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One Wrong Move Can Mess You Up For Life

March 21, 2016

One Wrong Move Can Mess You Up For Life
Laying on your back on the football field with your parent, coach, and park trainer towering over you. You hear one phrase over and over again, "stay awake we're here for you.” Then finding out that you have gotten a concussion for the brutal hit you just took. Not to mention, the missed practices and school for two weeks. Not because of physical pain, but because it hurts to use your brain. As the future generation of players with more sophisticated equipment, the risk of injury skyrockets. As long as sports are played worldwide, injuries will continue to happen. People get concussions because they are caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, they are common among athletes, and is causes temporary unconsciousness to the player that gets it.  The danger of sports around the world is an issue that people oversee; for they care more about the game than the players. The people who care about the sport and the team more than anything else  can be making the decision if a player should be playing or not can even be on the field as a doctor, coach, or player. In football, the former University of Georgia fullback named Merritt Hall exclaim, "The coaches nowadays are from a generation where if your leg's not cut off, you brush it off and get back in(Terlep) ." Hall’s season ended when he got multiple concussions and began to show that he could not recover(Terlep). Why did the authorities of Georgia  wait till Mr. Hall could not recover? They should have said if Hall gets a concussion we should wait till he fully recovered and make sure he’s able to play instead of waiting till he can not even do that. In Georgia, the athletic trainers and doctors ultimately report to the athletic director, but also are overseen by an independent review board and separate team of doctors and medical experts (Terlep). Who are these certain people? Are they doctors, teacher, students, fans, alumni to the school? If they are fans of the football team and let's say people like Mr. Hall was going to be the next big thing everyone would make him play no matter what happens to his health. Just like an offensive lineman for Illinois, Simon Cvijanovic, case. He hurt his knee during a game and he recalls,” pleading with coaches and doctors to give his aching legs a rest. The team medical staff seemed to sympathize,” Cvijanovic said,” but ultimately deferred to coaches who told him he needed to stay on the field.”(Terlep) Here is an example of when the coaches tell the player what to do even though the player and the doctors say and think differently. Since this happened, Mr. Cvijanovic quit the team the next year after his surgery on the knee he injured. This was not the only case where this is proven by some major colleges; Right now, most big schools give athletic departments some or all oversight of team medical staffs (Terlep). But these rules that he wanted have not happened. They have gone unheard of. He brought great ideas but since they have not gone through, the schools still find ways to do the complete opposite of what they are doing. As the NCAA tries to find ways to help the game grow and help improve everyone involved in the game, there are other organizations that the players go in and play after their days in college. Not only does this affect players in college (NCAA) but, it also affects players in the NFL ( National Football League). In this case former Quarterback for the Oakland Raiders, Ken Stabler, died at the age 69 to colon cancer. His brain was removed  during an autopsy and ferried to scientists in Massachusetts. It weighed 1,318 grams, or just under three pounds. Which helped understand why his mind seemed to slip so precipitously in his final years. On the neuropathologist's scale of 1 to 4, Stabler had high Stage 3 chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., the degenerative brain disease believed to be caused by repeated blows to the head, according to researchers at Boston University (Branch). As this came in it is shown what so many concussions can do to one man’s mind. He is not the only one who  they found this man-made disease to be in, in fact there are the list of names is now well over 100 names long, includes at least seven members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including Junior Seau, Mike Webster and Frank Gifford(Branch). In fact two of his own teammates were also diagnosed with the same problem! Stabler and Bush talked about it after the 2002 death of the longtime Oakland center Dave Dalby, who mysteriously crashed his car into a tree in a parking lot. It came up again after an event where Stabler saw a struggling John Mackey, the Hall of Fame tight end. Mackey died in 2011, and C.T.E. was diagnosed (Branch).The fact that there is over 100 players who have had this shows how dangerous this game is and how they need to fix it. They should create new rules making any player who gets a concussion or any injury to sit out for a game no matter how fast they recover or how much the team depends on the player. Which would lead to different outcomes with players and their behaviors off the field and later in life when their days of playing football are over. The NFL should have a weekly check up on every player making sure nothing is wrong with any of the players. The most important thing is the player’s life/health not the actual game. As people start caring for the health of the players many improvements will be made no matter what level of the game they will be playing on.
As the years have passed there are some laws that have helped every player of the game of Football like 43 states passing laws. That require school-age athletes who have sustained a concussion to have written authorization from a medical professional, often one trained in concussion management, before they can return to their sport (Pennington). But that is for players that are in grade 12 and below. The men who play in the NCAA and in the NFL do not have to do this, which is completely stupid. They should have everyone do this for everyone is staying safe no matter how bad the concussion is in the first place and what number that concussion was for that individual player. As this issue begins to appeal to the general population's eyes they start to see how bad this is. Doctors nationwide say the new focus on the dangers of concussions is long overdue. Concerned parents are properly seeking better care, which has saved and improved lives. But a confluence of outside forces has also spawned a mania of sorts that has turned the once-ignored concussion into the paramount medical fear of young athletes across the country (Pennington).. People do not want to give up the one sport they love to watch and to play because the truth hurts! They do not want to go through with the pain of losing a game they love. So yes, there are some great improvements but we are just scratching the surface. The game itself is getting too dangerous for anyone to play. No matter what sport you play and equipment you wear there will always be a time where you have to have rules for the player safety. When there are more players playing the game, and more people wanting to improve the game, the risk of a concussion increases. Their will to make the game better and safer just makes the game more dangerous and sometimes even worse.. Next time you are on the field or just watching people play the game, remember that at any point they can get a concussion and it can impact their life forever from the first one to their fifth one. So at what point when is enough enough, when we must decide to call it quits and say these games are too dangerous for these people to be playing?
Works Cited
Branch, John. "A Magnetic N.F.L. Star, Sapped of Spirit by a Disease of the Brain." New York
Times. 04 Feb. 2016: A.1. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.
Pennington, Bill. "A New Way to Care for Young Brains." New York Times. 06 May 2013: D.1.
SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 15 Mar. 2016
Terlep, Sharon. "NCAA Health Reform: The Coaches vs. Medics." Wall Street Journal. 09 Jun. 2015: D.6. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.



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