dfwabel

Football and CTE

Recommended Posts

20 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

Indeed.  

 

Worth pointing out that when plastic shells were first introduced, the NFL banned them on the advice of doctors who thought they would make the game less safe. 

 

2250491885_7686603f2d_b.jpg

 

The league bowed to pressure from companies like Riddell shortly thereafter, but it turns out that the physicians were correct after all. 

Image result for shut up and take my money

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Ice_Cap (and any other Mods responsible) for unlocking this thread.

 

Since the lock, Merril Hoge released his book, "Brainwashed: The Bad Science Behind CTE and the Plot to Destroy Football", it is appropriate to unlock with the hope of cordial discussion.

 

Since the thread was locked before Labor Day and the start of both prep and college football, on weekend mornings, I go through some Twitter feeds such as:

1- Aggrigator ConcernedMom9, who basically tracks HS/college football injuries, ambulance use and mediflights.

2- Former prep volunteer, Kent Johnson

 

Oh, and on Thursday: New study finds evidence of brain injuries in football players at surprisingly young age.

 

Quote

There have been more and more cases confirming that repeated hits to the head have lifelong consequences for professional football players, but a new study by Orlando Health in collaboration with the Concussion Neuroimaging Consortium finds evidence of lasting effects from head injuries at a much younger age than expected. The study tested biomarkers in the blood called microRNA's and found that the college football players had elevated levels of these biomarkers that indicate concussions before the season even started.

 

"It was quite shocking to learn that the biomarkers were high before they were even involved in one hit or tackle for the season," said Linda Papa, MD, lead author of the study and emergency medicine physician at Orlando Health "This suggests that the effects of past head injuries are persisting over time."

 

Researchers also conducted cognitive tests with each study participant before and after the season and found that those who struggled with balance and memory had higher levels of the biomarkers.

"Some of these players had never been diagnosed with a concussion but they still had elevated biomarker levels in their blood, indicating they likely experienced head injuries that were not severe enough to be clinically diagnosed, but still caused damage. These injuries are also known as subconcussive injuries," said Papa.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The title of Hoge’s book alone tells us an awful lot. Accusing independent scientists of “hidden agendas”. He even takes a swipe at the New York Times, for crying out loud. 

 

The book also tries to pick apart one study’s methods while ignoring other studies that are inconvenient to his own agenda.  Disgraceful, but not surprising.

 

Quote

In their op-ed, Hoge and Cummings call the evidence of football causing CTE “pseudoscience,” laying out their case by saying that McKee’s 2017 bombshell study that found signs of CTE in 110 out of 111 brains of former NFL players had no control group as a comparison — no brains, say, from people who did not play football.

 

The only problem with that contention is that a 2015 Mayo Clinic study co-authored by McKee tested the brains of 198 individuals who had no exposure to contact sports in their lives — and not a single one of those 198 brains showed signs of CTE.

 

To recap: CTE was present in the brains of 110 out of 111 ex-NFL players, and in the brains of zero out of 198 people who did not play contact sports.

 

“I’m happy to ask Merril Hoge who to draft No. 1 next year,” Chris Nowinski, Ph.D., CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, said in a phone interview, “but we shouldn’t be asking him how to design research studies.”

 

But sure, Merrill. This is a massive plot by the scientific community, the Centers for Disease Control and the Times to “destroy football”. :rolleyes:

Edited by Ice_Cap
let’s not get political

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Gothamite said:

The title of Hoge’s book alone tells us an awful lot.  What a Trumpian statement, accusing independent scientists of “hidden agendas”. He even takes a swipe at the New York Times, for crying out loud. 

 

The book also tries to pick apart one study’s methods while ignoring other studies that are inconvenient to his own agenda.  Disgraceful, but not surprising.

 

 

But sure, Merrill. This is a massive plot by the scientific community, the Centers for Disease Control and the Times to “destroy football”. :rolleyes:

Also note that the every person who wrote on the book jacket has a vested interest in football. 

Bill Polian

Cris Collingsworth

Suzy Kobler

Trent Dilfer (now runs the Elite 11 for Nike)

 

https://thebiglead.com/2018/10/24/merrill-hoge-brainwashed-book/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, dfwabel said:

Also note that the every person who wrote on the book jacket has a vested interest in football. 

Bill Polian

Cris Collingsworth

Suzy Kobler

Trent Dilfer (now runs the Elite 11 for Nike)

 

https://thebiglead.com/2018/10/24/merrill-hoge-brainwashed-book/

 

 

Most surprising of all these is Suzy Kolber. I had been assuming that the object of Joe Namath's desire was a serious reporter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

Most surprising of all these is Suzy Kolber. I had been assuming that the object of Joe Namath's desire was a serious reporter.

What else does Suzy do outside of NFL talk for ESPN?

 

Nothing much.

And  not to shame her, she has a child but nobody talks about who the father is and that's a nearly a 15 year old story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really don’t care about her personal life. 

 

But her professional life is entirely wrapped up in ESPN, which has a vested interest in keeping the NFL’s dirty laundry well-hidden.  Doesn’t surprise me that she’s willing to parrot the company line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/19/2018 at 5:56 PM, Gold Pinstripes said:

I've had the kind of insider access most can only wish for, which is why I find the generalizations so amusing in this matter. If anything, reading most of these responses just confirms the influence of the unbalanced reporting, and horrible job all levels of football has done in explaining the positive attributes of the sport. And I also believe some people with negative attitudes about the sport either played another sport, and were jealous about the funding and attention for the other, or former player bitter about how their career turned out.

 

Danny?  We know who you are.  It's not like your background is some big secret here.  Some of us roam in the same circles you do.  I mean no disrepect in saying this, but your experience doesn't make you an oracle as to the subject by any means, nor your opinion any more or less valid than that of anyone else.  Howard Cosell famously "Never Played the Game," but in most respects he was a hell of a lot smarter than the people who actually did.  Perhaps you should consider getting off the high horse a little and rather than take the position of "you don't see what I see because I'm on the inside," be a little less myopic and see what pretty much the rest of the world outside that cocoon sees.

 

On 10/31/2018 at 5:58 PM, goalieboy82 said:

anyway, i always wonder what past sports players (long since dead) brains were like (say days of when the NFL played like this)

Image result for nfl 1920's photos

 

On 10/31/2018 at 7:06 PM, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

I have no doubt that they were.  When helmets started to be made out of hard material and facemasks appeared, this created a greater willingness to absorb blows to the head, and even encouraged players to use their own heads as a weapon.

Modern helmets protect against skull fracture; but they probably promote concussions.

 

I believe equipment is part of the problem, but only part.  As the technology has improved, it's given players a false sense of security, prompting them to be more reckless on the field.  But I honestly think a bigger part has been the various rule changes implemented by the NFL since 1978.  In studying rule books dating back to 1974, those changes made to "open up offense" in 1978 also changed the safety level of the game.  And over time while some rule changes have been aimed squarely at player safety, one in particular - the fundamental rule defining what a "tackle" is (and thus, how one is conducted) has been a greater detriment to long-term player health than any other single thing I can think of.

 

2 hours ago, dfwabel said:

And  not to shame her, she has a child but nobody talks about who the father is and that's a nearly a 15 year old story.

 

I didn't realize she had a child.

I really don't care that she has a child.

I don't care who the father is, nor how the child was conceived.

And neither should any one else, because it's none of our damned business.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, let's not doxx people here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Mac the Knife said:

I believe equipment is part of the problem, but only part.  As the technology has improved, it's given players a false sense of security, prompting them to be more reckless on the field.  But I honestly think a bigger part has been the various rule changes implemented by the NFL since 1978.  In studying rule books dating back to 1974, those changes made to "open up offense" in 1978 also changed the safety level of the game.  And over time while some rule changes have been aimed squarely at player safety, one in particular - the fundamental rule defining what a "tackle" is (and thus, how one is conducted) has been a greater detriment to long-term player health than any other single thing I can think of.

 

Absolutely.  The current approach to tackling - basically knocking the opponent down rather than wrapping him up - has undoubtedly contributed to the problem.

 

I'd like to see a return to the original rules, where players weren't considered "downed" just because they got knocked to the turf.  I think if a defender bumps into a runner and knocks him down, the runner should be able to get up and keep going.  Reward tackling, not brute impacts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, DG_Now said:

Hey, let's not doxx people here.

It wouldn't have been done save to illustrate the point I was trying to make - that someone's first-hand experience, while often helpful and insightful with respect to a particular, often comes with it biases that cause them to be dismissive of others who didn't share a similar experience at that level.  In  a lot of cases I defer to that experience, as it's deserved. 

 

But in this case the experience seems to have skewed the poster's viewpoint to a point where he is turning at least a slightly blind eye to the reality going on, instead bringing up comparatively nebulous points about "the good of the sport."  That's all well and good, and few here, based on that experience, will argue that football has certain elements that help prepare its participants for the rest of their lives.  Attempting to spin such an argument, particularly in the wake of the medical evidence connected between football, CTE and other forms of brain trauma and/or permanent physical damage to players, runs counter to the reality of things.

 

To be clear, I have great respect for Danny and his life in the sport.  But again, that experience doesn't make him an all-knowing oracle as to its aspects in this area or any other.  Beyond "I haven't shown signs of it myself?," he has no significant basis of experience regarding the long-term, potentially permanent affects of CTE and other head trauma.  And I pray he never does.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/3/2018 at 5:00 PM, Ferdinand Cesarano said:

 

Most surprising of all these is Suzy Kolber. I had been assuming that the object of Joe Namath's desire was a serious reporter.

 

On the other, more hopeful side of the journalistic spectrum, this Ringer piece does a nice job of detailing efforts to educate the next generation of sportscasters about how to better communicate possible brain injuries: https://www.theringer.com/nfl/2018/11/8/18075776/concussions-tv-broadcast-education.

 

It's great that the Concussion Legacy Foundation has identified the role broadcasters play in educating the public about this topic, and not just identifying symptoms and dangerous plays, but also breaking down the toxic culture of "toughness" that enables unhealthy behavior across all sports, not just the NFL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Waffles said:

It's great that the Concussion Legacy Foundation has identified the role broadcasters play in educating the public about this topic, and not just identifying symptoms and dangerous plays, but also breaking down the toxic culture of "toughness" that enables unhealthy behavior across all sports, not just the NFL.

 

Absolutely.  That attitude (real or perceived by the leagues) could be the biggest impediment to actual change.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Waffles said:

It's great that the Concussion Legacy Foundation has identified the role broadcasters play in educating the public about this topic, and not just identifying symptoms and dangerous plays, but also breaking down the toxic culture of "toughness" that enables unhealthy behavior across all sports, not just the NFL.

 

You know full-well though that at some point, someone's going to refer to "breaking down the toxic culture of toughness" as "embracing your inner p***y."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Waffles said:

 

 

It's great that the Concussion Legacy Foundation has identified the role broadcasters play in educating the public about this topic, and not just identifying symptoms and dangerous plays, but also breaking down the toxic culture of "toughness" that enables unhealthy behavior across all sports, not just the NFL.

Ed Cunningham left his analyst role at ESPN before the start of the 2017 season for that very reason.  He was doing one of the top afternoon games too and survived every round of recent layoffs too.

 

From SI:

Quote

“I am sitting in my car and thinking: I am losing my love of the job and I know it,” Cunningham said of that day last April. “It had been going away for a long time. That job is the cheerleader spot, the color analyst. It is the biggest megaphone for the sport. We talk to 3 to 4 million people per broadcast. Our words matter. Then that afternoon, all those folks were let go. So I decided to resign. I could not in good conscience in my soul keep my seat anymore.”

 

In an interview with the Sports Illustrated Media podcast this week, Cunningham elaborated on why he made his decision. He said he remained committed to telling stories about sports including football (he has a long resume as a film producer including on Undefeated, which won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2012) but he could no longer justify working as a football analyst, a role he sees as cheerleading for the sport. Cunningham said calling the Outback Bowl in January between Iowa and Florida was a “data point” in terms of coming to his decision. In that game, former Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard—now with the San Fransisco 49ers—was hobbled after taking continuous blows. Iowa football has since responded to Cunningham’s criticisms. 

 

“I was doing the game thinking, 'What the heck are we doing, what is this?' Cunningham said. “I am not out to indict any specific coach or specific player and C.J.’s Dad has publicly disagreed with me. He said C.J. is a tough guy, let him play. I respectfully disagree and I disagreed enough to raise my voice and say, 'We can’t do that. The culture is the issue.' ... Football is so American because it is exactly setup like war. It really is. I used to think we should not conflate war and football and we still should not. But I’ve had teammates killing themselves—Dave Duerson was a teammate of Cunningham’s with the then-then Phoenix Cardinals in 1992 and 1993. Duerson killed himself in 2011—and I know a few of my former teammates in the NFL who are really struggling right now. That is very real.”

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mac the Knife said:

 

You know full-well though that at some point, someone's going to refer to "breaking down the toxic culture of toughness" as "identifying with one's inner p***y."

 

Which is exactly the mechanism by which "toughness" culture manifests and perpetuates itself.

 

As @Gothamite rightly points out, the culture is the hard part to break if we really want to start to fix football. Even if the league institutes new rules and teaching principles, and introduces new safety technology, those changes can only go so far if the atmosphere around the sport is not encouraging its participants to take care of themselves and those around them, in service of some bull :censored: macho ideal. And this isn't just about brain injuries - this "rub dirt on it and get back out there" attitude contributes to the deaths of players like Jordan McNair at Maryland, among too many others.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, Waffles said:

Which is exactly the mechanism by which "toughness" culture manifests and perpetuates itself.

 

As @Gothamite rightly points out, the culture is the hard part to break if we really want to start to fix football. Even if the league institutes new rules and teaching principles, and introduces new safety technology, those changes can only go so far if the atmosphere around the sport is not encouraging its participants to take care of themselves and those around them, in service of some bull :censored: macho ideal. And this isn't just about brain injuries - this "rub dirt on it and get back out there" attitude contributes to the deaths of players like Jordan McNair at Maryland, among too many others.

 

I had a high school coach who told me I had to run a lap around the stadium because I went to a water bottle once too frequently for his liking.

 

It was 92 degrees outside.  I... was a punter/kicker/offensive lineman in a pinch.

 

As soon as he bawled me out for it, I started undressing, right there, on the field.  Took the helmet and dropped it to the ground in front of me.  Then the practice jersey.  Then the pads.  Then the cleats.  I told him he was full of ****, that I was going to the locker room, and that he'd find the rest of my gear somewhere in the vicinity of my locker as I took it off, because I wasn't going to waste another ***damned second wearing that uniform under those conditions than I absolutely had to.  I think I took the pants off and left them literally in front of the entrance door, but only because I wasn't going bare-assed across the practice field.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good for you.  

 

That’s literally the definition of “toxic masculinity”.  Not all masculinity is toxic, and not every football coach is totally without any sense of perspective.  But football does tend to attract more than its share of both. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why don't they just put super strong magnets in the front of each helmet, with all the north poles facing out so the players heads repel each other?  They could also bury even stronger magnets under the turf, and put some in the back of players' helmets, so the back of their head doesn't smack against the turf. 

 

Problem solved.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

On 11/8/2018 at 1:25 PM, Waffles said:

 

Which is exactly the mechanism by which "toughness" culture manifests and perpetuates itself.

 

As @Gothamite rightly points out, the culture is the hard part to break if we really want to start to fix football. Even if the league institutes new rules and teaching principles, and introduces new safety technology, those changes can only go so far if the atmosphere around the sport is not encouraging its participants to take care of themselves and those around them, in service of some bull :censored: macho ideal. And this isn't just about brain injuries - this "rub dirt on it and get back out there" attitude contributes to the deaths of players like Jordan McNair at Maryland, among too many others.

As we see today with Strength/Conditioning coaches in short sleeves in 30° below weather as to display their "toughness".

 

In other news, the NHL is about to settle their concussion lawsuit with around 100 players for just $19M¹.  After attorney fees, it'll be less than $25K per player. Some players have already said they'll not accept and take the NHL to court personally, like Mike Peluso².

 

1-https://www.reuters.com/article/us-icehockey-nhl-concussions-lawsuit/nhl-concussion-lawsuit-reportedly-near-settlement-idUSKCN1NF057

2-http://longform.tsn.ca/lifetime-penalty

 

Follow Rick Westhead on Twitter regarding the NHL suit

 

Edited by dfwabel
added link

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now