Concussion Article Links – MUST READ

Since the tragic and untimely death of Junior Seau the concussion issue has begun to fester like a three-day old pimple on a 13 year-old’s greasy face.  It is ready to pop and keeping up with all of the pertinent articles and “specials” has been very trying.  In this post I will attempt to link up and highlight as many as I can (surely I will miss many, however Concerned Mom in the comment section will have more).

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Lets begin with ESPN and the Outside the Lines week-long look at concussions.  I have found this to be must see, my DVR is a testament to this; using previous stories and bringing in commentators on the subject have provided information and even fireworks.  Yesterday Merril Hoge and Matt Chaney did just that – provide information and create fireworks.  You can find the podcast here (panelists begin about 7:30 mark).

Hoge drew my ire earlier this week with his admonishing of Kurt Warner’s statement of being a father, however yesterday he did have a very valid point about the management of concussions.  I have said is ad nausea here: the elephant in the room is the management of concussions, however Hoge sounded a bit “underconcerned” about the actual injury.  Which is where Chaney had very valid points about the exposure of concussions to the youth.  They are both right in my estimation; the management is the larger issue but we are seeing too many too young people being effected by concussions.  There needs to be work in both areas and remember this is not just a football issue.

We have the duty to protect our kids and if that means flag football for 5-13 year-olds then I am cool with that.  If we find after making such a drastic change that has not been enough then we can take it further if needed.  I feel that a change like this will allow a few things: 1) more time to let the brain develop and thus allowing research to catch up to what we know.  2) employ more medical providers in a position to find, assess and manage concussions (see athletic trainers). And 3) begin a culture shift about the seriousness of concussions, after all this is a brain injury.

As Chaney later told me; Continue reading

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Thoughts on Warner, Toomer and Concussions

Even with the recent events of the Junior Seau passing the issue of concussions, CTE, safety, and longevity of the sport have been very much a hot topic.  What hasn’t happened, until recently, is the overt and valuable opinions of those that played in the public forum.  Yesterday while traveling to the high school I was listening to the radio and hearing what Kurt Warner had to say about his thoughts as a father watching his sons play football.  Basically he stated that AS A FATHER he had concerns and was worried for his children, mainly because of safety and the long-term effects of playing.  He himself stated he is “worried” about his health going forward as well.

All genuine and pertinent information from a former player that carries a lot of weight, and I didn’t have one problem with it.  Even though he stated he didn’t want his kids to play (as a father) he is not the first, Harry Carson made the same statements about his grandchildren.  What caught me completely off-guard was the reaction from former player, teammate of Warner and NY Giant (same team as Carson), Amani Toomer;

“What this reminds me of is the guy at the basketball court, who once he gets done playing takes the ball and ruins the game for everybody else,” Toomer said  Thursday on NBC SportsTalk. “I think Kurt Warner needs to keep his opinions to himself when it comes to this. Everything that he’s gotten in his life has come from playing football. He works at the NFL Network right now. For him to try and trash the game, it seems to me that it’s just a little disingenuous to me.”

Disingenuous?  He is a father concerned about the safety of his children, how in the world is that disingenuous?  Yes the sport Continue reading