Idle thoughts the rant edition -

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patfanken

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Much as i love pro sports the concussion issue is real, it's serious, and the media is actually doing their job right by reporting on it the way they are. Anyone who heard Lyndon Byers call Holley and Fauria last week either came away from it with chills running down their spine or wasn't listening. It was disturbing, heartbreaking, and a direct result of all the hits he took as player, suggesting it was anything other than his hockey career which led to this is folly, it's obvious why he and and so many other pro athletes are suffering these symptoms in their 30's and 40's and it isn't dementia onset by old age. I don't know what the answers are but ignoring it won'tever solve it.[/QalUOTE]

Ivan there are certainly real risks that pro athletes take to do their jobs and concussions are among them. But they are adults making adult decisions. They know the risks going in, and they are extremely well paid for taking those risks

My point was focused on kids playing football at the pop warner and HS levels, where the risks don't even get close to those levels. I want to see the game thrive there. I think it there it offers a great benefit for our youth, one that our entire community benefits from. I hate seeing it under attack and I don't think it should be.

Are there guys who played professional contact sports and have permanently damaged themselves because of it. Sure there are. do what you can to improve the environment, but don't kill the opportunity for thousands of kids to have a great athletic experience by equating the risk of the pro game with the risk at the HS one

I hope this articulates my point better
 

patfanken

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Ken, my take is that the media perhaps would not have gone so hard on this subject had the NFL not gone so "Tobacco Industry" against the scientific findings (and went to such lengths to hide its own findings).

Usually , when a corporation acts suspiciously, that is blood in the water to a shark. If the league had gotten out front of this and not played the obfuscation game, the media may not have turned into a pack of Mike Wallace's (not the Dolphin WR).
Yeah Shmess, I see your point, but even at its most negative, I wonder how players can't assume at least a majority of the blame for their own results.

For example. I fully hold the cigarette industry a fault for everything that happened up to around 1960, but after the time when it was mandated that label be put on packages that cigarettes can be hazardous to your health doesn't the buyer start to assume most of the risk. Everyone who is literate knows that cigarettes causes cancer among other consequences, just as every player knows that by ramming into people with their heads at high speeds is going to have an effect if you do it long enough.

The NFL certainly could have been more forthcoming and acted earlier in relation to this issue and they are going to pay Billions for not doing so. But like Inspector Reynoux, in Casabanca, being shocked finding out there is Gambling going on at Rick's, too many players are "shocked" at finding out that doing what they've been so well paid for could be hazardous to their health.

I played 1 full season and 2 long training camps after college. I also played over 25 years of club laccrosse at various levels after college. where my best asset was NOT my stick handling but my ability to defend and hit.

I too constantly forget where I put my wallet and keys. I have walked into a room and had to remember why I went in there. And most aggravatingly find myself too often reaching for a word that I know is there and just can't grasp. Its called getting old, and I'm sure all the hits I took over the years didn't help. But how much is the age, how much the football, or the decades of laccrosse, or the diabetes, or the heart attack at 48 or the by pass surgery at 61 The thing is I don't see the need to put blame on anyone for my own adult choices and measuring the reward of a long and fulfilling football experience as a player, coach, and fan is so much greater than whatever risk I encountered its not even on radar scope.

You just might ask yourself is this late night rambling discourse discourse the result of some ding I got in a game against Amherst in 1968. We will never know. :D But now I guess I can always use it as an excuse ;)
 

QuantumMechanic

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But like Inspector Reynoux, in Casabanca, being shocked finding out there is Gambling going on at Rick's, too many players are "shocked" at finding out that doing what they've been so well paid for could be hazardous to their health.

For "classical" concussions, sure.

But if it turns out that studies pointing toward repeated subconcussive hits (like the kind of contact offensive and defensive linemen take on every play, including in practice) causing brain damage even at play before the NFL hold water, then no, I don't think players, even pro players would have expected the game to be hazardous to their health in that way.
 

shmessy

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The fact BB takes charge of decimating info for the D during the game is a fact of life But its Patricia that calls the game, and I'm assuming that its Patricia that is responsible for putting the game plan together

No question BB is an active participant on game day, but its clear to me that for the most part he lets his coaches do their job just like he does his. The defensive staff is constantly funneling the info that BB is disseminating on the bench. Letting BB do this allows Patricia the ability to focus on his play calling and substitutions. When you see BB coaching on the sidelines, I read it as simply a division of labor that allows both men the ability to focus better on their respective game day responsibilities.

That being said, I think the Pats assign those game day responsibilities differently than most and BB tales more of an active direct coaching role than most HC's. But while the media will never allow whatever DC is running the Pats defense take full credit, it will always be BB's D; I believe BB gives his guys as much responsibility to run their AOR's as any DC

At least that's how I read it. I could be wrong

I hear what you are saying, Ken, and it makes perfect sense - - the only thing is we NEVER see BB do that with the OL, the special teams, the WR's or anyone else for that matter. His hands-on coaching looks to be fairly exclusive to the defense. Go back to any in-game mic'd up video over the past 13 years - - from the 2001 - - "in-cuts and slants!!!" to the consecutive years of not even paying attention to what's happening on the field when the O is out there to coach up the D. In 14 years, I have yet to see a mic'd up IN-GAME of BB coaching Brady, the WRs, the OL or the RBs (or the special teams for that matter). It is stark, Ken. Look over any mic'd up during the past decade and a half and you'll come to the same conclusion. I don't believe NFL Films simplys edits out anything to do with his quotes to the offense.

It is only with the D that I've ever seen him do that and completely ignore what is going on on the field (hears crowd/turns head for a millisecond - "Oh yeah, Brady hit Glenn/Branch/Moss/Dobson, etc. on a bomb TD, great - - back to my defensive diagrams here....". I've never seen him miss any defensive play on the field by gathering the OL around him to coach them up away from the action on the sidelines.

To that eye test on the sidelines, it just seems obvious that McDaniels runs the Offense, O'Brien runs the Special Teams and Belichick runs the Defense (and has a First Lieutenant in Patricia).
 
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Tunescribe

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For "classical" concussions, sure.

But if it turns out that studies pointing toward repeated subconcussive hits (like the kind of contact offensive and defensive linemen take on every play, including in practice) causing brain damage even at play before the NFL hold water, then no, I don't think players, even pro players would have expected the game to be hazardous to their health in that way.

One thing I continue to puzzle over is the fact that not every player -- or even a confirmed majority of players -- appears to be affected. What we hear about are the extreme examples, in some cases being presented as the "norm." The research still is very much a work in progress with nothing definitive at this point.
 

SeymourTrophies

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Re: the injury issue.

At some point, it's just a part of playing football. Sending players out there who think they're Batman after head trauma is one thing, but the rules like that rule we found out about in a rather cruel fashion are just fighting the nature of the game. Yesterday, I saw Andre Brown following a blocker, and both Brown and his blocker trampled some poor defensive back. What's the difference between that play and the one Chris Jones and Vellano did?

You can punish malice, but football is still some of the world's best athletes bouncing off of each other. It's not natural, and it will have its consequences.

Speaking of things that aren't natural, one thing that is totally ignored (or at least not mentioned in the media)in this new brain trauma study is that the guys suffering right now are from the heyday of steroids. The NFL has pretty successfully swept steroid use under the rug, but steroids punch holes in the rest of the body, why wouldn't they be a catalyst for brain damage?
 

mgteich

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You make a strong argument for colleges to drop their football programs.

You make a strong argument for parents encouraging their children to play team sports through high school. I would note that at the HS level, there are many options for children in addition to the school team. Team sports help children for the rest of their lives.

Just some thoughts to get you through game day if the games turn out to be boring. I have some thoughts on the game with the Panthers and some rants I’d like to get off my chest. Lets start with the rants.

1. I am sick and tired of hearing mediots constantly complain that “there are no elite teams in the NFL” Or that “the league is down this year”. That is just a load of CRAP. What are they basing it on. Even in the golden years of so called “dominant teams”, when the Cowboys, Niners and Packers ruled the roost, they would always have 3 or 4 losses on their regular season records. When have there ever been season where there weren’t teams without flaws.

Over half way into this season there are still 4 teams with 2 or fewer loses. I would bet that we would find it to be the same in EVERY season. And why do they think that having a so called dominant team or two make the league better anyway???? :rolleyes: :eek:

Think about it, in my life time there has been only one truly dominant team in the NFL, the Chicago Bears of 1985. They blew through the regular season at 15-1 with hardly a glitch, and then when faced with the cream of the crop in the playoffs, blew out every opponent.

It really pisses me off when these talking heads make it seem like somehow these wins don’t count as much because , “the league is bad this year”, or there “are no really elite teams”, or “there are no teams without flaws” It demeans the players, the teams and their efforts for no other reason than to be self serving.

I feel they do it to somehow make themselves seem more superior in their analysis. Its always sounds so smug, smarmy and judgmental and makes me want to reach through the screen, grab them by the stack and swivel and shove some perspective and humility down their throats


2. The medical attack on football.

I love this game and I have gotten a lot out of it both as a player and a coach. Certainly a lot more than simply great memories that get greater every every year. ;) And while the concussion discussion has value as a safety issue, news that Pop Warner participation is down, and constant talk by mediots that they wouldn’t let their kids play the game strike at the very heart of the game.

Here are some specific points

a. Every time some 60+ year old ex-NFL football player forgets where he puts his keys, its reported as a sign he was damaged playing football. Meanwhile when the millions of other elderly forget something is called getting old.

b. Every time a former NFL player is diagnosed with CTE it is put into a light that makes it seem that it is conclusive that football cause the injury. The fact is that many others who never played the game also come down with CTE, and when they do, its never broadcast.

c. I am constantly stunned when I hear parents keeping their kids from playing football, while at the same time giving them keys to a car on their 16th birthday or allowing their teenaged kids to be in cars driven by other teenagers. One activity is INFINITELY more dangerous to their kids health. Its completely hypocritical

d. There is really no reason for a parent to keep a kid from playing football through HS and even into college. The benefits they receive far outweigh the very small risks of serious injury. The media is doing the game a severe disservice when it makes it seem, when some former NFL player develops CTE that THAT is what may happen to your kid if he plays pop warner or HS football.

They completely ignore the fact that pro players take THOUSANDS of more hits over their careers than a player who will end their career in their teens and THOUSANDS of those hits will be much more violent than any a HS player would see. It ignores the fact that it’s a combination of speed, size, and number that create collisions that create the kind of severe concussions that actually do damage.

Pop Warner strictly controls the size of their players its just not going to happen, and in HS there might be just 2-3 kids on any team that have a size and speed combination that would create something that even comes close to the kind of collision you would see in an NFL game.

e. Where is it going to end. Are parents going to bubble rap their kids and THEN hand them the keys to a care which annually kills more than 20,000 teenagers EACH year and maims tens of thousands more. Would it shock anyone that at Harvard the sport that causes the most concussions each year is Water Polo. What kind of next generation are we going to raise if they are one that never takes even a reasonable risk

f. I taught more and better life lessons of values, and ethics while coaching than I ever did in a classroom. Many more lessons that a kid could take with him beyond his school years. I also coached other sports over the years, (lacrosse, baseball, basketball) and lettered in basketball, wrestling, track, and baseballas well as LaCrosse in college. None of them taught me more than the game of football. I would morn the loss of kids having the same opportunities that I did if unreasonable fear spread by a one sided media caused the game to die. Fortunately I won’t be there to see it.

g.The BOTTOM LINE is that parents should absolutely encourage their kids to play football on the Pop Warner/HS level if they have a desire The benefit FAR outweigh any slight potential risk. Certainly far less risk than most activities teenagers go through in order to reach adulthood

3. I’ve waited since 2007 for a quality defense, and when one finally is amassed they all get hurt

I know that injuries are part of the game, but this is starting to get ridiculous - 5 of the 11 starters we opened the season with on defense won’t be playing on Monday (Kelly, Wilfolk, Mayo, Dennard, and Gregory) And that assumes that Talib is ready to start. That means of the top 8 DB’s only McCourty, Ryan, and Harmon are the only relatively healthy players and 2 of them are back up rookies :eek: Add that to the loss of the middle of our the D, including BOTH “heart and soul” players (Mayo and Wilfolk), and is it any wonder I have no hair.

How the hell are we supposed to win games when SO many of the key parts are gone, or not here right now. How many more games will go by before Edleman is fitted for his defensive pads again. Its such a shame. Why couldn’t we have had just ONE year like the Niners D had last season when 10 of their starters played over 90% of the defensive snaps I expect to have some bad luck years with injuries, but on the same hand, you’d expect to have a couple of GOOD luck years as well. Well looking back I can recall a few that weren’t horrible, but none that you’d consider a “good luck” injury year. Aren't we far overdue? :mad:

4. This is OT, but its really pissing me off, so if you will bear with me. Among the many things the mediots piss me off with, top right now is the notion that that the Celtics should tank the season for, at best, a 25% shot at the top player in the draft. I won’t waste anymore time on this except to say that it is SO WRONG on so many different levels. Plus the way Felger and Mazz and their ilk present it, it reaches a level of smarmy superciliousness that makes me want to turn violent.
 

patfanken

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You make a strong argument for colleges to drop their football programs.

You make a strong argument for parents encouraging their children to play team sports through high school. I would note that at the HS level, there are many options for children in addition to the school team. Team sports help children for the rest of their lives.
The lessons go one for those who have the capability to play in college, even if it isn't in their financial interest. I'm sure my playing football helped me get into Tufts, but there certainly weren't any financial benefits. Back in the late 60's you were better off not having your professors know you played sports, unlike today. If asked why you were black and blue, you were better off telling them you got whacked at a protest. ;)

But even at a school who played Bowdion to see who was was the worst college team in NE. Where you played in front of just friends, relations and dates. Where after games you still had to go to your campus job, and no one gave you a break if you had to miss an exam because of an away game. I wouldn't have missed the experience. The game continued to be a curious mix of hard work, pain, competition, fun and relationships that have stood the test of time.

So no, MG, I hope I haven't given a reason for colleges to drop the game, though I certainly appreciate the way schools like Tufts, Williams and Harvard treat the game, and to a lesser degree Stanford, BC, and Penn St, than Alabama, Florida and Texas.

You can be a student athlete and play major college football....if the NCAA really had the will. But that's another issue for another day
 

SeymourTrophies

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You make a strong argument for colleges to drop their football programs.

You make a strong argument for parents encouraging their children to play team sports through high school. I would note that at the HS level, there are many options for children in addition to the school team. Team sports help children for the rest of their lives.

It's a strong argument to never leave your house again. Spend a half hour doing yoga every day, then curl back up in your bubble wrap. I played soccer five or six days a week from age five to 18. My knees are in bad shape now because I didn't take care of my body (eat right, stretch properly, etc.). Oddly enough, there are a lot of concussion issues with soccer players too. Nobody plays sports because it adds to their life expectancy.
 

IllegalContact

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It's a strong argument to never leave your house again. Spend a half hour doing yoga every day, then curl back up in your bubble wrap. I played soccer five or six days a week from age five to 18. My knees are in bad shape now because I didn't take care of my body (eat right, stretch properly, etc.). Oddly enough, there are a lot of concussion issues with soccer players too. Nobody plays sports because it adds to their life expectancy.

some people already live that way

 

Ivan

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Ivan there are certainly real risks that pro athletes take to do their jobs and concussions are among them. But they are adults making adult decisions. They know the risks going in, and they are extremely well paid for taking those risks

My point was focused on kids playing football at the pop warner and HS levels, where the risks don't even get close to those levels. I want to see the game thrive there. I think it there it offers a great benefit for our youth, one that our entire community benefits from. I hate seeing it under attack and I don't think it should be.

Are there guys who played professional contact sports and have permanently damaged themselves because of it. Sure there are. do what you can to improve the environment, but don't kill the opportunity for thousands of kids to have a great athletic experience by equating the risk of the pro game with the risk at the HS one

I hope this articulates my point better


Obviously pro athletes know there's a downside to years of playing contact sports but i don't think guys like Tony Dorsett ever went into it realizing they could have dementia in their 40's or 50's, and the efforts the NFL made to sweep it under they rug exacerbated the situation, so now the information is coming out in somewhat of a landslide and people are reacting to it. I don't think any of these sports should be outlawed even though a number of them put people at a high level of risk. I was a competitive skier and ski jumper throughout my youth and into my twenties and knew all along that breaking my neck or a serious head injury was a risk I was taking with any serious fall, but i still chose to do it and would never have had it any other way. I also had a number of friends who suffered spine injuries racing offroad on motorcycles and there was never any talk of banning the sport, and they knew it was a risk they undertook when they went into it. Sports will continue and no amount of shielding will stop people from doing it if they want to. The only real difference is the level of awareness and attempts to try and minimize the risks, and i have no problem with either, and if you really want a villain when it comes to making it harder for kids and people in general to engage in sports, especially at a youth level, then look no further than the insurance industry, as they are the ones who always try to capitalize on these issues and make as much profit off of it as they can. like everything else they will raise their premiums as high as possible on all of these programs and will make it tougher and tougher for them to exist.
 

Zeus

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... and if you really want a villain when it comes to making it harder for kids and people in general to engage in sports, especially at a youth level, then look no further than the insurance industry, as they are the ones who always try to capitalize on these issues and make as much profit off of it as they can. like everything else they will raise their premiums as high as possible on all of these programs and will make it tougher and tougher for them to exist.

Or maybe they are simply trying to cover their costs.
 
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