Sean Pamphilon: The Ugly Truth Behind Concussions in Football

Sep 10, 2013

Filmmaker Sean Pamphilon continues his road tour to promote his recently released film, The United States of Football. Watch for it at a theater near you as it rolls out across the country.
Here’s his latest interview with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television’s “Taking Stock” about The Ugly Truth Behind Concussions in Football.


7 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Henrietta Watson
    September 10th, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    Sid Watson

    You don’t need a background in medicine or a study to find out if hitting your head over and over again causes brain damage. All you really need is old-fashioned COMMON SENSE! But the NFL kept trying to tell us otherwise!

    Henrietta Watson
    widow Sid Watson (1932 – 2004)
    Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins
    1955 – 1958

  2. Tony Davis
    September 10th, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

    Tony Davis

    We understood the physical nature of the profession we chose. So did the owners we worked for. We probably didn’t think we would need help getting out of chairs before we were 50. The issue is not “Is it dangerous?” It is. Our employers know that this business could more than likely leave its employees with with some seriously damaged bodies. As such, the answer is simple: Take care of your employees when needed. If the NFL would take care of its employees medically and compensate them when needed and deserved, we would not be here today…

    Tony Davis
    Cincinnati Bengals & Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    1976 – 1982

  3. Joe Steed
    September 11th, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    Joe Steed

    The United States of Football looks to be a great and informative film; however, it will probably get limited play because it goes against the money in “big business” unless there’s public “noise”! I believe those players who are truly in need of the current NFL concussion settlement should go ahead and do so, while those who can hold over to a greater settlement should OPT OUT! The NFL knows that there will always be a FRESH BATCH of injured, concussed players EVERY YEAR! The “machine” will grind out more players who are hurt for public entertainment and those players, in turn, will file even more lawsuits; the avalanche of lawsuits will continue!

    Again, we haven’t even scraped surface of the pain-masking effects of TORIDAL and pain-killing shots in conjunction with concussions – we were so drugged up and numb, not knowing which way to walk! That issue and the issue of elementary, middle school and high school children damaging their brains so early, even before they really begin in life. No parent is going to want to expose their children to that type of abuse! And the pipeline will slowly shut down! That threat is real! I think a good place for all retired players to start is $765 million a year for health/claims from the NFL for 20 years and to be managed by a separate, 3rd party entity. Otherwise, retired player lawsuits will climb and concussions will stay on the brains of fans which is all bad PR for the NFL and then parents will not allow their kids to play such a violent game!

    We former NFL players haven’t even scratched the surface of social media. If every player just posted 2 or 3 times a week about his concussion experience on social media sites like – oh, I dunno. – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Hi-5, Netlog, Sonico, Ibibo, Renren, Tumbler, Zorpia, Tagged, Habbo, Multiply, Badoo, Xing, Ning, MyLife, MeetUp,, Mixi, Cyworks, StudiVZ, Bebo, Friendster,, Flixter (THE UNITED STATES OF FOOTBALL = GOOD OUTLET TO MAKE $), myHeritage, Okrut, PerfSpot, Netlog, Nasza-Klasa, Tuenti, IRC-Galleria, Kaixin001,, Wer-kennt-wen, Cyworld, Mixi, iWiW, etc.

    Whew! Who knows what might happen…

    Joe Steed
    Pittsburgh Steelers
    1992 – 1999

  4. Joe Steed
    September 19th, 2013 at 12:33 pm #

    Joe Steed

    First, on the issue of the concussion “settlement”; if the settlement is not an “either / or” situation meaning “all or nothing,” those retired players who are in really bad shape need to accept the settlement. BUT ONLY A LIMITED NUMBER so as not to not trigger the “blow up” option and the rest of us, OPT OUT to get a better deal for future players and families! My suggestion is $765 million or BETTER a year for 20 years – that fund that will be managed by a 3rd party! Active Players future salaries can be negotiated into the deal as being pro-rated and/or scaled back within the $765 million a year and possibly mandatory HSAs and insurance policies and/or risk can be pooled, issued and paid into the “Fund” by active players and/or the Fund could be merged with other high-risk insurance pools.

    Otherwise, the erosion of public confidence in the NFL – especially parents – (the VISA campaign is cute but it is only creating “rich soil” to analyze football and kids – The STREISAND EFFECT) over an extended period of time will cause an erosion of ROI and a “litany of lawsuits” will occur. Simple as that. (FOR OUR LAWYERS!)

    Secondly, concerning the issues of CTE and concussions, a simple test can be made to test for the presence of Tau Proteins by examining “brain fluid” or CSF! (REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT!)

    I am challenging – WORLDWIDE – any neurologist out there to create this easy, simple test. The LOWER the Tau Protein count within the CSP, the lower the possibility of CTE; the HIGHER the Tau Protein count within the CSP, you have CTE or maybe Alzheimers as they both appear in MRI scans (Dr. Gary Small, professor of psychiatry at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA)! Simple as that! DO NOT LET GREED, FEAR AND PROFIT BLIND YOU! Do the right thing and help former players and military personnel with TBI and spur on neural regeneration therapies (Univ. of Wisc.) (FOR OUR LAWYERS AND DOCTORS)

    Last but not least, I have a church in Haiti that needs to be built. It will cost $100K. It is called the DEBROSSE CHURCH PROJECT. It is a Baptist Church. If anyone would like to make a donation or knows someone, please let me know.

    Thanks and God Bless!

    Joe Steed
    Pittsburgh Steelers
    1992 – 1999

  5. Henry Bradley
    September 23rd, 2013 at 7:03 am #

    Henry Bradley

    I am fighting this fog every day. I would welcome the test Joe Steed is talking about. I’m open to talk to someone about what’s going on with me. I played nose tackle and took a lot of punishment to my head.

    Henry Bradley
    Cleveland Browns
    1979 – 1983

  6. Joe S.
    October 15th, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

    Henry Bradley, all Former Players, Doctors, and Lawyers, what I have found will blow a hole in the concussion settlement. There is a test which can determine “causation” in NFL concussions! :

    J Neurochem. 1993 Nov;61(5):1828-34.

    Detection of tau proteins in normal and Alzheimer’s disease cerebrospinal fluid with a sensitive sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

    Vandermeeren M, Mercken M, Vanmechelen E, Six J, van de Voorde A, Martin JJ, Cras P.


    Laboratory of Neurobiology, Born-Bunge Foundation, University of Antwerp, Wilrijk, Belgium.

    This test was FIRST DONE IN 1993!!! I asked the Christine Bau as to if there was a way to calibrate and quantify amounts of tau proteins or damaged tissue towards dementia. This was her response

    Hi Joe,
    Thank you for your email. Apologies for my very delayed response. We are currently testing to see if measuring the cerebrospinal fluid is a correlate to CTE. Only then would we know if testing over time would be useful. There have been no indications that something like “targeted HGH” would increase neuronal (brain cell) growth. Thank you for your thoughts and your interest in our research.

    From: Joe Steed
    Sent: Monday, June 04, 2012 4:54 PM
    To: Baugh, Christine M
    Subject: CTE NFL suggestion

    Dr. Baugh,

    Would it possibly help to determine the progression of CTE by measuring the amount of tau proteins in brain fluid over a athlete’s career ( from child hood or high school to the pros) ? Also to help heal the brain of tau spirals damage , would “targeted HGH” in brain cells cause new growth?


    Joe –

    I have come to learn from progressive research in the past few days that there was a test done to determine the level of tau proteins in “brain fluid” ! For example, if you came into the NFL as a rookie, with a certain amount of tau proteins and you finished 1 year of NFL football and the doctor sees a dramatic rise in tau protein concentrations! That is the “smoking gun” needed! We can NOW measure tau protein in brain fluid using a product called the “Tau Protein ELISA Kit”. Active and Former players need to be tested at the beginning and ending of each seanson! We know that if you have very little tau protein in your brain fluid, you have a small to non-existent predisposition to develope dementia! If you have a high level of tau proteins in your brain flud, you have a 90-95% chance of developing or having dementia. This was information given in 1993!!!!!! PLEASE PASS THIS INFORMATION ON TO EVERYONE!!!! OPT OUT OF THE CONCUSSION SETTLEMENT!!!!!!!!!

  7. Larry Kaminski
    November 5th, 2013 at 1:05 pm #


    I was really surprised at the articles and news regarding the young man who was recently suspended from the Dolphins. Seeing a TMZ video of his behavior and reading his rants are definite signs of issues he can not control.

    I do not know who can reach out to him but he needs to see Dr. Amen A sap. Based on my past issues he may be suffering from temporal, and frontal lobe damage which accounts for the volatility and anger. I am sure hi has digested some roids through the years which may added to the issues.

    We need to get this kid help before he does something to hurt himself or other.

    The NFL should be all over this if they care…screw suspension…get the guy medical help.


    Larry K