Reflection on the Weekend

While away on a family vacation I don’t get to the researching/data mining I usually do, inevitability there are events and happenings that occur that get push back in coverage.  The nice thing is that the media and other sources are doing a wonderful job of highlighting the issues that come about.  There are a few instances of concussion related news that I would like to now opine on.

First and most concerning was the Olympic woman’s soccer match between the United States and New Zealand and this;

Not only can you clearly see the keeper get hit in the head and having a violent deceleration, then her head smashes the turf, not only that she was CLEARLY unconscious after this hit, yet she was allowed to continue.  If the governing bodies of sports want to get a handle on the concussion issue then cases like this must be handled with supreme independence and a player should be removed.  Take a look at this picture and tell me she should have continued…

I will be as obnoxious and abrasive as possible with this next statement:


We are talking about a disruption of the brains activities so “gross” that the only function the body can perform is breathing and heart pumping.  Ever thought of driving your car at highway speeds after you lose a tire?  (OK not a good analogy but best I could come up with, ha).


NFL concussions are well on the way for 2012, if you have been following @nflconcussions you will note he has found 16 thus far, and checking with last seasons numbers that is slightly lower for this time last year.  What can be made of this?  Not much yet, the actual numbers are more reliable in the regular season but I would hazard a guess that we will see at or slightly below the concussion number we found last year, 171 regular season – 217 combined with preseason and postseason.


Thirdly and finally for today I want to discuss Javid Best and Clint Sessions.  Both players were concussed on multiple occasions last season and have yet to be cleared for this year.  Is this concerning for the players and teams, of course, the fact that it is taking those players a long time to recover is telling me, and should be them, about their brain health at the moment.  Can they return to being an NFL player?  Absolutely, but extreme caution must be paid attention to, and the teams are undoubtedly doing just that.

A lot of people have said these players should be medically retired due to history of concussion, I don’t agree with this.  A couple of reasons; one they are professional adults and can make life long decisions at their age.  If they know the risks associated with continuing the action and ramifications of further damage and want to continue then that is their right.  Now if they expect to get compensated for engaging in further risky behavior then we may have an issue there.

It is quite simple to see that a majority of NFL players will have some sort of either co-morbidity or lasting morbidity (PCS) with repeated head trauma.  The key to all of this is can there be steps taken PRIOR to getting to the NFL to help these athletes?  And can we institute enough change via awareness that the youth are not exposed to this violent head trauma before they are physically and mentally ready?

Recovery is long for both Best and Sessions and their next hit may be their last for their chosen profession…  But, that holds true for EVERY player in the NFL.

3 thoughts on “Reflection on the Weekend

  1. joe bloggs August 6, 2012 / 13:38

    If the goalie were a boxer, she would have been out on the count and not allowed to fight for 75 days.

    As far as Sessions and Best, Sessions admitted to concealing an injury and Best had really poor treatment. Players still lack the knowledge to make correct decisions and the professional medical staffs need to get in gear and protect them.

  2. Jake Benford August 6, 2012 / 13:42

    The issue with the goalie returning to play is very concerning for several reasons. The obvious one is the players health. I shutter to think what would have happened if she had sustained another blow to the head. What might be more concerning is, this is the Olympics, the best athletes in the world, and you would think that they would have the best medical care and personnel on site to care for these world class athletes. Even by archaic standards she should have been removed from the game. This needs to be evaluated closely by the Olympic committee and they should consider some new standards for the medical staff at these events.

  3. Chronically Concussed August 22, 2012 / 00:54

    I, too, was appalled at the lack of intelligence by the medical staff of New Zealand and another licensed professionals. I watched this game live and she did suffered to head injuries, but the knee to the head was the worst.
    I was very upset after seeing her return to action. I screamed at the TV and was reminded that because of a similar incident 5 years ago…I can no longer play the beautiful game we Americans call soccer.
    After sustaining 10 concussions in my career, I was forced to retire after my final and worst one in 2007 (my senior year).
    Though only 5 years ago…I was diagnosed after becoming a vegetable with a severe grade II. However, the other 9…were never diagnosed. I played with headaches… Because nobody knew what to look for.
    Now, while awaiting my neuropsych evaluation, I have been formly diagnosed with Chronic PCS and have agreed to donate my brain to BU.

    I recently found this blog, and although I shared part of my story.. I greatly appreciate this blog and the sense or urgency to share this crisis.
    Most of all, thank you for bringing up this game and incident. I cringed; and my family simply watched and said “oh we’ll”.

    Keep up the good work on this blog; I love receiving blog updates!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s