11
   

Whither Football?

 
 
engineer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 01:20 pm
I'd toss in a suggestion that would certainly be unpopular in some quarters but makes a lot of sense to me: put a weight limit on players of 220 pounds (100 kg). For a professional athlete, even a very tall one, that weight should be fine. Players would weigh in before every game.

To my eye, this has several advantages:
- Players are not actively encouraged to be overweight
- Each hit is coming in at 15-30% less force than today resulting in less short term and long term injuries.
- The game is opened up to more talented players who aren't gifted with ridiculous size.

Of course this doesn't solve the problem. High school players are noticably smaller than this and they have the same issues with concussions that the pros do. I think at the high school level, it is more about awareness and gettting players who have had their bells rung out of harms way.
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 01:23 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

I'd toss in a suggestion that would certainly be unpopular in some quarters but makes a lot of sense to me: put a weight limit on players of 220 pounds (100 kg). For a professional athlete, even a very tall one, that weight should be fine. Players would weigh in before every game.

To my eye, this has several advantages:
- Players are not actively encouraged to be overweight
- Each hit is coming in at 15-30% less force than today resulting in less short term and long term injuries.
- The game is opened up to more talented players who aren't gifted with ridiculous size.

Of course this doesn't solve the problem. High school players are noticably smaller than this and they have the same issues with concussions that the pros do. I think at the high school level, it is more about awareness and gettting players who have had their bells rung out of harms way.


Impossible. The average weight of a lineman is something like 300 pounds. You'd basically be talking about getting rid of every single lineman in the game who is currently playing. That isn't going to happen.

Not only that, but I'm not sure that it would actually accomplish anything.

Per your specific points:

Quote:

- Players are not actively encouraged to be overweight


Players are already not actively encouraged to be overweight. In the modern game, overweight=super slow and that just doesn't cut it.

Quote:
- Each hit is coming in at 15-30% less force than today resulting in less short term and long term injuries.


I don't think this is necessarily true at all. Lower weight = higher speed. The higher speeds of impact will compensate somewhat for the lowered mass.

Quote:
- The game is opened up to more talented players who aren't gifted with ridiculous size.


The game is already wide-open to players of all sizes. I'd say there's probably a bigger variation in body sizes in football than any other sport.

Cycloptichorn
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 01:25 pm
@engineer,
bbbbbbbbut B.J. Raji!!!

http://www.jerseyal.com/GBP/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Raji.jpg
(340 pounds)

But I know what you mean, it's an interesting suggestion.

engineer wrote:
Of course this doesn't solve the problem. High school players are noticably smaller than this and they have the same issues with concussions that the pros do. I think at the high school level, it is more about awareness and gettting players who have had their bells rung out of harms way.


What these articles keep pointing out though is that while the bell ringing is definitely bad, just the plain old everyday contact that passes without a second thought is itself problematic, especially in aggregate.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Wed 23 Feb, 2011 02:07 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Cycloptichorn wrote:

Impossible. The average weight of a lineman is something like 300 pounds. You'd basically be talking about getting rid of every single lineman in the game who is currently playing. That isn't going to happen.

No it's not, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't.
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Quote:

- Players are not actively encouraged to be overweight

Players are already not actively encouraged to be overweight. In the modern game, overweight=super slow and that just doesn't cut it.

These guys aren't 300+ pounds just because they work out a lot. Just look at them, they are covered in fat over all that muscle. Overweight=superslow for people who don't work out daily, but if you build the muscle mass, you can get that body moving. Unfortunately, all that weight does a lot of wear on the body. Yes, it would be a paradign shift, but it doesn't bother me if some of today's players are disqualified or have to slim down to play. Those guts hanging over their waists are not just muscle and they are not healthy.

Cycloptichorn wrote:
Quote:
- Each hit is coming in at 15-30% less force than today resulting in less short term and long term injuries.

I don't think this is necessarily true at all. Lower weight = higher speed. The higher speeds of impact will compensate somewhat for the lowered mass.

You can only speed up so fast between the snap and impact but your point is well taken.
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Quote:
- The game is opened up to more talented players who aren't gifted with ridiculous size.

The game is already wide-open to players of all sizes. I'd say there's probably a bigger variation in body sizes in football than any other sport.

There are no 200 lb linemen in the NFL. Because the linemen are so big, most college quarterbacks won't even be considered unless they are 6'2" or better although some of the outstanding ones can be 6'. ESPN went looking for small, high quality running backs (<200lb) and came up with ten under 200lb over the last 40 years or so. Drew Brees and Micheal Vick are the league's short QB's. They are 6' even. Brees is 209lb at 6'0" for a BMI of 28.3. Compare that to someone like tennis player Andy Roddick. Roddick is 6'2" and 195lb for a BMI of 25. I love Brees, but when he was being interviewed after the 2010 Super Bowl my first thought was "look how much extra weight he is carrying". You can't just say it is all muscle; Roddick is pretty ripped.

I don't think a weight limit is going to happen, only that it would change the game for the better. Maybe it is more of a suggestion for college.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 3 May, 2011 10:54 am
Duerson did have CTE, as he suspected:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/03/sports/football/03duerson.html

Quote:
BOSTON — The suicide of the former Chicago Bears star Dave Duerson became more alarming Monday, when Boston University researchers announced that his brain had developed the same trauma-induced disease recently found in more than 20 deceased players.

The diagnosis adds a new and perhaps pivotal chapter to football’s still-unfolding narrative surrounding concussions. Duerson shot himself Feb. 17 in the chest rather than the head, presumably so that his brain could be examined by Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, which announced its diagnosis.

[...]

“It’s tragic that Dave Duerson took his own life, but it’s very meaningful that he recognized the symptoms of the disorder — it validates this condition,” said Dr. Ann McKee, the neuropathologist who examined Duerson’s brain. She said she found indisputable evidence of C.T.E. in the tissue samples, with “no evidence of any other disorder.”
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 May, 2012 09:20 am
Now Junior Seau... oof.

(Shot himself in the chest, brain will be studied, no results yet.)
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2012 10:51 am
Just read this quote from Ta-Nehisi Coates, re: the NFL lineman who killed his girlfriend and then himself, I have to say I'm getting there:

Quote:
We don't know what happened. We will never know what happened to Junior Seau. For me, that was the problem. The NFL has never been a reliable arbiter on player safety and brain injury. I don't want to sit around with my beer and wings on Sunday and wonder whether my pastime contributed to the murder of a young mother and the orphaning of a little girl. I'm just not up for it.


http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/12/the-killing-of-kasandra-perkins-by-jovan-belcher/265809/
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2012 10:55 am
@sozobe,
My big thing at this point is that while bad stuff is undoubtedly happening with CTE, and while there is undoubtedly a cause and effect, there are variables that haven't been identified yet. Not everyone who plays football and takes a lot of hits develops CTE. There are many former football players who have the standard aches and pains but are otherwise fine.

I'm hoping that some sort of variable can be figured out, and that this can be really reduced.

But of course, what percentage is acceptable? If only 1% of all football players go on to have ungovernable violent impulses due to CTE, is that OK? .5%? Doesn't it have to get down to zero before I can watch a football game with a clear conscience?

Oof.
0 Replies
 
Region Philbis
 
  2  
Reply Thu 10 Jan, 2013 01:04 pm
Quote:
Doctors: Junior Seau's brain had CTE

SAN DIEGO -- Junior Seau, who committed suicide in May, two years after retiring as one of the premier
linebackers in NFL history, suffered from the type of chronic brain damage that also has been found in
dozens of deceased former players, five brain specialists consulted by the National Institutes of Health
concluded.

Seau's ex-wife, Gina, and his oldest son Tyler, 23, told ABC News and ESPN in an exclusive interview
they were informed last week that Seau's brain had tested positive for chronic traumatic encephalopathy,
a neurodegenerative disease that can lead to dementia, memory loss and depression.
(espn)
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jan, 2013 02:36 pm
@Region Philbis,
Yep.

While it's not CTE, I'm also deeply disturbed by the RGIII situation. There is no way he should have been out there on that knee.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Thu 10 Jan, 2013 02:44 pm
@sozobe,
Part of it's the way the pros play the game. Triple option football is basically safer since people are carrying the ball in space more and generally the ball-carrier has one man to beat, only a couple of teams do that now most notably the Naval Academy. In theory there's no way in hell one of the academies should ever blow a major college team out of a bowl game but it happens.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Fri 13 Sep, 2013 07:06 am
http://www.csmonitor.com/var/ezflow_site/storage/images/media/content/cartoon-images/2013/09/cartoon130912-03/16961339-1-eng-US/cartoon130912-03_full_900x600.jpg
http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Monitor-Political-Cartoons#730101
0 Replies
 
Region Philbis
 
  3  
Reply Tue 25 Jul, 2017 10:44 am
Quote:
CTE Discovered in More Than 99 Percent of Deceased NFL Players' Brains in Study

According to findings published Tuesday, more than 99 percent of brains from deceased former NFL players that were examined
for a study contained chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

The study was published by medical journal JAMA (h/t CNN.com's Daniella Emanuel), and researchers detected CTE in 110 of 111
brains from former NFL players that were donated.

The study is the largest of its kind and examined the brains of 202 deceased former football players in all.

Aside from the brains of former NFL players, CTE was found in 48 of 53 college players and three of 14 high school players.

Per Emanuel, the NFL released the following statement on the study:

"The medical and scientific communities will benefit from this publication and the NFL will continue to work
with a wide range of experts to improve the health of current and former NFL athletes. ... There are still many
unanswered questions relating to the cause, incidence and prevalence of long-term effects of head trauma such
as CTE."


The league also noted that it contributed $100 million to neuroscience research in 2016 in addition to the $100 million it was
already spending on the cause along with its partners.

Within the study it was suggested that, while CTE can only be diagnosed posthumously, symptoms such as depression and anxiety
can exist in the living.

The brains that were found to contain CTE will be further studied in an effort to see if there are genetic links present with regard
to the disease.
(source)
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Reply Tue 25 Jul, 2017 11:15 am
@Region Philbis,
#WTF! WOW! Holy Frack on a Stick! Surprised

Thanks for the update RP.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2017 08:08 pm
@Region Philbis,
Yeah, I'm going to try to be really and truly done with football this year. I've been slowly weaning myself, then every time the Packers start to look not-awful I'm back. I'd thought that maybe I'd go until Aaron Rodgers retires. But no, I think I'm done.

Soccer is cool. And there's always basketball.

Honestly I'm going to focus mostly on high school stuff if anything. Then later if I feel a major hole where the sports fandom part of my brain used to be, I'll look into soccer and/ or rekindling my love for basketball (mostly dormant since Jordan-era Bulls, with quick Lakers and Cavs flare-ups).

Just can't support NFL football in good conscience.
ossobucotemp
 
  2  
Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2017 08:39 pm
@sozobe,
Me too, and I've very enjoyed football. I am also wary of soccer.
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2017 08:45 pm
terrific podcast of interview with Dr. Omalu

(full transcript at link)

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-august-11-2017-1.4242091/kids-should-not-be-allowed-to-play-contact-sports-warns-concussion-expert-1.4242166

Quote:
It might sound shocking, but it's not a new revelation for Dr. Bennet Omalu, author of Truth Doesn't Have a Side. If his name sounds familiar, you may have seen him portrayed by Will Smith in the Hollywood movie version of his story, Concussion.

'There is no justifiable reason whatsoever why a child under the age of 18 should continue to play these games.'
- Dr. Bennet Omalu



The Nigerian-American forensic pathologist and neuropathologist discovered the condition and coined the term CTE back in 2002. He warns CTE is only one condition of a very broad spectrum of diseases following blows to the head.

"If your child plays any of these high impact, high contact, coalition sports and receives repeated blows to the head … your child is more likely to die before the age of 42 through violent means," Dr. Omalu tells The Current's host Megan Williams.



Quote:
He adds that a child has about two to four times increased risk of committing suicide or suffering from a major psychiatric illness, including major depression, by playing dangerous contact sports.

"Knowing what we know today, there is no justifiable reason whatsoever why a child under the age of 18 should continue to play these games. These games are potentially dangerous and should be left for only adults."

'If you love your son and daughter, why would you intentionally expose him or her to the risk of permanent brain damage.'
- Dr. Bennet Omalu


Over 15 years ago, Dr. Omalu says he warned people of the risk exposure to brain damage associated with playing contact sports. No one listened, but he believes physicians need to speak out.

"We have always known dating back centuries that in whatever human activity whereby the head is exposed to repeated blows, there is a very, very high chance of brain damage — if not 100 per cent risk of brain damage."


sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2017 10:39 pm
@ehBeth,
(Thanks for linking to a podcast that has a transcript!)
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 13 Aug, 2017 10:43 pm
@ossobucotemp,
Yeah, soccer is not concussion-free, either. But it's a lot more rare and they don't have the linebacker problem of smashing into each other as a baseline, every single play. (Heading the ball seems to be not-great itself, though. Sigh. Basketball! I do love LeBron even though he's not going to get another ring - Steph Curry's gonna hog those for a while.)
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Sep, 2017 10:56 am
Just saw this article (though it's from earlier this week), really resonates. He also has some good ideas about where to maybe go if we're going to try to preserve football.

"Among his ideas: No contact before high school. Limit the number of plays per game in which a player may participate, something like a pitch count in baseball. Tougher rules, and even in-helmet sensors, for players who dip their heads to tackle. And changes to substantially soften the exterior of football helmets, into something more like memory foam, to reduce the weight and its utility as a weapon."

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/30/sports/espn-ed-cunningham-football-concussions.html
 

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