dfwabel

Football and CTE

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Yes. The people concerned about player health are selling snake oil. The NFL are the good guys always.

 

I appreciate the different view, but, man.

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10 hours ago, Sykotyk said:

As for NFL and CTE, the problem is the confirmation bias of this study. 111 people thought they or their loved ones had CTE and had their or their loved ones' brains donated to be studied.

 

Can we lay this canard to rest?  That's not what confirmation bias is. 

 

If anything, it would be selection bias.  But even that doesn't apply because they come right out at the beginning and state that this study isn't intended to be representative of the general population. 

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I personally feel like this isn't the NFL vs. Truthers.  It's football vs. perception.  The perception of the sport needs to change, breeding acceptance for what it is, and leveling appropriate judgment across the culture.

 

Football is dangerous and will ruin your later years if played for many years and at the highest levels, or it could paralyze you at a young age on the lower tiers.  We all need to accept this and adjust accordingly.

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14 hours ago, Sykotyk said:

It's snake oil salesmanship.

Subconscious self-critique? 

 

I REALLY hope you work for the NFL or one of its teams. Otherwise that's a lot of blind loyalty to show to something for no monetary compensation.  

 

14 hours ago, Sykotyk said:

So to say "Oh, kids today shouldn't play because their brains might be mush by the time they're 60 because someone who started playing 30 years ago did isn't really helping.

Oh I think it's very helpful. 

We as a society adjust the more we learn about destructive behaviour or vices. Alcohol and tobacco are restricted until a certain age, for example. 

 

We now know that people who haven't played a down of football since high school show the effects of CTE. Knowing that? We as a society need to collectively say that no. High school kids whose brains are still developing shouldn't be smashing those brains to mush. 

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24 minutes ago, Ice_Cap said:

High school kids whose brains are still developing shouldn't be smashing those brains to mush. 

Agreed, and most importantly, the high schools themselves should not be sanctioning it. That's the last thing a school should be doing. If zero-tolerance policies have kids getting suspended for a week (or expelled altogether) for a slapfight in the cafeteria, they should have less than zero tolerance for destroying people's brains.

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On 7/29/2017 at 11:20 AM, infrared41 said:

 

I wish I could find all the posts over the years where I said "football needs less equipment, not more." Anyway, I agree. 

 

I don't think they should get rid of helmets entirely, but adopt a softer rugby-style helmet to protect the players's heads more from hard incidental contact or from when they hit the ground. The safest hits can include contact with the head, whether it's by the tackler or the ground. Even the leather helmets of the early years of football offered some protection. It wasn't until the players got bigger and faster that the helmets became plastic or some other polycarbonate material.

 

Is there a CTE study for rugby or Aussie Rules Football? While there may not be as many direct hits to the head in those sports, it does seem like there are a lot of whiplash-inducing hits, which although that primarily affects the neck, the brain is still moving around a lot with the same physical action.

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5 hours ago, CS85 said:

I personally feel like this isn't the NFL vs. Truthers.  It's football vs. perception.  The perception of the sport needs to change, breeding acceptance for what it is, and leveling appropriate judgment across the culture.

 

Football is dangerous and will ruin your later years if played for many years and at the highest levels, or it could paralyze you at a young age on the lower tiers.  We all need to accept this and adjust accordingly.

 

I think it's more like Big Tobacco.  They lied for years, they stonewalled, they denied the science.  Then they started to run out of denials, and turned to a "free choice" argument.   

 

In the end, we put all kinds of restrictions on cigarettes, levy financial penalties on those who profit from the product and keep kids away from them.  Seems like we could do the same for football. 

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I don't have a problem with informed adults playing football if everyone's made aware of the risks. 

 

I'm with @the admiral though. High schools shouldn't be in the business of smashing teenagers' brains to mush. It needs to be illegal for anyone under the age of 18. 

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Football is my favorite sport by a country mile and yet, if I had a son I wouldn't allow him to play it. In fact, I'd agree with the above sentiments that tackle football should be illegal for minors. 

 

I don't have as much an issue with adults playing the game, being fully aware of the inherent risks involved, but children should not be playing it. Period.

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13 minutes ago, Kaz said:

I played football at both pee-wee and high school level, and I'm certainly okay with limiting participation until at least high school.  FWIW I wouldn't be against limiting it through high school, but Hell would sooner freeze over especially in places like Texas.

I know we'll never eradicate high school football in Texas, the Southeast, Ohio, or western PA, but I could see it dropping off in a lot of other parts of the country, especially at two extremes: upper-class school districts where parents don't want their children's highly competitive and already tenuous futures jeopardized by football, and poor districts where schools can't afford the fast-escalating costs of insuring a football program. I'd look at non-Ohio states in the Great Lakes, New England, and California as places where you'll start to see high school football disappear in patches.

 

Boxing still exists, but mostly as a way out, and no one's much involved in high school boxing. I think that's the endgame for high school football.

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2 hours ago, Rockstar Matt said:

I don't have as much an issue with adults playing the game, being fully aware of the inherent risks involved

 

My issue is that we're not there yet.   Not by a long shot, when the NFL stonewalls and makes research more difficult. 

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21 hours ago, dfwabel said:

Stop with the basketball.

 

White people dislike LaVar Ball now and he has a better son as a HS Junior now.

I dislike LaVar Ball because he's a sexist and a knucklehead.  Does that make me a hater, and should I stay in my lane?

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14 hours ago, Gothamite said:

 

Can we lay this canard to rest?  That's not what confirmation bias is. 

 

If anything, it would be selection bias.  But even that doesn't apply because they come right out at the beginning and state that this study isn't intended to be representative of the general population. 

 

Those wanting to do the study already knew what they were looking to find. Hence confirmation bias. Yes, it's also selection bias. Just because they state that in the report doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Because most of the people in this thread discussing this report seem to gloss over it. I heard two talking heads on the radio going "oh wow, 99% of all NFL players have CTE" and it's clearly obvious they missed that point.

 

Which is exactly the problem with studies such as these. The data may be 'sound', but the portrayal of that data directs people the exact way they want.

 

Over 1,000,000 kids played high school football in 2014-15 school year. If you figure even an equal disbursement between 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grades, that's 250,000 football players finishing 12th grade every season.

 

3.4-3.5 million students graduated the 2014-15 school year. If roughly half are males, that's 1.75 million males graduating each year. Which means at minimum, 1 in every 7 males are or have played high school football. Just by today's participation rate. The number is plausibly higher in the past.

 

Where's the long term study recognizing CTE in the 6/7 who didn't play football (and whether they played any other high school sports), and the 1/7 who did, and their results based on whether they did play post-high school football. And also how much pop warner, etc they played prior to high school football.

 

And as I asked before, what is the notable brain function loss. Not just that it's present, but quantify it. And what portion of the non-CTE diagnosed population has similar or worse brain function compared to those studied that DO have CTE.

 

Science is all about classifying things. You can label 'hypertension' based on the cuff readout of your blood pressure, yet there's no guarantee someone with high blood pressue WILL have a heart attack, heart disease, etc.. Just that they're more susceptible to those ailments. And yet no guarantee those WITHOUT high blood pressure from eventually getting a heart attack, heart disease, etc.

 

The cutoff between what is or isn't 'hypertension' is purely a number derived from data. It's not a guarantee of outcome. Just a likelihood of an outcome. The debate about CTE seems to imply that all these players would have been Einsteins if not for playing football. Or at least that's the way the public seems to be digesting the information. Show me the IQ drop, reaction times, decrease in mathematical accuracy, anger issues, attention spans, etc of those labeled CTE compared to 'healthy' people.

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2 hours ago, Sykotyk said:

The debate about CTE seems to imply that all these players would have been Einsteins if not for playing football.

I do think that developing teenage brains have a higher chance of being healthy if they're not being smashed around, yes.

No, not every kid's going to be a genius. Getting clocked in the head day in and day out isn't doing them any favours though. I'm not saying high school football is keeping kids from being academic prodigies. I'm saying high school football could very well be permanently damaging children's brains before they've even fully developed. 

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Ice_Cap said:

I do think that developing teenage brains have a higher chance of being healthy if they're not being smashed around, yes.

No, not every kid's going to be a genius. Getting clocked in the head day in and day out isn't doing them any favours though. I'm not saying high school football is keeping kids from being academic prodigies. I'm saying high school football could very well be permanently damaging children's brains before they've even fully developed. 

 

 

 

And if 1/7th of the entire male population in this country over the past 50 years has played at least high school football--many in much looser regulations with regard to brain trauma and hits to the head--wouldn't we be able to see a direct and obvious problem with those people?

 

Plus, CTE isn't about concussions or 'getting your bell rung', it's about continuous and regular sub-concussive hits to the head. Whiplash effect on the base of the brain attached the the brainstem, etc.  At least that's the argument about CTE now with regard to high school football. It isn't the decleating blindside hit that does it, but the hundreds of scrimmage plays between linemen. The linebacker lowering the shoulder into the runner, etc.

 

If we've had 50 years of helmet-wearing football history, the plethora of former players should be quite obvious in their mental acuity, emotional distress, etc compared to 'normal' people who never played. At least that's what CTE research is telling us, or at least having us believe. Is having a kid sit the moment they appear to have suffered a concussion going to save them from CTE compared to what was done in the 80s or 90s? Who knows. Wait until the kid born in 2002 dies in fifty years, cut out his brain, study it, and decide whether he got CTE or not.

 

In the end, we really are taking educated guesses on what may or may not improve safety because the only way to know for certain is to examine the remains postmortem, and that won't be done for most, hopefully, for several decades.

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You're right.  There's a lot of research yet to be done.

 

Shame, then, that the NFL is stonewalling and making it hard for the NIH to actually do that research with the money it donated "no strings attached".  

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Actually, 1/7th of the male population walking around with brain damage would explain quite a bit.

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5 hours ago, DG_Now said:

Actually, 1/7th of the male population walking around with brain damage would explain quite a bit.

Madden Lead Crime Hypothesis 17

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On 7/31/2017 at 4:31 AM, Sykotyk said:

And if 1/7th of the entire male population in this country over the past 50 years has played at least high school football

 

Do you have a figure for this? That sounds ridiculously high.

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2 hours ago, sc49erfan15 said:

 

Do you have a figure for this? That sounds ridiculously high.

I was thinking the same thing; I have a feeling it must count every year a player plays as a new "player". So if a high school has the same 50 players for four years, they must be counting it as 200 players... but that's just me guessing.  I don't see how it could possibly be as high as 1/7th.

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