And About Those NFL Concussion Studies…

Sep 15, 2009

Here’s why we’re so excited about Dr. Amen’s offer to provide free brain scans which will be included in his upcoming study of football concussions. Many of you guys have already signed up but if you haven’t done so already, click HERE to read that earlier post and sign up right away – this offer is currently limited to the first 100 players to join the study!

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Over the years, the NFL has continued to do lip service about all those studies they’re supposed to have been conducting on brain concussions and injuries that most players sustain over their careers. But just like the calls for an open audit of their books, few people seem to have been privy to all of the the studies that they’re supposed to have collected. In the past, we’ve also pointed out that among other “studies”, the NFL apparently also has actuarial numbers on all of the players that were provided by a subsidiary of AON Corp. headquartered in Chicago. Some of the principals in AON Corp. also happened to be owners of the Chicago Bears – read some of those earlier posts by clicking HERE. You’ll be directed to a series of earlier posts on AON’s relationship to the NFL – including this one at the top – just keep scrolling down to the other posts below. Among other things, those actuarial numbers have been used to calculate just how much they hold back from you for your surviving spouse policy on your retirement benefits (And who has actually seen their paperwork for THAT policy? Isn’t all of that called a Conflict of Interest in any other business?).

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And then to make things even more interesting, the NFLPA’s suspended Director of Human Resources, Mary Moran, (daughter of Congressman Jim Moran) has filed a complaint (and a lawsuit ) with the Dept. of Labor against the Union. A Dept. of Labor investigation would be a good thing but not for Ms. Moran’s self-serving attempt to extort another million dollars out of the Union after taking out 6-figure salaries of your money for years of “working” at the NFLPA. If it had been disclosed that certain jobs on the assembly line in Detroit had been known by an auto manufacturer to be hazardous to the workers’ health, how long do you think it would take the UAW to be all over that? Now THAT’S something the Dept. of Labor SHOULD be investigating. We believe it’s finally time to do our own independent study on the long-term effects of brain injuries and concussions that have happened to each and every one of you players out there, year-in and year-out.

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This past May, over 200 players and family attended the First Annual Independent Retired Players Summit held at the South Point Resort in Las Vegas . Two of the renowned medical speakers were Dr. Daniel Amen and Dr. Rick Sponaugle. Dr. Amen is considered among the foremost brain scientists in the world and has the largest archive of brain scans anywhere. At The Summit, Dr. Amen discussed some of his latest findings on brain damage from professional football and announced that he would provide free SPECT brain scans for 100 professional football players, active and retired. This is at absolutely no cost whatsoever to the players who participate! All you have to do is make your way to his clinic in Newport Beach, California. Dr. Amen plans on developing a detailed study for publication in a medical journal. This information will be made public – unlike the self-serving NFL studies – and will likely be an eye-opener for many. The Amen Clinic study will be independent and impartial with NO connection to the NFL or the NFLPA! We’re hoping that some generous souls out there might be able to help some of the players get to the Amen Clinic by offering to cover the cost of airfare for those players who simply can’t afford to get there on their own (just drop Dave a note and we’ll do our best to try and find you transportation).

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You can read more about Dr. Amen and Dr. Willeumier by visiting the Amen Clinics website (click HERE). We also posted Dr. Amen’s PowerPoint presentation from The Summit below using DocStoc. Dave and George Visger have already signed up for their scans and we’ll be writing about their personal experiences and education as they go through the entire process. We hope that we can encourage as many of you as possible to take advantage of this opportunity to help your selves as well as your fellow teammates by working with the Amen Clinics on this unique study.
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Dr. Daniel Amen Brain Injuries
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3 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Gregg Bingham
    September 15th, 2009 at 11:00 pm #

    Gregg Bingham
    Gregg Bingham here – for 20 years I led the teams I played with in tackles and that is a whole lot of hitting (some say nobody has had more collisions than I’ve had). The fact is I had a good body and was mostly injury-free for all those years and I thought I would live forever. Then in March, I had a stroke and major brain surgery. My doctor called me a miracle man due to how I came out of my surgery and have since recovered. He said 1 out of 100,000 come out like I did. That leaves 99,999 others to be less fortunate than me. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a serious subject and life changer if it happens to you, so please do all you can on this subject.

    Gregg Bingham
    1973 – 1984 Houston Oilers

  2. George Visger
    September 16th, 2009 at 11:28 am #

    George Visger
    Gregg,

    You are fortunate that you survived as well as you did. I found it somewhat comical that the NFL’s so-called brain injury study never included me, who is now on my 9th football-related brain surgery the last 28 years. I was forced to sue the 49ers for workers comp to cover brain surgeries # 2 and # 3 after the Super Bowl in ’81!

    All of you warriors out there, please heed Gregg’s warning. TBI is a life-changer. We all thought we were bulletproof but as we get on in years, we’re now learning the hard way that we are mortal and can’t always just suck it up and push on. Reach out to one another, guys. There’s strength in numbers and we’re are all bonded by the fires we’ve been through.

    Through several weeks of battles I was finally approved by the 49ers Workers Comp (The Travelers) for approval to attend a 2-day full-blown evaluation at the Amen Clinic. Dr Amen does a great service by offering free scans and evaluations to ex-NFL players and all who can get down there should take advantage of it. I’m hoping there is much to be learned from my 28-year ordeal with hydrocephalus so others may avoid the pain my family has endured in dealing with me.

    Hope to see some of you brothers at the clinic.

    George Visger
    San Francisco 49′ers
    1980 & 1981

  3. Dave Pear
    September 16th, 2009 at 1:45 pm #

    Dave Pear Superbowl Sack
    Gregg,

    Really good to hear from you! I strongly encourage you to contact the Amen Clinic and speak with Dr. Kristen Willeumier, Ph.D. Her phone is (949) 266-3703. She is a wonderful person! This examination will give you a clearer picture of where you are functioning from a cognitive stand point. I am going to have my brain examined on 10/1/09 at 10:30am. By you participating in this study it will help ALL the thousands of players that are not able to represent themselves or are embarrassed to admit their injuries. Many players cannot even afford the airfare to go to New Port Beach, CA to receive this very generous gift from Dr. Amen

    My wife has been asking me for years to go and see Dr. Amen. Look at his credentials. This study is independent from the NFL or NFLPA. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Do this for your family!

    Here is their web page: Amen Clinics (http://www.amenclinics.com/)

    So many players have found themselves in dire need and do not even know the real reason. We have ALL been trained to work through difficult situations and if we don’t give up, things will work out. However, with brain injuries that’s seldom the case because things only get worse until we get proper treatment.

    I was an ALL-Pro player selection for 2 years, Pro-Bowl winner, SuperBowl winner, MVP of a team for 2 years, fan club, etc… I could bench press 500 lbs and I never used steroids. I never thought I would find myself on Social Security Disability at the age of 50. I have had 9 major surgeries and I need two more. The NFL pays for NOTHING. I have spent over $500,000 of my own money on football injuries and my medical cost continue to grow. The NFL shamefully asks Medicare to pay for my football injuries. This is one of the reasons why Medicare will be broke in less than 6 years.

    Programs like The Player Care Foundation are virtually worthless. I know because I’ve personally tried to access them. I just had another spine surgery on 8/11/09 to remove four very large screws, bolts and rods (10 pieces in all). Then they scraped my spine to remove pressure from a bone pressing against a nerve at L3-4. Once again, the NFL has paid NOTHING! The Player Care Foundation is gibberish (unintelligible or meaningless language) and their only intent is to mislead Congress.

    The only real solution is complete pension/disability reform! The pensions should at least match MLB (Major League Baseball). We actually need a Disability Plan that’s unique to our industry. Football is a brutal collision sport and you will get injured! The current disability system is illegal and violates ERISA Law. The Groom Law Group designed this debacle. De Smith should fire these rascals and start over.

    Somebody MUST stand up for the rights of retired players!

    Sincerely,
    Dave & Heidi Pear