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Slightly OT: History of Injury and decline in injury in the NFL's history

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by chunkypony, Jan 30, 2007.

  1. chunkypony

    chunkypony Rookie

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    This is (hopefully) the topic of my research paper for my medicine in american history class. It needs to be at least twenty pages and cannot have any data from the past ten years, (so no Bruschi, although i am thinking about putting alittle blurb on him at the end, it cant be one of the main points in my argument) so anything before 1996 is fine. I have been thinking about pieces I can use, and have already found some info on Darryl Stingley. I was wondering if anyone else had any ideas, tales, etc. to share, as well as any info on how/where I could collect some data/memoirs/letters to/from players, etc. (Does the Football Hall of Fame or the NFL main office have a library?) I am currently in State College, Pennsylvania, but would be willing to drive anywhere within 12-16 hours of my location to research this (the teacher said its extra credit :-D ) Any help would be greatly appreciated, Im still trying to figure out what direction I want to take this.
  2. SoonerPatriot

    SoonerPatriot Rookie

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    A couple of guys come to mind. Mike Utley the former OL from Detroit who got paralyzed in a game in 1991....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Utley


    The other guy that comes to mind is Jeff Fuller. He was a safety for the 49ers in the late 80s who suffered a severe, career-ending spinal cord injury on a hit by John Stephens, a former Pats RB. I think Fuller may have ended up with some paralysis. It's sorta hard to find info on him on the web. I've looked out of my own curiosity a couple of times and found very little.

    Also Dennis Byrd, the former Jets DE who is an interesting story himself....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Byrd

    I don't know if that helps, but thought i'd throw those names out there.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2007
  3. chunkypony

    chunkypony Rookie

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    ok, those are great. Thanks a lot.

    Anyone else? It doesnt have to neccessarily be about a spinal cord injury either, there could be your own tales. Like was anyone watching the Stingley game when it happened? Or better yet were they there? I was also thinking about Joe Theismann; was anyone watching/at that game? Also, the development of the game from leather helmets to today. NEM, Im sure you would have a great perspective on that, right? ;)
  4. Michigan Dave

    Michigan Dave Rookie

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    Give me some more specific info...are you specifically addressing the history of in-game injury, and the decline in in-game injury (ie, factors that have caused said decline?) or are you also talking about the impact of the game on players as they age, and the effect the injuries have on their post-NFL lives? If it's the latter, I'd point you toward Dan Dierdorf, who has told me numerous stories of his post-NFL struggles. Guy can barely walk. There also was a great Outside the Lines on this subject, you may want to contact ESPN for a copy. I know they cite their sources at the end of the program as well, which would give you a tremendous resource.

    If you are looking for specific in-game injury information, and comparative data, it may be good to contact the league office. They are generally helpful for academic research, and can point you in the right direction.
  5. chunkypony

    chunkypony Rookie

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    I was more focusing on the former, how equipment and training techniques have lead to a decrease in some types of injuries but not of others. I also was thinking about post-nfl, and the impact it has on bodies, etc, but im not sure about the scale of this undertaking yet; I have to ask my professor some questions first. I am going to use some in-game injury information (im looking for Stingley's memoir right now, for example) to highlight the points; for example, I do not think that the amount of spinal cord injuries have decreased (cite examples), but other things have, such as chipped teeth, due to the inception of the facemask and mouthguard, etc.
  6. PatsMyBoyz!

    PatsMyBoyz! Rookie

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    I was about to suggest narrowing your focus somewhat and/or finding a more specific direction but sounds like you're getting there. The Evolution of Injuries is broad and might drive you crazy with info overload,but if you focus on (for ex) how equip and/or rules have affected injuries over the years by preventing some but introducing/increasing others......or something like that:bricks:
    Post NFL almost sounds like it could be it's own topic (unless you can't crank out 20 pages,in which case keep it in mind lol).Romanowski-what were his years? He's one with permanent brain damage due to so many concussions.
    Interesting stuff-I hope you continue to post about your findings! Good luck with your project! :rocker:
  7. Michigan Dave

    Michigan Dave Rookie

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    Advances in helmet technology alone have helped concussions immensely. The Riddell Revolution helmet is a great example of equipment changing for safety. Bringing the earpieces down to protect more of the jaw and help absorb impact is a solid safety feature that wasn't available just 7 years ago.

    Also, remember Steve Wallace of the 49ers in the mid 90s wearing the shell over his helmet?

    http://www2.jsonline.com/packer/arc/image/0104/helmet0104.jpg
  8. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    ESPN The Magazine just did a couple articles recently about how it appears that concussions in the NFL aren't necessarily down, but they aren't being reported as much. They also said that the NFL seems to ignore data that they requested because it didn't support their findings that players could return to play in the same GAME.
  9. chunkypony

    chunkypony Rookie

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    O, thanks, thats helpful. I've found a lot of good articles from old new york times online, about Buonconti from the Citadel, Byrd from the Jets, and the helmet in general. Im still learning, but Ill keep everyone up to date.
  10. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    What about Daryl Stingley???? He came close to dying....and a quad...and an ex-Patriot.
  11. chunkypony

    chunkypony Rookie

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    He is pretty much the reason I chose this topic. I already had some info on him before posting here (mentioned in the first post). I plan on using his and Jack Tatum's books for some views on "the Hit"
  12. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    Good...that is a great place to start..one of the saddest in Patriot history...but I wonder also about things like high school inhuries college...if they are on the decline....are you talking serious ijuries only or?? Both those that are severe...an dless so??
  13. chunkypony

    chunkypony Rookie

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    Well it looks like I am going to have to mainly focus on spinal injuries and concussions, and if the introduction of things like the helmet, rule changes, have effected these injuries.
  14. Michigan Dave

    Michigan Dave Rookie

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    Interesting. Being a veteran of the NFL sidelines, many times I've seen a woozy player "woken up" with the smelling salts, and back in several plays later. I think if anything, we'd probably find that advances in technology have lessened the impact of concussions. Players aren't on the sidelines thinking they're Batman anymore, so they are more likely to go back in with a minor concussion and have it be ignored.
  15. chunkypony

    chunkypony Rookie

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    its done! 28 pages, and a lot of grief, but its done!

    Would anyone like to read it? if so, how would I go about posting it?
  16. AirForcePatFan

    AirForcePatFan Rookie

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    I'm interested in reading your article..

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