Friday, October 25, 2013

League of Concussion?

Well, I confess I enjoy watching football on Sundays - and the occasional Monday night.  Kind of strange, I guess, because I certainly tend to be the nonviolent type.  Still, I can't help rooting for certain teams.

Well, I watched the recent PBS Frontline - "League of Denial" based on a book by two brothers. It was really gripping, holding my interest for a full two hours.  If you go to the PBS site for it, there are lots of things: a book excerpt, timeline, chat transcript, and more.

This was brought back to mind especially today, when former QB Brett Favre spoke of experiencing memory loss - perhaps related to concussions.  Here's an online article on this.

My feelings are very conflicted.  I still want to be a fan, but the way the NFL has dealt with this makes me wonder about commitment to player safety.  Further, the results some researchers have found (re: CTE) have been pretty startling, so of course you have to begin to wonder about the safety of the game, period.  Naturally, there are some risks that athletes take.  We do hope that every reasonable precaution is taken to protect players and that players, managers, coaches, and officials manage the risks in a sensible manner.

Finally, one emotion that wants to come out is a great sadness.  I hate to think of the players I have watched over the years, players I'm watching today someday having the debilitating CTE symptoms some researchers found and are detailed in "League of Denial." They are/have been "heroes" and "villains"  to many of us; I'm sure we wish them all an enjoyable retirement after their playing days are over.  The physical toll is bad enough in some cases; let's hope we can help them not suffer from CTE and related dementias.

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