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110 of 111 NFL Brains Show Signs of CTE

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https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/07/25/sports/football/nfl-cte.html

A neuropathologist has examined the brains of 111 N.F.L. players — and 110 were found to have C.T.E., the degenerative disease linked to repeated blows to the head.

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The NFL is going to have a serious issue going forward. The biggest being that parents will not want their kids playing a sport that causes brain injuries and degenerative disease. This will hurt the college game and the NFL with regards to talent. 

They need to really figure out a way to support the players more on this than just throwing it under the rug like they have been. 

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9 hours ago, saevel25 said:

The NFL is going to have a serious issue going forward. The biggest being that parents will not want their kids playing a sport that causes brain injuries and degenerative disease. This will hurt the college game and the NFL with regards to talent. 

They need to really figure out a way to support the players more on this than just throwing it under the rug like they have been. 

100% agree. That's why my kids aren't playing hockey. Actually there are several reasons:

- proliferation of concussions, intent to injure, hazing, bad culture, steriods, whack job hockey parents, early morning 3hr drives for tournaments and it's expensive as ****!

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1 hour ago, Ernest Jones said:

100% agree. That's why my kids aren't playing hockey. Actually there are several reasons:

- proliferation of concussions, intent to injure, hazing, bad culture, steriods, whack job hockey parents, early morning 3hr drives for tournaments and it's expensive as ****!

In the US, I know that sports like Lacrosse are becoming much more popular now. I think Baseball will end up gaining back some athletes. Yea, I think a lot of parents will push their kids to different sports. This will definitely influence their choices when they get near to college.

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The concussion issues have been coming on for a while and there is much room for denial. There is probably only one logical conclusion and that's the ultimate elimination of those sports.

As someone who lists hockey and football as my top two favorite sports, I'm a bit gutted. Just the same, I don't think I'd let me kid play football before the age of 12. Hockey would be tougher for me if the kid really wanted to play. I'd have to take that one as it comes. As long as the sports continue, a heavy dose of responsible ends up on the parents' shoulders.

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A topic on something I haven't done any research but am intrigued on is the possibility of removing helmets from football.  Pads could be made smaller as well.

It would (hopefully) take the head out of the equation as a weapon.  It wouldn't fully reduce the possibility of concussions since you'd still have guys hitting their heads on the turf and other things...but I think the extremely violent collisions would come way down.

Again, I haven't fully thought this through but people have brought it up from time to time.  Something worth discussing.  I love the NFL too but hate to see what is happening to these guys and what may happen to the sport.

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This definitely reinforces what we've been hearing the last few years. If I had kids I wouldn't let them play football, and I admit I've gotten consistently more squeamish watching NFL games even though I love football.

There's an argument to be made about removing helmets and pads, but I wouldn't treat it as a pariah. Rugby is played that way, and it's certainly not a safe sport. (I'm not aware of any brain testing on former rugby players, but I imagine there must be impacts.) Especially with what we now know about the impacts of sub-concussive hits, just taking out the big impacts doesn't guarantee safety. Football evolved into a sport with pads and helmets for a reason. (A misguided reason, but a reason nonetheless.)

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7 minutes ago, jamo said:

There's an argument to be made about removing helmets and pads, but I wouldn't treat it as a pariah. Rugby is played that way, and it's certainly not a safe sport. (I'm not aware of any brain testing on former rugby players, but I imagine there must be impacts.) Especially with what we now know about the impacts of sub-concussive hits, just taking out the big impacts doesn't guarantee safety. Football evolved into a sport with pads and helmets for a reason. (A misguided reason, but a reason nonetheless.)

I think they could help out if they had collapsible helmets. It would cost a lot more, but it would allow the collision to be diminished a lot because the helmet will not rebound when struck.

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As I understand it, CTE isn't even necessarily caused by big, violent hits, but rather the mundane collisions that happen to players on ordinary plays every down. It's an issue of repeat trauma and constantly jostling the brain around inside the skull. We're just not built to collide into each other.

I don't want my kids playing football or hockey. I'm not sure if I would stop them if they wanted to, but I'm certainly not encouraging it.

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6 hours ago, saevel25 said:

In the US, I know that sports like Lacrosse are becoming much more popular now. I think Baseball will end up gaining back some athletes. Yea, I think a lot of parents will push their kids to different sports. This will definitely influence their choices when they get near to college.

We're in this boat now.  We're encouraging our kids to play baseball, soccer, golf, tennis and the like.  We are discouraging football and any other contact sport that they might ask about.

5 hours ago, NCGolfer said:

A topic on something I haven't done any research but am intrigued on is the possibility of removing helmets from football.  Pads could be made smaller as well.

It would (hopefully) take the head out of the equation as a weapon.  It wouldn't fully reduce the possibility of concussions since you'd still have guys hitting their heads on the turf and other things...but I think the extremely violent collisions would come way down.

Again, I haven't fully thought this through but people have brought it up from time to time.  Something worth discussing.  I love the NFL too but hate to see what is happening to these guys and what may happen to the sport.

As already pointed out, CTE is coming more from the repetition of the small hits, not just the big concussive ones.  Almost half of the players in that study are linemen.


Also, it's probably worth noting that ...

Quote

The set of players posthumously tested by Dr. McKee is far from a random sample of N.F.L. retirees. “There’s a tremendous selection bias,” she has cautioned, noting that many families have donated brains specifically because the former player showed symptoms of C.T.E.

But even so ...

Quote

But 110 positives remain significant scientific evidence of an N.F.L. player’s risk of developing C.T.E., which can be diagnosed only after death. About 1,300 former players have died since the B.U. group began examining brains. So even if every one of the other 1,200 players had tested negative — which even the heartiest skeptics would agree could not possibly be the case — the minimum C.T.E. prevalence would be close to 9 percent, vastly higher than in the general population.

 

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Concussion is a euphemism.  Brain damage is a more accurate description.  

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9 hours ago, Ernest Jones said:

100% agree. That's why my kids aren't playing hockey. Actually there are several reasons:

- proliferation of concussions, intent to injure, hazing, bad culture, steriods, whack job hockey parents, early morning 3hr drives for tournaments and it's expensive as ****!

Did you play hockey growing up? I've played the last 20 years and all it did was make me a degenerative golfer now. Unless your kid is going on to play juniors or something at that level I would say Hockey is one of the safer sports. Much different than football, and even today's hockey is less physical and more finesse. I wouldn't hold my kids back from hockey if they wanted to. How else are they going to learn the be a team player and the other assets in life that come with being in team sports? 

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8 hours ago, saevel25 said:

In the US, I know that sports like Lacrosse are becoming much more popular now. I think Baseball will end up gaining back some athletes. Yea, I think a lot of parents will push their kids to different sports. This will definitely influence their choices when they get near to college.

Got to say that rule changes in lacrosse over the past 15 years have turned the game into more of a finesse sport than full-contact sport. It is the perfect medium for kids who want to participate in a team contact sport to "get aggression out" in an environment that encourages safety from coaches and referees. "Big Hits" are now penalized and highly discouraged - player safety is of the utmost importance. Plus, and someone correct me if I'm wrong, men's and women's lacrosse along with women's golf have the most un-used scholarships in all of NCAA. 

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Just wanted to point out kids get concussed in Soccer all the time.  They've even talked about using a head protector or getting rid of heading the ball. 

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8 minutes ago, todgot said:

Just wanted to point out kids get concussed in Soccer all the time.  They've even talked about using a head protector or getting rid of heading the ball. 

CTE is (I should say allegedly, I guess, I don't know if they're entirely sure yet) caused by repetitive, relatively small hits.  Football is really the only sport where that is a guarantee to happen.

But, yes, they are making rules against heading the ball.  In AYSO, it's a foul up through age 10.  And for the next couple of years after that, they encourage minimal practice with the head.

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1 minute ago, Golfingdad said:

But, yes, they are making rules against heading the ball.  In AYSO, it's a foul up through age 10.  And for the next couple of years after that, they encourage minimal practice with the head.

It's not just contact with the ball either... I've seen some horrendous head to head contact with both kids going for a header. 

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