Players Against Concussions (PAC) Foundation Begins

PAC Image

I received an email and press release about a new foundation for awareness on concussions.  PAC was conceived by Jim McMahon (NFL) and Jeremy Roenick (NHL). PAC’s mission is to become a global leader in concussive education, research and treatment. They have many athletes on board to support this mission as you can see from the invite (bottom). The athletes are the voice in telling their personal stories.  I thought I would pass it along.

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Jim McMahon and Jeremy Roenick Launch Players Against Concussions (PAC) Foundation To Support Concussion Awareness and Prevention

Foundation Kicks Off With Star-Studded PAC Golf Event in Westchester, NY October 6th

Greenwich, Conn. (September 22, 2014)—The numbers are staggering: In 2012, nearly four million athletes suffered concussions, double the number from 2004. Every year, 20% of high school athletes suffer a concussion during any given sports season, and concussion rates are even on the rise among middle schoolers. Concussions often go undiagnosed and multiple concussions can lead to higher risk for permanent neurologic disability. On the flip side of these troubling statistics, sports brings joy to millions and is, without question, a cherished part of our society and culture. Players Against Concussions (PAC) is a new nonprofit organization founded on the uniting principles that we all love sports—but we all want to make them safer. Conceived by Super Bowl-winning quarterback Jim McMahon and NHL All-Star Jeremy Roenick, PAC’s mission is to unite the full spectrum of the sports world—athletes, leaders in research and medicine, coaches, parents, athletic brands and equipment manufacturers—to create a forum and platform where innovation and ideas can be shared to advance the end goal of preserving the sports we love—while making them safer for all who play them.

The PAC mission begins on Monday, October 6th, when celebrities and professional athletes from across the country converge on the Pelham Country Club in Westchester, New York to participate in the First Annual Players Against Concussions Golf Outing. Sponsored by Guidepost Solutions, the daylong kick off event will begin with a morning brunch and press conference from 10am – Noon, followed by an afternoon round of golf, and will conclude with a cocktail hour and dinner beginning at 5pm. Athletes scheduled to attend include Jeremy Roenick, Jim McMahon, Mario Lemieux, Michael Strahan, Darius Rucker, David Cone, David Wells, Ken Daneyko, Rick Rhoden, Bode Miller, Tony Siragusa, Nat Moore, Richard Dent, Otis Wilson, Kevin Millar, Stephane Matteau, Roy Green, Jackie Flynn, Victor Green, Kevin Butler, Joe DeLamielleure, Claudio Reyna, Debbie Dunning, and Jeremy Lincoln (with more athletes and celebrities to be confirmed).

“This is a deeply personal issue for me as both a player and a parent,” said McMahon. “I loved every minute of the football I played as a kid and during my professional career, but Continue reading

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McMahon Speaks Up

“We knew what was going on with pretty much every other part of the body,” McMahon said on ESPN’s Outside the Lines. “We knew there was going to be a chance for injury. But we didn’t know about the head trauma. And they did, and that’s the whole reason for this lawsuit. . . . They knew about it and they didn’t tell us. That’s like looking in your face and lying to you. Flat-out lying.”

As reported from various sources after his appearance on ESPN’s OTL, this one via ProFootballTalk, Jim McMahon has set the stage for what the law suits against the NFL basically involve.  The league denies hiding any information from the players, which to this observer is “technically” correct up until the early 2000’s.  However what the didn’t know was available for them to find out, as papers and research articles about compounding head trauma has been available since early in the 1900’s (see dementia pugilistica).

Regardless, I am not here to fight for or against these law suits, the interview with McMahon was very disturbing to hear and see Continue reading

McMahon: Memory Loss – Turner: ALS

Steve Keating of the LA Times has been in Dallas covering the event that is to unfold on Sunday.  Prior to the “big game” there are many events and outings for companies and sponsors, usually selling something.  However there was one event that was selling much more than goods and services, it was selling a heaping dose of reality in terms of concussions.

The Sports Legacy Institute held a fund-raiser event with former players in attendance, including Super Bowl XX winning QB Jim McMahon;

Super Bowl memories are meant to last forever, but former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon worried on Thursday that his could fade away like his ability to remember things as simple as why he walked into a room.

Also in attendance was Kevin Turner, not as well-known outside of the cities he played in, but a “pro’s-pro” in the game of football;

Kevin Turner, a bruising fullback who spent nine seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots, spends a lot of time thinking about his life – or more accurately the life he has left after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

A recent study has linked ALS to brain trauma with NFL players having an eight times higher risk of contracting the disease.

“In 1997 on a kickoff I took a hit to the head and found myself asking a team-mate are we in Green Bay or Philly,” said Turner. “I played the whole time but I can’t recall ever getting treatment and I practiced and played next week.

“We need to start taking those things seriously and treating the most important organ in your body like we do our knees.”

Keating, along with Alan Schwarz have done a tremendous job of bringing these issues from the shadows and actually putting faces and noteworthy individuals front and center to make the point more clear.  Again as we run these stories it is very important to note, the concussion injury is going to happen, that is not the issue.  The issue however, in my humble opinion, is how we handle this issue from assessment, to diagnosis, to treatment, and then to return to play.  There is a MASSIVE stigma associated with concussions and brain trauma in general.  Take this information for what it is worth, information because it takes people like Keating, Schwarz, Carroll, Chaney, and Muchnick to bring information that most do not want to discuss.  (I am sure there are many, many, many other reporters and bloggers out there that are doing the same work, that is why this blog is here).

If you need further information about concussions where you are at, contact your local Athletic Trainer, as they are the “boots on the ground” in this issue.

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