TBI – Survivors, Caregivers, Family, and Friends

Posts tagged ‘National Football League’

Brain Injury Resources CTE & Football (chronic traumatic encephalopathy )

Brain Injury Resources . . . CTE & Football

presented

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 

Brain th-2The regular season of the NFL (National Football League) begins this week. Although American football can be exciting, we in the brain-injury community are very aware of the havoc that both concussive and sub-concussive head impacts play not only on the brain health of the pros, but also on the brain health of college and high school players (1). We are especially sensitive to the high risk of the trusting and still-developing young players in Pop Warner leagues (2, 3).th

There has been a growing public awareness of the brain disease CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), which can develop from hits to the ctehead and lead to “memory loss, confusion, impaired judgement, impulse control problems, aggression, depression and progressive dementia.” Some players have retired early (4, 5). Former players have sued or are suing the NFL (6). There is still a great deal of ignorance about CTE, but much research has been done and is being continued vigorously. This article tells us some basic facts that we should know.

Here is a brief outline from the article:

“Concussions in the NFL are more widespread than we thought

“An estimated 96 percent of deceased NFL players had CTE

“Researchers are working on a test for living players

“The NFL has donated $0 to this important new brain injury study”

I urge you to read the article for the details.

 

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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

presented

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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SPEAK OUT! NewsBit NFL Quarterback With Concussion Stays In Game

NFL Quarterback With Concussion Stays In Game

presented

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 

newsboy-thThe National Football League (NFL) governs most of professional American football, and it is proud of its “concussion protocol” to protect its players. That system shamefully failed Sunday with 1:04 left in a 13-13 game between the St. Louis Rams and the Baltimore Ravens.

St. Louis quarterback, Case Keenum, had taken his team close to Baltimore territory and was trying to drive for a score. Then Keenum was

Case Keenum 1

Case Keenum Quarterback St. Louis Rams

sacked (tackled for a loss). His head hit the turf hard. Keenum couldn’t get up without assistance, and even when he did, he seemed to be staggering. He showed at least three of the signs of a possible concussion, as defined by the concussion protocol of the NFL. (A concussion was confirmed after the game. It wasn’t a surprise. Fans at the stadium and watching on TV could see Keenum was in trouble.)

Case Keenum 2

Keenum holding head after tackle

The NFL this year empowered the neurotrauma consultants, who are in the broadcast booths for all games, to stop games if necessary. Yet the St. Louis-Baltimore game continued, and Case Keenum remained in it. He fumbled after two plays. Baltimore recovered, which set up a field goal to win the game.

Case Keenum 3

Keenum struggling to return to game

This case seems to show more concern with winning than with Keenum’s health and safety. Both the NFL and the NFL Player’s Association (NFLPA) are investigating. It’s not clear if anyone – the coach, the trainer,

Concussed Brain

Concussed Brain

or the neurotrauma consultant – was at fault. But whatever happened, the system totally failed. (Full story with video)

 

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As I say after each post:

Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Comment” below this post.anim0014-1_e0-1

Feel free to follow my blog. Click on “Follow” on the upper right sidebar.

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SPEAK OUT! NewsBit . . . . . . . . . . “Concussion” Movie Based on True Story – (trailer)

“Concussion” Movie Based on True Story – (trailer)

starring Will Smith

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

newsboy-thAmerica loves football, but the National Football League (NFL) fears a new movie that will be released on December 25, 2015. Team owners in the NFL are already preparing their responses to the movie, “Concussion.”will-smith-concussion-01-600x350

There are a lot people who believe that football cannot survive, including George Visger, a former NFL defensive lineman for the San Francisco 49ers. His comments can be heard in my interview of him two weeks ago during my radio show, “Another Fork in the Road,” on the Brain Injury Radio Network. A rookie linebacker in the NFL resigned after one year of play over fear of brain injury. Already there is a 2.2% decline in participation in high school football, including an even higher rate of decline in Texas, which has led the nation in football players for two decades. One elementary school banned tackling and instituted flag football, to no objections. As more and more parents become aware of the risk of contact sports to the human brain (some will because of this movie), the rate of decline in youth football will increase, and the pool of talented NFL-bound athletes will get smaller. (Full story and trailer)

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

As I say after each post:

Please leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Comment” below this post.anim0014-1_e0-1

Feel free to follow my blog. Click on “Follow” on the upper right sidebar.

If you like my blog, share it with your friends. It’s easy! Click the “Share” buttons below.

If you don’t like my blog, “Share” it with your enemies. I don’t care!

Feel free to “Like” my post.

SPEAK OUT! NewsBit . . . . . . . . . . Chris Borland – Rookie Linebacker Retires Over Fear of Brain Trauma

Rookie Linebacker, Chris Borland,  Retires Over Fear of Brain Trauma

 

newsboy-thChris Borland, a promising rookie linebacker with the San Francisco 49ers, retired after one year of a four-year contact because the possibility of brain disease wasn’t “worth the risk.” (Full story 1; story and video 2)Borland, Chris

There is a growing body of evidence that repeated head trauma can lead to neurological problems and premature death. A NewsBit on this blog reported that a University of Tulsa study revealed changes to the brains of football players, even in the absence of a documented concussion. Last season, an Ohio State University football player apparently committed suicide. Concussions may have had a role in his death. The National Football League (NFL), the premier professional football organization in the United States, is in the middle of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit over concussions and neurological problems.

Chris Borland gave careful thought to his early and unexpected retirement. He talked with family, friends, teammates, and brain researchers before making his decision to retire from a game he was good at. He said the game is inherently dangerous, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but a player should make an informed decision. Borland also said, “There’s just too much unknown for me, and there have been too many tragedies for me to be comfortable playing…I just want to live a long, healthy life, and I don’t want to have any neurological diseases or die younger than I would otherwise.” He was asked about walking away from probable wealth. Borland answered that no amount of money could take the place of being there for his family. (Full story 3)

(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

So, Whaddya Think? . . . . . . . . Football, Brain Injury, and Steve Almond

So . . . what do you think? Is there something you are passionate about in this TBI world? Do you want to be heard? Your opinion matters! You can SPEAK OUT! on “So Whaddya Think?”

Simply send me your opinion, and I will format it for publication. Posts may be short, but please send no more than 1,000 words. Send to donnaodonnellfigurski@gmail.com

I hope to HEAR from you soon.

Football, Brain Injury, and Steve Almond

 by

 David Figurski

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

So Whaddya Think Brain th-4

The National Football League (NFL) starts its season today. I’ve written before about American football and the likelihood of a player getting a life-altering brain injury. Incontrovertible evidence is building that playing football is dangerous for the brain. The evidence is particularly dismaying when it comes to our youth.

I admit to liking the game. But as author Steve Almond points out, I am one of the many fans who are feeling “queasy” about enjoying a game that has so much baggage. I am certainly happy that none of my nephews who played football in high school thought about playing in college, even though each one excelled in the game. I also have a traumatic brain injury. I know what my brain injury has done to Donna’s and my life. I have also read the interviews and guest blogs. The amount of chaos and stress that visits not only the afflicted person, but also his or her family, is unimaginable.

Steve Almond, a former rabid fan, has been questioning the U.S. society’s love of football. He has written a bestselling book, Against Football: One Fan’s Reluctant Manifesto. I think his essay, an article written about his ideas, and an audio are food for thought for us and completely appropriate for this category.

Disclaimer:
Any views and opinions of the author are purely his/her own.

As I say after each post:

Feel free to leave a comment by clicking the blue words “Leave a Comment” below this post.

Please follow my blog. Click on “Follow Me Via eMail” on the right sidebar of your screen.anim0014-1_e0-1

If you like my blog, click the “Like” button under this post.

If you REALLY like my blog, share it with your friends. It’s easy! Click the “Share” buttons below.

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(Clip Art compliments of Bing.)

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