Are Our Kids Guinea Pigs for Concussions

This is not a “nuclear” question or statement, it is an observation – brought to the forefront by Irv Muchnick of BeyondChron.  Irv has the ability to write and raise questions that many do not want to address nor face, but he does make you think if you take the time to read.  As I heard a wise man once tell me; “read and listen to all sides even if you don’t agree”.  There are many reasons for this I have gathered over time, but the most important is that others seem to provoke more thoughts and further information.

Today Irv posted an editorial about how he thinks our children are now the subject of trial and error in the realm of concussions;

The toothpaste of “concussion awareness” is out of the tube, oozing like spinal fluid. When all the solutions have been implemented and (mostly not) paid for, more or less the same critical mass of bad outcomes will happen anyway. These include, silently, insidiously, the killing of brain tissue over time. And if I happen to be exaggerating a tad, who among us really want to volunteer their sons for the next generation of guinea pigs in the “control groups” of NFL-underwritten “peer-reviewed literature”?

Yes, football promotes some good values, such as teamwork and community. So does Continue reading

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Irv Muchnick: UPMC Concussion Scandal Ground Zero

Irv Muchnick writes for BeyondChron and for his website ConcussionInc.net about the concussion issue facing sports today.  What began in WWE wrestling for Irv has migrated to the mainstream sports.  Below is an excerpt from the introductory article about his new e-book titled “UPMC Concussion Scandal Ground Zero”.

Another major North American sport, hockey, now faces its perfect storm with the second and, for all we know permanent, sidelining of its greatest and most athletically artistic star – Sidney Crosby, his generation’s answer to Wayne Gretzky. Had Gretzky, in the 1980s, been disabled long-term or for good by concussions, then the National Hockey League either would be vastly smaller-time today or would not exist at all. It is impossible to calculate the tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars in ticket sales, rights fees, and merchandise revenue that the loss of Crosby might mean for the contemporary NHL.

During the continentally televised Winter Classic game on January 1, 2011, the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Crosby was concussed by a shoulder Continue reading

Muchnick’s 5 Key’s To NFL Concussions

Irvin Muchnick is a writer and investigative journalist who previously mainly focused on the WWE.  Muchnick has changed gears a bit and started Concussion Inc, a website focusing on the head injury issue.

Irv posted, via Beyond Chron, today on his five keys to the upcoming NFL season; as it relates to concussions;

1. New levels of reporting

Like sex crimes, concussions are no longer a dirty secret. The lion’s share of the credit for this goes to Chris Nowinski of the Sports Legacy Institute and Alan Schwarz of the New York Times. This year will feature the stories of players who resist rushing back to action after head injuries. How that shakes out in public perception and for their careers is worth a closer look than how close Asomugha creeps to the line of scrimmage on “bump-and-run” coverage.

Irv Muchnick: Two Articles

Irvin Muchnick is a writer and investigative journalist writing focusing mainly on the WWE.  Muchnick has been heavily involved in the concussion issue in the WWE and its crossover as well.

Irv has written two articles in succession that take a look at the concussion issue and the NFL.  In the first Muchnick examined the recent (March 2010) change in  title of the NFL “head and neck committee”;

In March 2010 the NFL’s concussion policy panel, called the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee, got a new name and new co-chairs. Now known as the Head, Neck and Spine Medical Committee, it is jointly chaired by Dr. H. Hunt Batjer, of Northwestern Memorial Hospital outside Chicago, and Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, of Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Batjer and Ellenbogen replaced the disgraced Dr. Ira Casson and Dr. David Viano, who in turn had replaced the disgraced Dr. Elliot Pellman.

Though Batjer and Ellenbogen promised to sweep out the Augean stable of league head injury custodians, they have done nothing of the sort. For example, Dr. Joseph Maroon, whose corrupt involvement in this sordid history has been extensively documented by me, remains on the committee.

And in July the two new co-chairs reversed a commitment not to release an ambiguously worded NFL helmet safety study with limited or no value for the broader universe of amateur helmet consumers. In the good coverage of this narrow issue by The New York Times’ Alan Schwarz, Ellenbogen explained that he decided the study was OK “as long as statements were phrased very carefully.” Congressman Weiner blasted this “disturbing step backwards.”

More emphasis has been put on head trauma in the NFL, but I believe that Irv is merely exposing the slow process of “reform change” when it comes to brass tacks.  Although changing a stigma will not happen overnight, it can happen much quicker Continue reading

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; Continue reading

Another Perspective on Duerson

In an article written by Irv Muchnick we the reader get another perspective on the concussion issue, as highlighted by the suicide of Dave Duerson.

The gruesome decades-long underground American saga that is the football concussion crisis has never gotten in our faces quite like the story of the suicide last week, at age 50, of one-time National Football League defensive player of the year Dave Duerson.

How many levels are there to the news that Duerson put a gun to himself, but not before texting family that he wanted his brain donated for research on the brain-trauma syndrome now known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)? Let us, like Elizabeth Barrett Browning, count them. It begins with the fact that he shot himself in the chest – perhaps with supreme confidence that by avoiding his head and leaving intact his postmortem brain tissue, it will confirm that he is around the 21st diagnosed case of CTE among former football players.

Duerson is the latest casualty of a sport that has evolved, via training technology and industrial design, into a form of gladiatorialism whose future human and economic viability is questionable. The New Yorker and New York Times have started assessing this cultural phenomenon with their own brands of competence and Ivy League restraint. From the closeted gutter of pro wrestling, where all the same venalities play out with less pretense, I’m here to tell “the rest of the story” – such as how the same corrupt doctors who work for the NFL also shill for World Wrestling Entertainment, and how it’s all part of the same stock exchange of ethics for profits and jock-sniffing privileges.

To read the rest of this story go to Beyond Chron, HERE.