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The Sound of Ideas

The Increasingly Common Concussion

Posted Monday, December 7, 2009

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The Increasingly Common Concussion After suffering a concussion in the game against the Bengals, former Browns running back Jamal Lewis probably won't play football again. He's not alone: starting safety Brodney Pool is contemplating early retirement for the same reason. Injuries like these are becoming commonplace in the NFL and college and high school football, and a new report commissioned by the NFL is raising questions about the long term effects "using your head" on the field. Monday morning at 9, join Dan Moulthrop for an examination of concussions on the gridiron.


Government/Politics, Health, Other, Parenting/Child Care


Brad Kimble associate athletic trainer, Baldwin-Wallace College
Halley Moore consultant to helmet manufacturer Team Wendy, LLC
Douglas H. Smith Director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair, University of Pennsylvania

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Beverly Moreno 9:14 AM 12/7/09

Reform is needed in youth soccer, too:  the head butt has got to go.  Pro players are adults who should know what their risks are, but parents need to protect their children and SPEAK UP against the head butt in soccer!

Sean Zuckerman 9:18 AM 12/7/09

I heard an interesting proposal from Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe. He suggested going to back leather helmets. On the surface this seems absurd until you look at how players hit today vs. 50+ years ago. The safer, stronger helmets have actually done more to harm players than protect them as you can now use your head as a weapon. You don’t see this kind of issue with brain trauma in former pro rugby players. Why not? They do not lead with their heads and they wrap the player up to tackle him as opposed to the “smash ‘em bash ‘em” style that predominates NFL & college. Just check out this tackle of Wisconsin football player Kyle Jefferson:

The NCAA doesn’t currently have a penalty for helmet-helmet hits. I find this deeply disturbing.

As to where football stands in 20 years or more, I have no answer. It’s so deeply ingrained into our society that it has seemingly passed baseball as America’s past time.

gary c. noland 9:31 AM 12/7/09

Any studies/ comments on boxing re: brain injuries? (Muhammid Ali?)

Melissa Steinmetz 9:39 AM 12/7/09

It seems to me that college and professional football will never adequately address the issue of brain injuries because an integral part of the game is the athlete proving his masculinity on the field. Seriously entertaining the idea that football players have vulnerabilities undermines the core value of the sport. I don’t believe anything will change—helmet construction, rules of the game—as long as football is equated with American manhood.

sally Walters 9:41 AM 12/7/09

Why did you decline to address the caller who brought up the Malcolm Gladwell argument against football altogether as akin to dogfighting?  I was very grateful for the callers questions and amazed that it was passed over as if it was nothing but dead air . . . ?!?

Jim 11:19 AM 12/7/09

Where is the Cleveland Clinic on this? 

Why aren’t they at the forefront on this topic?

What football helmet currently reduces linear and angular acceleration the most?

Jim 7:59 PM 12/8/09

Is this story available as a podcast?


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