Politics, Sports, United States

Concussion Discussion

A student at Union Mine, Nick Brown, played football and he suffered from a severe concussion. He was rushed in a helicopter to save his life. He survived the head trauma but some people don’t get as lucky as him. From 1900 to 1905 at least 45 football players died due to concussions. In the 1900’s, football was going to be banned because of the dangers; but President Theodore Roosevelt saved the game.

Concussions are a growing problem in American football. We have known about concussions and the problems that they may carry since the early 1900s but concussions have not had the type of attention that they are getting now. Football at the time was surprisingly dangerous and violent, and “nearly every death may be traced to ‘unnecessary roughness.’ Picked up unconscious from beneath a mass of other players, it was generally found that the victim had been kicked in the head to cause internal injuries or concussion of the brain, which, sooner or later, ended life,” (The Post). In 1905, at least 18 people died and more than 150 were injured playing football. One of those 18 deaths, Harold Moore was killed by getting a head injury. After he died, people were devastated and shaken. The Harvard president decided football should be banned and many well known college leaders supported his idea. Teddy Roosevelt loved football and did not want to watch it go away. He pushed the Harvard coach and other major college coaches to make more rule changes and he invited other football coaches and managers to the White House. After a conference, the NCAA, approved major rule changes. They legalized being able to “pass forward, got rid of the dangerous mass formations, created a neutral zone between offense and defense, and doubled the first-down distance to 10 yards, to be gained in three downs” (The Post). The rule changes did not get rid of football dangers, but deaths “decreased to 11 per year in both 1906 and 1907, while injuries fell sharply” (Klein). A leap in fatalities in 1909 led to more cases and meetings for rule changes that further impacted limits on the forward pass and formed the foundation and fundamentals of the game played today. The gear in the 1900’s did not prevent much because the helmets were leather and the pads were stuffed with wool. In the late 1900’s, the gear changed to what it looks like today. Since then, we have made many improvements to make the game safer. The helmets are stronger, the pads are more protective, and the rules made a huge difference. Football in the 1900’s is comparable to rugby today, but it was probably more dangerous than rugby today.

The game is extremely physical, which has been for years, and it is no surprise that being a player in the National Football League (NFL) comes with considerable physical risk. But in recent years the mental health problems have related to concussions and NFL players. Concussion could be career ending to many athletes. New York Jets receiver Wayne Chrebet suffered from many head injuries that he was forced to retire from football at age 32 after suffering too many concussions that it was affect his life. Concussions can get so bad and if you get so many it could lead to suicide. Junior Seau, who was a  former linebacker for the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, committed suicide to escape the traumas associated with CTE. The 12-time Pro Bowler shot himself in the chest in May 2012. Loss of memory, as well as sharp and violent tempers, have led to many mental illnesses so many former players were diagnosed depression, and sometimes even inflict self-harm.  Many footballballed have filed lawsuits against the NFL. They claimed that the league “concerted efforts of deception and denial.” Concussions in sports are treated as a minor injury when in reality it can affect someone’s future dramatically.   “If you’re worried about concussions, you’re in the wrong business.” – Carolina Panthers fullback Brad Hoover.

Kids, coaches, and parents need to be more aware of all the possibilities if their kid gets a concussion. Coaches should set up meetings with people to talk with their athletes to show ways to prevent concussions. Obviously concussions will still happen but they could be reduced and more could be less severe. Football isn’t the only sport with concussions, every sport has possibilities of concussions so this is a serious matter to raise awareness for.

Article by Kelcie Bonal & Hailey Honaker

Work Cited

Zezima, Katie. “How Teddy Roosevelt Helped Save Football.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 29 May 2014, www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2014/05/29/teddy-roosevelt-helped-save-football-with-a-white-house-meeting-in-1905/?utm_term=.f32307aae849.

Zezima, Katie. “How Teddy Roosevelt Helped Save Football.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 29 May 2014, www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2014/05/29/teddy-roosevelt-helped-save-football-with-a-white-house-meeting-in-1905/?utm_term=.f32307aae849.

Klein, Christopher. “How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 6 Sept. 2012, www.history.com/news/how-teddy-roosevelt-saved-football.

Bender, PropertyCasualty360.com Hannah. “You’ll Never Believe These 9 True Concussion Stories from the NFL.” PropertyCasualty360, 3 Sept. 2014, www.propertycasualty360.com/2014/09/03/youll-never-believe-these-9-true-concussion-storie.

 

Comments are closed.