Outside the Lines on ESPN will be featuring Stephania Bell today at 3pm EST to discuss the ongoing issues of head trauma in football. Another panelist will Matt Chaney, whom has put in great work in the area of injury surveillance and provides the antithesis of “safer-football”.
Set your DVR’s…
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).
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
“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
There is an amazing “Outside the Lines” video on the ESPN.com website. There is an issue of embedding it here on this site, however I can provide a link (7 minutes).
OTL: Future of Football
The story begins telling us about Tom McHale, former NFL offensive lineman, who had a terrible end to his life at a young age. What was found posthumously in Tom’s brain was chronic traumatic encephalopathy, an occurrence that is becoming more evident as brains are examined. Although CTE cannot be directly contributed to his death, CTE can cloud judgment and affect the executive function of the brain, leading to cases like McHale.
The video takes a look at what former players think of the sport, in particular what they are going to do with their own kids; the McHale’s, Eddie Mason and LaVar Arrington.
Take a look and comment back here.