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  #51  
Old 11-26-2015, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimstu View Post
IANAL but it seems to me that the legal consequences of the recent discovery of CTE in football players will similarly hinge on whether the industry had significant evidence of previously undocumented risk levels that they tried to hide from the participants.
Back in 1994 the NFL created the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury committee. As chair, they appointed the team doctor of the New York Jets who was a rheumatologist. He lacked any previous experience in brain science.

Frontline did an expose of the NFL's foot dragging a couple of years ago:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/ar...ussion-crisis/
  #52  
Old 11-26-2015, 04:45 AM
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Might help soccer, which in the US has been on life support for decades. Lot more injuries
You got a particular cite in mind for that? I'm seeing way conflicting ones, like this one that concludes the opposite. Or did you mean specifically kids, which this study seems to bear out.
  #53  
Old 11-26-2015, 05:40 AM
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What's up with elk, moose, and deer? Do they get concussions when they butt heads? Is the biggest, most dominant animal the one with the most messed up brain?
  #54  
Old 11-26-2015, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Channing Idaho Banks View Post
What's up with elk, moose, and deer? Do they get concussions when they butt heads? Is the biggest, most dominant animal the one with the most messed up brain?
Bird Brains and Ram Horns: Clues on Concussions
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Woodpeckers bang their heads into the hard wood of trees thousands of times a day, and yet there is no evidence they get concussions. Long horn rams bash their heads together in frequent rituals that involve collisions at speeds of 20 to 40 miles an hour, and they don't seem to suffer brain damage either. [...]

Materials scientist Ainissa G. Ramirez, PhD, coauthor of Newton's Football: The Science Behind America's Game, quotes materials scientist and MIT Professor Lorna Gibson in a Huffington Post piece about woodpecker brains. Gibson, who has studied woodpeckers, explains, "It's a scaling phenomenon." A woodpecker brain is only about two grams-the mass of two paperclips, compared with a human brain, which averages about 1,400 grams. The lighter the brain, the better it will survive impact, Ramirez writes. She adds by way of explanation that if you drop a cell phone on the floor it will probably not be damaged, but a lap top dropped from the same height may need serious repair. Further, woodpecker brains are oriented at a 90 degree angle so that head-on force is widely distributed, and they fit snugly inside the skull with little room to slosh around.

LiveScience writer Stephanie Pappas gives even more detail. Researchers have found woodpeckers have thick neck muscles that diffuse blows, and a third inner eyelid that prevents the birds' eyes from popping out during repetitious hammering. The thick spongy bone surrounding the woodpecker brain has tiny projections that form a mineral mesh, Pappas writes, suggesting a microstructure that may act as armor for the brain. And she reports Chinese researchers have found the woodpecker's beak may have a microstructure designed to absorb impact rather than transferring it toward the brain. [...]

Ram's horn is porous bone covered with keratin, an elastic protein material that allows horns to give a little under impact. In addition to distributing the impact of the force, the flexible horn also lengthens the duration of the impact, which lessens the force. Writing in The New York Times, Gregory D. Meyer, PhD, director of Sports Medicine at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, says big horn sheep also have mechanisms that slow the return of blood from the head to the body, increasing the blood volume that fills their brains' vascular tree. In effect, both woodpeckers and rams have brains protected by the physiological equivalent of Bubble Wrap.
  #55  
Old 11-26-2015, 07:54 AM
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Since the thread has been bumped, I'll link to three articles about deaths from concussion in the game of rugby, which is like American Football but no armour is worn.

http://www.citynews.ca/2015/11/25/on...ayer-who-died/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-23943642

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/201...ur-rugby-union
  #56  
Old 11-26-2015, 11:00 AM
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I can't help but laugh at predictions of American football going away anytime soon. I simply can not envision a day without football in my lifetime with all the money made at the NCAA and Professional levels. Now we now have fantasy leagues which have grown enormously in popularity since this thread was started 3 years ago. The game will be heavily regulated at all levels with increasing regulations going down towards college and high school levels. Hockey players get concussions, rugby players, even soccer players. A global sports culture is not gonna just disappear.
  #57  
Old 11-26-2015, 01:29 PM
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I don't think very many people have postulates that the global sports culture will disappear, but that American football will not survive in its current form. There's no reason to believe that the NFL would be powerless to adapt.
  #58  
Old 11-26-2015, 04:45 PM
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Watch about 10 seconds of a rugby game on youtube (where clips are edited for maximum action).
Compare the tackles and, esp. the blocks - they do not use their heads as battering rams, as is done in American football.

I was never good at sports, so my football "training" consisted of backyard chaos - we were told to "put a shoulder into it" to block, and grab the legs -preferably from the side - to tackle.

I gather the advent of the massive pads and esp. the helmet, caused the instruction to change.

I see that Monday Night Football no longer shows the opposing helmets crashing into each other and being smashed to smithereens. That charming graphic lasted 20 years - almost as long as Marshall Dillon was gunning down the bad guy at the start of Gunsmoke (charming name, btw)

Way to imprint violence on the young, folks.
  #59  
Old 11-30-2015, 01:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Bruce Wayne View Post
I can't help but laugh at predictions of American football going away anytime soon.
Are there any in this thread? From what I can tell, the predictions are talking about a ~20-year span.
  #60  
Old 11-30-2015, 03:11 AM
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Originally Posted by usedtobe View Post
Watch about 10 seconds of a rugby game on youtube (where clips are edited for maximum action).
Compare the tackles and, esp. the blocks - they do not use their heads as battering rams, as is done in American football.
Head butting is completely banned in both Rugby and Australian Rules Football. Would it change the game dramatically to just introduce a similar rule and get people to use their shoulders to charge and block instead of their heads?

Last edited by coremelt; 11-30-2015 at 03:11 AM.
  #61  
Old 11-30-2015, 07:19 AM
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Football Concussions, the next Big Thing?

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Originally Posted by coremelt View Post
Head butting is completely banned in both Rugby and Australian Rules Football. Would it change the game dramatically to just introduce a similar rule and get people to use their shoulders to charge and block instead of their heads?

I believe in American football you are not supposed to lower your head when you tackle. Forget the long-term effect of concussions; spearing head first can paralyze you instantly.

Last edited by Acsenray; 11-30-2015 at 07:20 AM.
  #62  
Old 11-30-2015, 08:27 AM
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I believe in American football you are not supposed to lower your head when you tackle. Forget the long-term effect of concussions; spearing head first can paralyze you instantly.
In college, you would get penalized for targeting and ejected from the game. In the NFL, it's a personal foul for unnecessary roughness for leading with the crown of your helmet. Both have people on the sidelines that are supposed to enact "concussion protocols" whenever they suspect a head injury (lot of good that did Case Keenum last week). The NFL also promotes a "head's up" tackling initiative to re-teach kids how to tackle so they see what they're tackling instead of trying to blow up people.
  #63  
Old 11-30-2015, 08:31 AM
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I can't help but laugh at predictions of American football going away anytime soon.
As a matter of fact, they are more popular than ever and recently started touring again.
  #64  
Old 12-08-2015, 12:05 PM
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And a female rugby player has just died from a head injury. Concussion is suspected of being a contributory factor.
  #65  
Old 12-08-2015, 12:31 PM
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The NFL also promotes a "head's up" tackling initiative to re-teach kids how to tackle so they see what they're tackling instead of trying to blow up people.
They've been telling players that for decades, mostly to prevent neck injuries; in practice all it means is that they'll hit with the facemask and the forehead part of the helmet, which isn't any better.

The thing that people are more or less ignoring with all the focus on concussions is that it's NOT concussions that cause the majority of the problems. It's the small, non-concussive impacts that accumulate over time and cause the issues. That's why soccer players are at risk from heading the ball a lot- almost nobody gets concussions from heading the ball.

American football linemen and linebackers are at particular risk for these kinds of impacts, as they're taught to break the other guy's charge with their heads- bighorn sheep style. So literally every play in practice and in games, they accumulate another one of those little hits.

Common wisdom would have you think that Troy Aikman with his history of concussions would be at greater risk than say.. Mark Stepnoski, but in reality, Stepnoski is probably at as high risk, or even more so, due to playing center rather than quarterback.
  #66  
Old 01-27-2016, 05:29 PM
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Another death, only 27:
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Former [University of Iowa] Hawkeye [and New York Giants] football player Tyler Sash suffered from the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E. Chris Nowinski of the Boston University-affiliated Concussion Legacy Foundation confirmed the diagnosis on Tuesday night. Representatives told his family Sash had an advanced stage rarely seen in someone his age. The 27-year-old Sash was found dead in his home in Oskaloosa September 8th...

In October, an autopsy by the state medical examiner revealed Sash died from a fatal mixture of prescription painkillers. They included methadone and hydrocodone. The report also noted C.T.E. may have been involved in his death. The report shows Sash suffered bouts of confusion, memory loss and minor fits of temper.
http://www.kcrg.com/content/news/Report--366638751.html
  #67  
Old 02-03-2016, 01:21 PM
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And Ken Stabler:

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Former Oakland Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler, who died in 2015 from complications resulting from colon cancer, also suffered from the effects of the degenerative disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the doctor who examined his brain told ESPN's Outside the Lines...

Dr. Ann McKee, a professor of neurology and pathology at Boston University, said that after examining Stabler's brain, it was clear he suffered from Stage 3 CTE and that the disease was widespread throughout his brain.

"He had very substantial lesions. They were widespread. They were very classic. There was no question about the diagnosis," McKee told Outside the Lines in an interview broadcast Wednesday. "And in some parts of the brain, they were very well established, meaning that he'd had it probably for quite some time."
http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/...osed-cte-death
  #68  
Old 03-20-2017, 10:31 PM
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Football greats Dwight Clark, Gale Sayers battle brain diseases
http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/20/health...als/index.html
  #69  
Old 03-21-2017, 04:47 AM
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The NRL has rules about concussions, I'm guessing mainly to try and evade lawsuits.
http://wwos.nine.com.au/2017/03/20/1...ion-guidelines
  #70  
Old 03-21-2017, 10:07 AM
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I know this is a three-year-old post, but since PastTense reopened the thread with an update, I'll just point out that the whole point of the tobacco-company lawsuits was that the companies deliberately downplayed and concealed evidence that inhaling that smoke might be bad for you.

Yes, consumers have a responsibility to exercise reasonable caution and awareness of risks, but that doesn't mean that it's okay for marketers to deliberately try to fool them
about the nature and severity of the risks.

IANAL but it seems to me that the legal consequences of the recent discovery of CTE in football players will similarly hinge on whether the industry had significant evidence of previously undocumented risk levels that they tried to hide from the participants.
The thing is, it's not concussions that are the real threat to most players. It's what they call "subconcussive brain trauma"; i.e. those helmet-to-helmet hits that players make every single play, especially linemen and linebackersm that don't even come close to being an actual concussion. Apparently these hits cause damage that accumulates over time and causes CTE, even if they never have a single concussion in their playing career.

That, I think is going to be the elephant in the room at some point. The NFL is making a lot of noise about concussions, because that's something they can possibly manage through rule and equipment changes that don't fundamentally change the game. They either don't want to, or are afraid to address the real issue, which is that the essential way that the game is played today contributes to CTE. It sure seems like a smokescreen to me- let's concentrate on concussions and big hits and look like we're doing something, while letting the real damaging stuff continue as before, business as usual.
  #71  
Old 03-21-2017, 12:06 PM
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Subconcussive brain trauma can't be eliminated without eliminating the sport itself, because it can(and does) happen even if there is no direct contact to the head itself. A simple tackle can cause the head to jerk violently enough for it to happen.
  #72  
Old 03-21-2017, 12:26 PM
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And in football, those subconcussive impacts happen over and over and over again in the course of a single game. And add up over time.

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Originally Posted by furt View Post
and you're already have anecdotal stories of fathers -- not mothers, fathers -- steering their sons away from the game because of the concussion risks.
Damn straight. While I doubt my son will have any interest in playing tackle football - he's more the artistic type - if he did, there's no way in hell I'd sign whatever waiver they require to let him play.

And re the NFL players, sure, they make a lot of money IF they have a long career, or did well enough at a skill position over a shorter time. But how can any amount of cash compensate for your brain going irrevocably haywire?
  #73  
Old 03-21-2017, 01:10 PM
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Not to you or me, but there are still people who want to be professional wrestlers, and that's not even a real sport.

Obviously, there probably isn't another sport that has the same rate of sunconcussive hits, but I wonder if any other leagues are sweating too. That might draw things out even more.
  #74  
Old 03-21-2017, 09:49 PM
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The sport may be able to reduce concussions by changing the way bodies collide. Institute a penalty 'head high' tackle much as exists in Rugby Union or League. In those games if a tackle is completed by grabbing the head or neck, a penalty is given and the offending player will be referred to a judiciary where they can and often are suspended for many games. Even in junior games they are serious about good tackling form. Rugby League can be a rough game but I never got seriously hurt playing it because even as kids we were taught and taught and taught to tackle at the waist or legs.
  #75  
Old 07-25-2017, 01:55 PM
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The latest brain study examined 111 former NFL players. Only one didn’t have CTE.
Note however that:
Quote:
McKee cautions that the study has some limitations and doesn’t attempt to pinpoint a CTE rate. The brains studied were mostly donated by concerned families, which means they weren’t random and not necessarily representative of all men who have played football.

“A family is much more likely to donate if they’re concerned about their loved one — if they’re exhibiting symptoms or signs that are concerning them, or if they died accidentally or especially if they committed suicide,” she said. “It skews for accidental deaths, suicide and individuals with disabling or discomforting symptoms.”
https://www.washingtonpost.com/sport...e25_story.html
  #76  
Old 07-26-2017, 08:00 AM
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I have no doubt that playing football puts one's brain at risk, and it wouldn't bother me if the sport was drastically changed or even banned.

That said, I wonder what the incidence of CTE-associated changes is in the general population, and what the outcome would be for a study where pathologists were blinded as to the source of the brains they examined (or if they were told that the brains were from football players when they weren't). I am not a neuropathologist, but how much subjective interpretation is involved in these studies?
  #77  
Old 07-26-2017, 08:45 AM
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I haven't seen this study in detail, but I have seen some results where even to a layperson it's obvious there is something amiss when the brain of a person is compared to a non-damaged brain so in at least some cases the difference is dramatic and not something to be argued.

But that's a good point - were all the damaged brains in this study that obvious, or were there some near-normal and requiring an expert to determine that there was damage?
  #78  
Old 07-26-2017, 09:45 PM
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Why not allow football players to carry truncheons or knives and use them on the field?
Well, I've always said that if they wanted me to watch football, they'd have to change the rules to allow knives, clubs and 2' lengths of chain...
  #79  
Old 07-26-2017, 09:53 PM
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Subconcussive brain trauma can't be eliminated without eliminating the sport itself, because it can(and does) happen even if there is no direct contact to the head itself. A simple tackle can cause the head to jerk violently enough for it to happen.
And the place to start is with juveniles. Ban high school football and let Texas commit mass seppuku.
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Old 07-26-2017, 10:06 PM
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Back when I played football in middle school and high school back in the late 80s and early 90s the only things I worried about were the possibilities of a concussion, a broken limb or the slim possibility of a catastrophic injury of some sort. We knew our activities carried some risks associated with them but our understanding of at risk was incomplete. I don't believe my school district, coaches or even the doctor who gave me my physical were aware of the possibility of CTE. Now the NFL is aware of the problem though. They may have been aware of it for a number of years.
Yeah, it wasn't even on the radar of risks that we were taking in the late 80s/early 90s. Back then it was pretty much assumed you'd get minor injuries- bruises, sprains, strains, etc... and the chances of getting injured more seriously were large, although not definite. And we all knew that we ran the very slight risk of being that one kid per year who had some sort of catastrophic neurological injury- either broken neck/paralysis or outright death.

But at no point did anyone say "Every hit does a tiny amount of brain damage that is cumulative. At some point it'll become significant enough to cause symptoms if you play enough." Instead it was deliberate instruction to hit with our heads- I recall getting my ass chewed (I was an offensive/defensive lineman) because the front of my helmet above my facemask wasn't chewed up enough, which meant I wasn't hitting with my head the "right" way.

Ultimately I was willing to take the risks I knew about, but I'm not so sure I'd have risked CTE knowing what we know in 2017.

Personally, I think that rule changes, and more importantly equipment changes could change the sport into something more akin to rugby, but keep most of the important parts of the sport. Essentially eliminating the ability to actually use one's head as a weapon, and getting rid of face masks would go a long way toward preventing most head impacts.
  #81  
Old 07-27-2017, 07:46 AM
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I can't help but laugh at predictions of American football going away anytime soon. I simply can not envision a day without football in my lifetime with all the money made at the NCAA and Professional levels. Now we now have fantasy leagues which have grown enormously in popularity since this thread was started 3 years ago. The game will be heavily regulated at all levels with increasing regulations going down towards college and high school levels. Hockey players get concussions, rugby players, even soccer players. A global sports culture is not gonna just disappear.
No doubt in the 1920s people couldn't envision a future where boxing and horse racing would decline as much as it had. You're right that we have a huge football sports culture so I don't think the sport is going to vanish overnight. But as more people become aware of the long term risks of playing the game I think the NFL will be forced to change the rules or their player base will dry up as parents discourage their children from picking up the game. The good news is that college/NFL officials have radically changed the rules in the past and the game still lives on.
  #82  
Old 07-27-2017, 08:12 AM
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I love watching football on TV and grew up in a place where even high school football is taken very seriously. I find it hard to believe that we'll ever get rid of football, but what you might see is a much more regulated version of it at lower levels. I could see 7 regular season games instead of 10 and 2 week periods between games instead of one. The college football season could get trimmed as well, which is something I'm sure that the big sports conferences and ESPN will quietly fight like bloody hell behind the scenes.

In addition to shortening the number of games and increasing the time between them, another possible solution is to expand football rosters to allow more reserve players and then require that all football players who are declared active go through medical tests, not by team physicians but state athletic director personnel, in the same way that boxers and mixed martial artists do before fights. If a player doesn't pass because of a concussion, then he's medically suspended for up to 30 days. Period. No questions asked. No short-changing the protocols process because it's not handled by medical quacks whose job is to keep players "healthy"
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:10 PM
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In addition to shortening the number of games and increasing the time between them, another possible solution is to expand football rosters to allow more reserve players and then require that all football players who are declared active go through medical tests, not by team physicians but state athletic director personnel, in the same way that boxers and mixed martial artists do before fights. If a player doesn't pass because of a concussion, then he's medically suspended for up to 30 days. Period. No questions asked. No short-changing the protocols process because it's not handled by medical quacks whose job is to keep players "healthy"
I think you're laboring under the mistaken assumption that the state athletic director personnel would somehow NOT be quacks chosen by the State govt. to keep their pet university's players on the field. As in, some Louisiana state-employed dr. is going to go start cracking down on LSU players? Or equally bad, the state quacks went to UT and differentially apply the protocols to screw A&M.

I'm still of the opinion that the pros need to change the rules, and the rest of the sport will follow. Otherwise, it'll go the route of boxing, where it's essentially a blood sport played by poor minorities for people who just want to see injuries.
  #84  
Old 07-31-2017, 10:53 PM
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Football is going NOWHERE. It is the most popular sport in the USA. Bread and circuses, people, and modern gladiatorial combat. It's so deeply entrenched. I would gladly sacrifice myself if I could play the game at that level and be handsomely compensated for it, and that's what NFL players do. Plenty seemed to have survived multiple concussions and gone on to successful careers as analysts too (Troy Aikman, Steve Young),.

What's never made clear in these CTE studies is that IF you have it, it ALWAYS affects you in some maniacal, suicidal, depressive way. I suppose that has something to do with not being able to diagnose it until you're dead and your brain can be autopsied. Youth football is alive and well here where I live and they take ANY kind of injury very seriously. Sure, it's a violent sport, but in my opinion, it's also a great sport. YMMV.
  #85  
Old 07-31-2017, 11:04 PM
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The penalty has to come through the officiating. 15 yards for a helmet to helmet hit is insufficient. Perhaps a rule that any such hit that causes a concussion leads to ejection and suspension for several games or the entire season without pay, and that anyone who commits an illegal act that causes an opposing player's career to be ended (head injury or not,) is permanently banned from the game.


But that still does not address an even more prevalent cause of brain injury; the "mild" impacts that take place dozens of times in every game, thousands of times a career, when an offensive lineman and defensive lineman collide in the trenches, resulting in a "minor" shaking of the brain.
  #86  
Old 08-01-2017, 07:36 AM
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I think you're laboring under the mistaken assumption that the state athletic director personnel would somehow NOT be quacks chosen by the State govt. to keep their pet university's players on the field. As in, some Louisiana state-employed dr. is going to go start cracking down on LSU players? Or equally bad, the state quacks went to UT and differentially apply the protocols to screw A&M.

I'm still of the opinion that the pros need to change the rules, and the rest of the sport will follow. Otherwise, it'll go the route of boxing, where it's essentially a blood sport played by poor minorities for people who just want to see injuries.
Corruption's always a possibility, and even in boxing and MMA, you wonder how some people get licenses when it's clear that they're suffering from pugilistic dementia. I'm not arguing it's fail safe, but it's a step.
  #87  
Old 08-01-2017, 07:50 AM
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I think rule and equipment changes are necessary. Maybe get rid of the facemasks -- maybe that would be enough for players to instinctively protect their heads at all times.

It would greatly increase the blood on TV (nose, lip, mouth, teeth, etc.) which the league would hate -- but facial injuries are much less damaging in the long term (if I understand correctly) than head injuries, even if they look a lot worse on TV.
  #88  
Old 09-21-2017, 07:35 PM
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Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots tight end who committed suicide in April while serving a life sentence for murder, was found to have a severe form of C.T.E., the degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head trauma that has been found in more than 100 former N.F.L. players.

Researchers who examined the brain determined it was “the most severe case they had ever seen in someone of Aaron’s age,” said a lawyer for Hernandez in announcing the result at a news conference on Thursday. Hernandez was 27.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/21/s...cte-brain.html

Last edited by PastTense; 09-21-2017 at 07:36 PM.
  #89  
Old 09-21-2017, 10:23 PM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
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What's with all the CTE suicides that seem to be in the news?

Does CTE affect the brain in such a way that the victim is tormented by it, to the extent that many kill themselves?

There are certainly a variety of other degenerative brain diseases that seriously disable their victims, yet aren't known for provoking lots of suicides. What is it with CTE? Is it that gruesome?
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Last edited by Senegoid; 09-21-2017 at 10:24 PM.
  #90  
Old 09-22-2017, 04:36 AM
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I'm not sure if it's wise to allow youth football or hard hits in youth hockey. How is it we can expect kids to consent to that sort of damage to their bodies?
  #91  
Old 09-22-2017, 05:07 AM
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I simply can not envision a day without football in my lifetime with all the money made at the NCAA and Professional levels.
"I simply can not envision a day without [bear baiting/gladiators/cockfights/duelling/dwarf tossing] because that shit makes money" was probably something said many times in the past.
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Old 09-22-2017, 06:29 AM
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He was a gang member. No one can know how much his brain was injured in fights v football.
  #93  
Old 09-22-2017, 09:53 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
There are certainly a variety of other degenerative brain diseases that seriously disable their victims, yet aren't known for provoking lots of suicides. What is it with CTE? Is it that gruesome?
The current thinking is that CTE leads to major depression, and suppresses certain brain functions that make suicide unlikely even in depressed individuals. I'm not a neurologist (nor do I play one on TV!) so I can't explain it very well.
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Originally Posted by madsircool View Post
He was a gang member. No one can know how much his brain was injured in fights v football.
Don't be ridiculous. Gang members aren't getting into fistfights every day. That being said, it's obvious that CTE is not the sole cause of Hernandez' violent tendencies, since he was a gang member before he began playing organized football.
  #94  
Old 09-22-2017, 10:14 AM
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Don't be ridiculous. Gang members aren't getting into fistfights every day. That being said, it's obvious that CTE is not the sole cause of Hernandez' violent tendencies, since he was a gang member before he began playing organized football.
What utter nonsense. At what age did he start playing football-18?
  #95  
Old 09-22-2017, 12:49 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
What's with all the CTE suicides that seem to be in the news?

Does CTE affect the brain in such a way that the victim is tormented by it, to the extent that many kill themselves?

There are certainly a variety of other degenerative brain diseases that seriously disable their victims, yet aren't known for provoking lots of suicides. What is it with CTE? Is it that gruesome?
IANA expert ...

Suicide tends to run in waves. It's psychologically contagious among the predisposed.

I'd expect that prior to the publicity about CTE a person suffering from it might become depressed. Or equally become angry & violent. The critical thing he'd lack would be insight into what was causing it and what the prognosis was. He might not even be aware of the changes, at least at first.

Now fast-forward into a world where he's heard of CTE, maybe seen a TV dramatization, read the newspaper editorials, etc. Now he knows that light in the distance is an oncoming train. That's got to have a statistical effect on the behavior of all CTE sufferers as a group. Even if it doesn't guarantee that any given sufferer chooses suicide.


I'd connect this with the large and still growing interest in the whole idea of assisted dying. As a society we are approaching the state where we can see into our individual medical futures much farther than we can control our individual medical futures. We are also entering a moral era where life is not sacred; quality of life is sacred.

When you put those ideas together it makes ever greater sense that medical care which prolongs quantity but not quality is increasingly seen as the two-edged sword it is. Once that happens it's only a short hop from "avoid available life extension" to "seek available life shortening" in suitable circumstances. For widely varying individual definitions of "suitable".


I'm not arguing (here) whether these changes are good or bad. I merely assert they're happening and may have bearing on CTE-related suicide.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 09-22-2017 at 12:51 PM.
  #96  
Old 09-22-2017, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by MrDibble View Post
"I simply can not envision a day without [bear baiting/gladiators/cockfights/duelling/dwarf tossing] because that shit makes money" was probably something said many times in the past.
True, but one thing keeps coming to mind when I think about this issue: the WWE. It's still a thing, it also had a notorious murder suicide likely caused by CTE, it's not even a REAL sport, yet it still makes money and it still makes people famous.

I take that as evidence that in this particular case, the extinction of the sport is highly unlikely anytime soon.
  #97  
Old 09-22-2017, 04:40 PM
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I take that as evidence that in this particular case, the extinction of the sport is highly unlikely anytime soon.
Difficult to see. Always in motion, the future is. /yoda

What may well have an impact is the extent to which parents refuse to let their sons play football when they're in grade school or high school. Without high school players, you have no college players, and without college players, you have no NFL.

Anecdotally, this is already happening, but I don't think I've seen any numbers on if participation in football at those levels is decreasing. If we start to see participation dropping in the football-mad areas of the country (like Texas, Alabama, and Florida), then I think we could well see the sport at the college and professional levels start to decline, at a minimum.
  #98  
Old 09-22-2017, 05:36 PM
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the WWE. It's still a thing
Barely. The numbers are in steady decline. Nowadays RAW doesn't even crack 3 million.
  #99  
Old 09-22-2017, 06:24 PM
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What may well have an impact is the extent to which parents refuse to let their sons play football when they're in grade school or high school. Without high school players, you have no college players, and without college players, you have no NFL.
Look at boxing: boxing doesn't exist at the high school or college level, but you still have professional boxing.
  #100  
Old 09-22-2017, 07:39 PM
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This week I took part in a concussion survey amongst ex rugby players being conducted by my old university. I suspect it's the start of an effort to see whether CTE is a problem in rugby as well.
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