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Posts tagged ‘League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis’

SPEAK OUT! NewsBit . . . . . Kickoff Rule Change in Ivy League Football Reduces Concussions

Kickoff Rule Change in Ivy League Football Reduces Concussions

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Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 

ivy-leageThe Ivy League colleges have done an experiment that dramatically reduced the number of concussions during a kickoff, considered to be the most dangerous play in American football. The results were reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The results were so dramatic that the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) changed kickoff rules for its college games in 2018 after considering the Ivy League data. It is likely to be considering adopting the Ivy League rule change for all NCAA college football.

The kickoff return is dangerous because both the offensive kick-off-clipart-18-1and the defensive teams often have the time and space to build up speed before a tackle is made. Kickoffs account for about 6% of the plays in a football season, but they are responsible for 21% of the concussions. The NFL (National Football league), which sanctions the most prominent professional football, considered doing away with the kickoff altogether. In 2016, the coaches of the Ivy League college teams agreed to an experiment that minimized the runback by moving up the kickoff line 5 yards from the 35-yard line to the 40-yard line. This change led to more touchbacks, where the ball is kicked into or beyond the end zone. As a result, there were fewer runbacks.tackling-clipart-9-2

Statistics showed that the number of concussions occurring during kickoffs was significantly reduced after the rule change in 2016. The number of concussions went from 10.9 per 1000 kickoff plays before the rule change to 2.0 concussions per 1000 kickoff plays after the rule went into effect. Meanwhile, there was little change in the number of concussions from non-kickoff plays after the rule went into effect.

While this is an important improvement, the question remains: Why is anyone allowed to play a game that results in so many concussions and hits to the head? (Full story)

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SPEAK OUT! NewsBit: . . . . . . Wanting A “Sound Mind,” 30-Year-Old Football Player Retires

Wanting A “Sound Mind,” 30-Year-Old Football Player Retires

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by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 

husain_abdullah

Husain Abdullah – NFL Player

For seven years, Husain Abdullah played football in the National Football League (NFL), the premier professional football league in the United States. For four years, Abdullah, a safety, played with the Minnesota Vikings, and, for three years, he played with the Kansas City Chiefs. He graciously thanked both teams for allowing him to play. In the 2015 season, he had the fifth concussion of his career. While he was recovering, he thought about his many life-goals. Husain realized that he would need a “sound mind” to achieve his goals.

The research showing a link between the head trauma of football and the neurodegenerative disease CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) is thought-provoking, and it has several players concerned. Even the NFL has admitted that there is a link between playing football and CTE, although the league later tried to downplay its comment. (CTE, originally known as “dementia pugilistica,” had only been seen in the brains of some boxers.

Dr. Bennet Omalu -

Dr. Bennet Omalu –

Dr. Bennet Omalu was the first to find the disease elsewhere – in a football player. Dr. Omalu renamed the disease “CTE.” Dr. Omalu’s discovery is the subject of the December 2015 movie Concussion, starring Will Smith. The real-life story is told in the PBS Frontline documentary, League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis – available free online.)

Abdullah’s retirement follows other early retirements, most notably that of San Francisco 49er star rookie linebacker, Chris Borland, who cited the high risk of brain disease as his reason for retiring after playing only one year. Another rookie, Green Bay Packer wide receiver Adrian Coxson, retired after getting a severe concussion in practice and being told that the next hit might seriously affect his brain function or kill him.

Abdullah Husain - NFL Player

Abdullah Husain – NFL Player

It remains to be seen if Husain Abdullah’s retirement will be the last early retirement in the NFL due to football’s risk to the brain. (Full story)

 

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Brain Injury Resources: . . . Movies & Documentaries About Sports and Brain Injury

Brain Injury Resources: Movies & Documentaries

About Sports and Brain Injury

presented

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 

The following are in alphabetical order.

Brain th-2

 

Concussion

Concussion

ConcussionThis drama is based on the discovery of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) in the brains of deceased former NFL (National Football League) players by forensic neuropathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu. CTE is a serious disease of the brain, found mostly in football players. It is caused by concussions and repeated sub-concussive hits. CTE has been found to cause several neurological problems, including early memory loss, impulsive behavior, and dementia. The movie details Dr. Omalu’s life, especially after his discovery, and the walls that he had to tear down to make this discovery known.

The movie, currently in theaters, stars Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu.

Movie details and trailer are at http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/concussion/.

 

Gridiron Gladiators

Gridiron Gladiators

Gridiron Gladiators This movie documents the history of football since the late 1800s. It depicts how football has evolved through the years and shows the extreme violence of the game. This documentary shows that, though football is one of America’s favorite sports, it is in dire need of reformation to reduce greatly or cease the possibility of getting a brain injury.

A stream of this documentary can be rented for $7 at http://gridirongladiatorsmovie.com/. Click “Stream Movie” to see the trailer.

 

Head Games

Head Games

Head Games This documentary is not just about American football, but about any sport that can readily cause brain injury, including soccer and hockey. George Visger, a former NFL (National Football League) player for the San Francisco 49ers, states in the documentary, “It’s been known for a long time that banging your head over and over and over again can be a bad thing.” This documentary also addresses the risks of children playing sports that can cause brain injury.

See it free online at http://www.hulu.com/watch/446640.

 

League of Denial

League of Denial

League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion CrisisThis Frontline documentary shows the role of the NFL (National Football League) in the serious problem of getting concussions on the playing field. It unveils the stories of several NFL players who were diagnosed posthumously with CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), a disease of the brain discovered by forensic neuropathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu. The story of Dr. Omalu and his discovery of CTE in American football players is the basis for the movie “Concussion.”

See it free online at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/league-of-denial/.

Read about it on my blog at

https://survivingtraumaticbraininjury.com/2016/01/06/so-whaddya-think-football-puts-childrens-brains-at-risk/.

 

The Crash Reel

The Crash Reel

The Crash Reel” This documentary is a gripping 4+ star movie about Kevin Pearce, a champion snowboarder who was expected to win a gold medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics. While training on the half-pipe, Kevin missed his mark and severely slammed his head. His dream of an Olympic gold medal disappeared as he was faced with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). You will see breathtaking footage of Kevin snowboarding before his TBI.

See it free online at https://vid.me/x2HU/the-crash-reel. See the trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KkFZ-QC53Q.

 

The United States of Football

The United States of Football

The United States of Football This documentary is yet another look at the dangers of concussions in American football. It features 40-year-old Kyle Turley, former player for the New Orleans Saints, the St. Louis Rams, and the Kansas City Chiefs, as he talks about his fears and concerns about his own possible impending memory loss and dementia. It features other former NFL (National Football League) players who are in the throes of brain damage and shows how their lives have collapsed after repeated concussions. It delves into the harm that football can cause youngsters, whose brains are still developing.

A stream of this documentary can be rented for $3.99 at http://theusof.com/store.

The trailer can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8JMSMvWsBE.

Read about it on my blog at https://survivingtraumaticbraininjury.com/2015/10/19/4643/.

 

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