Tag Archives: Sports Illustrated

Bombshell Found in Sports Illustrated Vault

4 Jul

Thanks to @ConcernedMom9 I was sent an article from Sports Illustrated written by Michael Farber.  Before I tell you the year and provide the link I want so share some quotes from it;

“People are missing the boat on brain injuries,” says Dr. James P. Kelly, director of the brain-injury program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and an assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University Medical School. “It isn’t just cataclysmic injury or death from brain injuries that should concern people. The core of the person can change from repeated blows to the head.

“I get furious every time I watch a game and hear the announcers say, ‘Wow, he really got his bell rung on that play.’ It’s almost like, ‘Yuk, yuk, yuk,’ as if they’re joking. Concussions are no joke.”

That sounds very similar to what we are discussing now in 2012.

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•Of the 1.5 million high school football players in the U.S., 250,000 suffer a concussion in any given season, according to a survey conducted for The American Journal of Public Health.

•A player who has already suffered a concussion is four times more likely to get one than a player who has been concussion-free. Quarterbacks, running backs, receivers and defensive backs are most vulnerable, [...] that special teams players were at the highest risk per minute spent on the field.

•Concussions are underreported at all levels of football. This is partly because of the subtlety of a mild concussion (unless a player is as woozy as a wino, the injury might go undetected by a busy trainer or coach) but primarily because players have bought into football’s rub-dirt-on-it ethos. “If we get knocked in the head, it’s embarrassing to come to the sideline and say, ‘Hey, my head’s feeling funny,’ ” says San Francisco 49er quarterback Steve Young, who has suffered at least a half dozen concussions. “So I’m sure we’re denying it.”

•Football’s guidelines for players returning after concussions are sometimes more lenient than boxing’s. The New Jersey Boxing Commission requires a fighter who is knocked out to wait 60 days and submit to an electroencephalogram (EEG) before being allowed back into the ring.

•According to Ken Kutner, a New Jersey neuropsychologist, postconcussion syndrome is far more widespread than the NFL or even those suffering from the syndrome would lead us to believe. [...] Kutner says that the players fear that admitting to postconcussion syndrome might cost them a job after retirement from football.

Hmmm, we all thought this was information new to us – new being 2008.

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That, however, doesn’t console Lawrence and Irene Guitterez of Monte Vista, Colo. “He just thought it was something trivial,” Irene says of her son, Adrian, who was a running back on the Monte Vista High team three years ago. “He had a headache and was sore, but it seemed like cold symptoms. He wasn’t one to complain. He wouldn’t say anything to anybody. He wanted to play in the Alamosa game.”

He did play. At halftime Guitterez, who had suffered a concussion in a game two weeks before and had not yet shaken the symptoms, begged teammates not to tell the coaches how woozy he felt. When he was tackled early in the third quarter, he got up disoriented and then collapsed. Five days later he died.

Years later another Colorado high school football player, Jake Snakenberg, would unfortunately repeat history; leading to the concussion legislation passed in that state.

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Do you have a guess on the year… Continue reading

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Stigma of Concussions in NFL Draft

26 Apr

The concussive episode, also known as brain injury, is very difficult to grasp for many people; the main reason being that there is nothing we can see outwardly, nor is there a “set” protocol.  Take for example Chris Owusu the Stanford wide receiver who has a brief but intense history of concussions.  Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated took a very good look at his case and the stigma surrounding concussions in football;

It is against that backdrop that Owusu is entering the NFL. One general manager says he has third-round talent, but gave him a seventh-round grade because of the concussions. Most executives view him as a value pick, meaning he has too much talent to pass on altogether but will only use a late-round selection on him.

Two neurosurgeons and a neurological psychologist recently told SI that there is not an A+B=C formula when it comes to past concussions and susceptibility to future concussions. Factors such as severity of the blow, recovery time and frequency of incident play a role in determining the likelihood of someone being predisposed to future concussions.

That is just one of the many questions surrounding concussions, especially with professional, adult athletes.  It is true; a fully Continue reading

Will Carroll’s Med Check

3 Nov

If you don’t follow Will you really should.  He runs a weekly Med Check on injuries in the NFL, he often utilizes this blog for information regarding concussions.  Will has been all over the concussion issue, not just recently, rather for as long as I have known him.  I appreciate his dedication to sports medicine, athletic trainers (even though his publications say “trainer” he knows and represents the differences), and injuries in general.

In his most recent Med Check he opened up with some very poignant information and editorial;

Mike Florio of NBC has offered both reasonable coverage and interesting suggestions, but inside the game, there’s been quite a bit of pushback. Instead of using their bully pulpit to rally for change to how we treat injuries, ex-players like Merrill Hoge and Mike Golic are against any changes. They go to “back in my day” stories, calling players that come out of games “quitters.” That Hoge, a player who had his career ended early due to concussions, takes this position is amazing. Hoge was cleared to play just five days after a severe concussion and when he suffered another, he ended up being resuscitated Continue reading

Ideas to End Football Head Trauma

4 Mar

Jeff Pearlman of SI.com has wrote an editorial delving into ways to curb the head injuries in football, more specifically the NFL.  The op-ed piece is on CNN.com as well.  He proposes five ideas to curb the issue;

Change the helmets: When it comes to helmets, the clichéd belief is that the NFL needs to delve into its bag of technological tricks to come up with a safer, more secure, more layered product. That’s nonsense. In professional football, a hard hit is a hard hit, and if one’s head is jarred by a 300-pound man flying through the air at full speed, no amount of outer protection will save his brain from rattling against his skull.

Ignore the desires of the NFL’s executives and owners: As we speak, the league and the union are fighting over various issues and trying to avoid a lockout. One of the key points is the league’s so-insanely-and-ruthlessly-greedy-it-makes-me-want-to-vomit desire to move from a 16- to 18-game regular season.

Suspend players for the season: How about this? Continue reading

LA Times Readdresses Smaller Hits

29 Oct

Based on the Purdue Study and the new issue of Sports Illustrated, LA Time reporter Melissa Healy brings much-needed attention to this issue to a broader population.

The players sustaining those blows rarely satisfied the medical criteria for diagnosing a concussion. But the researchers found that as the season wore on, several players were suffering measurable declines in their working memory and in visual memory — both cognitive skills key to learning. And the ones who appeared most affected were not the ones who took the hardest  and most flagrant hits but the ones who took the greatest number of milder hits. Their research is expected to be published soon in the Journal of Neurotrauma.

As we previously commented this area of head trauma will need further research.  In the sport of football the equipment can have a big impact in helping decline this issue.  Visit your local news stands for the Sports Illustrated edition devoted to concussions.

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