November 08, 2010

Any athlete suspected of concussion should be removed from play, neurologists say. Blows to the head occur fairly often in many sports, and it's becoming accepted that participants can suffer severe consequences. Children seem especially vulnerable. So what are the chances of this proposal being widely adopted?
  • One of the main symptoms of a concussion is that one of the pupils of the eye may be dilated, and the other one not. However that is also true for an eye disorder called Adais Syndrome, which my eye doctor thinks I might have as a mild case. No contact sports for me. Yay!
  • So what are the chances of this proposal being widely adopted? Slim to none. We're talking about money, machismo, and ego here people!
  • "...I might have as a mild case." Dan, from now on I shall envision you as Davie Bowie.
  • If there is indeed much more effect from concussions than we previously thought, it would explain so much about professional athletes... at least the football players, basketball less so, baseball... well, there goes my theory...
  • Foop's theory: Let's do a quick XKCD style graph of Google hits for " player arrested" (with quotes). Football: 1,600,000 Baseball: 319,000 Basketball: 13,400 Lacrosse: 8,000 Piano: 2,600 Snooker: 747 Chess: 5 Record: 1 Tiddly-winks: zero Yes, I know football includes US and soccer. Hey, I didn't say it was science.
  • Been known for a long time that boxing often results in brain damage. The comedian Red Skelton used to have several monologues about punchy or punch-drunk boxers - and I think I recall Jackie also had such a shtick. It was regarded as amusing or a joke, to the best of my recollection. Now it seems soccer players who literally use their heads to impact the ball are in danger of serious trauma. As for basketall - injuries in this game also seem to be increasing.
  • MonkeyFilter: Hey, I didn't say it was science.
  • Heyhey! A tagline - and here I was thinking ye might have given those up! I understand that many people take a darker view of human behaviour, but when I look back over some of the changes I've seen happen during my lifetime, I am hopeful this is one area where things may improve markedly in the next few years. At least with respect to children's future health.
  • Never bees! Although pickin's have been pretty slim around here without your inspiration. *winks at TT*
  • MonkeyFilter: With respect to children's future health.
  • So what are the chances of this proposal being widely adopted? ... none. We're talking about money, machismo, and ego here people! Sorry, but is this not fairly standard operating procedure in many sports (bar boxing)? In football, rugby (both) and Australian Rules, I can't imagine that coaches and managers would want players stumbling about the pitch unable to focus properly on performing those skills they are paid to display. It's never been my experience in playing sport or spectating that a team is happy to carry a potentially concussed player. Furthermore, in professional sports, I would have thought that the players' "machismo and ego" don't matter a fuck to their paymasters - they buy assets, not stereotypes.
  • To a certain point that's true WRT pros, but when you pay for an asset, that asset better 'walk it off' and get his delicate asset out there and play. How many players 'play through' injuries? How many return to play before they are really healed? You can't tell me there isn't a cult of machismo/ego in professional sports that starts in high school. I've stopped teenagers in the hallways of school when they were pounding on each other's stomachs. It wasn't the art students, either. It was the 'jocks.' I won't go to high school football games because I've heard what coaches tell the boys--and what some of the stupid 'jock' fathers yell at their sons. I've heard kids on the JV talk about how they feel, and have seen how they're ragged on if they confess to being hurt, scared, or if they quit. You REALLY think that stuff doesn't trickle down as well as carry over to the pros? It's expected to get whacked. It's expected to get whacked hard and have it hurt. It's expected that a pro will take his share of whacks and tough out the hurt as long as he can play. The question is, will someone with a potential concussion even recognize it, or will the adrenalin override common sense? I once rode the last half of a fifty mile endurance ride after being kicked by a horse. It didn't hurt till the adrenalin wore off at the finish, and then I could hardly stand. But it still wasn't a disabling injury, just something that was badly bruised and needed stitches. I've sat in bars and listened to guys who play amateur rugby. Nice guys, but stupid. Why would you play with broken ribs from the last game? Get hit so hard you puke, then go out again? Have to tape a wrist, then later find out it's broken. Those guys are emulating the pros. Money, ego, machismo--it's there
  • To be sure, BlueHorse, there's been a longstanding cultural blind spot when it came to the tolerance of physical injuries incurred by players. What damage adults may choose to permit or tolerate with regard to their own bodies is one thing - but in my experience most people take a very dim view of school or social systems or sports practices which permit harm to children, let alone the creation of longterm negative consequences for young people. When most people fail to realize inherent danger in a situation, such as head trauma, that is simple ignorance. They don't know. But once dangerous situations or practices become widely known, then a situation comes into being where the wearing of protective head-gear or other improvements can become commonplace. Once wider public awareness exists, whether the problem is concussion - or cancer, or clogging of the arteries, or the results of inhaling smoke - then increasing pressure - from parents as well as the general public - can be brought to bear to improve a unsatisfactory situation. In an atmosphere of increased awareness, 'toughing out' the results of concussion, or of ignoring blackouts, or being knocked out, hopefully, will be no longer be sanctioned by indifference and/or ignorance.
  • Sorry again, but we are not talking about general player self-diagnosis of physical injuries here - we are talking about potential concussions. A player who is in fact concussed is hardly in a position to properly recognise that fact and take themselves off - so it is irrelevant what machismo they want to display. It's not the issue. The only sensible interpretation of the original question is whether people other than the player him or herself would remove a potentially concussed player from the pitch, and my point is that sensible team managers wouldn't keep concussed players on, because they are useless. There is no coin in keeping them on. That being said, I read today that Drogba played in the Chelsea match last night despite being diagnosed with malaria. I believe that single fact basically scuppers my entire argument.
  • Also, I was dropped on my head when I was an infant.
  • he whacked his head when he was tossed and now his eyes can't be uncrossed his sense of smell has gone to hell for all his senses are chaos-ed
  • The fact that NFL Football is the Single Most Popular Thing on Television (with last year's Super Bowl getting 5-times as many viewers as the President's State of the Union which aired on seven networks... and this year's SOTU was lower rated than last year's) is a true Shame for America. But hey, the Roman Empire had its Gladiators entertaining the populace while it declined... Disclaimer: Football has always been my lest favorite team sport and neither college I attended had any football team at all, although both have Basketball teams that have made the NCAA playoffs. Also, long residence in Los Angeles, the 2nd largest media market in America, and which the NFL abandoned umpteen years ago, helps you gain perspective about such things.