Thoughts on everything we are hearing and will see: An opinion

Certainly we are nearing a “too much” point in terms of concussion for most of the country. For others this is just the continuation of what we have been doing for years. From a personal perspective I do like the attention that the discovery process is getting. I am all for people getting all the info possible to make informed decisions.

I want to take this particular space in this post to assert that I am not – nor have I ever – been against any sport including football. I am, transparently, supporting flag and non-tackle football until high school. Yes, no scientific evidence proves this helps/hurts, but in all my work and research I am of the opinion that less dosage of repetitive brain trauma is better for humans.

That is where we stand, the issue really is one of repetitive brain trauma (RBT), not of sports or accidents or leisure activities. As Dr. Omalu clearly stated in his interview with Matt Chaney in 2011 and again today with Mike & Mike (hour 4); the brain does not heal itself. Damaging it, even on the microscopic level can and will leave a lasting impact. This is not just assumption, it is noted in many different studies regarding brain health after activities (see Purdue).

I am confident that with proper healing time and avoidance of re-injury the brain will find a way to function at or even better (proper learning and congnitive functioning) as people get older. The management of not only the “gross” injury of concussion and TBI is one that is getting better and as we get more research the management of the subconcussive hits and exposure, that too will be satisfactory.

What we all must do is take off the “emotional pants” and wade through the muck to find out what is important for us to make decisions for those that are not capable or even legal. Part of this is discourse and discussion (civil would be best). Everyone will be challenged intellectually and morally with this – it’s OK.

I noticed an article written by Irv Muchnick yesterday Continue reading

Tuesday Quick Thoughts

Ed Reed was suspended by the NFL for repeat offenses of the leagues mandate on blows to the head.  Some former players are taking serious umbrage with this decision by Ray Anderson, NFL Executive VP of Football Operations.  Fortunately I had the opportunity to listen to an interview with Anderson on Mike & Mike this morning.

The synopsis, in my opinion, was that the League is now looking at hits to the head and neck as an aggravating offense and will take serious steps to eliminate this type of hit from the game.  More striking was Mr. Anderson’s statement (paraphrased) that; we know now that hits to head are not only a problem we know now that they are life altering, he emphasized that the evidence was now clear to this.

Ray Anderson kept hammering home that “times have changed” and hits like Ronnie Lott made and that were common place years back have no place in today’s game.  He also mentioned that fines are not working as they had hoped, so other measures will need to be taken, including suspensions.

I really feel that the NFL is playing good lip service to this issue, and really are taking baby-steps to change the culture of football.  Now getting on to Continue reading

Golic Out Of Touch (rare for him)

Well that is an opinon, I rather like Mike Golic about most things.  However, we differ on this; why is presenting a learning tool in a video game a ‘bad idea’?

Perhaps when that small percentage of kids playing the game lose their star in the video game for a concussion they may realize that this injury is serious.  I am willing to bet heavily on the fact that those gamers know that when a player in the video game sustains an ACL tear he will not be back in the game for some time.  It is time to change the stigma of concussions, if it takes unconventional methods, like using Madden as a vehicle, then so be it.

Eagles Medical Staff Under Fire (Cont.)

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On Monday we ran a story about how the Philadelphia Eagles handled the concussions of Kevin Kolb and Stewart Bradley.  Of note was Stewart Bradley and his “punch-drunk” appearance then returning in two plays to make a tackle.

Per current guidelines for head injuries Bradley should have been evaluated before returning, which the Eagles say they did.  However if you put a stop watch on the time Bradley was out it was not over four minutes.  I don’t care how good you are at concussions, FOUR minutes is NOT SUFFICIENT enough time to properly evaluate a head injury.  Continue reading