Other Concussions and Player Safety Issues

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Mile High Tiger

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Re: Comprehensive Survey Long-Term Affects of Football

So many of the rule-changes appear to relate to risk mitigation than actual good sense. They frustrate players and fans alike.

I can't prove it but to me it seems like a diversion from the real health issues that players face relating to substance abuse. There's got to be question marks over many players who've died in their 40s - 50s.
 

peterbuch74

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Re: Comprehensive Survey Long-Term Affects of Football

Having played the game albeit at a "minnow" level compared to the NFL I can say that I have absolutely no regrets in playing.

I have countless injuries from my 3 seasons including knee problems, broken fingers, cracked ribs, 1 concussion, lost tooth, shoulder separation and a shattered and compound fractured left arm which ultimately took me out of the game.

I finished up 17 years ago and still feel some of the hits, and on cold days (bring on the German winter in 3 weeks!) the plates and screws holding my left arm together hurt like a b!tch.

Would I do it all again? Hell yes.

If my wife and kids would let me I'd go out and give it another round today. I've played AFL, played basketball, played soccer... and none of them come near the thrill, the excitement and the utter reliance on the other 10 men on the field with you than the game of gridiron.

There's a thing that I learnt while studying for a business degree around the same time I was playing... and it's called "an assumption of risk". In other words, you go in knowing what may happen to you. You might get injured and the next play may in fact be your last.

I did it for nothing... in fact I paid good money to play... bought my own helmet, shoulder pads, shoes, guards, braces, uniforms, insurance, travelled all over Victoria to get to games... all out of my own pocket. These guys even 25 years ago were getting good coin to play the game that we all love. Suck it up princesses... move on.
 

Mile High Tiger

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Re: Comprehensive Survey Long-Term Affects of Football

I'm wondering if we know each other, PB. I played from 90-94. My knee is stuffed from repeated impact on the Olympic Park astroturf. I blew out a bursar sac.

I fully concur that there's no other sport to play like it - the ultimate team sport. I still have all my gear and was very serious about 5-6 years ago about giving it another go. If I wasn't a dad, I would have tried too. Still miss playing.
 

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peterbuch74

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Re: Comprehensive Survey Long-Term Affects of Football

I'm wondering if we know each other, PB. I played from 90-94. My knee is stuffed from repeated impact on the Olympic Park astroturf. I blew out a bursar sac.

I fully concur that there's no other sport to play like it - the ultimate team sport. I still have all my gear and was very serious about 5-6 years ago about giving it another go. If I wasn't a dad, I would have tried too. Still miss playing.
Who'd you play for MHT?
 

Burningleviathan

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Re: Comprehensive Survey Long-Term Affects of Football

So the players knew about the risks to their mental health when they took up the game as kids in the 50's/60's?
 

peterbuch74

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Re: Comprehensive Survey Long-Term Affects of Football

Devils for 2 years till they folded, then Rangers. You?
I tried out with the Devils in 2001, but couldn't afford to play at that stage... ended up at the Warriors for a couple of years, but played in 2003/2004 for the Lilydale Steelers who were the Rangers under 20s side.

Speaking of the Devils, you'd know Bernie Maus? He played there, but ended up Captaining the Warriors (I went to school with him too).

Sorry to hijack the thread GG! :D

We should catch up sometime MHT... Broncos, Tigers, Liverpool and Victory fans we are both! :thumbsu:
 

Mile High Tiger

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Re: Comprehensive Survey Long-Term Affects of Football

I tried out with the Devils in 2001, but couldn't afford to play at that stage... ended up at the Warriors for a couple of years, but played in 2003/2004 for the Lilydale Steelers who were the Rangers under 20s side.

Speaking of the Devils, you'd know Bernie Maus? He played there, but ended up Captaining the Warriors (I went to school with him too).

Sorry to hijack the thread GG! :D

We should catch up sometime MHT... Broncos, Tigers, Liverpool and Victory fans we are both! :thumbsu:
I knew Bernie. He was like the king of special teams for the devils in 90, 91. Played a bit of d too I think.

You have very good taste in teams. I watch a few reds games at the imperial do if you get along let me know and I'll get u a beer.

Appreciate the relaxed attitude, GG! Never too late to leave the Dark Side...
 

GG.exe

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Re: Comprehensive Survey Long-Term Affects of Football

I believe in non-censorship, non-infracting/banning/reporting, trash talk, debates, arguments, fights can be fun, also in genuine friendship and rapport and embracing blow-ins and helping them become long-timers, and respecting long-timers who earned their stripes and contribute so much.

BF tho is not my site, it's got rules. But as a mod, especially of this board which started as a small group of regulars who wanted to retain how it was and not become like the rest of BF team-boards etc, it's the best board on BF imo due to all that, all the posters, and thus me being able to mod like a referee who puts his whistle away and lets the action go.

I'll ignore your very last statement tho :eek: :p
 

Woodson

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Re: Comprehensive Survey Long-Term Affects of Football

I'm wondering if we know each other, PB. I played from 90-94. My knee is stuffed from repeated impact on the Olympic Park astroturf. I blew out a bursar sac.

I fully concur that there's no other sport to play like it - the ultimate team sport. I still have all my gear and was very serious about 5-6 years ago about giving it another go. If I wasn't a dad, I would have tried too. Still miss playing.
Thanx for sharing that detail MHT. I / we never knew about you. :thumbsu:
FWIW, I officiated in the VGFL from 1995-2001. Political fall out on the eve of the 2001 Vic Bowl. :mad: (still makes my blood boil when I think about it).
 

Mile High Tiger

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Re: Comprehensive Survey Long-Term Affects of Football

Thanx for sharing that detail MHT. I / we never knew about you. :thumbsu:
FWIW, I officiated in the VGFL from 1995-2001. Political fall out on the eve of the 2001 Vic Bowl. :mad: (still makes my blood boil when I think about it).
Officiating this game has to be a very hard gig. Did you guys spend each night with your head in the rule book? I'm pretty sure you'd know more than the average player out there.

Politics in the VGFL seemed pretty constant back then - good clubs folding etc
I knew nothing about all that but was completely obsessed by the game, both locally and in the US. There were some awesome players in the league back then too.
 

Woodson

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Re: Comprehensive Survey Long-Term Affects of Football

Officiating this game has to be a very hard gig. Did you guys spend each night with your head in the rule book? I'm pretty sure you'd know more than the average player out there.

Politics in the VGFL seemed pretty constant back then - good clubs folding etc
I knew nothing about all that but was completely obsessed by the game, both locally and in the US. There were some awesome players in the league back then too.
There are alot of different scenario's in the NCAA rule book that makes you appreciate how great/ ridiculously intriguing the game of gridiron is. That's why, that knowing the rules, situations of plays between downs and where to look and determine how much attention to detail is required just blows my mind then you have the dumb old f*€* in the NFL making embarrassing calls that 'we' in the VFGL (back then) would never do, if we did slip up, we'd be reminded/ be showed up in meetings for an example of what to avoid. I officiated in the inaugural State Championships back in 1996 in Canberra, looking back, I thought I blew my chance with certain non-calls I should of made but I had two guys who defended me in why I made the right decision to let that go. I was really surprised I got a SC guersey as I thought two other officials were more competent than I at the time.

Moving along, the high standard the Victorian guys officiated compared to the rest of the states was poles apart. We were more 'on the spirit of the game' rather than 'double guessing'. Great times had. I enjoyed the commeraidere and understanding more rules/ play situations as the years went on. On the state front, we gathered for fortnightly meetings after work to discuss the rules/ our form and digest many details of team feedback which was important in our development. The scrutiny we had on ourselves was quite intense at times but I was happy that I ticked alot of boxes in getting the duties downpat.

Still rate Gridiron as the ultimate team sport, LOVE it first as a sport then the players/ personell involved then I adore the Steelers/ most teams achievements. So much to offer in discussions every week that doesn't just stop at the result. To be 'just a team fan is so narrow minded', empty minded. That's why I get FIRED UP when someone bags the game based on a very shallow comments like the typical whinge >>> it's too stop - start!!
:rolleyes: I've chewed down a few ears over the years that allowed 'pennies' to drop. It's so hypocritical that people from Down Under would say that Americans don't know anything outside their own country (true but that's not the point) when we have the same who refuse to allow something new to enter their minds like 'trying to understand' why gridiron is clearly the ultimate team sport. :thumbsu:
 

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sighclone

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Re: Comprehensive Survey Long-Term Affects of Football

There are alot of different scenario's in the NCAA rule book that makes you appreciate how great/ ridiculously intriguing the game of gridiron is. That's why, that knowing the rules, situations of plays between downs and where to look and determine how much attention to detail is required just blows my mind then you have the dumb old f*€* in the NFL making embarrassing calls that 'we' in the VFGL (back then) would never do, if we did slip up, we'd be reminded/ be showed up in meetings for an example of what to avoid. I officiated in the inaugural State Championships back in 1996 in Canberra, looking back, I thought I blew my chance with certain non-calls I should of made but I had two guys who defended me in why I made the right decision to let that go. I was really surprised I got a SC guersey as I thought two other officials were more competent than I at the time.

Moving along, the high standard the Victorian guys officiated compared to the rest of the states was poles apart. We were more 'on the spirit of the game' rather than 'double guessing'. Great times had. I enjoyed the commeraidere and understanding more rules/ play situations as the years went on. On the state front, we gathered for fortnightly meetings after work to discuss the rules/ our form and digest many details of team feedback which was important in our development. The scrutiny we had on ourselves was quite intense at times but I was happy that I ticked alot of boxes in getting the duties downpat.

Still rate Gridiron as the ultimate team sport, LOVE it first as a sport then the players/ personell involved then I adore the Steelers/ most teams achievements. So much to offer in discussions every week that doesn't just stop at the result. To be 'just a team fan is so narrow minded', empty minded. That's why I get FIRED UP when someone bags the game based on a very shallow comments like the typical whinge >>> it's too stop - start!!
:rolleyes: I've chewed down a few ears over the years that allowed 'pennies' to drop. It's so hypocritical that people from Down Under would say that Americans don't know anything outside their own country (true but that's not the point) when we have the same who refuse to allow something new to enter their minds like 'trying to understand' why gridiron is clearly the ultimate team sport. :thumbsu:
You got that right, Wannabe. Gridiron.
 

Woodson

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Re: Comprehensive Survey Long-Term Affects of Football

You got that right, Wannabe. Gridiron.
So what's sighclone point?? <<< who is this blow in anyway? :confused: He agrees but doesn't say much. VERY SHALLOW indeed! :p

It'll be interesting to see where this debate goes :p
I'm ready to UNLEASH if the tumbleweed blows this way. :p
 

Mile High Tiger

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Re: Comprehensive Survey Long-Term Affects of Football

Not sure what his point is.

Enjoyed your perspective and I think your credibility is well and truly intact. It is a game that you can love first before team affiliations. I think it's the structure of the game and the design of the divisions that makes many neutral games enthralling.

Jeez I'm way off topic now...
 

GG.exe

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Re: Comprehensive Survey Long-Term Affects of Football

There are certain sections of the AFL board I guess that are still madly in love with AFL (dunno how/why), and very territorial about their sport, must piss on other sports.

When Woodson gets about promoting the greatness of american football, and the malaise of australian football, i guess that might ruffle some of those feathers (fairies wear feathers btw).

Im a sports lover and many people in australia are too. I find SA'ns and WA'ns tho are far more conducive to being objective sports-lovers, who equally embrace other/foreign sports as they do with AFL/cricket. Look how many in the NFL board who are from the western states. Not to entirely diss the Victorians (afl lovers) and NSWmen (rugby lovers), but they do appear to be more territorial about their sport and anti-american (which is odd from them given how much they try to emulate and copy the NFL, use gridiron team names, etc)

There's always pissing matches going on in the AFL board. All in all tho, despite me being a sports lover, there is no greater game than american football imo, and a lot of the north american sports are right up the top of all-time favorite sports.
 

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Re: NFL Concussions & Helmets

League Announces Enhanced Concussions Protocol

The NFL has issued a statement regarding an enhancement to its existing in-game concussion protocols. The changes become effective immediately.

As expected, the league has announced that a “certified athletic trainer” will attend each game, with the goal of assisting the teams and the medical staffs regarding concussion evaluation and treatment. The certified trainer will come from a “major college program in the area,” selected jointly by the league and the NFLPA. The trainer will have no affiliated with any NFL club.

The overriding purpose of the certified, independent trainer will be to provide information to team medical staffs, given that personnel at field level may miss things like, for example, a quarterback nearly getting his head taken off by James Harrison. The certified, independent trainer will have no authority to remove a player from a game.

Also, medical staffs will be allowed to use their cell phones in order to obtain information regarding the care of an injured player, whether the player has a concussion or any other injury. Though we’re not quite sure how that will help a doctor diagnose a concussion or any other injury, it can’t hurt.

All that said, the league still needs to have independent neurologists present on the sidelines to handle the diagnosis of a possible concussion. As suggested during today’s PFT Live, the league and its teams possibly prefer not to have an independent neurologist present because the independent neurologist would possibly want to take the player to the locker room for a proper evaluation, away from the crowd and the noise and the weather and the other players and the frenetic atmosphere on the sidelines and the curious head coach and the playing of a game in the background.

The league and its teams presumably want something more efficient and immediate, which will result in players being either cleared or shut down quickly, so that a player without a concussion won’t be kept out of the game for an unduly long period of time. Still, if the goal is to catch all concussions, the league needs to err on the side of ensuring that no player with a concussion re-enters a game, even if that means keeping a non-concussed player out of action for more than a few plays.
 

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Re: NFL Concussions & Helmets

Yet Another Concussion Lawsuit is Filed

Earlier this week, another group of former players sued the NFL, alleging that the league failed to properly deal with the issue of concussions. The players, including former NFL running backs Jamal Lewis and Dorsey Levens, filed their claim in Atlanta.

On Thursday night, another 21 players filed suit in Miami. Like several similar suits filed in recent months by former players, the latest lawsuit alleges that NFL officials knew about the risks related to concussions and deliberately ignored and concealed them.

The plaintiffs in the latest lawsuit include Leon Searcy, Patrick Surtain, Oronde Gadsden, Lamar Thomas, and Troy Drayton.

In all of the lawsuits alleging that the league didn’t do enough to protect players from concussions, the fact-finding process will focus on when the league knew or should have known about the risks associated with concussions — and when the league took appropriate action to protect the players. Those two dates will create a window of potential liability to former players who can show that they suffered concussions and that the league failed to inform them of the risks and/or to protect them sufficiently after the league knew that concussions were a potential long-term health problem.

Along with the lawsuits filed this week in Atlanta and Miami, other lawsuits have been filed in Philadelphia and California. Players who have joined the effort include Jim McMahon, Mike Furrey, Mark Duper, and Rodney Hampton.

“The NFL is a nine billion dollar per-year enterprise,” Ricardo Martinez-Cid, attorney for the plaintiffs and partner at the Miami-based law firm of Podhurst Orseck, said in a press release relating to the new lawsuit. “They knew for decades that repeated blows to the head would lead to serious life-threatening and chronic injuries, yet they intentionally turned a blind eye and led players to believe they were okay to keep playing because they didn’t want to risk losing money in their coffers.”

The NFL now faces losing money in its coffers via significant legal fees and, eventually, settlements or verdicts.
 

GG.exe

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Re: NFL Concussions & Helmets

League Concedes Coaches Influencing Doctors Who Evaluate Concussions

As the NFL continues to wrestle with the challenge of thoroughly yet efficiently ensuring that players who have suffered concussions are properly diagnosed as having concussions (and are in turn held out of games) and that players who have taken blows to the head but have not suffered concussions aren’t held out of action unreasonably and unnecessarily, the league isn’t content to stop with the recent adjustments that placed an independent, certified athletic trainer at booth level for the purposes of spotting players who need to be evaluated.

Buried in an excellent Associated Press item that focuses primarily on the notion that players remain willing to hide concussion are quotes from Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, the co-chairman of the league’s head, neck, and spine committee, regarding the league’s intention to continue improving the in-game concussion diagnosis process.

“If the real problem is the doctors are being influenced by the coaches, then we’ve got to fix that,” Ellenbogen said. “If the [players' union] says, ‘We want independent neurologists,’ we’ll discuss that. . . . To be honest with you, we ain’t done. When our committee meets with the team physicians after the Super Bowl, everything’s on the table. You think this is the last rendition of what we do? Heck, no. We’re not done.”

Though Dr. Ellenbogen said he believes doctors aren’t going to be “bought and sold” to make team-friendly decisions based on the potential impact on their practices from an affiliation with NFL teams, his reference to the possibility that coaches can influence doctors should raise eyebrows. Long suspected by many that coaches who peer over the team-hired doctors’ shoulders while the team-hired doctors are evaluating players for possible concussions tend to mudge any close questions toward diagnoses like “dirt on the face,” Ellenbogen’s acknowledgement of that very real human dynamic makes it even more important that independent neurologists be involved in the process. Though, as Charley Casserly of CBS noted on Saturday, some teams believe that the use of independent voices undermines the credibility of a team’s medical staff in the eyes of the team’s players, the league crossed the bell-ringing Rubicon when turning to independent neurologists for the critical question of whether a player who has been diagnosed with a concussion can return to practice or to game action.

Now that the NFL has decided to use independent trainers to help flag the players who need to be evaluated for brain injuries, the use of independent neurologists to do the testing becomes, well, a no-brainer.
 

GG.exe

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Re: NFL Concussions & Helmets

Players Hide Concussions to Keep Playing

As the league tries to improve the protocol for diagnosing concussions during games, the NFL continues to wrestle with a basic reality that exists at every level of the sport.

Football players want to play football. Thus, they’ll be inclined to try to hide a concussion if it means being allowed to continue to play football.

In a series of 44 Associated Press interviews with current players, 23 of them said they would hide a concussion in order to stay in the game. Some said they already have.

But more than two-thirds of the players interviewed also said they would like to see an independent neurologist on the sidelines at games.

“They’ve got guys looking at your uniform to make sure you’re wearing the right kind of socks,” Rams safety Quintin Mikell said. “Why not have somebody there to protect your head? I think we definitely should have that.”

Mikell also said he has hidden concussions to keep playing, and that he accepts the risks of the life he has chosen.

“I’ll probably pay for it later in my life,” Mikell said. “But at the same time, I’ll probably pay for the alcohol that I drank or driving fast cars. It’s one of those things that it just comes with the territory.”

Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew, the NFL’s leading rusher, agreed that he’d hide a concussion in order to keep playing.

“The bottom line is: You have to be able to put food on the table,” Jones-Drew said. “No one’s going to sign or want a guy who can’t stay healthy. I know there will be a day when I’m going to have trouble walking. I realize that. But this is what I signed up for. Injuries are part of the game. If you don’t want to get hit, then you shouldn’t be playing.”

And that captures the essence of the league’s current dilemma. Most players will assume the risks of concussions in order to keep playing, both in the short term and over the long haul. But if the league doesn’t do enough to protect them from themselves while they’re playing, some of them will sue the league after their careers end, claiming that the league should have done more.

It should make for interesting arguments as the pending concussion lawsuits unfold, given that the NFL could choose to try to defend itself by developing evidence (likely through expert testimony) that some players who claim that they suffered long-term injuries due to concussions would have hidden concussions, even if the NFL had done more to protect them. Then again, the former players likely will argue that, if the NFL had been fully candid about the true harm that can be done by head injuries, they would have realized that concussions shouldn’t be hidden.

That said, if more than half of 44 players interviewed at a time when the risks are fully known would still hide concussions, plenty of the players who are now suing the league surely would have hidden concussions, even if the league had better procedures in place before 2009.
 

GG.exe

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Re: NFL Concussions & Helmets

I agree with MJD on this...

Jones-Drew ties concussions to lawsuits

Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew recently told the Associated Press that he’d hide a concussion in order to keep playing. Even more recently, he has blamed the league’s relatively new sensitivity to concussions on the latest trend in litigation.

“I’ve had concussions before, and it wasn’t this big deal about concussions,” Jones-Drew said Wednesday, according to the AP. “The only reason they’re making a big deal about concussions right now is because the league is getting sued over it. Before this, you never heard about it. A couple of years ago, you didn’t hear anything about it.”

He’s right, but the catalyst for change wasn’t litigation. It was the federal government.

In October 2009, Congress held a hearing regarding the issue of concussions in football. Not long after that, the NFL made dramatic changes to its procedures relating to head trauma. Those changes continue, with the league now focusing on changes to the manner in which concussions are diagnosed during games. Along the way, players who played before the changes were made have filed suit, claiming that the league concealed the risks and/or failed to properly protect the players.

Still, Jones-Drew sees the entire issue as an “occupational hazard.”

And so, as the league deals with the challenge of concussions and potential future lawsuits, the NFL should consider spelling out all of the concussion-related risks and getting players to acknowledge that they understand and accept those risks before they ever sign an NFL contract.

Few will choose not to sign. Indeed, we’re still not aware of a single NFL player who has walked away from the game due to the fear of the possible consequences of concussions.

Employees take far worse risks — for far less money — in many different lines of work, from coal mining to law enforcement to the military. If anything, the NFL has failed in the past to ensure that the players fully and completely understood those risks.

Even if they did, most if not all of the players would have kept on playing.
 

MarcusP2

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Re: NFL Concussions & Helmets

What's your point? All those other industries take every step possible to reduce the danger to employees. If you ignore safety procedures, you're fired or suspended. Perhaps the NFL should be going the same way.
 

GG.exe

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Re: NFL Concussions & Helmets

My point is that what MJD said is what most if not all players say, occupational hazard, they love playing the game as they've been playing it for decades, and that the NFL is more worried about litigation (ironically, by former players) than they are genuinely concerned about player safety.

In this cynical world, it's usually money behind things.

As many have said jokingly,' they could go back to leather helmets, or no helmets, and it'd probably be more instinctual for players to behave with more safety.
 

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