All-Pro Safety Coming to Grips with Past

Rodney Harrison was a FEARED defensive back playing the safety position.  Cut from the same cloth as Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, Harrison not only protected the end zone, he made dang sure you knew he was there.  Often he was seen absolutely destroying opponents on the gridiron, a human missile intent on separating the offensive player from the ball.  Most of his action was prior to what I have coined the “concussion era” in football – 2010 to present.

Sure we knew about concussions before then, sure we as medical professionals – especially athletic trainers – took them very serious, but until then the spotlight was not on this injury as it is now.  Harrison and other lethal defenders around his time – Steve Atwater – were not scrutinized nor were they penalized for those now deemed dangerous hits.  It was part of the game, and in some cases those types of hits are still perfectly legal and punishing.  Now Harrison who is approaching his 40th birthday is, well, his quote sums it up;

“I’m scared to death of what may happen to me,” the 39-year-old said.

On the Dan Patrick Show Harrison spoke freely about concussions and mostly his; Continue reading

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Professional Concussion Culture: Troy Polamalu

If you are at all tuned into sports you undoubtedly heard Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers be uncomfortably candid about concussions. Polamalu has been upfront on this issue before and as we highlighted the issue is with the professional athlete; the ones informed and being paid large amounts of money to provide a service.

I would say that I really don’t have an issue with these comments;

“There’s so much built up about team camaraderie and sacrifice, and football is such a tough man’s game,” Polamalu told the Dan Patrick Show. “I think that’s why it’s so popular, why so many blue-collar communities and people feel really attracted to it, because it’s sort of a blue-collar struggle that football players go through in terms of the physicality of the game and the commitment you need. … It’s that commitment you need to play football. You feel sore, you’re beat up, you’re injured, you’re legitimately injured, most people may take three months off to work in an office, we choose to play the next week.”

Nor do I take an exception to Polamalu saying he has lied to stay on the field, that is the culture of football; which I feel is OK for professionals, only. The issue is that this information trickles down and any degree

Continue reading