Football Concussion

English: Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett F...
English: Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre during on-field warmups at Ralph B. Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, prior to a game against the Buffalo Bills on November 5, 2006. Français : Brett Favre, quarterback des Green Bay Packers, avant un jeu contre le Buffalo Bills. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Football Concussion


Unless the problem of football concussion can be solved, I’m not sure if the sport will survive. Brett Favre’s story of memory loss is shocking and tragic. Our memories are what we are in a real way. Taking that away from a human being diminishes that person. It takes away a chunk of what makes us human.


Is it ethical to make money off athletes whose lives are diminished (ruined?) by regular concussions?


I suppose a free market fundamentalist could argue that these men were willing to take the risk. But that argument collapses like a deflated balloon against the fact that the risks have only become evident recently and are still not well understood. We know that damage results and that it is serious. We don’t know how much damage or how serious.


The sport of football with now known health risks involving brain injuries is more similar in some ways to sports now banned like college boxing.


I don’t want to abolish the sport yet. First I want to see if something can be done to make it safe or safer.


Our current practice of business ethics does allow for sports carrying some risks, high school cheerleading, karate teams, soccer, etc. The question is always going to be how much risk and how serious the damage.


So, if the risk of long term brain damage due to concussion can be reduced, if that is possible, then there will have to be a determination if that lowered risk is low enough for the sport to continue.


James Pilant


Brett Favre: ‘God Only Knows The Toll’ That NFL Concussions, Injuries Will Take


The 44-year-old, who played 302 games over 20 NFL seasons, discussed how \”they didn\’t keep a log like they do now\” of concussions and recounted one specific instance of memory loss since he retired after the 2010 season.


\”I don\’t remember my daughter playing soccer, youth soccer, one summer,\” Favre told Pollin and Saraceno after discussng his decision to rebuff an offer from the St. Louis Rams to come out of retirement. \”I don\’t remember that. I got a pretty good memory, and I have a tendency like we all do to say, \’Where are my glasses?\’ and they\’re on your head. I have that [but] this was pretty shocking to me that I couldn\’t remember my daughter playing youth soccer, just one summer, I think. I remember her playing basketball, I remember her playing volleyball. So I kind of think maybe she only played a game or two. I think she played eight. So that\’s a little bit scary to me. For the first time in 44 years, that put a little fear in me.\”


via Brett Favre: ‘God Only Knows The Toll’ That NFL Concussions, Injuries Will Take.

From around the web.

From the web site, The Concussion Blog.

The Concussion Blog Original, NFL Concussion Report, is a weekly compiling of the reported head injuries in the National Football League.  Concussions are added to the list each week from multiple sources to give you the reader a picture of what is happening on the field.  Each week we will bring you the information along with relevant statistics.  If we have missed a concussion or put one on here erroneously, let us know (we will also be using Fink’s Rule to classify a concussion/head injury).  It also should be noted that due to the league not disclosing actual injuries until Friday night there may be some added to next weeks numbers.


Football Pain

From a Salon article called

The NFL: An indictment of America

by Ethan Sherwood Strauss –

True fans possess an enormous capacity to live through their football heroes, but they retain an even greater capacity to do so without empathy. Just last week, Bears quarterback Jay Culter was all but put in stocks for leaving a game due to a torn MCL. Fans burned his jersey as though Cutler “quit” out of feminine frailty, as though this professional QB had concocted some elaborate, cowardly, fan-jobbing conspiracy. The public violently, irrationally demands that a player play, even with knee ligaments dangling. No wonder so many of these athletes gobble painkillers in a manner that would trump a toilet-bound Elvis.

I’ve spent my life wondering what people saw in football. NFL football, I get that. That’s entertainment. What I don’t get is college or high school football. There’s this strange story line that football builds character and teamwork. I imagine there is some development there – “playing fields of Eton” and the other charming and nonsensical tales of our culture. But for almost all colleges, football loses money all the time every year. In high school it is at best a distraction from the real purpose of school and worse, a money drain diverting resources from other programs.

But the author here is right. It is the pain. It is the harm the sport does to the players. And the fans. There is some strangeness there. Many years ago I was in high school and the NFL players went on strike. My fellow students deprived of their television pacifier were outraged. My father subscribed to Sports Illustrated and I read about the strike. I discovered that the average life span of an NFL player was 58 years and the injury rate was 100%. That’s a lot to give up so that people can be entertained.

The author continues –

At a certain point, we are — in part — defined by this tendency. That America endorses the NFL’s pain party starts to say something about the country. Such as: American culture is replete with couch-jockeys who feel more masculine for having watched other people destroy themseves. Or: American culture is fine with perpetuating a system of destruction, so long as a few, mostly poor people are involved. In many ways, our attitudes towards fetishized athletes mirror our attitudes towards those glorious troops whom we only support with platitudes. This is not good.

I agree.

James Pilant

Enhanced by Zemanta