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Posts tagged ‘Pittsburgh Steeler’

SPEAK OUT! NewsBit . . . . . Mental Decline Causes a Hero of Super Bowl XL to Regret Playing Professional Football

Mental Decline Causes a Hero of Super Bowl XL to

Regret Playing Professional Football

presented

by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 

Newsboy thAmerican football wide receiver Antwaan Randle El, who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is fondly remembered for doing a reverse and then throwing a touchdown pass to ice the National Football League’s Super Bowl XL, played February 2006 against the Seattle Seahawks. The final score was 21-10.

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Antwaan Randle El #82 former Pittsburgh Steeler

Randle El retired early in 2010. Now 36, he has trouble with his memory and has difficulty on stairs. He fears what the violence of football has done to his brain and regrets playing professionally. An all-around athlete, Randle El had been drafted by the Chicago Cubs, a U.S. professional team in Major League Baseball, but his life-path brought him to football. He said in an interview by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “If I could go back, I wouldn’t (play football.) I would play baseball.”

 

antwaan-randle-el-0071-002

Antwaan Randle El – former Pittsburgh Steeler

Randle El wants to see his kids grow up and to know his grandkids. He is aware of recent brain research and the problems associated with playing football, so he is worried about his own neurological health. He said, “It’s a tough pill to swallow because I love the game of football. … It just comes down to it’s a physically violent game. … I wouldn’t be surprised if football isn’t around in 20, 25 years.” (Full story)

 

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So, Whaddya Think? “Concussion” Now in Theaters

So, Whaddya Think?

“Concussion” Now in Theaters

by

David Figurski and Donna O’Donnell Figurski

 

(Note: This is our second opinion essay about Dr. Bennet Omalu and his research with brain trauma. The first was published on this blog on December 17th.)

So Whaddya Think Brain th-4The much-anticipated movie, Concussion (trailer), is making current and former players of American football, their families, parents, fans, and coaches think about what is really happening in a sport that has become a large part of American culture. The movie has the same goal as we in the brain-injury community have – greater awareness of the delicate Concussion Movie 2.jpgnature of the brain and the ramifications of brain damage. The movie was released on Christmas Day, but it has made much news before its release.

The movie, which unsurprisingly is not sanctioned by the National Football League (NFL), tells the true story of the Nigerian pathologist, Dr. Bennet Omalu, and his discovery of the relationship of a neurodegenerative disease, which Dr. Omalu named “chronic traumatic encephalopathy” (CTE), and American football. Dr. Omalu studied the brain of Hall-of-Fame center, Mike Webster,

MikeWebsternfl

Mike Webster – Pittsburgh Steeler Pro Football Hall of Fame

who died at age 50 homeless and with dementia. As shown in the Frontline documentary, League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis (available free online), the movie shows how the multibillion-dollar NFL didn’t want to hear of Dr. Omalu’s discovery. The league’s questionable committee on concussions immediately attacked Dr. Omalu. It is a classic “David-vs.-Goliath” story.

David & Goliath.jpg

David & Goliath

(Dr. Omalu said in his Frontline interview, “You can’t go against the NFL. They’ll squash you.”) Former players have sued the NFL, arguing that the NFL knew of the dangers to the brain, but didn’t inform the players. In a class-action lawsuit, the NFL has recently settled for approximately $1 billion in medical expenses, but that settlement is being appealed by former players as inadequate.

Concussion Movie

Dr. Bennet Omalu – pathologist – discovered CTE with Actor, Will Smith

Will Smith plays Dr. Omalu in Concussion. Will Smith, a former football fan whose son played high school football, recently admitted that he has not watched a full game of football since he made this movie. Peter Landesman, the movie’s director, played football into his sophomore year of college, but, knowing what he knows now, he would not let his children play the game.

The movie is a “must-see.” (video)

 

So, Whaddya Think?

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Simply send me your opinion, and I will format it for publication. Posts may be short, but please send no more than 500 words. Send to Neelyf@aol.com

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