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Old 10-26-2006, 12:39 PM   #1
SteelersWoman
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Default Concussions a dirty little secret for many in the NFL

This article is kinda scary....

http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/story/9754944


Quote:
Oct. 26, 2006


Questionable is a word used a lot around the NFL. It's there every week in the injury reports that bookies and bettors like to study so much, usually stuck somewhere in between probable and doubtful.

Ben Roethlisberger, who was last seen sprawled unconscious on the field in Atlanta, is questionable this week. The Pittsburgh Steelers said so, meaning their star quarterback may or may not play Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.

Questionable. It's a word that can be used to describe many things.

Let's begin with the judgment of anyone involved with the Steelers who actually believes it is a good idea to rush back Roethlisberger after two concussions in four months.

Head injury one Sunday, starting nod the next. You don't need a degree in neurology to figure out something is wrong with this equation.

Concussions forced two other quarterbacks out of the game in recent years. Troy Aikman and Steve Young retired early because of the cumulative effect of concussions, and they're hardly alone among NFL alumni.

Current players aren't faring much better.

Quarterbacks Charlie Frye and Steve McNair recently left games with concussions and so did Minnesota receiver Troy Williamson.

Carolina linebacker Dan Morgan's season is over, and the horrifying image of Chiefs quarterback Trent Green having his head slammed to the ground in the first game of the season is an indelible one.

Concussions, it seems, are the NFL's dirty little secret. It's not just that they happen so often, but that the league doesn't seem to be doing much about it.

Sure, the NFL says it has had a committee of doctors studying them since 1994. But experts in the field say the league's studies are flawed, use suspect data, and don't stand up to peer review.

So when the NFL says no evidence has been found that brain function declines as a result of a concussion, the news is greeted with skepticism in the medical community.

"What the NFL allegedly finds is totally at odds with scores of publications that are out there," said Dr. Robert Cantu, a neurologist and leading expert in brain injuries at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "The stuff the NFL is putting out is just not the way the thinking is in the community of sports medicine and specialists with expertise in this area."

page 2...

Among those is a recent study by the University of North Carolina, which reported 10 percent of retired NFL players say concussions have had a permanent effect on their ability to think and remember things as they've gotten older.

Hall of Fame linebacker Harry Carson of the New York Giants is one of them. He estimates he had a dozen or more "bell-ringers" in his career, though he wasn't aware they were concussions. Carson said he has long had memory problems because of postconcussion syndrome.

For others, it's even worse.

Former Steelers lineman Terry Long died last year at the age of 45 from a brain inflammation that resulted, in part, from repeated head injuries. Fellow Steelers center Mike Webster was diagnosed with football-induced dementia before he died at the age of 50.

Coaches, though, seem to regard them as minor irritants.

Vikings coach Brad Childress offered his own diagnosis the other day after Williamson was injured.

"He does know what time zone we're in right now, and he can read a clock. So he's going to be OK," Childress said.

Football, of course, isn't alone in having to deal with brain injuries. Keith Primeau had two years and $6 million left on his contract with the Philadelphia Flyers but retired earlier this year when even the most mundane skating drills caused him problems due to past concussions.

And David Eckstein and Jim Edmonds of the St. Louis Cardinals struggled for much of the season after concussions.

Still, the NFL, filled with violent helmet-to-helmet tackles and players with bad intentions, stands out.

In boxing, a fighter knocked out is automatically suspended for 60 days. In the NFL, a player knocked unconscious has returned to play in the same game.

Roethlisberger didn't go back into the game last Sunday, though he wanted to. He also wants to play this Sunday.

"If I get cleared I'm going to beg and plead to be out there," he said.

Hopefully, no one will be listening. Hopefully, the Super Bowl champions, 2-4 so far this season, will resist the temptation to put him in.

Roethlisberger has no business playing Sunday. There's a good argument to be made he shouldn't play again this year.

Big Ben has only one career - and only one life.

It's up to those around him to make sure neither is cut short.
----

Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlbergap.org
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Old 10-26-2006, 12:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: Concussions a dirty little secret for many in the NFL

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelersWoman View Post
This article is kinda scary....

http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/story/9754944
This is so true and as much as I love the NFL, they are negligent on this -- when I was coaching at the high school level several years ago - I put a kid back into the game after he had sustained a concussion -his position coach told me he just had his "bell rung a little bit"- his parents ripped me good after the game and I deserved it - the kid missed the rest of the season after his parents took him to a neurologist - I'm lucky the school wasn't sued because of it ...
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Old 10-26-2006, 03:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Concussions a dirty little secret for many in the NFL

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelersWoman View Post
This article is kinda scary....
http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/story/9754944
You don't need a degree in neurology to figure out something is wrong with this equation.

Concussions, it seems, are the NFL's dirty little secret. It's not just that they happen so often, but that the league doesn't seem to be doing much about it.

Sure, the NFL says it has had a committee of doctors studying them since 1994. But experts in the field say the league's studies are flawed, use suspect data, and don't stand up to peer review.

So when the NFL says no evidence has been found that brain function declines as a result of a concussion, the news is greeted with skepticism in the medical community

"What the NFL allegedly finds is totally at odds with scores of publications that are out there," said Dr. Robert Cantu, a neurologist and leading expert in brain injuries at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. "The stuff the NFL is putting out is just not the way the thinking is in the community of sports medicine and specialists with expertise in this area."


Roethlisberger has no business playing Sunday. There's a good argument to be made he shouldn't play again this year. Big Ben has only one career - and only one life. It's up to those around him to make sure neither is cut short
EXCELLENT article and very true.

SAVE BEN. PLAY BATCH.

Last edited by DoctorJanSteelerFan; 10-26-2006 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 10-26-2006, 03:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Concussions a dirty little secret for many in the NFL

Part of the problem is we use a inncocent sounding word like concussion.

We should really call it what it is: brain trauma. I'd be willing to bet that people wouldn't be so eager to rush a guy back after suffering mild brain trauma as oppossed to a mild concussion.
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Old 10-26-2006, 04:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: Concussions a dirty little secret for many in the NFL



I've already explained in a previous posts: because Ben's concussion involved a loss of consciousness (doesn't matter how long it was), then it is considered a "severe" concussion... severe brain trauma... even though the media is reporting "mild". No way in heck would any neurologist outside the NFL clear him to play.

SAVE BEN. PLAY BATCH.
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Old 10-26-2006, 04:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Concussions a dirty little secret for many in the NFL

The biggest single problem with concussions is that one makes you more susceptible to the second and third and so on.

I know Ben wants to show he's a tough guy. But right now he needs to show that he's a team guy and sit down this week so he has a chance to heal. The Steelers have too much invested in him for him to keep playing these stupid tough guy games.
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Old 10-26-2006, 05:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: Concussions a dirty little secret for many in the NFL

I'm torn. I'll be at the game against Oakland, so I want to see Ben play. I also don't want to see anything really bad happen to him.

-Mike
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Old 10-26-2006, 06:16 PM   #8
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Default Re: Concussions a dirty little secret for many in the NFL

Thinking back to Steeler QBs getting knocked out, I recall Bradshaw getting knocked out in Super Bowl X on his TD pass to Swann (helmet to the chin but no flag, which was typical in those days) and during the next regular season getting spiked into the ground by Turkey (that was his real nickname folks) Jones in Cleveland (if you ever see the film of that atrocity, Bradshaw is literally quivering after being driven into the ground and could have broken his neck) After the Cleveland game (week 5) I recall Bradshaw did not play again until week 13. I calculate that to be 2 knockouts in about 9 months.

That 1976 team was the 2 time defending champ and certainly had the talent to threepeat, but Bradshaw still sat for almost 2 months while Noll turned QB over to rookie Mike Kruczek.

Now it is Cowher's turn to show some leadership or maybe time for Dan Rooney to act out of character and insert his reputation into a playing decision. Although a healthy Batch probably is at least as good as a fogged out Ben, even if it is a significant drop off in talent and may torch the season, Ben needs to sit until his someone (his agent?/the worthless NFLPA?) hires some outside neurologists to clear him.

Given all the $$ Leigh Steinberg has earned for representing Ben, he seems pretty worthless when it comes to strongly advising his client not to enagage in financially ruinous conduct such as biking without a helmet, to consider wearing a football helmet that reduces the possibility of future concussions, and to sit while he heals up from brain trauma.

Unfortunately, since nobody can or wants to risk their own paydays by convincing Ben to act in his own self-interest, Cowher needs to protect both Ben and the long-term interests of the franchise by sitting Ben down until he gets a clean bill of health from some third party neurologists at UPMC or elsewhere. This has a real bad vibe with regard to where it is heading.
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Old 10-26-2006, 07:52 PM   #9
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Default Re: Concussions a dirty little secret for many in the NFL

Very true about concussions. I didn't realize how bad Merril Hoge was until he did an interview on ESPN the other day. Scary! SAVE BEN START BATCH
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Old 10-26-2006, 09:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Concussions a dirty little secret for many in the NFL

Ben is only 24, and being a 24 year old and a guy they think their invincible and if the doctors clear him to play he's going to tell Cowher he wants to play. I personally would rather see him sit on the side lines and save his brain, Ben is an amazing person and I'd hate to see something really truly awful happen just because he thinks he's totally invincible.
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