First, we have to remember that there are many things we still do not know regarding neuroscience. There are a number of theories we have that, while good hypothetically, have not been proven - sometimes because ethically we can't prove them due to the consequences of so doing (killing or impairing the patient and such).
Second, although a protein linked with CTE may have been found as described this protein has not been proven to be the cause of or to be exclusively related to CTE - meaning it could be there due to some other cause.
Thirdly, in order to show that these findings have any relevance you have to compare similarly situated non-football players and/or non-athletes to football players, accounting for other circumstances such as other causes of head trauma like MVA's.
Bottom line is this research at this point doesn't change a thing really from a scientific point of view other than advancing the science a little further. Still, years of research need to be done to bear out the multiple assumptions made by the author.
That being said, there will be changes to the game. I enjoy the hell out of a good clean hit, but I don't watch boxing because I don't enjoy seeing people brutalize and potentially permanently injure someone. Yes, injuries are a fact of life and they will occur. No, I don't want to watch someone prepare to be the next Ali or Turner or Seau or whomever.
There are already changes being made for the better with the best evidence we have regarding head injuries and we must remain open to new science. We must also change with the science available to us. It can be very frustrating when I have to defend my decision to remove a kid from practice/game time to give their brain a chance to heal from a parent who doesn't get it or doesn't care. We are getting better in this regard and some of the recent changes are needed, though not perfectly implemented. There will be more changes and not only will they save the game we love, they will make it better because it will be safer. Not all head collisions can be avoided, but they should be reduced as should the severity of them when possible. The game will not suffer as a result any more than it suffered from the penalization of spearing.
Last edited by NationalTitles15; January 22nd, 2013 at 08:43 PM.
Roll Tide Roll!!!
Were subjects who did not participate in sports studied? Were those who play other sports examined? Often the quest for research dollars or desire to please certain politicians dictate the direction of research and even skew results. This is too premature to come to the conclusion that football will vanish.
"There are two pains in life. There is the pain of discipline and the pain of disappointment. If you can handle the pain of discipline, then you'll never have to deal with the pain of disappointment."-Nick Saban
Nooo. Football players need to continue playing....it's for science!! Player contracts are now grants for research.
The irony of improved helmet & facemask design is that it led to more helmet-to-helmet contact.
Someone is going to design a new and smarter helmet and then swim in their own personal cash vault Scrooge McDuck style.
Another step in the feminization of our country.
Prize fighting used to be banned. I remember UFC starting out in some unusual locations due to laws. The fact is I don't care if consenting adults want to hit themselves in the head, that's their right. The only moral quandary I can come up with is the situation as it relates to minors.
Anyway, my brother has done manual labor all his life. He sounds like a bowl of Rice Krispies when he's walking around grimacing and I wonder if a wheelchair is in his future. The fact is that physical tasks take a physical toll.
However, we're worrying way too much about this. A lot of information coming out is regarding NFL players, and NFL players with lengthy careers, which is far from the norm. Those are basically guys that get to make millions doing their job instead of working on a coal mine or something. Adjustments can be made, but when you get right down to it, it's just another dangerous job. It happens to be a fabulously well compensated dangerous job at that. We also are not doing a fair contrast in regards to football and other sports.
Doctors have also concluded that sitting is more dangerous that smoking. So, we're sitting here discussing how dangerous football is, when in fact it might be safer for us to get up and play some football. While I say that in jest, the truth is that the impact football has on most people's life will be a positive one.
"Everybody that chooses to go to the game should stay there and support the team for the game." - Nick Saban
"This is how it should be every game, every home game... the fans were just amazing". - Kevin Norwood on 2013 LSU game
"Four, five-star recruits are in Tuscaloosa, and then they see a stadium start emptying out at halftime"
Guess I'm just gonna sit myself to death!
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I would be curious to see how the results compare to rugby. Collisions in American football are so much more violent in my opinion because:
1. We have padding and helmets;
2. The players are much larger due to the short (stop/go) nature of plays. Thus, players gain incredible mass, that would be lost from a sport requiring more cardio. Basically, what I mean is that rugby players are still big, but not like American football players because they have to run the entire match which requires more oxygen. Muscles require more oxygen when under stress, so players wouldn't last as long.