dfwabel

Football and CTE

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DG_Now    3,884

Normally when there's nothing better on TV in the middle of summer, I'll watch some preseason football out of curiosity. I skipped last night's game, in part because of reading up on this thread.

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C-Squared    798

In the near future, youth football will be drastically changed for the sake of safety. All that is missing is the conclusive, wide-scale scientific data needed to elicit demand for those changes. The most scientific way to reach said changes is to base decisions off well-developed & properly-framed scientific data, not limited data presented anecdotally, simplified to strip away context, using a sensationalized cross-section of data to guide people towards a predetermined conclusion. One side may be guilty of not applying existing data in a reasonable manner; the other of improperly framing existing data & distorting data to fuel non-researched conjecture.

 

This recent study shows no statistical difference in cognitive function and depression between high school football players and non-players from the 1950s, a cross-section now old enough to exhibit long-term effects. This study notes that the current game may or may not be more dangerous (common sense: it is), but provides a crucial measuring stick. If future studies reveal an uptick in cognitive issues and depression as the game evolved (my admittedly quazi-baseless assumption: it will), the answer may be to simply restore some elements of the 1950s game (Clotheslines? No. Equipment modifications? Maybe.) Both studies are important, but, in terms of providing honest data that elicits real change, studying large amounts of living people may be more effective than dissecting the most damaged 0.00005% of athlete brains and clumsily applying that data to everyone.

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dfwabel    993
17 minutes ago, C-Squared said:

In the near future, youth football will be drastically changed for the sake of safety. All that is missing is the conclusive, wide-scale scientific data needed to elicit demand for those changes. The most scientific way to reach said changes is to base decisions off well-developed & properly-framed scientific data, not limited data presented anecdotally, simplified to strip away context, using a sensationalized cross-section of data to guide people towards a predetermined conclusion. One side may be guilty of not applying existing data in a reasonable manner; the other of improperly framing existing data & distorting data to fuel non-researched conjecture.

 

This recent study shows no statistical difference in cognitive function and depression between high school football players and non-players from the 1950s, a cross-section now old enough to exhibit long-term effects. This study notes that the current game may or may not be more dangerous (common sense: it is), but provides a crucial measuring stick. If future studies reveal an uptick in cognitive issues and depression as the game evolved (my admittedly quazi-baseless assumption: it will), the answer may be to simply restore some elements of the 1950s game (Clotheslines? No. Equipment modifications? Maybe.) Both studies are important, but, in terms of providing honest data that elicits real change, studying large amounts of living people may be more effective than dissecting the most damaged 0.00005% of athlete brains and clumsily applying that data to everyone.

Trying to justify your case as if one is Big Tobacco circa 1980 is no real plan.

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C-Squared    798
25 minutes ago, dfwabel said:

Trying to justify your case as if one is Big Tobacco circa 1980 is no real plan.

 

I get the distinct impression you only read the first few sentences of my post. I am illuminating existing parameters to study 30x larger cross-sections of athletes, develop more relevant data, and to do so in a much more timely fashion. You disagree because tobacco. Good talk.

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RichO    215
16 minutes ago, C-Squared said:

In the near future, youth football will be drastically changed for the sake of safety. All that is missing is the conclusive, wide-scale scientific data needed to elicit demand for those changes. The most scientific way to reach said changes is to base decisions off well-developed & properly-framed scientific data, not limited data presented anecdotally, simplified to strip away context, using a sensationalized cross-section of data to guide people towards a predetermined conclusion. One side may be guilty of not applying existing data in a reasonable manner; the other of improperly framing existing data & distorting data to fuel non-researched conjecture.

 

This recent study shows no statistical difference in cognitive function and depression between high school football players and non-players from the 1950s, a cross-section now old enough to exhibit long-term effects. This study notes that the current game may or may not be more dangerous (common sense: it is), but provides a crucial measuring stick. If future studies reveal an uptick in cognitive issues and depression as the game evolved (my admittedly quazi-baseless assumption: it will), the answer may be to simply restore some elements of the 1950s game (Clotheslines? No. Equipment modifications? Maybe.) Both studies are important, but, in terms of providing honest data that elicits real change, studying large amounts of living people may be more effective than dissecting the most damaged 0.00005% of athlete brains and clumsily applying that data to everyone.

 

Being raised by a dad who played two-way single wing football in the old old days in high school I always got the sense that techniques in blocking and tackling evolved a lot from them to the modern game. And football these days even uses the whole field in ways that it didn't even 25 years ago. Taking that study you linked, maybe if rules brought contact techniques back maybe you could see progress on brain safety in youth football. Trouble is overcoming the problem of faster and stronger athletes than in the past. Not just at the pointy end of ability either- guys on decent high school teams now look to be in better shape than guys getting scholarships 25 years ago.

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C-Squared    798
19 minutes ago, RichO said:

 

Being raised by a dad who played two-way single wing football in the old old days in high school I always got the sense that techniques in blocking and tackling evolved a lot from them to the modern game. And football these days even uses the whole field in ways that it didn't even 25 years ago. Taking that study you linked, maybe if rules brought contact techniques back maybe you could see progress on brain safety in youth football. Trouble is overcoming the problem of faster and stronger athletes than in the past. Not just at the pointy end of ability either- guys on decent high school teams now look to be in better shape than guys getting scholarships 25 years ago.

 

Agreed. The simple concept of velocity could be varied based on increased athletic ability, the use of over-developed equipment, or something as fundamental as the evolution of the forward pass & defensive schemes like zone coverage and blitzing. Conversely, many objectively barbaric elements present in the 1950s game are no longer present today due to rules designed to protect quarterbacks, defenseless players, etc, along with various non-contact scenarios that constitute a downed ball in youth football.

 

Lots of variables require lots of research. Dissecting the 111 most obviously damaged brains provides great data on damaged brains, but not the effect of the game on a large scale. I would go so far as to say that all pre-2000 football players should get the same questionnaire now. Cognitive function of players in the 60s-90s are either better, the same, or worse than 50s players. Given that these conditions are degenerative and worsen with time, 2/3 of the possible outcomes could suggest that modern football is conclusively more dangerous (equal issues now suggests higher levels later as conditions develop... even lower levels now could be higher later). This data would provide additional measuring sticks to predict future cognitive issues in younger players, and - best of all - would develop much quicker and more appropriately than studying statistical outlier-level brain damage and pretending it represents the game as a whole.

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OnWis97    2,204
1 hour ago, C-Squared said:

In the near future, youth football will be drastically changed for the sake of safety. All that is missing is the conclusive, wide-scale scientific data needed to elicit demand for those changes. The most scientific way to reach said changes is to base decisions off well-developed & properly-framed scientific data, not limited data presented anecdotally, simplified to strip away context, using a sensationalized cross-section of data to guide people towards a predetermined conclusion. One side may be guilty of not applying existing data in a reasonable manner; the other of improperly framing existing data & distorting data to fuel non-researched conjecture.

 

This recent study shows no statistical difference in cognitive function and depression between high school football players and non-players from the 1950s, a cross-section now old enough to exhibit long-term effects. This study notes that the current game may or may not be more dangerous (common sense: it is), but provides a crucial measuring stick. If future studies reveal an uptick in cognitive issues and depression as the game evolved (my admittedly quazi-baseless assumption: it will), the answer may be to simply restore some elements of the 1950s game (Clotheslines? No. Equipment modifications? Maybe.) Both studies are important, but, in terms of providing honest data that elicits real change, studying large amounts of living people may be more effective than dissecting the most damaged 0.00005% of athlete brains and clumsily applying that data to everyone.

I'm not convinced that this is even missing.  Yeah, there's nothing that conclusively tells the whole story. What I mean by "not missing" is not that you're incorrect about the research (which still has a long way to go) but that I think the demand for those changes is going to come with or without the data.  And in no way, shape, or form do I consider that reaction (particularly out of parents) to be irresponsible. From the parental point-of-view, their kids should be able to get the same benefit out of other sports (barring NFL dreams, then the evidence better-points to long-term issues...so maybe pro dreams in other sports will take over).  For the high schools, youth park & rec boards, etc. lawyers are probably already telling them to consider dropping football.

 

The question about the responsibilities of the high schools is an interesting one.  Is it irresponsible for them to drop football given our current limited knowledge? Conversely is it irresponsible for us to keep having kids playing football?  We've used phrases like "developing brains" in this thread.  I don't know whether anyone knows whether this is a greater concern for kids (and at what age) for the "developing brain" reason.  In any case, I think schools dropping football is just around the corner (has it happened yet?).

 

And to steal my own phrase from a previous post, the burden of proof is on "football."  Not because the NFL hid this (they did) and not because universities make a ton of money off of risking the health of 18-22 year-olds (they do) but because caution is going to prevail.  This is particularly the case with parents.  In no way do parents owe "football" the benefit of the doubt or sound data-driven decision-making.  It's a trickier area for institutions like schools, but if they jump the gun on this, I'm not going to lose any sleep.

 

Regarding the 1950s, I don't know if we'll ever truly know how different it was.  The study (for which I could only see the abstract) you link to is interesting.  I wonder whether they acknowledged deceased males (i.e., disproportionate suicide or early death).

 

But the some of things that may have been safer in the 1950s may not be able to be returned. (Essentially parroting RichO's point) Athletes today have a bigger combination of size and speed than they did back then.  The collisions are probably significantly more violent.  Perhaps PEDs play a role and perhaps that can be better curtailed. One thing I suspect has happened since the 1950s is that there are more games now.  I know that's true of college and the NFL and I would not be surprised if it was true of high school as well.  Equipment has improved, which I think a lot of people recognize could be a negative due to a sense of security and using the equipment as a weapon.  

I played one year of park board football in 6th grade.  I learned proper tackling technique that I sometimes question whether NFL players ever learned.  Could a return to such fundamentals help?  Well, it would probably reduce concussions, but I saw once (and I wish I recalled where, because I haven't seen it since) that a textbook wrapping around the waist can lead to a "neck snapping" reaction from the guy being tackled, which can be a contributor to head trauma (and I honestly don't remember to what degree that was a hypothesis vs. well-believed theory).

 

There's no question that the game is different now than it was in the 1950s.  But i'm skeptical of whether we'll really be able quantify that difference in terms of the dangers to a player's long-term quality of life.  And also, if it was appreciably safer, whether we can re-capture it.

 

In most cases, I'm with you that data is preferred to emotion.  But I'm not convinced this is one of those cases.  I'm not convinced football is important enough.

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C-Squared    798
1 hour ago, OnWis97 said:

I'm not convinced that this is even missing.  Yeah, there's nothing that conclusively tells the whole story. What I mean by "not missing" is not that you're incorrect about the research (which still has a long way to go) but that I think the demand for those changes is going to come with or without the data.  And in no way, shape, or form do I consider that reaction (particularly out of parents) to be irresponsible. From the parental point-of-view, their kids should be able to get the same benefit out of other sports (barring NFL dreams, then the evidence better-points to long-term issues...so maybe pro dreams in other sports will take over).  For the high schools, youth park & rec boards, etc. lawyers are probably already telling them to consider dropping football.

 

The question about the responsibilities of the high schools is an interesting one.  Is it irresponsible for them to drop football given our current limited knowledge? Conversely is it irresponsible for us to keep having kids playing football?  We've used phrases like "developing brains" in this thread.  I don't know whether anyone knows whether this is a greater concern for kids (and at what age) for the "developing brain" reason.  In any case, I think schools dropping football is just around the corner (has it happened yet?).

 

And to steal my own phrase from a previous post, the burden of proof is on "football."  Not because the NFL hid this (they did) and not because universities make a ton of money off of risking the health of 18-22 year-olds (they do) but because caution is going to prevail.  This is particularly the case with parents.  In no way do parents owe "football" the benefit of the doubt or sound data-driven decision-making.  It's a trickier area for institutions like schools, but if they jump the gun on this, I'm not going to lose any sleep.

 

Regarding the 1950s, I don't know if we'll ever truly know how different it was.  The study (for which I could only see the abstract) you link to is interesting.  I wonder whether they acknowledged deceased males (i.e., disproportionate suicide or early death).

 

But the some of things that may have been safer in the 1950s may not be able to be returned. (Essentially parroting RichO's point) Athletes today have a bigger combination of size and speed than they did back then.  The collisions are probably significantly more violent.  Perhaps PEDs play a role and perhaps that can be better curtailed. One thing I suspect has happened since the 1950s is that there are more games now.  I know that's true of college and the NFL and I would not be surprised if it was true of high school as well.  Equipment has improved, which I think a lot of people recognize could be a negative due to a sense of security and using the equipment as a weapon.  

I played one year of park board football in 6th grade.  I learned proper tackling technique that I sometimes question whether NFL players ever learned.  Could a return to such fundamentals help?  Well, it would probably reduce concussions, but I saw once (and I wish I recalled where, because I haven't seen it since) that a textbook wrapping around the waist can lead to a "neck snapping" reaction from the guy being tackled, which can be a contributor to head trauma (and I honestly don't remember to what degree that was a hypothesis vs. well-believed theory).

 

There's no question that the game is different now than it was in the 1950s.  But i'm skeptical of whether we'll really be able quantify that difference in terms of the dangers to a player's long-term quality of life.  And also, if it was appreciably safer, whether we can re-capture it.

 

In most cases, I'm with you that data is preferred to emotion.  But I'm not convinced this is one of those cases.  I'm not convinced football is important enough.

.

We seem to agree on the majority of this issue, except for the most fundamental component: the burden of proof is not on football.

 

When two parties disagree and one makes a claim that the other disputes, the one making the claim must justify or substantiate that claim, especially when challenging a perceived status quo. In this case, the claim being made is that football is extremely unsafe, which challenges the status quo. Shifting the burden of proof to football qualifies as an "argument of ignorance," in which a proposition opposing the status quo is assumed to be true because it has not yet been proven false. This is debate 101.

 

I understand that public perception is rarely rooted in fully-developed science and I agree that many parents will (and already have) pull(ed) the plug as a precaution, but that issue is an offshoot of the core discussion. Shifting the focus from science to perception to flip the burden of proof sort of undermines the entire issue.

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Ice_Cap    7,591
7 minutes ago, C-Squared said:

.

We seem to agree on the majority of this issue, except for the most fundamental component: the burden of proof is not on football.

 

When two parties disagree and one makes a claim that the other disputes, the one making the claim must justify or substantiate that claim, especially when challenging a perceived status quo. In this case, the claim being made is that football is extremely unsafe, which challenges the status quo. Shifting the burden of proof to football in this situation is known as an argument of ignorance, in which a proposition opposing the status quo is assumed to be true because it has not yet been proven false. This is debate 101.

Except we have enough data, through the study of football's effects on concussions and how that relates to CTE, to at least give creedance to the notion that playing football indeed puts your mental faculties at risk. 

You're making it sound like the "football is dangerous" crowd has nothing in the way of research to back up their claim. They do. The existence of those studies is why we're having this discussion in the first place. 

 

And yeah, I do think the burden of proof falls on football. Especially when the NFL has spent years trying to surpress and discredit peer-reviewed research on the effects of football on the human brain. 

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OnWis97    2,204
23 minutes ago, C-Squared said:

.

We seem to agree on the majority of this issue, except for the most fundamental component: the burden of proof is not on football.

 

When two parties disagree and one makes a claim that the other disputes, the one making the claim must justify or substantiate that claim, especially when challenging a perceived status quo. In this case, the claim being made is that football is extremely unsafe, which challenges the status quo. Shifting the burden of proof to football qualifies as an "argument of ignorance," in which a proposition opposing the status quo is assumed to be true because it has not yet been proven false. This is debate 101.

 

I understand that public perception is rarely rooted in fully-developed science and I agree that many parents will (and already have) pull(ed) the plug as a precaution, but that issue is an offshoot of the core discussion. Shifting the focus from science to perception to flip the burden of proof sort of undermines the entire issue.

Well, if it ever gets to a court of law, yeah, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff.  And if we had a debate competition about this, perhaps you'd win because I would not have enough evidence/proof to work with.

 

But I don't really mean "burden of proof" in that sense. For example,my perception is that football's a high risk sport and I am not going to let my (hypothetical/non-existent) kid play.  Therefore, at the household level, the burden of proof is on them.  That's a reality that nobody can stop.  And as information comes in, parents have to sort out the risk/rewards.  My opinion is that it's "probably more dangerous that I'm comfortable with."  Can I prove it? No. Does that mean I should let my kid play?  No.  For my household anyway, the burden of proof is on football.  

 

At the institutional level (e.g., high school), it does get fuzzier. I personally am not qualified to quantify likely risk of playing high school football (and perhaps nobody is).  When do we get to the point that schools shouldn't be sponsoring it?  I don't know.  But in reality, I'd suspect it's before full "proof."

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McCarthy    6,620

 

3 hours ago, DG_Now said:

Normally when there's nothing better on TV in the middle of summer, I'll watch some preseason football out of curiosity. I skipped last night's game, in part because of reading up on this thread.


This is the first time I've heard there was a game last night. I did not know it was happening, but had I known I still wouldn't have watched. I'm sure it did a Game 5 of the World Series rating anyways.

 

Glad to know my purging of NFL coverage from my social media is working. 

 

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Ice_Cap    7,591
21 hours ago, Sykotyk said:

Were you okay with players regularly dying, getting paralyzed, knee, leg, hips, back, neck, shoulder, or hand problems later in life? Did you just passively accept those sacrifices for your entertainment but suddenly 'brain' is entirely off-limits?

Informed consent. That's really the basis of my position here. 

 

Everyone, including the NFL, openly acknowledged that playing football could result in knee, leg, hip, back, neck, shoulder, or hand problems- even to the point of paralysis -for decades. Players knew the risks. The league was open about the risks. 

 

Now contrast that with the league's actions re: CTE and the effects of the game on the human brain in general. 

The league has not been open about this at all. It's lied to its players about it. It's tried to suppress research and discredit the researchers (and you're playing right along with them on that last point). 

 

If the league would come out, embrace this research, and go "yes, playing football has these effects on the human brain. We don't know to what extent. We're partnering with researchers to find out, but we want our players to know what we know so far" then yeah. I would be ok with it. Why? Informed consent. You tell adults all of the risks inherent in a job? They're allowed to decide for themselves if the rewards outweigh the risks. 

When the league lies through its teeth though? Then that's where we have a problem. 

 

Of course the issue of consent brought my attention to the idea of age. 

Sure, the football apparatus being open about the effects of playing on the brain would mean the college and pro game comes down to the issue of informed consent. Informed adults making their own choices. 

What about kids though? We as a society have collectively agreed there are some tasks that children should not be allowed to partake in. Even if they know the risks. It's understood that, until a certain point, the human brain simply isn't developed enough to make some kinds of informed decisions. Even with all of the knowledge. 

 

That's why teenagers are bared from smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol until a certain age. All of the risks inherent in both are out there and common knowledge. We know, however, that a 16 year old's brain isn't developed enough to make an informed choice regardless. 

 

So it seems reasonable to hold football to that standard. Sure. Make all of the research known. Hopefully the NFL embraces it, and works with researchers to further it. Be as transparent about it as possible and yeah. Informed consent rules the day. For everyone 18 years and older. 

 

With kids though? Combine the fact that we understand that children's brains aren't developed enough to make an informed decesion of this magnitude and the fact that it's probably not a good idea for developing brains in childhood and adoclences to be banging into each other anyway? 

It seems more and more clear to me that football as a sanctioned sport should be banned for anyone under the age of 18.

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Sykotyk    307
1 hour ago, Ice_Cap said:

Informed consent. That's really the basis of my position here. 

 

Everyone, including the NFL, openly acknowledged that playing football could result in knee, leg, hip, back, neck, shoulder, or hand problems- even to the point of paralysis -for decades. Players knew the risks. The league was open about the risks. 

 

Now contrast that with the league's actions re: CTE and the effects of the game on the human brain in general. 

The league has not been open about this at all. It's lied to its players about it. It's tried to suppress research and discredit the researchers (and you're playing right along with them on that last point). 

 

If the league would come out, embrace this research, and go "yes, playing football has these effects on the human brain. We don't know to what extent. We're partnering with researchers to find out, but we want our players to know what we know so far" then yeah. I would be ok with it. Why? Informed consent. You tell adults all of the risks inherent in a job? They're allowed to decide for themselves if the rewards outweigh the risks. 

When the league lies through its teeth though? Then that's where we have a problem. 

 

Again, you're arguing about the NFL with regarding to HS Football. Bigger, stronger, faster, more games, year-round training, financial decisions impacting a players decision to 'play through pain' much more than high school, etc. that might skew their decision to even reveal they had head trauma.

 

Regarding NFL, they covered up concussions, which isn't the argument about CTE. Even players have said they'd knowingly lie to staff about concussions because they wanted to keep playing. That seems to be 'implied consent' that they're willing to forgo their health for financial gain. As for CTE, this is an entirely knew diagnosis and is based entirely on repeated sub-concussive hits to the head. We don't know the prevalence, because you have to die before you can be diagnosed with it.

 

I haven't seen the NFL denying CTE. After all the move 'Concussion' whitewashed a lot of the data conflating CTE and concussions, and the NFL's disdain for them.

 

1 hour ago, Ice_Cap said:

 

Of course the issue of consent brought my attention to the idea of age. 

Sure, the football apparatus being open about the effects of playing on the brain would mean the college and pro game comes down to the issue of informed consent. Informed adults making their own choices. 

What about kids though? We as a society have collectively agreed there are some tasks that children should not be allowed to partake in. Even if they know the risks. It's understood that, until a certain point, the human brain simply isn't developed enough to make some kinds of informed decisions. Even with all of the knowledge. 

 

That's why teenagers are bared from smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol until a certain age. All of the risks inherent in both are out there and common knowledge. We know, however, that a 16 year old's brain isn't developed enough to make an informed choice regardless. 

 

Please take a step back on comparing to tobacco and alcohol. The reason those are banned and heavily regulated is the same reason drugs are outlawed, porn can't be sold to minors, etc. It's a vice. And the dogooders of society want it eradicated from the entire population. But, adults are impossible to deny some vices. it's why prostitution is legal in Nevada outside Clark and Washoe counties. But, they can implore the prohibition from children simply because they children can't vote on it.  The arguments about alcohol affecting teenagers has been used as an excuse for why to keep it, not the argument that started it.

 

Marijuana is banned because it's 'bad for you', yet there's a big push to legalize it. But, it's a vice. Are you saying that football is a vice? And should be heavily regulated or banned because of it?

 

 

1 hour ago, Ice_Cap said:

So it seems reasonable to hold football to that standard. Sure. Make all of the research known. Hopefully the NFL embraces it, and works with researchers to further it. Be as transparent about it as possible and yeah. Informed consent rules the day. For everyone 18 years and older. 

 

With kids though? Combine the fact that we understand that children's brains aren't developed enough to make an informed decesion of this magnitude and the fact that it's probably not a good idea for developing brains in childhood and adoclences to be banging into each other anyway? 

It seems more and more clear to me that football as a sanctioned sport should be banned for anyone under the age of 18.

As with all things regarding children, the parents are the ones legally entitled to make the decision. Even today, it's their call on whether to let their kid play or not play. Any sport or participate in any activity. That's parenthood.

 

You're arguing to take that decision out of their hands because you don't like their conclusion. You really think banning the 'sanctioning' of football is really going to stop young boys and teenagers from 'banging into each other' in athletic pursuit? I played tackle football among friends as a little kid and it didn't take a state association to endorse it. We didn't even use pads, helmet, cleats or anything. Just running around a backyard with one worn out football.

 

So be it. The question though, is what activities are out there that are prohibited by minors? Or would you accept football as being the first? What about Canadian Football? Rugby? Aussie Rules? Soccer? Boxing? Wrestling? Lacrosse? Riding in cars?

 

The argument is that you're against something, so you want it banned. Fair enough. But you fail to realize the line you're trying to draw in the sand is most likely not where it will end up.

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Sykotyk    307
7 hours ago, McCarthy said:

 

Except they've found CTE in recently deceased college and high school players. It's not just old guys in old equipment that played for a long time. 

 

I quoted the article once. I can quote it for you again. Much less like to occur, and to a lesser degree of severity. Also, it's clear the length of time playing tackle football was the biggest indicator. Some of these kids start out playing tackle football as 5 or 6 years old. The one 27 year old that died had played 16 years. Those who JUST play high school and advance no further have a greatly different rate of CTE than those that continue beyond it.

 

The problem is that they're still very light on quantifying the 'diminished faculties' related to CTE. And what that corresponds to non-football players percentage wise. That's an issue. My father is 65, never played football. He's horrible forgetful, short tempered, etc. Yet, I'm 99% certain he doesn't have CTE. So, if he has the same symptoms applied to CTE suffers, especially 'severe' suffers, then what percentage of the population does this compare to and what percentage of those with CTE would have developed those symptoms later on in life even if they had not played football?

 

7 hours ago, McCarthy said:

In addition to CTE being a real thing caused by playing football - the other side of this issue is that the NFL spent years denying the science and not telling their employees about all the risks involved even though they were aware. If your game is going to result in this condition for a hefty percentage of participants then the participants at the very least need to know about that so they can make an informed decision about whether they participate. For years the league withheld that information and went to great lengths to discredit the science. That's the organization you're going to bat for right now. 

 

 

 

The NFL covered up concussions. That's the lawsuit they settled just recently, though it covered basically any brain health issue. CTE isn't from concussions. Repeated sub-concussive hits is what is claimed to cause CTE. Not concussions. Concussions, accumulated or even one time, can cause trauma, but that's not what causes CTE.

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Ice_Cap    7,591
1 minute ago, Sykotyk said:

You're arguing to take that decision out of their hands because you don't like their conclusion.

We do that as a society all the time.

Hell, there was a woman a few rows back of me at the last baseball game I went to who was arrested because she was buying her underage daughters beer. That was her choice as a parent but it was still illegal because we recognize people under a certain age shouldn't be consuming alcohol.

I'm suggesting that organized football, given what we know of the effects we know it has on the brain, shouldn't be an option for people below the age of 18.

 

3 minutes ago, Sykotyk said:

You really think banning the 'sanctioning' of football is really going to stop young boys and teenagers from 'banging into each other' in athletic pursuit?

Not at all.

I just don't think high schools should be in the business of sanctioning a sport that bashes developing brains to mush while also trying to teach them math and history.

 

4 minutes ago, Sykotyk said:

I played tackle football among friends as a little kid and it didn't take a state association to endorse it. We didn't even use pads, helmet, cleats or anything. Just running around a backyard with one worn out football.

That's fine. I'm getting a pretty good laugh out of the thought that you think I want to make it illegal for kids to run around a field. That's not what I'm talking about at all. I'm talking about organised, funded, and promoted football. Not kids playing outside ffs.

 

5 minutes ago, Sykotyk said:

So be it. The question though, is what activities are out there that are prohibited by minors? Or would you accept football as being the first? What about Canadian Football? Rugby? Aussie Rules? Soccer? Boxing? Wrestling? Lacrosse? Riding in cars?

The "slippery slope" argument is a fallacy. Either you're going to do something or you're not. And of course your "slippery slope" list gets more ridiculous the longer it goes on. I'm talking about football.

 

6 minutes ago, Sykotyk said:

The argument is that you're against something, so you want it banned. Fair enough. But you fail to realize the line you're trying to draw in the sand is most likely not where it will end up.

I'm against football because as an educator I'm well aware of how a high schooler's brain is still very much developing. I'm suggesting that playing football may not be the best thing for a fully developed brain. Much less one of a high school-aged adolescent.

 

I'm not talking about organised sport. Those play an important role in childhood and adolescent development. And no, I'm not talking about making it G-ddamn illegal for kids to throw a football around or even run into each other in a field. The overreaction on your part to jump from "maybe kids shouldn't play football because it's not conducive to healthy brain development" to "YOU MUST WANT TO OUTLAW ALL FUN" is astonishing, if not amusing.

 

You're never going to stop kids from doing stupid, dangerous things. That's part of being a kid. All I'm suggesting is that gridiron football may not be the best activity for minors to participate in, and it shouldn't be something an educational institute dedicated to educating minors should sanction.

 

But sure. Keep throwing up the "you just want to outlaw sports" strawman. The fact that you've resorted to that tells me you've got nothing left.

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Sykotyk    307
16 hours ago, Rockstar Matt said:

 

That's why I attached football as a whole and not just the NFL. Try to keep up. Around 14 high school and collegiate athletes die every year playing football (most of them due to impact trauma). Kids simply don't die playing other non-contact sports at that kind of rate. Furthermore, the general population simply doesn't have CTE as we only began to detect it in professional boxing initially (else we'd have seen it as a common human aliment), then slowly began to realize that football players displayed similar symptoms. Humans simply do not have CTE unless they've played in a contact sport, American Football among them.

 

UNC study from 1982-2011, there was 0.52 deaths per 100,000 participants in HS Football, and 0.35 deaths per 100,000 participants in HS Soccer. In 29 years of the study, 205 football players died. An average of 7 a year. I'm not sure if the NCAA has their statistics, but going over the Wikipedia article on player deaths, between 2015 and 2016, 10 were killed in car accidents (hopefully not while playing), 4 from a gun shot wound (two self-inflicted, one was apparently accidental discharge, other ruled suicide), and 7 had unknown or health complications. Either on or off the field. One was during off-season practice.  Not one of them from direct impact trauma based on what I could find.

 

16 hours ago, Rockstar Matt said:

If you're willing to ignore that, then that's on you. But don't attempt to berate others because your opinion is not the consensus and judging by your posts, you're aware of that fact. 

 

When some people only read the headline of an article and base their entire opinion on that headline, I will take issue with it.

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Sykotyk    307
26 minutes ago, Ice_Cap said:

We do that as a society all the time.

Hell, there was a woman a few rows back of me at the last baseball game I went to who was arrested because she was buying her underage daughters beer. That was her choice as a parent but it was still illegal because we recognize people under a certain age shouldn't be consuming alcohol.

I'm suggesting that organized football, given what we know of the effects we know it has on the brain, shouldn't be an option for people below the age of 18.

 

 And it's related to vice. You know you can give your children alcohol in your own home, right? Public drinking was the issue. Again, it came down to it being considered a 'vice' which is why alcohol is regulated after prohibition (also, because of vice).

 

Quote

Not at all.

I just don't think high schools should be in the business of sanctioning a sport that bashes developing brains to mush while also trying to teach them math and history.

 

That's fine. I'm getting a pretty good laugh out of the thought that you think I want to make it illegal for kids to run around a field. That's not what I'm talking about at all. I'm talking about organised, funded, and promoted football. Not kids playing outside ffs.

 

How would you ban it, then? The whole intent of overseeing bodies for athletics in this country came from rules and safety enforcement OF football. I'm just curious what legal framework you'd need to in order to ban administering an activity that you feel you can legally do on your own unsupervised and without any regard for safety.

 

That's the twist in wanting to 'outlaw' it being organized, but try to defend that it can be legal in any other form.

 

 

Quote

The "slippery slope" argument is a fallacy. Either you're going to do something or you're not. And of course your "slippery slope" list gets more ridiculous the longer it goes on. I'm talking about football.

 

I'm against football because as an educator I'm well aware of how a high schooler's brain is still very much developing. I'm suggesting that playing football may not be the best thing for a fully developed brain. Much less one of a high school-aged adolescent.

And CTE is based on repetitive and continuous sub-concussive hits to the head over many many years. You're using arguments that NFL players who have played sometimes dozens of years from youth peewee, middle school, high school, college, and NFL, all the while advancing through bigger and faster and more cutthroat competition at each level to the point they're making millions of dollars per season are suddenly on the same scale as a kid who played two or three years as a starter in high school in 20-30 forty-eight minute games.

 

The risk of being involved in a car accident increases the more time you get in a car and for every mile you travel. Yet, the odds are the same whether it's one mile down the road from your house or 1000 miles away on vacation. The continued exposure to that risk ups your eventuality of being involved in an accident. But you still accept that risk even if you might die on your way home from work today, or running to the grocery store. NFL plays 16 games over 17 weeks, plus 3-4 playoff games at most, a couple preseason games for starters, etc. College plays 12 games, up to 15 for 60 minutes. HS plays anywhere from 8-10 regular season games, and depending on the state, up to 5 playoff games for state championship participants. And their games are 48 minutes and the majority of states have mercy rules that speed up the game or outright end it once the score gets out of hand.

 

During a regular HS game, there is far fewer plays than in NFL or college. Kids are also generally smaller and overall slower on average. So, there is a big difference in outcome. These variables haven't even begun to be investigated.

 

Quote

I'm not talking about organised sport. Those play an important role in childhood and adolescent development. And no, I'm not talking about making it G-ddamn illegal for kids to throw a football around or even run into each other in a field. The overreaction on your part to jump from "maybe kids shouldn't play football because it's not conducive to healthy brain development" to "YOU MUST WANT TO OUTLAW ALL FUN" is astonishing, if not amusing.

 

Logical extension of your conclusion. You want to set a line in the sand, and think that either side of the argument isn't going to try and move it one way or another. God forbid somebody argues that the intrusion of more prohibitions and rules against something guarantees that it makes it safer. Texting while driving is dangerous, but it's a byproduct of car driving being so much safer today than it was in the 50s, 60s, 70s, etc. Cars didn't even come with rear lap bands at one point. No airbags. Crumple zones, etc. Driving today became so exceedingly easy it became exceedingly boring. People texting aren't thinking they're 'risking their lives' to send a text because driving is so monumentally difficult. Automatic transmissions, ABS, traction control, lane guidance, collision avoidance, blind spot detection, auto-braking, side-impact airbags, safety and roll cages, etc.

 

People will accept the level of risk they're comfortable with, no matter how safe you make it. Make it safer, they'll take more risks. People will walk right up to the edge of a cliff if there's a guard rail. Would they do it without it? Even though the result of falling off the cliff is just as severe.

 

Quote

You're never going to stop kids from doing stupid, dangerous things. That's part of being a kid. All I'm suggesting is that gridiron football may not be the best activity for minors to participate in, and it shouldn't be something an educational institute dedicated to educating minors should sanction.

 

But sure. Keep throwing up the "you just want to outlaw sports" strawman. The fact that you've resorted to that tells me you've got nothing left.

 

 

I'm not saying you want to, but there's certainly a subset of the population that think any organized, accounted athletic endeavor as barbaric. Even something like baseball.  And if one sport gets banned, it wouldn't take long for them to use that same argument for the 'next worst offender'. That's why it's a slippery slope.

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Rockstar Matt    587

That's good for you, man.

 

However, the vast majority of posts on this thread aren't just reading the headline and nothing else. I mean the very NY Times article that spurred this debate clearly stated that the study had a selection bias, as the only brains of people studied were those of families who thought their loved ones displayed symptoms of CTE. 

 

Still doesn't ignore the fact that these individuals had CTE because they played a sport that's way more dangerous than people realized. 

 

And mind you, this is coming from a die-hard football fan. A Cowboys fan, no less too. So much so that I was legitimately excited for last night's preseason game. 

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smzimbabwe    98

I knew a girl in high school whose brother died playing h.s. football a couple years before I knew her. Yet all of her other older and younger brothers played football "in his memory" as if the memory of him dying totally escaped them. Then she got hurt in competitive gymnastics, and a few of them quit football because they figured the family was "cursed".

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Ice_Cap    7,591
55 minutes ago, Sykotyk said:

I'm not saying you want to, but there's certainly a subset of the population that think any organized, accounted athletic endeavor as barbaric. Even something like baseball.  And if one sport gets banned, it wouldn't take long for them to use that same argument for the 'next worst offender'. That's why it's a slippery slope.

I've yet to see a single person, in this thread or anywhere else on this forum, argue in favour of banning all organised athletic endeavours. 

 

So for you to raise that to try and discredit legitmate concern over the effects of football on the brain developement of children and adolescents is disengeous at best. 

 

 

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