dfwabel

Football and CTE

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4 hours ago, SFGiants58 said:

I’m just disappointed that he didn’t take the hegemonic masculinity/hypermasculinity train of thought from my post. I’d like to see a rebuttal about how football provides a healthy idea about manliness, which obviously includes brutish competitiveness, covering for your bros despite evidence against them, and trying to suppress any semblance of weakness and softness from the psyche (to the detriment of emotional balance, I might add).

 

Like @dfwabel, @Gothamite, and @rams80 have pointed out, football culture (especially at high school/college levels) can be exceptionally toxic to healthy emotional development.

Ah, the most feeble argument of the kill football movement has been exposed, thank you San Francisco! As with other team sports, occasionally, players go off the tracks, and coaches are involved as well. It's revealing nearly all of these incidents happen at the major colleges or high schools. In other words, the overwhelming number of schools don't have these incidents. Football does indeed provide a healthy idea about manliness, because it's a healthy outlet for physicality. I can't help anyone who doesn't understand the many differences between the genders. And competitiveness is part of life, from job seeking and elsewhere. Too bad so many are completely unaware of the countless good deeds high school and college teams do for their communities. It doesn't sell, so some 23 year old blogger in a cubicle won't be writing about it.

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32 minutes ago, Gold Pinstripes said:

Football does indeed provide a healthy idea about manliness, because it's a healthy outlet for physicality. I can't help anyone who doesn't understand the many differences between the genders.

 

Men and women are different and physicality is good, but why do you have to get your brain rattled around over and over?

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37 minutes ago, Gold Pinstripes said:

Ah, the most feeble argument of the kill football movement has been exposed, thank you San Francisco! 

 

Sure, it’s feeble, but I’m half-adding it. I also don’t believe in “kill football,” if you thought I did. Also, bringing up my home town’s name has a nice layer of passive-aggressiveness to it.

 

37 minutes ago, Gold Pinstripes said:

 

Football does indeed provide a healthy idea about manliness, because it's a healthy outlet for physicality. I can't help anyone who doesn't understand the many differences between the genders.

 

There are are other outlets for physicality, like other sports, hiking/walking, etc.. Also, are you implying that I don’t understand the basic biological/physiological differences between genders? If so, I think I can see you angle.?

 

49 minutes ago, Gold Pinstripes said:

And competitiveness is part of life, from job seeking and elsewhere.

 

You can learn that from any sport or academics.

 

37 minutes ago, Gold Pinstripes said:

Too bad so many are completely unaware of the countless good deeds high school and college teams do for their communities. It doesn't sell, so some 23 year old blogger in a cubicle won't be writing about it.

 

Sure, toxic masculinity happens in any sport, and the “bad ones” get media preference. Also, when you try to demean your “opposition” as “23 year old blogger in a cubicle” or “parent’s basement,” you’re just using poor rhetoric.

 

I know I won’t change your mind, and that you won’t change mine or many of the other posters’ minds. Quite frankly, this has gotten boring.

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1 hour ago, Gold Pinstripes said:

I'm very objective in this matter, not only am I not a former player, but have no family members playing. The weakness of the CTE study about former high school and college players is the fact we don't know what levels begin to generate a problem. The fact that so many former high school and college players are excelling in mentally demanding jobs tells us we have much to learn about this issue. This isn't climate change, but folks are eager to jump on the CTE bandwagon without the facts. The University of Buffalo study looked independent to me.

 

What kind of country are we living in when people are forced to give up something they're skilled at, for no valid reason? This safety hurdle can definitely be managed, without the moronic helmet lowering and kickoff rules being implemented this season.

1

 

Woah, woah, woah... hold up a minute.  Let's back up a minute here.

 

Quote

The fact that so many former high school and college players are excelling in mentally demanding jobs tells us we have much to learn about this issue.

 

Have you ever actually listened to a collegiate or professional football player, current or former, give an interview?  Because if you have, you can clearly (and I mean clearly) tell which among them either (i) have received significant media relations training, (ii) have suffered significant brain trauma during the course of their careers, or (iii) neither.  The first group usually wind up as part of the jockocracy or otherwise want to be in the broadcasting field once they're playing days are over (and kudos to them if they can get such gigs).  The third group you don't hear much about because they spend their post-playing days doing things like managing beer distributorships, selling insurance or opening up car dealerships - none of which are that hard to excel at if you have a little bit of drive and initiative; but c'mon, there aren't any guys who've played in the NFL currently working at Sloan-Kettering.

 

The middle group?  That's the wider swath of professional players if they've played long enough.  When you interview them they sound like Evander Holyfield and/or Riddick Bowe - guys whom you can easily document the progress of their brain trauma-induced dementia based solely on their ability to speak.

 

In short, you're trying to paint with a very, very wide brush in an effort to put a coat over the flaws in the fine strokes here.

 

Quote

What kind of country are we living in when people are forced to give up something they're skilled at, for no valid reason? This safety hurdle can definitely be managed, without the moronic helmet lowering and kickoff rules being implemented this season.

 

As I've said before, I don't have a magic wand-like answer to what would make football safer as a sport, nor will I ever claim to.  I don't think the 'safety hurdle' can be managed, in large part because we're not at all sure just how high that hurdle is yet.  And evidently, you've no issue with risking the safety of children until the height of that hurdle can be clearly defined.  I'm sorry, but I don't fall into that camp.

 

I also notice that you've conveniently neglected to rebut my mention of Bjorn Nittmo.  His story is, at absolute minimum, exceptionally strong circumstantial evidence that the game shouldn't be regulated - but outlawed, period - as he took ONE shot to the head in a game 30 years ago, and has been completely messed up since.  Any such sport that puts you at such risk (and I'll include auto racing in this) should be considered for elimination.  At minimum, others outside the parameters of the game's "family" need to step in, do a thorough and objective assessment of it, and determine how the game can be made safer - just as Theodore Roosevelt did 110 or so years ago.  If that means the end of the kickoff?  I'm fine by that.  If that means players playing without pads and helmets so they realize how vulnerable they are rather than feeling invincible?  I'm for that.  But someone needs to step in, and to argue otherwise is folly.

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33 minutes ago, Mac the Knife said:

I also notice that you've conveniently neglected to rebut my mention of Bjorn Nittmo.  His story is, at absolute minimum, exceptionally strong circumstantial evidence that the game shouldn't be regulated - but outlawed, period - as he took ONE shot to the head in a game 30 years ago, and has been completely messed up since.

I'll bite... your version of his story simply isn't true. He had at least two previous concussions from football before the fateful play with the Bucs.

 

"The preseason exhibition between the Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons on Aug. 9, 1997, wasn’t televised in the part of Florida where the Nittmos lived. Mary Lois stayed home with their two girls and wasn’t aware Bjorn’s opening kickoff had gone awry until the Buccaneers called after the game.

 

Nittmo had two previously diagnosed concussions Mary Lois knows of. Both happened while kicking for the Montreal Machine in the World League. To be informed of a third head injury was disconcerting, sure, but long-term effects from multiple concussions weren’t considered perilous two decades ago as they are today."

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Just now, Cosmic said:

I'll bite... your version of his story simply isn't true. He had at least two previous concussions from football before the fateful play with the Bucs.

 

"The preseason exhibition between the Buccaneers and Atlanta Falcons on Aug. 9, 1997, wasn’t televised in the part of Florida where the Nittmos lived. Mary Lois stayed home with their two girls and wasn’t aware Bjorn’s opening kickoff had gone awry until the Buccaneers called after the game.

 

Nittmo had two previously diagnosed concussions Mary Lois knows of. Both happened while kicking for the Montreal Machine in the World League. To be informed of a third head injury was disconcerting, sure, but long-term effects from multiple concussions weren’t considered perilous two decades ago as they are today."

 

Fair enough.  I wasn't aware of that but I'll concede it as fact.  But what does it mean?  That you can play until you have two diagnosed concussions and then you're done?  Where does that line get drawn?  The point still remains - this poor bastard's brains are scrambled like my morning eggs, and he was a kicker, who I'm sure you'll concede had nominal contact compared to players at any other position (including punters).  What does that say about the overall safety of the sport as a whole, then or now?

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i think one of the biggest things is this @Gold Pinstripes, and you've yet to answer this question specifically:

 

What does football do that cannot, under any circumstances, be replicated in any other sport or activity?

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2 minutes ago, Mac the Knife said:

 

Fair enough.  I wasn't aware of that but I'll concede it as fact.  But what does it mean?  That you can play until you have two diagnosed concussions and then you're done?  Where does that line get drawn?  The point still remains - this poor bastard's brains are scrambled like my morning eggs, and he was a kicker, who I'm sure you'll concede had nominal contact compared to players at any other position (including punters).  What does that say about the overall safety of the sport as a whole, then or now?

I don't think you can look at him as anything other than the seven standard deviation outlier. You could say the same about Kevin Everett. One hit, and he came reeeal close to dying on the field. I think you have to separate the things that are likely or probable to happen from the "lightning strike" freak accidents. Say it turns out that CTE affects only 10% of players... it's still a world apart from the freaky kind of thing that happened to Bjorn Nittmo.

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1 minute ago, Cosmic said:

I don't think you can look at him as anything other than the seven standard deviation outlier. You could say the same about Kevin Everett. One hit, and he came reeeal close to dying on the field. I think you have to separate the things that are likely or probable to happen from the "lightning strike" freak accidents. Say it turns out that CTE affects only 10% of players... it's still a world apart from the freaky kind of thing that happened to Bjorn Nittmo.

 

But... is it?  Is it that much of an outlier?  We don't know, likely because if it happens at pre-professional levels to that degree, the playing days of the player suffering the trauma (hopefully) come to an immediate end.  I was diagnosed with one concussion playing high school football; the next day, my parents made me turn in my pads and helmet.  I had headaches for weeks but was otherwise fine.  Did I want to play?  Yeah.  But my parents were smart enough to forbid it from that point forward.

 

And on the other hand, even presuming it's a freak accident as you put it, why put people in a position where such freak accidents are any more likely than the proverbial lightning strike?  But the truth is, these aren't freak accidents or lightning strikes.  Darryl Stingley was not an accident.  Dennis Byrd was not an accident.  Mike Webster was not an accident.  Dwight Clark was not an accident.  Lou Creekmur was not an accident.  Dave Duerson was not an accident.  Frank Gifford was not an accident.  Cookie Gilchrist was not an accident.  Aaron Hernandez was not an accident.  Jovan Belcher was not an accident.  Rob Lytle was not an accident.  John Mackey was not an accident.  Ollie Matson was not an accident.  Earl Morrall was not an accident.  Junior Seau was not an accident.  Ken Stabler was not an accident.  Bubba Smith was not an accident.  Justin Strzelczyk was not an accident.  Andre Waters was not an accident.  Mosi Tatupu was not an accident.  They were 20 players who, either due to one-time hits or a lifetime of suffering head traumas directly related to playing football, had their lives either seriously compromised or cut short.  Two of those people took innocent lives with them along the way before meeting their own demise.

 

How much lightning has to strike?

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3 minutes ago, Mac the Knife said:

 

But... is it?  Is it that much of an outlier?  We don't know, likely because if it happens at pre-professional levels to that degree, the playing days of the player suffering the trauma (hopefully) come to an immediate end.  I was diagnosed with one concussion playing high school football; the next day, my parents made me turn in my pads and helmet.  I had headaches for weeks but was otherwise fine.  Did I want to play?  Yeah.  But my parents were smart enough to forbid it from that point forward.

 

And on the other hand, even presuming it's a freak accident as you put it, why put people in a position where such freak accidents are any more likely than the proverbial lightning strike?  But the truth is, these aren't freak accidents or lightning strikes.  Darryl Stingley was not an accident.  Dennis Byrd was not an accident.  Mike Webster was not an accident.  Dwight Clark was not an accident.  Lou Creekmur was not an accident.  Dave Duerson was not an accident.  Frank Gifford was not an accident.  Cookie Gilchrist was not an accident.  Aaron Hernandez was not an accident.  Jovan Belcher was not an accident.  Rob Lytle was not an accident.  John Mackey was not an accident.  Ollie Matson was not an accident.  Earl Morrall was not an accident.  Junior Seau was not an accident.  Ken Stabler was not an accident.  Bubba Smith was not an accident.  Justin Strzelczyk was not an accident.  Andre Waters was not an accident.  Mosi Tatupu was not an accident.  They were 20 players who, either due to one-time hits or a lifetime of suffering head traumas directly related to playing football, had their lives either seriously compromised or cut short.  Two of those people took innocent lives with them along the way before meeting their own demise.

 

How much lightning has to strike?

I just don't see the equivalency between a steady drum of hits and a one-time thing (especially an unintentional hit like Nittmo's). If you want to take away football because one bad thing could happen and ruin lives... I feel like we're all one bad spill on a bicycle away from being on house arrest ourselves.

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5 hours ago, Gold Pinstripes said:

Why should someone be forced to leave something which has been generally beneficial, and switch to something else without a valid reason? 

 

Because the other thing is just as beneficial, and doesn't incur the demonstrated risks that football provides.

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4 hours ago, Gold Pinstripes said:

Ah, the most feeble argument of the kill football movement has been exposed, thank you San Francisco! As with other team sports, occasionally, players go off the tracks, and coaches are involved as well. It's revealing nearly all of these incidents happen at the major colleges or high schools. In other words, the overwhelming number of schools don't have these incidents. Football does indeed provide a healthy idea about manliness, because it's a healthy outlet for physicality. I can't help anyone who doesn't understand the many differences between the genders. And competitiveness is part of life, from job seeking and elsewhere. Too bad so many are completely unaware of the countless good deeds high school and college teams do for their communities. It doesn't sell, so some 23 year old blogger in a cubicle won't be writing about it.

 

A player died at Maryland because stopping practicing would have been seen as weakness, unmanly, and uncompetitive-by the player and by the coaches.

 

How many players work themselves to death in basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, track and field, etc. again?

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The more I observe concerning “football culture” in the US the more and more apparent it is to me that football, regardless of the level it’s played at, exists in its own bubble separate from the real world. 

And football as an institution gets very, very angry when one of its own is called to face consequences in the real world. 

 

Do I think football needs to be killed? No, but then again I’m not a 23 year old blogger from San Francisco, so Gold Pinstripes’ hyperbolic assertions never held much weight anyway.

 

Instead I want to see football become safer, better. Rules need to be re-evaluated, equipment designed in a way not to encourage players to use their heads as battering rams, and the toxic culture of football dismantled. 

 

Otherwise football will die a slow, defiant death. 

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1 minute ago, Ice_Cap said:

The more I observe concerning “football culture” in the US the more and more apparent it is to me that football, regardless of the level its played at, exists in its own bubble separate from the real world. 

And football as an institution gets very, very angry when one of its own is called to face consequences in the real world. 

 

Do I think football needs to be killed? No, but then again I’m not a 23 year old blogger from San Francisco, so Gold Pinstripes’ hyperbolic assertions never held much weight anyway.

 

Instead I want to see football become safer, better. Rules need to be re-evaluated, equipment designed in a way not to encourage players to use their heads as battering rams, and the toxic culture of football dismantled. 

 

Otherwise football will die a slow, defiant death. 

 

 

It's very much getting the same kind of treatment as the military, in some respects.  From the perspective of those who played, a lot of football players, current and former at any level, all emphatically bellow about how anyone who hasn't played is an outsider to be mocked and disenfranchised.  Some former players are even becoming "flat-earther"-esque in rebuking any manner of science or data, all because it came from a source that wasn't a career football player.

 

There is obviously a tremendous issue regarding CTE/concussions/safety in the world of hockey and particularly professional football, and data is beginning to pile up regarding dementia, suicides, derangement of a similar ilk, all pointing toward repeated violent brain collision. 

 

There is also a romantic, reckless vision of the NFL that throws caution to the wind, and at what point do we simply stop treating the league as a public service that needs rigorous health scrutiny and revert to enjoying it as a simple, violent pasttime that celebrates brutality and athleticism?

 

It's frustrating.  The league continues to change things year after year, whether it's more vague rules or updated helmet policy, and we really won't know if things have actually changed for another 6-8 years.

 

Another thing that pisses me off in all this is that the NFL is now, more than ever, a league centered around knees.  No sport is more impacted by ACL/MCL injuries, and that is largely due to inhuman bulk piled up on guys who are inhumanly fast.  If anything I think players should all be required to get fatter, work out less, and be thicker all around.  The game would slow down, injuries would decrease, and we wouldn't have to worry as much about dudes blowing out various joints.

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3 hours ago, Ice_Cap said:

The more I observe concerning “football culture” in the US the more and more apparent it is to me that football, regardless of the level its played at, exists in its own bubble separate from the real world. 

And football as an institution gets very, very angry when one of its own is called to face consequences in the real world. 

 

 

The issues surrounding places like Penn State and Steubenville are disproportionately represented in the football world, but the inherent problems I see at the youth level are very similar to what I see across all sports.

 

I sent out a half-joking half-serious tweet that my kid will never be allowed to play football, but he could coach the sport all he damn well pleases because that's where the real money lies.

 

The influx of money into youth sports in this country has exploded. You have High School football coaches making six-figure incomes just from coaching. Even assistants can now pull in 40K+ a year depending on the program. The average salary of D1 head coaches is approaching the $2 million mark. And that's not getting into all the other non-school affiliated youth development leagues out there.

 

People have to get out of this Victorian era mindset of youth sports. Your kid may not be playing for money, but if the team is worth damn, his or her coach is. If they can help better a child along the way as a human being, great, but it's not why they're there. No coach is making six figures because of the academic track record of their former players.

 

It's pretty easy for me to see the incentive for a coach to push his players as hard as he or she possibly can. Then we sit back and wonder why the burnout rate is so high.

 

Football happens to be in the inevitable position of being the sport that takes the greatest physical toll and therefore the sport under the most criticism. But swap audiences with basketball and I doubt the skepticism of studies related to CTE would be any less severe.

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On 8/12/2018 at 9:38 PM, SFGiants58 said:

 

Sure, it’s feeble, but I’m half-adding it. I also don’t believe in “kill football,” if you thought I did. Also, bringing up my home town’s name has a nice layer of passive-aggressiveness to it.

 

 

There are are other outlets for physicality, like other sports, hiking/walking, etc.. Also, are you implying that I don’t understand the basic biological/physiological differences between genders? If so, I think I can see you angle.?

 

 

You can learn that from any sport or academics.

 

 

Sure, toxic masculinity happens in any sport, and the “bad ones” get media preference. Also, when you try to demean your “opposition” as “23 year old blogger in a cubicle” or “parent’s basement,” you’re just using poor rhetoric.

 

I know I won’t change your mind, and that you won’t change mine or many of the other posters’ minds. Quite frankly, this has gotten boring.

As I've said before, why should someone change from a sport they prefer to another one, with no valid reason? The people who play tackle football have a level of passion for their sport which is rare. I have yet to see a baseball player crawl through through the mud after a three hour practice, or a basketball player running hundreds of yards after a practice with pads on. 

 

It's a piece of cake to discover many of the anti-football writers are 20 somethings with a limited knowledge about this topic. Their stories just don't overreach, but the links to their twitter pages reveal a tiny understanding about the world. Thank goodness I didn't attend some of these colleges! LOL!

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3 minutes ago, Gold Pinstripes said:

As I've said before, why should someone change from a sport they prefer to another one, with no valid reason? The people who play tackle football have a level of passion for their sport which is rare. I have yet to see a baseball player crawl through through the mud after a three hour practice, or a basketball player running hundreds of yards after a practice with pads on.  

 

It's a piece of cake to discover many of the anti-football writers are 20 somethings with a limited knowledge about this topic. Their stories just don't overreach, but the links to their twitter pages reveal a tiny understanding about the world. Thank goodness I didn't attend some of these colleges! LOL! 

 

Why would a baseball player crawl through mud? How does that help them play their sport? Also, basketball players don't wear pads. Or helmets. Which is part of the reason basketball players don't have as much brain trauma as football players.

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On 8/12/2018 at 10:31 PM, DiePerske said:

i think one of the biggest things is this @Gold Pinstripes, and you've yet to answer this question specifically:

 

What does football do that cannot, under any circumstances, be replicated in any other sport or activity?

The sport has a level of passion among it's participants which is extremely rare, along with the other many positive benefits I've already mentioned. That's been a transferable skill for many successful former players off the field. I think it's hilarious nobody is talking about the recent study which revealed girl's high school soccer has a higher per capita rate than football. Why? Because it doesn't fit the narrative.  

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4 minutes ago, DG_Now said:

 

Why would a baseball player crawl through mud? How does that help them play their sport? Also, basketball players don't wear pads. Or helmets. Which is part of the reason basketball players don't have as much brain trauma as football players.

The overwhelming majority of baseball and basketball players would quit if the nature of their sports required that level of training. LeBron James would struggle to survive an NFL training camp. 

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