Some November News: Old & New

Nov 8, 2012

You may remember a post we featured last year in July 2011 from Alison Owens, wife of former Charger Terry Owens (click HERE to read that post). Sadly, Terry passed away at home on October 27, 2012 at the age of 68. Terry had only recently been approved for the NFL’s 88 Plan and his wife Alison wasn’t able to find a facility that could give Terry the round-the-clock care he needed in his final years of suffering from dementia. His brain tissue was donated to Sports Legacy Institute to confirm the likelihood of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Our thoughts and prayers go out to Alison and her family.
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Of course, the NFL continues to promote their great new concussion rules even as more and more stories of “undetected” concussions surface every day during the current season. And then you have players like Brady Quinn, who still “think” (for lack of a better word) that they can play through a concussion even after putting on the wrong helmet while sitting on the sidelines.

QB Quinn admits trying to play through concussion

DAVE SKRETTA
Published: Yesterday
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Brady Quinn had waited three years for another chance to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. He wasn’t going to let a concussion put him back on the sideline.
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That’s why the Chiefs quarterback admitted Wednesday to attempting to play through his second concussion of the season, which he believes happened when a defender’s knee struck the back of his helmet in a game against the Oakland Raiders on Oct. 28.
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Quinn remembers having vision problems after the blow, but decided to remain in the game, even though he was dazed enough to put on the wrong helmet on the sideline between possessions.
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You can read the rest of the story from AP by clicking HERE.
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And here’s a story on a recent study comparing the striking similarities between shell-shocked soldiers and football players:
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Football, explosions rattle brain in similar ways

By Joel N. Shurkin
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Published September 07, 2012
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Scientists studying brain injuries are bringing together findings from two different settings — the football field and the battlefield — to develop new ways to protect football players, and to identify new insights into preventing what was once known to soldiers as “shell shock.”
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A disorder that damages an athlete’s brain function results from the same kinds of concussions affecting soldiers caught in explosive blasts from such weapons as improvised explosive devices in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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The issue has become urgent to the NFL because of a class action lawsuit filed by former players claiming the league and the manufacturer of their helmets didn’t warn them of the dangers of head trauma.
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Several prominent former players now suffer from obvious brain damage. Surveys show that parents are growing reluctant to let their children play tackle football because of the dangers, which could endanger the future of the sport.
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You can read the rest of this chilling dose of reality by clicking HERE.
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EDITOR’S NOTE Nov. 9th: We just received a link from concussion attorney Jason Luckasevic to an investigative piece written back in 2005 by Carl Prine for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. If you don’t read anything else this weekend, take the time to read this article and tell us if you can relate to this story in the comments.
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Bloody Sundays

By Carl Prine
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Published: Sunday, January 9, 2005
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On any given Sunday, 90 men will mummy themselves in tape, pads and plastic armor. They’ll don helmets, patiently wait out the national anthem, and then proceed to gouge eyes, flail skin, splinter fingers, jerk muscle from bone and ram those very same helmets into each other’s skulls, all in an effort to stick a 15-ounce leather oval into the end zone of a National Football League game.
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“You want to know how hard you’re hit? If you’re a running back, and you’re hit full-speed, he can literally knock the feces out of your bowels. You lose all feeling in your limbs. That’s how hard they hit in the NFL,” said Merrill Hoge, a former Steelers and Bears running back forced out of the game in 1995 because of a devastating series of concussions.
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To understand how football affects the bodies and minds of those who play it, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review analyzed four years of NFL injury data; interviewed more than 200 current and former players, coaches and managers; and delved into thousands of pages of the latest medical research, finding:

  • In the 2000 through the 2003 seasons, NFL players racked up 6,558 injuries. More than half the athletes are hurt annually, with the number spiking at 68 percent in 2003-04, according to the NFL’s weekly injury reports.

You can read the rest of this timeless piece by clicking HERE.
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And speaking of a dose of reality, many of you have probably never even seen or read a copy of a special report that was submitted back in 2008 for Congress titled Former NFL Players: Disabilities, Benefits, and Related Issues. The report was in response to many Congressional questions that included statistics on career-ending injuries and the subsequent disability benefit claims, as well as questions on the basic funding for those benefits. We posted that story back in April of 2008 with links to the actual reportclick HERE to read that post.
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We just uploaded a copy of that report to Scribd for easy viewing and to make it downloadable for printing. You can also click the Enlarge icon in the lower right corner of the menu at the bottom of the viewing screen to go Full Screen for easier reading (just hit the ESC key to close).
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CRS Report to Congress on Former NFL Players: Disabilities, Benefits, and Related Issues
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