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"Concussion" - New Will Smith Movie About the NFL, Football, and Brain Injury


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#1 LFC

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 01:18 PM

More popular calling out of the fact that football is causing a lot of permanent brain injury, with a side of the fact that the NFL has known it for years but denied it (like Big Tobacco, Exxon, GM, etc.) to keep profits up.

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Will Smith and Sony came out hard against the National Football League at the world premiere of Concussion, painting a damning picture of a sport too big to admit it’s been killing its own players.

“My son played football for four years, so for me it was really conflicting,” star Will Smith told a sold-out audience after Concussion’s AFI Fest debut, where real-life subject Dr. Bennet Omalu received a standing ovation.

“The fact that I watched my son play football for four years and I didn’t know… just as a parent, I felt like I had to be a part of this, of Bennet’s quest for the truth,” said Smith. “That also became our quest to deliver the truth. Because people haveto know.”

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#2 LFC

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 02:18 PM

Well waddya' know. Just like Big Tobacco, the NFL produced faulty "research" on concussions.

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For the last 13 years, the N.F.L. has stood by the research, which, the papers stated, was based on a full accounting of all concussions diagnosed by team physicians from 1996 through 2001. But confidential data obtained by The Times shows that more than 100 diagnosed concussions were omitted from the studies — including some severe injuries to stars like quarterbacks Steve Young and Troy Aikman. The committee then calculated the rates of concussions using the incomplete data, making them appear less frequent than they actually were.

After The Times asked the league about the missing diagnosed cases — more than 10 percent of the total — officials acknowledged that “the clubs were not required to submit their data and not every club did.” That should have been made clearer, the league said in a statement, adding that the missing cases were not part of an attempt “to alter or suppress the rate of concussions.”

One member of the concussion committee, Dr. Joseph Waeckerle, said he was unaware of the omissions. But he added: “If somebody made a human error or somebody assumed the data was absolutely correct and didn’t question it, well, we screwed up. If we found it wasn’t accurate and still used it, that’s not a screw-up; that’s a lie.”

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#3 Rue Bella

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 03:58 PM

About a week ago, an NFL official admitted the link between concussions and brain damage.

http://www.pbs.org/w...n-football-cte/

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After years of skepticism, professed doubts and at times outright denial, the NFL has acknowledged a link between playing football and the degenerative brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

The acknowledgment came one day after Jeff Miller, the NFL’s senior vice president for health and safety, told the House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce, that football-related head trauma can lead to brain disease. Asked by Rep. Jan Schakowsky, (D-Ill.), whether “there is a link between football and degenerative brain diseases like CTE,” Miller responded, “The answer to that is certainly, yes.” He added, however, that “there’s also a number of questions that come with that,” noting a lack of data about the prevalence of CTE.

“The comments made by Jeff Miller yesterday accurately reflect the view of the NFL,” a league spokesman said in a statement to FRONTLINE on Tuesday.

Here is the Frontline segment on concussions from '13. It's about 2 hours long and was pretty interesting.
League of denial: http://www.pbs.org/w...ague-of-denial/

Add: When I was young, I was an avid pro football fan. But when I heard that so many of the older players died young, or lived with life-long injuries from their sport, I lost interest in watching men destroy their bodies. That was long before all the brain damage information came to light.

I think it was in the pbs special, which I saw months ago, that it was thought if all this came to light, there would be fewer mothers allowing their children to play football. And eventually the supply of good talent would dry up. This might also affect schools from fielding teams. Probably not in Texas however.
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#4 HockeyDon

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 06:23 PM

I just came across this 1st person account of a pro athlete suffering from a concussion, the effect on his psyche, and possible treatment to get him back to a normal life. Worth the read.
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#5 Practical Girl

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 09:36 AM

Rue, there's a bit of football "pushback", even in TX. Unfortunately no link, but when we first moved to Austin the "big story" was how major high school programs were losing their best FB players/athletes to lacrosse. At around the same time, high level TX high school recruits (Dallas area) were turning down college football scholarships in favor of collegiate positions in the same game.

The interesting thing is that, at the time, most of happening at the Club level- not organized sanctioned high school programs-heavily reliant on parent organization and support. Between that and a ton of parents encouraging soccer in lieu of football in the very young, maybe some hope.

Of course, both soccer and lacrosse have their own concussion issues...

BTW- did you see this? Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys owner) says linking CTE/football is "absurd".
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#6 LFC

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 01:17 PM

The evidence continues to pile up and become more damning. I'm not a parent, but it seems that we're very quickly getting to a point where it would be downright irresponsible to allow a child to play football.

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A study that will be presented at next week’s American Academy of Neurology (AAN) meeting offers one of the most conclusive pieces of evidence yet of a definitive link between brain injury and playing football.

It shows that “more than 40 percent of retired National Football League players … had signs of traumatic brain injury based on sensitive MRI scans called diffusion tensor imaging,” according to a press release from the AAN.

This isn’t the first study of its kind. Last year Frontline reported that researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University found chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which the Mayo Clinic defines as “brain degeneration likely caused by repeated head traumas” that is “a diagnosis only made at autopsy,” in 96 percent of the NFL players they examined and in 79 percent of football players at various levels of play.

The researchers studied 165 deceased people who had played the sport in high school, college or professionally, and found evidence of CTE in 131 of them.

But this newest study is “one of the largest studies to date in living retired NFL players” and the “first to demonstrate significant objective evidence for traumatic brain injury in these former players,” study author Dr. Francis X. Conidi of the Florida Center for Headache and Sports Neurology and Florida State University College of Medicine said in the release.

" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

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#7 Traveler

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 02:37 PM

The NFL settlement aint gonna hold up to the challenges based on this data.
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#8 Rue Bella

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 02:43 PM

Quote

BTW- did you see this? Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys owner) says linking CTE/football is "absurd".

Not much of a surprise. What's a pro team like the Cowboys worth these days? $4 Billion did they say?

http://www.forbes.co...dallas-cowboys/


Quote

Dallas Cowboys
Team Value1 $4,000 M
Team Value calculated September 2015

At a Glance
Owner: Jerry Jones
Championships: 5
Price Paid: $150 M
Year Purchased: 1989

Also:

http://www.forbes.co...s/#2bba9b8a4b2a

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NFL Players Are Strongly Pushing Back Against The League's Sugarcoating Of Its Concussion Crisis

Throughout the last several years, sports fans and media members have skewered the NFL for its insistence on downplaying the connection between football and head trauma. But the strongest repudiations against the league have come from the players themselves.

The controversy surrounding the NFL’s concussion crisis reached a new apex last Thursday, when the New York Times published a report that says the league omitted 100 concussions from a supposedly all-encompassing study from 1996-2001, which understated the risks of playing football. The NFL fired back with a 2-500-word missive, saying the paper distorted the record.

That’s an ironic rebuttal coming from an organization that has routinely sought to obfuscate the truth on this issue. At the owners’ meetings last week, the Dallas Cowboys’ Jerry Jones said it’s “absurd” to think there’s a definitive link between football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease known as CTE. Apparently Jones missed the news that Boston University researchers have discovered traces of CTE in 90 out of 94 brains that deceased former players have donated to the school. On Monday, Colts owner Jim Irsay attempted to top him, comparing the risks of playing football to taking aspirin.

Maybe in a short few decades the only athletes choosing to play will be those so poor that their only other alternative to earn money would be to sell a kidney.
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#9 Traveler

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 02:51 PM

Damn shame. I love to watch football. But not at this cost.
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#10 golden_valley

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 02:57 PM

As more kids play soccer, lacrosse, and rugby we may start to see similar medical findings.

My son has a couple of buddies who got lacrosse scholarships. Colleges are starting to throw scholarship money at the game. Since it's a relatively small sport, there are fewer players competing for scholarships...so far. The odds of getting a scholarship as a lacrosse player may be higher than the odds of getting into a college football program. Same with rugby but some serious schools recruit in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Ireland. As club teams and high schools get into the sport in the US there will be more competition for college scholarships.

#11 Rue Bella

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 03:05 PM

The story might go like this... the first teams to shut down will be the high schools as more and more parents voice their concerns and then forbid their boys from playing. That will dry the pool and perhaps slow/stop the college scholarships for the best players. Next to be affected will be the cash cow of college football. It would only take a series of million dollar judgements for 'not protecting my child in spite of over-whelming evidence' for programs to start shutting down under the weight of continuing law suits. First the smaller and less successful teams, then on to the larger ones with big alumni followings. Then where would the pros get their players without their unpaid farm teams?

This might just happen unless they can find an adequate solution. Either change the rules to prevent so much physical violence (making it a pansy game) or improved equipment, or both.
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#12 Traveler

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 03:25 PM

 golden_valley, on 12 April 2016 - 02:57 PM, said:

As more kids play soccer, lacrosse, and rugby we may start to see similar medical findings.

My son has a couple of buddies who got lacrosse scholarships. Colleges are starting to throw scholarship money at the game. Since it's a relatively small sport, there are fewer players competing for scholarships...so far. The odds of getting a scholarship as a lacrosse player may be higher than the odds of getting into a college football program. Same with rugby but some serious schools recruit in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Ireland. As club teams and high schools get into the sport in the US there will be more competition for college scholarships.
I played in high school. Plenty of hits, believe me. No doubt not as bad as football, but still some good contact. One time I was hit from two directions at two levels, somersaulted in midair, landed on my feet and ran toward the wrong goal I was so shaken up. Another time I knocked an opposing player clear over his bench 5 feet out of bounds, taking out three guys sitting there. Felt great, but not a good idea for long term brain health. But neither is alcohol...
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"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices" Voltaire

#13 golden_valley

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 04:54 PM

No doubt soccer, lacrosse and rugby players take and give hits. I actually found it easier to watch my kid wrestle than to play rugby. Wrestling is fighting with rules on how you do it, closely watched by referees (well sometimes) and between people of the same app. weight. Rugby definitely involves taking hits though my kid is a scrum half and isn't supposed to be tackled much.

#14 Beelzebuddy

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 05:08 PM

 golden_valley, on 12 April 2016 - 04:54 PM, said:

No doubt soccer, lacrosse and rugby players take and give hits. I actually found it easier to watch my kid wrestle than to play rugby. Wrestling is fighting with rules on how you do it, closely watched by referees (well sometimes) and between people of the same app. weight. Rugby definitely involves taking hits though my kid is a scrum half and isn't supposed to be tackled much.
I played rugby for three years (in my 30s!) and saw maybe two concussions? The rules for tackling are very strict - not above the shoulders - so there are few impacts to the head.
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#15 golden_valley

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 05:19 PM

 Beelzebuddy, on 12 April 2016 - 05:08 PM, said:

I played rugby for three years (in my 30s!) and saw maybe two concussions? The rules for tackling are very strict - not above the shoulders - so there are few impacts to the head.

So my kid says. "Only two concussions" The brain slams around inside the skull (coup countercoup) so the degree of injury depends on the degree of force to the head. It's why helmets don't reduce injury; just reduce skull fractures.

It's the size differential that gets me, plus not everyone plays by the rules....especially a bunch of 20 somethings who still think they are invincible and not always able to control tempers.

Playing in the 30's is impressive or crazy or both! How are the knees?

#16 Beelzebuddy

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 05:35 PM

 golden_valley, on 12 April 2016 - 05:19 PM, said:

So my kid says. "Only two concussions" The brain slams around inside the skull (coup countercoup) so the degree of injury depends on the degree of force to the head. It's why helmets don't reduce injury; just reduce skull fractures.

It's the size differential that gets me, plus not everyone plays by the rules....especially a bunch of 20 somethings who still think they are invincible and not always able to control tempers.

Playing in the 30's is impressive or crazy or both! How are the knees?
I should say that's two concussions on our sides (A, B and C about 45+ players) in three seasons. Yeah the tempers and rule following are a thing, as with any sport, but officials will red card your ass in a jiffy. Playing in my 30s was my post divorce therapy - so crazy? My knees are in excellent shape for some reason, probably because most of my athletic career was ... swimming!
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#17 LFC

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 08:33 PM

 golden_valley, on 12 April 2016 - 04:54 PM, said:

I actually found it easier to watch my kid wrestle than to play rugby.

Just as an FYI, I worked with a guy who was massively involved in both high school and college wrestling, running an annual camp, scoring tournaments, etc. He told me that wrestling has the highest rate of knee injury of any high school / collegiate sport. Certainly better than head injuries, but still scary.

Me? I took up a "safe" sport; rock climbing!
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

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""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#18 Rue Bella

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 09:23 PM

Tennis is a great sport to take up when young. You only need one other person to play and not an entire team. When your school years end, you can just keep playing. It's not that hard on the body, though with age wear and tear can play havoc with joints. You don't need a lot of gear - just shoes, a racket (which can last for years), and balls. And it's a lot of fun. :)
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#19 Bact PhD

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 09:51 PM

Having ongoing conversations with 11-y/o son on this. He REALLY wants to take up football, having been properly indoctrinated in the culture of our burg. I'm adamant that it won't even be a possibility until well into middle school (I recall reading something, not sure where, about the risk of TBI being decreased significantly if the sport weren't taken up until at least age 12/13. The stated reason was better coaching on proper blocking & tackling technique).

Dear Son prefers basketball to football though, and if I'm REALLY lucky, he'll gravitate towards the former and maybe add on cross-country/ track and forget about football by the time he hits that stage.
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#20 MSheridan

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 10:35 PM

Anecdotally, I don't remember seeing lots of knee injuries in my years of wrestling, although I do remember a single one suffered by a teammate. What I saw more was dislocated shoulders.





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