Irv Muchnick: NFL Too Big To Fail

Irvin Muchnick is a writer and investigative journalist writing focusing mainly on the WWE, writing a book titled “Chris and Nancy: The true story of the Benoit murder-suicide and pro wrestling’s cocktail of death.“  Muchnick has been heavily involved in the concussion issue as it relates to WWE and its crossover as well.

Posted June 10th on Beyond Cron, Irv looks at a possible reason why the concussion issue is a real problem in an article titled “NFL Too Big to Fail – That’s our real national concussion problem“;

In sports, as in everything, we love our scandals served on a tabloid plate: the jock DUI’s, the strippers taunted with $100 bills, the sexting, the dog-fighting rings, and most recently, the “amateur” football players for whom the National Collegiate Athletic Association prohibition against “extra benefits” turns out to cover not just cars but also tattoos.

What we don’t enjoy so much is contemplating life and death. That is why the sports-industrial complex can succeed in feeding the public appetite for the concussion pandemic by substituting pablum for information. Most of us just want this thing to go away, and the National Football League and its circle of friendly media have devised an easy way out: state legislation making youth football “safer” – with the assistance of a “solution” that, it just so happens, was packaged and sold by NFL doctors.

The underlying theme is that the NFL doctors are distancing themselves from independent researchers that have put holes into the neurocognitive testing and management of concussions.  The most prominent name is Dr. Benett Omalu;

Now Omalu is espousing a position totally at odds with the pushers of neurocognitive testing to help determine when concussed athletes can return to play. Omalu says anyone who suffers a concussion should sit for three months, period. The reason is that a concussion, often involving violent head rotation, rather than (or in addition to) a blow to the skull, can cause tearing of brain tissue all the way down to the brain stem, and it can take 90 days for brain fluid to return to normal.

Omalu, along with others, also comes very close to calling for an out-and-out ban on youth football. Growing brains should not be subjected to a diet of concussive and subconcussive blows, any more than growing arms should throw baseball curveballs – and the stakes of the former activity are a lot higher. As awareness and reporting improve, I am convinced we are going to see ramifications of traumatic brain injury in American youth going to the root of indexes of academic performance, workplace productivity, and criminal behavior.

One thing I know, and readers should know is that there are currently ZERO diagnostic tools for concussions (there are evaluation tools).  This is also true of devices/products that can “clear” a person that has had a concussion.  Concussion is an injury that will only be better served with the proper awareness and understanding.  The brain is so complex that man/science has no grasp on its ability to recover, and to that extent how damaged it actually is when suffering a concussion.

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