Concussions and the impact

We all know that football is a violent sport. It is a fast pace and aggressive game that is played by men of all sizes. The one thing these men that play have in common is that they all hit hard. From one of my coaches that played in college and in the NFL, he said that every time a lineman fires off the ball and hits another lineman it is like a mini car crash.

We all see those players that are out a week or two because a concussion and then they are back to playing. Players lie to get back in the game or just ignore the pain in their head and the lack of concentration. Without knowing they are doing more harm to their brain than they know. A study from 1979-2011 saw that just in professional football that the average tackle grew from 6’ 4”; 264lbs to 6’ 6”; 314lbs, the average center grew from 6’ 3”; 242lbs to 6’ 4”; 304 lbs, the average guard grew from 6’ 3”; 250lbs to 6’ 4”; 317lbs. There is a big difference in the size and how much these players have grown since the late 1970’s. My coach is right when it is like a mini car crash. What is more shocking is that concussions can affect the brain at an earlier age than just in professional sports. Concussions can cause a serious brain disease, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. This disease is a result from being repeatedly hit in the head. Another study from July 1990-June 2010 found that on average twelve high school and college football players die annually. The cause of these deaths is also brain injuries. From June 1990-July 2010 243 players died that were in high school and college. One hundred from underlying heart condition, sixty-two from brain injury, thirty-eight from heart related causes , eleven from sickle cell disease, seven from asthma, seven from a sudden blow to the chest, five from a blood clot, and the rest from broken necks, abdominal injuries, infections, and lightning. Of the 243 players that died from this sport, 203 of them were high school football players. In the NFL there have been changes made but it is not affecting the amount of concussions. The NFL is assumed to follow this sequence to get players back on the field. Complete physical and cognitive rest, light activity such as stationary biking, heavier activity such as running and cutting, non-contact practice, full-contact practice. This shows that it is not working if the player is back in the same position a week to a couple weeks later. This has gotten the attention of the government. One example is when a middle school boy became concussed during a game but was sent back in to finish the game. As a result he suffered permanent brain damage. Legislature now requires that if a player shows any sign of a concussion to be removed from the field and not return until the player has been cleared by a medical official. This has been adopted by thirty states in some way.

Helmets have become more advanced but players still get concussions from the hit no matter how high tech the gear has become since the start of the game of football. With the evolving of the male athlete and the helmets players are still going to suffer concussions and with rules regulating the hits may result in a decrease it will never be preventable. The players no matter how much they practice on the technique of their tackle will always somehow hit the head and cause a concussion



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