For a long time the “father” of CTE, the first pathologist to find/identify the disease in an American football player, Bennet Omalu has been relatively quiet; going about his normal business and continuing his work with CTE. Last week he was highlighted on the ESPN Outside the Lines/PBS Frontline story about the Junior Seau death aftermath.
Even more recently Dr. Omalu was invited to speak at the 2013 Football Veterans Conference – a sport specific event put on by Dave Pear and his blog;
Well, we just wrapped up our 2013 Football Vets’ Conference in Las Vegas at the South Point Resort and it was our best yet! In two packed days, we covered everything retired football players need and want to know, from concussion lawsuits to CTE to visual rights and everything in between. Our sessions were packed and no one wanted to miss a single discussion. And thanks to the amazing Jennifer Thibeaux, all of our discussions from Friday are already processed and uploaded so you won’t have to miss a minute of it either!
Thanks to Dave we can bring you the entire talk by Omalu – although over an hour its worth your time.
Being honest about who you are and what you care for is needed for us to succeed and move forward. As time passes we all morph and adjust to what is around us; including our likes, dislikes and passions. For some, changes can be very profound and upon reflection they can even be “out of body” compared to who you were previously.
Patrick Hruby, a wonderful writer for many outlets has had one of those moments when it comes to football, this is his words via Dave Pear’s Blog;
The hotel restaurant was closed. So we ate at the bar. It was early August, and I was in town visiting a former NFL lineman. Call him Max. It’s better not to use his real name.
During his time in football, Max was hit in the head. A lot. He since has endured nine brain surgeries. He has trouble remembering things. Serious trouble, like the main character in the movie “Memento.” Max and I were both carrying notepads, but for different reasons.
At the other end of the bar, two guys discussed mixed martial arts.
“I’ll tell you what — ever since MMA came around, I can’t watch boxing,” said one. “It’s too boring.”
There was a game on. Saints-Cardinals. The first contest of the NFL preseason. Max had his back to the television. Once upon a time, he was an avid hunter. He owned a successful business. Today, he’s unemployed. Pretty much broke. Lives in a trailer outside his brother’s house. He probably shouldn’t drive, probably shouldn’t own guns. He gets angry. Has a hard time sleeping. He misses his family. His estranged wife and children are afraid of him.
On the television behind the bar, a Cardinals receiver caught a pass. A Saints defender dutifully drilled him, slamming the receiver’s helmet into the turf. I wanted to look away. The guys at the bar cheered. I was drawn to the replay, slow-motion and high-definition, the whiplash bounce of the receiver’s skull. I wondered how much of the play he would even remember.
Max turned his head. He had an appointment scheduled for the next morning at a nearby brain clinic. The doctors know him by name.
“Look at that hit,” he said. “In the old days, I would have gone, ‘Oh, man, great hit.’ Now, I see it differently. I can’t watch this s—.”
Neither can I.
I, like Hruby have had those moments, sometimes at my job watching a high school aged kid get the snot-bubbles knocked out of him. I cannot fault him on his inner struggle, nor can I even dream that he is wrong for thinking it. Perhaps I have become too good at Continue reading
Interviewer: Is there any evidence, as far as you’re concerned, that links multiple head injuries among pro football players with depression?
Interviewer: With dementia?
Interviewer: With early onset of Alzheimer’s?
Interviewer: Is there any evidence as of today that links multiple head injuries with any long-term problem like that?
Casson: In NFL players?
The above is not a made up story, in fact it is on video for everyone to see and make their own judgements. Patrick Hruby of Yahoo! Sports and “The Post Game.” has written yet ANOTHER very good article about concussions. This one delves into the hot water the NFL is finding itself in; if not in court then in public opinion – if anyone cares to look at the information. Continue reading