James Harrison A Head Trauma Spokesperson?

James Harrison, the oft criticized football player – rather punisher – of the Pittsburgh Steelers has now found time to make comments regarding safety of players brains.  I will admit that this tact is much more productive than blaming “soft” rules for his repeat offenses of the illegal hitting rules.  I suppose he would be a very good “test subject” for a new product that may provide protection of the head;

After enduring what he estimated as “double digit” bouts with concussion-like symptoms throughout his decade-long career, Harrison began using a special layer of padding inside his helmet last fall and is pleased with the results.

“I haven’t seen any spots or had any blackouts,” Harrison said Tuesday.

Although the article and the statements from Harrison seem more like an advertisement, it is clear and important to remember that the CRT technology does not and will not prevent concussions.  Interior padding is something helmet companies have been working on over the years; it is the place on this piece of equipment where changes can have an impact – rather reducing impact.

Before everyone runs out to get the CRT technology, which in my opinion has real and definite helpful qualities for its other uses, we need to remember that concussions are mainly a result of Continue reading

Why So Afraid?

After James Harrison of the Steelers basted Colt McCoy of the Browns with a borderline illegal hit everyone (well not everyone but many) were concerned with the immediate effects and a possible concussion.

The Browns were fast to let the world know that McCoy didn’t have a concussion.  This was required speak because they did not even properly evaluate McCoy for a concussion.  I did not see any overt signs at the time, but that means nothing.  What is even more interesting is that McCoy was reported to have some delayed symptoms;

They’re awfully quick to dismiss the possibility considering McCoy showed the after-effects of a player who had been concussed. McCoy told the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram that he didn’t remember the hit, and he was still glassy-eyed 20 minutes after the game. The Browns P.R. staff also asked reporters to turn off their lights during McCoy’s post-game availability session.

Straight from the horse’s mouth we have: memory loss, vision disturbance/fogginess, and sensitivity to light.  When I evaluate for a concussion on the sidelines and after games of high school players 3 reported symptoms are enough to warrant the assessment of concussion.  In fact after a report and clinical evaluation/questions that would end the assessment right there and they would be sent off to a quiet room/home.

So why are NFL teams so afraid to label concussions, concussions?  I have no freaking clue.

Refreshing Comments From Florio

Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk does a great job of covering the NFL.  He has great observations and fact based information that those who read about the league find informative and refreshing.  One such entry from Florio came today in his Week 4 10-pack;

5.  League’s concussion procedures continue to cause skepticism.

Time and again, we see a player who apparently has suffered a concussion, but whose injury receives a different label altogether.  Whether it’s neck or head or jaw, teams know that mere utterance of the “c” word knocks a guy out for the entire game.

On Sunday, the Steelers said that linebacker James Harrison suffered an eye injury.  Harrison insists that he didn’t suffer a concussion, claiming that the forehead pad in his helmet hit him in the eye after he made a tackle.

The only problem with this is that the injury appeared to happen on a helmet-to-helmet hit from Texans left tackle Duane Brown, and the video doesn’t show any padding sliding into Harrison’s eye.  And he didn’t make the tackle on the play. Continue reading

Harrison Not Remorseful

James Harrison is not showing remorse in a post game interview published by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.  I will let you read it and decide for yourself.  However here are some quotes from him;

“I thought Cribbs was asleep,” said Harrison, the 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. “A hit like that geeks you up — it geeks everybody up — especially when you find out that the guy is not really hurt — he’s just sleeping. He’s knocked out, but he’s going to be OK. The other guy, I didn’t hit that hard, to be honest with you. When you get a guy on the ground, it’s a perfect tackle.”

Well James, you don’t just go to sleep playing football unless you sustain a brain injury.  Now Harrison speaks on the Massaquoi hit:

“If I get fined for that, it’s going to be a travesty,” Harrison said. “There’s no way I could be fined for that. It was a good, clean, legit hit. He came across, I put my head across the bow. I could have put a lot more into that hit than I did.”

I am going to say he will be fined 20 large or more.  And in the NFL, you do have to have the warrior mentality, but one should know that lowering the head to use the helmet as a weapon is not only dangerous to the other guy, buy yourself.