The Other Football Concussion Issue

We have written about the perils of soccer on here a few times, including some cases; probably not enough.  Strike that last comment, it has not been enough.  Soccer has a concussion issue, one that is lying just beneath the surface waiting to rear its ugly head.  I will freely admit that I have done a disservice by not bringing more attention to this sport, but thankfully there is a writer who took a deeper look and provides excellent commentary on the issue.

His name, Leander Schaerlaekens and he writes for ESPN.com on the soccer side of things.  His article was not only a case-by-case indictment of the concussion issue in soccer; it provided some insight to why the issue is there;

In spite of the attention they’ve gotten, ice hockey and football of the gridiron variety do not have a monopoly on concussions. Soccer, which has long had a reputation for being a relatively safe sport in the U.S., is nearly as likely to cause brain injury.

Very true statement. Continue reading

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Ex-NFL’er, 41, Dying of ALS

His name is Kevin Turner and was a bruising fullback for the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots.  Tim Graham of ESPN.com has a very deep story on Turner and his life, falling apart after a diagnosis of ALS.

Yet if he knew then what he knows today, he’d be torn about pulling out of Prattville.

“If they would have come to me and said, ‘I’ve seen the future. This is what happens.’ Of course, I would stop playing immediately,” Turner said. “But, as we all know, nobody can see the future. For me, it just falls into a long line of bad decisions.”

Turner is divorced. He went bankrupt on bum real estate investments. He was addicted to painkillers for a couple of years. None of those problems are the worst of it.

Ten months ago, the 41-year-old father of three was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the incurable neuromuscular disorder commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Turner’s arms don’t work well, his hands even less. His pinch strength, a measurement of the strength generated by the thumb and forefinger, is one pound. That’s comparable to an infant. He doesn’t have enough might to squeeze toothpaste out of a tube.

Although Turner does not have a long time left he is doing what he can.  He has started the Kevin Turner Foundation, a fund for Continue reading

Remember My Rant

Do you remember my rant on girls lacrosse and lack of helmets?

Well apparently I was not the only one feeling like this, as E:60 ran a story about this ridiculous problem.  In the report it is said that girls lacrosse has the highest concussion rate in all of high school sports.

VIDEO HERE

Granted, there is the thought that introducing the helmet would make the game more physical and violent.  Lets be clear here, sticks and balls constantly at head level alone can cause head injuries.

Football’s Direction

Patrick Hruby wrote a thought-provoking article for ESPN.com.  In it he related the game of football with smoking and tobacco use.

Once upon a time in America, smoking was commonplace. Glamorous, even… lighting up sure as heck felt good, and that painful lesion in the back of your throat was nothing a spiffier, more sophisticated filter couldn’t fix.In short, smoking was a lot like football.

It has become evident that there will be a fine balance between the glorious destruction we as fans enjoy and the safety of the players, not only for the short-term, but long-term.

Football is brutal. It exacts a terrible physical toll, savaging current and former players alike, from Philadelphia ‘s DeSean Jackson to Hall of Famer John Mackey, a runaway fire truck of a tight end who now suffers from dementia and resides in an assisted-living facility. And fans know this. Players, too. Both groups have made their peace with the mayhem; for many, the mayhem is the draw.

Give yourself a few minutes and take a look at this article.

Penalizing The Hits

The TMQ (Tuesday Morning Quarterback) is a blog/Op-Ed piece written by Gregg Easterbrook of ESPN.com Page 2.  In today’s edition he spoke on why the NFL continues to have the problem with helmet-to-helmet hits.

For too long, NFL headquarters and sports commentators both have acted as though there is some gigantic mystery regarding why NFL players make so many dangerous helmet hits. Here’s why in three words: because they can. The play is almost never penalized.

As many people know the youth of America, especially sporting America, look at/to the professionals as examples, right or wrong.  And setting a good example in the NFL may help save some unneeded head/neck injuries at the lower levels.