Boston Globe Opinion: James Carroll

It certainly is not the first opinion piece that has graced the papers in recent year, nor will it be the last, but James Carroll’s opinion piece does take a reflective look at the sport and issue we now face;

Even as a high school kid, I knew that more honor was to be had in playing through an injury than in the few passes I actually ever caught.

As I learned when my parents later took me to the doctor, I had suffered a concussion. That was nothing to the embarrassment I felt when they made me tell Coach I’d be sitting out practice for a week. His sneer flooded me with shame. That simply, I’d been plunged into the macho heart of football — a gladiator ethos which has lately drawn scrutiny because, indeed, of brain concussions.

This attitude must change when it comes to playing with concussions.  The entire game or mindset does not need to be completely rewritten, rather the view-point of one specific injury needs to be changed up.  Can you imagine what Bo Shemblecher or Woody Hays would have thought about spreading 5 wide receivers out and only have the QB in the backfield in shotgun?  Certainly they would have thought the game was coming to an end.

Naturally since the sport of football is so popular any type of tinkering or changing the game many people, especially those established in the sport, feel they are personally taking something away.

Listen, concussions are not good, in the short-term or long-term, and its and injury that will be part of football and of other sports too.  Some changes are necessary to protect the player – Continue reading

This isn’t about Tebow…but it kinda is

Nick Mercer is a guest author and his original blog can be found at  Nick is a survivor of TBI using his experiences to educate and opine about current issues in the realm of concussions.  Nick has presented on these issues in his native Canada as well.  Enjoy!

On Sunday I watched the Denver Broncos score 10 points in a little over 2 minutes to tie the Chicago Bears and then win in overtime. This is an impressive comeback, but it wouldn’t be so believably unbelievable had it not involved the Broncos and their quarterback Tim Tebow. Last week Chuck Klosterman wrote an excellent article on  entitled The People Who Hate Tim Tebow and he tries to find out why Tim Tebow is so fascinating to other people and why he’s so polarizing. Klosterman inevitably talks about faith and belief. I think the reason a nice, genuine guy is so polarizing are very similar to explaining concussions and brain injury in sports.

Tim Tebow is the Broncos quarterback and seems to lack most of the apparently ‘essential’ skills of the modern-day NFL QB. Football purists and many former players are quick to note his lack of skill, his inability to make accurate passes and his reliance on running and scrambling. Continue reading

Tuesday Quick Hits

College football is not immune from the incidence of concussions, although as John has shown the reported numbers seem lower.  There are reasons for this, but I will let him explain them to you more in-depth.  Regardless, the injury occurs as in the case of some “higher” profile athletes.

Justin Blackmon, possibly the best wide receiver in the country of Oklahoma State sustained a possible concussion this past Saturday and was held from practice.  This is not unusual but the term used by OSU to describe Blackmon’s injury is horrible;

Justin Blackmon was held out of Oklahoma State’s practice Sunday night after getting “dinged” in the head during the first half of Saturday’s win against Missouri.

Dinged, really?  C’mon man!!!


Soap Box Second:

Referring to concussions as a “head injury” diminishes the actual effects the injury is having.  The more prudent and descriptive term would be brain injury.  Unfortunately while listing injuries Continue reading

TCB Question: Facial Fractures

After a great weekend in Lexington I came away with tons of questions, thought-provoking ones.  One question that I cannot seem to answer is in regards to facial fractures and how they relate to concussions.  Now before you go and vote below think about this.  Can you sustain a facial fracture, i.e. orbit, zygomatic, maxilla, mandible (anything other than nasal), and NOT get a concussion? Vote below then click on “read more” for my thought process…

Continue reading

TCB Question…

Was thinking during my daily commute (always dangerous) and thought that maybe if I proposed this question on the blog, we could get some great comments/emails.

Here is the question:

If there are traumatic forces to the head/neck area can you have a neck injury WITHOUT a brain injury?

For years (as long as anyone can remember) we as athletic trainers have always been told that if you have a head injury, suspect a neck injury.  It may actually be the other way around, no?

Comment here or send email to and I will re-post with/without names…