This morning, I had one of those watershed moments.
Listening to WEEI in Boston this morning on the way to work, former Patriot Linebacker Ted Johnson, and author Christopher Nowinski were in to talk about concussions in sports. The conversation circled around Johnson’s career, the life of some older players and abnormally early onsets of dimentia, what the NFL has (and hasn’t done) regarding concussions, Nowinski’s book Head Games (which sounded very interesting) and last night’s airing of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on HBO, where Ted Johnson (among other players) was interviewed. To learn more about Johnson’s interview, see this report in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. For some serious science, see here.
As much as I love the game, I don’t love it enough for people to suffer for the rest of their lives from headaches, depression & early dimentia. The NFL needs to know that fans, as much as we love the game of football, want to make sure it’s as safe and secure for the players who are participating. Nowinski said on the radio that if all consussions were reported all the time, NFL rosters would have to be a lot deeper. Specifically as Jets fans, we also need to make it known to our team that Pellman’s career hasn’t been blameless in this … generally for the league during his tenure as head of the research committee on concussions for 12 years, and specifically in the care of our heroes in Green & White. Just look at Wayne Chrebet’s story if you want to consider how well Pellman was following his sworn Oath to protect his patients … I assume they do take an oath even in Guadalajara.
I haven’t found ways to act on this yet, but I will continue to, if anyone has ideas or knows outlets to get involved in pressuring the NFL in this regard, please let us know.
To learn more about this topic, check out Nowinski’s book, which sounds like an interesting read including case studies, players most likely to be injured and more.