Tuesday Quick Hits

Kris Dielman would most likely do it all over again.  In a piece done by the Associated Press and posted on ESPN, Dielman explains that the drive for the ring would make him do dumb stuff;

“This was definitely a scare,” said Dielman, known for his hard-nosed, blue-collar demeanor. “Waking up in the hospital with my wife standing over me, that was pretty scary. I don’t scare easy, but that was something different.”

Dielman went on to explain that having a family and kids would most likely make the decision harder, if it were to happen again, to return.  This is the first opportunity the media has had to talk with Dielman, as players on the IR are not allowed to be interviewed by the press.


Marc Staal makes return to ice in Ranger uniform, outdoors in Philly.  Staal had been out since February last year 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.


LA Times Readdresses Smaller Hits

Based on the Purdue Study and the new issue of Sports Illustrated, LA Time reporter Melissa Healy brings much-needed attention to this issue to a broader population.

The players sustaining those blows rarely satisfied the medical criteria for diagnosing a concussion. But the researchers found that as the season wore on, several players were suffering measurable declines in their working memory and in visual memory — both cognitive skills key to learning. And the ones who appeared most affected were not the ones who took the hardest  and most flagrant hits but the ones who took the greatest number of milder hits. Their research is expected to be published soon in the Journal of Neurotrauma.

As we previously commented this area of head trauma will need further research.  In the sport of football the equipment can have a big impact in helping decline this issue.  Visit your local news stands for the Sports Illustrated edition devoted to concussions.