Football and Concussions

Friday, January 15, 2010

There's a growing concern over brain injuries in football. Bill Pascrell, US Congressman (D-NJ 8th) and chair of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, and Maurice Jones-Drew, running back for the Jacksonville Jaguars, discuss these worries and how the game might change as a result.

Have you played football? Are you a parent of a football player? How much have you been talking about brain injuries? How much has your perception of the sport changed recently? Comment below!


Maurice Jones-Drew and Bill Pascrell

Comments [9]

L. Martinez from New York

Though most of the discussion was about head injuries experienced by football players there was mention about how there is a very big problem with girls playing soccer (or engaging in other sports) and experiencing head injuries, and it seemed that actually the issue of football players and head injuries was a clever way, or a smokescreen if you will, to bring up the issue of how it is women far more than men whom have to be kept from sports careers for their own good. It reminds me of the Terri Gross interview months ago with Michael Sokolove author of "Warrior Girls" and whom has said that Title 9 has resulted in women and girls paying a price for taking sports too seriously. It seems that there is some kind of anti-feminist and anti-female-autonomy message when it is said that girls have to protected from playing too rough by limiting their sport-career options. There is just no equilivant meaning regarding the issue of men getting seriously injured when they play football, or engaage in boxing or extreme fighting etc.

Jan. 16 2010 04:50 PM
kai from NJ-NYC

@ bernard - You're not getting the fact that that most of this is not happening in impact sports, such as basketball, where concussions are not regularly addressed. Kids aren't told the symptoms so reporting is not commonplace.

The point is that people ARE NOT adequately concerned about brain injury now, because they don't understand what concussions are and the seriousness of the outcomes. People get concerned with issues after the negative consequences have already occurred and permanent damage done.

The other problem that you illustrate is the fact that you want the government to focus on only select issues that you find important, such as finance reform (which is necessary), to the exclusion of others.

Do you think the big, globalized world shuts down so that our government can't focus on a few issues at a time? Since I work on water-related issues, should I not address my congressional reps so as not to distract them from matters you or others find more important?

Jan. 15 2010 11:58 AM
Ellen LoGuidice from Southport, CT

There is a baseline test for athletes - The IMpact test- that they take before whatever sports season begins, so if they receive a head injury, the Doctor can submit the test and get real results. They don't need to reinvent the wheel! Dr. Michael Lee In Southport, CT has developed "Cocoon therapy" , basically not using your brain for several reading, TV, computer and adding these things back gradually.

Jan. 15 2010 11:24 AM
bernard joseph from brooklyn

yes, of course people are concerned about brain injury- when haven't they? to cite the fact that 1.4 miilion people experience TBI is such a broad generalized stat that there is no point to be proven by showing it.
if a football player gets his clock cleaned in a game, then he shouldn't play for a couple of weeks. common sense- done. now can we regulate the financial industry?

Jan. 15 2010 11:06 AM
margaret haughey from madison, nj

If anybody needs a great reference in NJ for Concussions, it's Dr. Joseph Rempson, Co-Director Sports Concussion Program out of Overlook Hospital. He works with all our athletes on post concussion school protocols, exercise protocols and return to play - uses the Impact Program for screening - and knows about places to get grants to get the program to your school.

Jan. 15 2010 11:05 AM
kai from NJ-NYC

@ bernard joseph - Here's why Pascrell is working on the "Congressional Brain Injury Task Force." Clearly it's about drawing concern to brain injury (ie, health) in society, not just about football.

I think you need to widen your perspective.

From the website (

"Approximately 1.4 million Americans experience Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) each year and an estimated 3.2 million Americans are living with long-term, severe disabilities as a result of brain injury. Another 360,000 men and women are estimated to have been inflicted by a TBI in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The national cost of TBI is estimated to be $60 billion annually."

Jan. 15 2010 11:00 AM
Gary from Upper Left Side

Here's a radical notion: how about changing the rules where tackling is illegal in the NFL and the player with the ball must be "touched" with both hands to be "tackled"? Sounds familiar? It's called touch football. Yeah, I know it's not as manly as a 350 lbs. 6'5" man knocking the crap out of a quarterback, but it will eliminate concussions--and healthcare costs.

Jan. 15 2010 10:52 AM
JK from Midtown

please thank MJD for me, for helping my fantasy team win my championship this year.

Jan. 15 2010 10:52 AM
bernard joseph from brooklyn

why are our elected officials spending time on an issue such as this? i can think of about 9000 issues that should be dealt with by our legislators before this.
this is ridiculous!!

Jan. 15 2010 10:47 AM

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