There may not be any posts about Australian Rules Football concussions to this point but we have been watching. As you have seen in previous days the press in Australia is starting to report more and more the issues with concussions, something that was absent the past few years. As it stands now the AFL has 21 listed concussions, up from 11 this time last year.
Heading into this expansion season I was looking forward to the better reporting of concussions in the AFL. Last year the league and press drew harsh criticism from me for what I believed to be intentionally hiding the injury. Heck the ‘Super Footy’ section of the press stopped reporting ALL injuries for a four-week period as I was posting the injuries, and when it returned it was EXTREMELY rare to find anyone listed as a concussion so we turned to another website called Sportal. As the season progressed we found more concussions and by the end of the season last year we had our first picture of footy concussions over a season. Looking back one of the primary problems discovered and remedied by seasons end was the high number of facial fractures that seemed to be overriding a concussion, hence the need for Fink’s Rule.
It is now 2012, with the heightened awareness there is hope that a “truer” picture of AFL concussions can be taken… and the season started out promising with 21 listed concussions over the first six weeks (preseason and training included 18 in season). However in week number seven, the same week the Australian press started to clamor about the concussion issue, ZERO concussions.
As we enter week number eight, it will be interesting if we see a decline once again as the ‘heat’ has been turned up, for reference there were four concussions in week eight last year. Speaking of last year, even though there was zero reported this past week the number of concussions – 21 is nearly double what it was this time last year – 11.
I don’t foresee a doubling of concussions from last year (46), however I do see a significant increase… IF THE LEAGUE, PLAYERS AND PRESS COVER THE INJURY CORRECTLY.