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(The Atlantic)   A timeline of the NFL's responses to brain trauma caused by football. Summary for those too lazy to read: the NFL's claims of ignorance are no more believable than the tobacco lobby   (theatlantic.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, NFL, Boomer Esiason, Super Glue, Giants Stadium, Mike Martz, team physician, Steelers, Meadowlands  
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958 clicks; posted to Sports » on 25 Jan 2013 at 3:53 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-25 01:39:00 PM  
This league is in serious trouble going forward.
 
2013-01-25 01:47:25 PM  
Wow, a rheumatologistwas the NFL's concussion expert in 94?
 
2013-01-25 02:00:47 PM  
"Concussions are actually GOOD for players. Each concussion contains 100% of 19 essential vitamins and minerals."
 
2013-01-25 02:18:15 PM  
why don't we ask Chris Benoit about the dangers of repeated head injury?
 
2013-01-25 02:19:57 PM  
It's the lying that's the problem. If the NFL simply said, "Yes, the sport is very dangerous. That's why we pay our players like we do, and provide all sorts of healthcare for them and we'll start covering CTE, I guess. While we always strive to make the game safer, our players are adults taking risks with a full understanding of the potential consequences", I don't think anybody'd have (as much) of a problem.

Of course, that would kill pre-college football, and hurt college programs.
 
2013-01-25 02:35:25 PM  

ManateeGag: why don't we ask Chris Benoit about the dangers of repeated head injury?


www.angelfire.lycos.com
 
2013-01-25 02:37:58 PM  
www.angelfire.lycos.com
 
2013-01-25 02:38:38 PM  
OK. Never mind...
 
2013-01-25 02:39:58 PM  
At this point, the NFL deserves everything that's coming to it. And what's coming to it is a freakin' landslide of gargantuan proportions.
 
2013-01-25 02:42:45 PM  

ManateeGag: why don't we ask Chris Benoit about the dangers of repeated head injury?


CHRIS BENOIT IS HERE AND HE'S REALLY MAD
CHRIS BENOIT IS HERE AND HE'S REALLY AN-GRYYYYYYYYYYY
 
2013-01-25 02:55:13 PM  
And what of the brain trauma that is caused and is the caused of the Fark politics threads?
 
2013-01-25 02:58:45 PM  
FTFA:

2002 - Hall of Fame Pittsburgh Steeler center Mike Webster dies.Towards the end of his life Webster was living out a pick-up truck, using a Taser to ease back pain, and applying Super Glue to his teeth.

2004 - In September, former Steelers offensive linemen Justin Strzelczyk leads the police on a high speed chase through central New York, colliding at 90 MPH with a tractor trailer. The trailer explodes, killing Strzelcyzyk instantly.

2005 - In June, former Pittsburgh Steelers guard Terry Long commits suicide by drinking antifreeze.

2010- In a display of seriousness over player safety, Steelers linebacker James Harrison is fined $75,000 for his hit on Browns receiver Mohamed Massaquoi in an October game. Somewhat undercutting this display, the NFL on its website.


That's a  lot of Steelers references. Are they more openly compliant now? Do they have higher injury rates? Is Coates from the Pittsburgh area? Why so much focus on one team in the article?

/ also, note to self: no putting super glue on my teeth, dying in massive truck explosions, or  killing myself by driving farking antifreeze. This reads like the 'improbable deaths to hide a conspiracy' prologue to some paranoid thriller like  Enemy of the State.
 
2013-01-25 03:13:29 PM  

whistleridge: Is Coates from the Pittsburgh area?


He's not. He's from Baltimore and lives in NYC. He was a Dallas fan.
 
2013-01-25 03:24:04 PM  
Yeah, I think the Seau family is going to win that lawsuit pretty easily.
 
2013-01-25 03:48:26 PM  
Hey, he's a tough kid, he just got his bell rung.
 
2013-01-25 03:57:52 PM  
FTFA: One rather constant claim is that the NFL has always been always been straight about head trauma and that players

I'm sorry. Who has head trauma?
 
2013-01-25 04:02:24 PM  

Sin_City_Superhero: [www.angelfire.lycos.com image 127x73]


Angelfire? What, did we go back in time to when Chris Benoit was actually headlining?
 
2013-01-25 04:06:57 PM  
Legally, I doubt there's much of a question that the NFL will be found liable. To what degree, we don't know.

I realize the research on head trauma is ever-evolving, but I just feel like it shouldn't take an M.D. to let you in on the little secret that constant blows to the head aren't good for your health.
 
2013-01-25 04:18:28 PM  

DamnYankees: This league sport is in serious trouble going forward.


FTFY.

Football may be gone forever in less than a century, as much as it is beloved today.

Pocket Ninja: At this point, the NFL deserves everything that's coming to it. And what's coming to it is a freakin' landslide of gargantuan proportions.


I'm...not sure that's true. The article shows that concussions and their long term impacts have been badly managed for years. However, it does not show anything that proves the league withheld information about the long term effects of concussions and brain injury. I highly doubt the disabled/impacted veterans who played in 1990 or before can prove that the league was aware of risks and not informing players, or had any knowledge that was kept from the players about anything.

Clearly the NFL 'promotes a culture in which their employees are encouraged to hide or ignore injuries which promotes long term health risks to their players', and players from any era might win in court in regards to this. But significant jury damages seems unlikely on this point. The NFL can claim that that culture is established in high school and college programs, and may be able to deflect a lot of (legal) ramifications from this argument.


/not a lawyer
//played one on stage, briefly
 
2013-01-25 04:18:41 PM  
I'm sure Goodell will once again say how much he cares about player safety, then two minutes later will tell you about how they still hope to go to an 18-game schedule with an increased Thursday night package to make more players are on the field when their bodies haven't had time to fully recover.
 
2013-01-25 04:18:57 PM  

Sin_City_Superhero: [www.angelfire.lycos.com image 127x73]


Try Geocities. Those are way better.
 
2013-01-25 04:20:12 PM  

Pocket Ninja: At this point, the NFL deserves everything that's coming to it. And what's coming to it is a freakin' landslide of gargantuan proportions.


I've seen some estimates the NFL football as we know it will be at fringe entertainment like indoor lacrosse in less than 15 years. Not sure I believe it, but I wouldn't bet against it.
 
2013-01-25 04:22:57 PM  
Everything I've read says you solve this problem by removing the helmets, I would still watch football with no helmets so unless this is the NFL's stupid branding stopping it, I fail to see why we can't just do that.
 
2013-01-25 04:23:53 PM  

Incog_Neeto: Everything I've read says you solve this problem by removing the helmets, I would still watch football with no helmets so unless this is the NFL's stupid branding stopping it, I fail to see why we can't just do that.


I've seen the same stuff and I can't disagree with the findings.
 
2013-01-25 04:24:34 PM  
So from what I gather, Pellman is a horrible human being.
 
2013-01-25 04:24:56 PM  

whistleridge: That's a  lot of Steelers references. Are they more openly compliant now? Do they have higher injury rates? Is Coates from the Pittsburgh area? Why so much focus on one team in the article?


Probably connected to Drs. Omalu and Robinson being from the University of Pittsburgh.
 
2013-01-25 04:25:03 PM  

Yanks_RSJ: I'm sure Goodell will once again say how much he cares about player safety, then two minutes later will tell you about how they still hope to go to an 18-game schedule with an increased Thursday night package to make more players are on the field when their bodies haven't had time to fully recover.


And ESPN will showcase a whole segment on big hits, replaying them over and over in quick fashion and then a ful slow mo of the hit while saying ethnic catchphrases. Brought to you by BUDWEISER, the King Of Beers, and Duracell with Duralock Power preserve Technology and Applebees: The quick cure to your Constipation.
 
2013-01-25 04:25:25 PM  

Incog_Neeto: Everything I've read says you solve this problem by removing the helmets, I would still watch football with no helmets so unless this is the NFL's stupid branding stopping it, I fail to see why we can't just do that.


Let me quote Goodell on this one:
"Five players DIED of fractured skulls in 1909. Helmets prevent skull fractures. Helmets save lives."
 
2013-01-25 04:26:45 PM  

Rhypskallion: Let me quote Goodell on this one:
"Five players DIED of fractured skulls in 1909. Helmets prevent skull fractures. Helmets save lives."


In the 1800's, Football commonly had deaths, as college rivalries were serious business. The NCAA was actually born out of the need to protect the players.
 
2013-01-25 04:27:51 PM  

Rhypskallion: Incog_Neeto: Everything I've read says you solve this problem by removing the helmets, I would still watch football with no helmets so unless this is the NFL's stupid branding stopping it, I fail to see why we can't just do that.

Let me quote Goodell on this one:
"Five players DIED of fractured skulls in 1909. Helmets prevent skull fractures. Helmets save lives."


Wonder how many rugby players died of skull fractures...
 
2013-01-25 04:31:28 PM  

Rhypskallion: Incog_Neeto: Everything I've read says you solve this problem by removing the helmets, I would still watch football with no helmets so unless this is the NFL's stupid branding stopping it, I fail to see why we can't just do that.

Let me quote Goodell on this one:
"Five players DIED of fractured skulls in 1909. Helmets prevent skull fractures. Helmets save lives."


Why do you have to bring up old shiat?
 
2013-01-25 04:31:37 PM  
What if you could have a helmet that had padding on both the outside and inside of the shell? Wouldn't that negate a hell of a lot more energy of these hits?
 
2013-01-25 04:36:46 PM  
"2004 - In September, former Steelers offensive linemen Justin Strzelczyk leads the police on a high speed chase through central New York, colliding at 90 MPH with a tractor trailer. The trailer explodes, killing Strzelcyzyk instantly. "

I'll never get over how downplayed Strzelczyk's crazy tends to be in stories about him as a concussion victim. Not that I expect every gritty detail to make it into every article but the guy had gone full on Looney-Toon well before he died and they only ever scratch the surface. He was a very angry, aggressive man on and off the field. I'm pretty sure the concussions helped but weren't the root cause of that.
 
2013-01-25 04:36:56 PM  

Earthen: What if you could have a helmet that had padding on both the outside and inside of the shell? Wouldn't that negate a hell of a lot more energy of these hits?


Look at Eli Manning's ginormous balloon helmet:

www.spinmarketsports.com

Or Mark Kelso's helmet:

juniordsports.com

It's hard to look cool and be safe at the same time.
 
2013-01-25 04:38:02 PM  

HST's Dead Carcass: Earthen: What if you could have a helmet that had padding on both the outside and inside of the shell? Wouldn't that negate a hell of a lot more energy of these hits?

Look at Eli Manning's ginormous balloon helmet:

[www.spinmarketsports.com image 500x500]

Or Mark Kelso's helmet:

[juniordsports.com image 600x600]

It's hard to look cool and be safe at the same time.


The problem is that Eli has to wear his NFL helmet over his every-day helmet.
 
2013-01-25 04:43:36 PM  
Municipal playgrounds are gone because of lawsuits. Football would already be gone because of lawsuits, except that the injuries don't start to evidence themselves until well into pro careers. Thus the legal profession hasn't been able to figure out how to sue midget football, high school football or college football.

When, and if ever, you start to see lawsuits against high schools and colleges, football will suffer a quick death in both venues, and pro football will follow shortly thereafter.

Also, if the mom's of the 15 year olds start to conclude that the concussion risk is too high, you will see a slower, but inevitable death. This may already be going on.

Youth hockey, and then hockey, will also start to wither. Similar concussion risk.
 
2013-01-25 04:44:11 PM  
Enjoy it now, you are watching Peak Football.
 
2013-01-25 04:45:54 PM  

dj_bigbird: Rhypskallion: Incog_Neeto: Everything I've read says you solve this problem by removing the helmets, I would still watch football with no helmets so unless this is the NFL's stupid branding stopping it, I fail to see why we can't just do that.

Let me quote Goodell on this one:
"Five players DIED of fractured skulls in 1909. Helmets prevent skull fractures. Helmets save lives."

Wonder how many rugby players died of skull fractures...


Tackling is different in rugby because the flow of the game is different. The play doesn't stop once the ballcarrier is down and not every foot counts. When I played rugby I would let guys get 2-3 yards on me after contact if that meant I could get in a better position to get up first and take possession of the ball from him.

That's not to say that I didn't have concussions playing rugby. Last year I played I had 3 concussions, one of them being second degree. 2 of the 3 were received as a result of illegal hits.
 
2013-01-25 04:46:30 PM  

DoctorOfLove: Enjoy it now, you are watching Peak Football.


We are headed to a sad, sad world. No large sodas, no assault rifles, no football. It'll just be soccer and water and if someone pisses you off you'll have to write a letter to the UN.
 
2013-01-25 04:47:30 PM  

Treygreen13: DoctorOfLove: Enjoy it now, you are watching Peak Football.

We are headed to a sad, sad world. No large sodas, no assault rifles, no football. It'll just be soccer and water and if someone pisses you off you'll have to write a letter to the UN.


On the bright side, it might eventually mean the U.S. has an actual shot at the World Cup.
 
2013-01-25 04:49:55 PM  
The helmets with padding on the outside, if mandated across the league no exceptions, would solve about 80% of the problem in one swell foop.


Of course, De Smith wouldn't allow it in the CBA and the 'fashion conscious' players biatched, so....here we are.
 
2013-01-25 04:50:45 PM  

whistleridge: FTFA:

2002 - Hall of Fame Pittsburgh Steeler center Mike Webster dies.Towards the end of his life Webster was living out a pick-up truck, using a Taser to ease back pain, and applying Super Glue to his teeth.

2004 - In September, former Steelers offensive linemen Justin Strzelczyk leads the police on a high speed chase through central New York, colliding at 90 MPH with a tractor trailer. The trailer explodes, killing Strzelcyzyk instantly.

2005 - In June, former Pittsburgh Steelers guard Terry Long commits suicide by drinking antifreeze.

2010- In a display of seriousness over player safety, Steelers linebacker James Harrison is fined $75,000 for his hit on Browns receiver Mohamed Massaquoi in an October game. Somewhat undercutting this display, the NFL on its website.

That's a lot of Steelers references.


Keep in mind that those 70s era Steelers were taking more steroids than most east german athletes. Not saying that head trauma had nothing to do with any of that, but it may not be accurate to blame it ALL on the CTE.
 
2013-01-25 04:51:50 PM  

xaks: The helmets with padding on the outside, if mandated across the league no exceptions, would solve about 80% of the problem in one swell foop.


Of course, De Smith wouldn't allow it in the CBA and the 'fashion conscious' players biatched, so....here we are.


And, how would we know if it's a big hit or not without the resounding *CRACK* echoing across the field and into the parabolic microphones?
 
2013-01-25 04:52:22 PM  

DoctorOfLove: Municipal playgrounds are gone because of lawsuits. Football would already be gone because of lawsuits, except that the injuries don't start to evidence themselves until well into pro careers. Thus the legal profession hasn't been able to figure out how to sue midget football, high school football or college football.

When, and if ever, you start to see lawsuits against high schools and colleges, football will suffer a quick death in both venues, and pro football will follow shortly thereafter.

Also, if the mom's of the 15 year olds start to conclude that the concussion risk is too high, you will see a slower, but inevitable death. This may already be going on.

Youth hockey, and then hockey, will also start to wither. Similar concussion risk.


Hockey is already changing the rules to avoid hits that can cause concussions and has done so for about a decade now. More and more of the younger players have adapted to the rules and you don't see as many hits that can cause concussions. Of course you'll never get rid of all of them as you can get concussions even with legal hits.

Football is changing the rules and it's up to the fans to either adapt to the new game where it'll be less violent and more high scoring due to the defense getting more and more limited.
 
2013-01-25 04:56:04 PM  
Sort of puts the Troy Aikman Football Game commercial into perspective.
hUMMANA HUMMANA HUMMANA HUMMANA
 
2013-01-25 04:57:40 PM  
I don't think Goodell can hear you through all the...

bedouina.typepad.com
 
2013-01-25 04:58:22 PM  

ddam: DoctorOfLove: Municipal playgrounds are gone because of lawsuits. Football would already be gone because of lawsuits, except that the injuries don't start to evidence themselves until well into pro careers. Thus the legal profession hasn't been able to figure out how to sue midget football, high school football or college football.

When, and if ever, you start to see lawsuits against high schools and colleges, football will suffer a quick death in both venues, and pro football will follow shortly thereafter.

Also, if the mom's of the 15 year olds start to conclude that the concussion risk is too high, you will see a slower, but inevitable death. This may already be going on.

Youth hockey, and then hockey, will also start to wither. Similar concussion risk.

Hockey is already changing the rules to avoid hits that can cause concussions and has done so for about a decade now. More and more of the younger players have adapted to the rules and you don't see as many hits that can cause concussions. Of course you'll never get rid of all of them as you can get concussions even with legal hits.

Football is changing the rules and it's up to the fans to either adapt to the new game where it'll be less violent and more high scoring due to the defense getting more and more limited.


Last weekend I watched Pollard lay the smack down on Ridley. He knocked Ridley out cold with the hit and Ridley's rag doll form spun around and he fumbled the ball. It was a vicious helmet to helmet hit and almost INSTANTLY the announcers began jawing on that the hit was totally legal and a good hit all at the same time. They went on to say how "The crown of the helmet cannot be used as a 'weapon' for tackling, i.e. spearing, or lowering the helmet to lead helmet first into a tackle, but since Ridley lowered his helmet, which is totally legal as a runner, Pollard was allowed, by league rules, to meet the display and lead with his helmet, concluding with a crown of the helmet to crown of the helmet hit."
 
2013-01-25 04:59:02 PM  

Why Would I Read the Article: Keep in mind that those 70s era Steelers were taking more steroids than most east german athletes. Not saying that head trauma had nothing to do with any of that, but it may not be accurate to blame it ALL on the CTE.


That was my first thought too, but Mike Webster was the only one who played in the 70s (and strangely enough, these guys' careers pretty much span all of 1974-2010 with a couple of exceptions and almost zero overlap).
 
2013-01-25 05:01:40 PM  

HST's Dead Carcass: Last weekend I watched Pollard lay the smack down on Ridley. He knocked Ridley out cold with the hit and Ridley's rag doll form spun around and he fumbled the ball. It was a vicious helmet to helmet hit and almost INSTANTLY the announcers began jawing on that the hit was totally legal and a good hit all at the same time. They went on to say how "The crown of the helmet cannot be used as a 'weapon' for tackling, i.e. spearing, or lowering the helmet to lead helmet first into a tackle, but since Ridley lowered his helmet, which is totally legal as a runner, Pollard was allowed, by league rules, to meet the display and lead with his helmet, concluding with a crown of the helmet to crown of the helmet hit."


I'm ok with that. You want to lead with the part of your body that controls your motor skills and bodily functions in order to push away defenders, be prepared to eat apple sauce until your mid 40's death. But if you don't have a choice about your head position, then nobody gets to light you up.
 
2013-01-25 05:07:05 PM  

This Looks Fun: Incog_Neeto: Everything I've read says you solve this problem by removing the helmets, I would still watch football with no helmets so unless this is the NFL's stupid branding stopping it, I fail to see why we can't just do that.

I've seen the same stuff and I can't disagree with the findings.


except that soccer players suffer from lots of concussions

they don't wear helmets

granted, taking a hard soccer ball off the head repeatedly probably isn't good for you

but if that's the only real contact they receive to the head, then i'd feel safe in betting that NFL players would still suffer lots of concussions even with modified play due to no helmets.
 
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