt — he’s just sleeping. He’s knocked out, but he’s going to be OK. The other guy, I didn’t hit that hard, to be honest with you. When you get a guy on the ground, it’s a perfect tackle.”
Well James, you don’t just go to sleep playing football unless you sustain a brain injury. Now Harrison speaks on the Massaquoi hit:
“If I get fined for that, it’s going to be a travesty,” Harrison said. “There’s no way I could be fined for that. It was a good, clean, legit hit. He came across, I put my head across the bow. I could have put a lot more into that hit than I did.”
I am going to say he will be fined 20 large or more. And in the NFL, you do have to have the warrior mentality, but one should know that lowering the head to use the helmet as a weapon is not only dangerous to the other guy, buy yourself.