The Pro Football Concussion Report

A Fan's Look at Head Injuries and the Concussion Crisis in Football

Heads Up Football Reality TV Show

Deion Sanders 1989   (AP)

06.05.13

Seeming almost like the opening episode of a television reality show, the NFL’s Heads Up Advisory Committee met for the first time at NFL offices on May 3oth. The youth football committee is an eclectic group of folks including Whoopi Goldberg, Brett Favre and Mrs. Mike Golic. The group of 22 people includes mostly big name football celebrities that will make for nice NFL PR opportunities. 6 NFL TV broadcasters, 2 NFL wives, 2 NFL docs, 3 former NFL players not on TV,  7 regular type folks and 1 Oscar, Grammy and Tony award winning talk show host make up the youth football advisory committee.

Hopefully, this group will provide some sensible input into the discussion of children playing tackle football. Of course not selected by the NFL to be part of the group are brain injury experts with hardline anti-little league football  stances such as Dr. Bennet Omalu and Dr. Robert Cantu.

Dr. Omalu, the physician who first named CTE told congress in 2010:

“I recommend that if a child sustains a concussion in football, that child should be kept out of play for at least three months, or for the entire season to lower the risk of developing any degree of irreversible brain damage.”

And Dr. Cantu recommends that no child be permitted to play tackle football until at least the age of 14.

“A child’s brain and head are disproportionately large for the rest of the body, especially through the first five to eight years of life. And a child’s weak neck cannot brace for a hit the way an adult’s can. (Think of a bobblehead doll.) A child’s cranium at 4 is about 90 percent the size an adult’s. That’s important to a discussion of concussions and concussion risk.” 

The choices for the committee that the NFL made though as far as former players are concerned are a little scary. The committee includes players that have said some of the least constructive comments about concussions and the active concussion injury litigation involving over 4,000 former players.  Deion Sanders, LaVar Arrington, Merrill Hoge and Cris Collinsworth have all made very subjective one-sided opinions regarding either children and tackle football or the concussion litigation.

The full list of committee members and some of their comments are below:

 

Regular Sort of People

CATHERINE GRAVES, Team Mom – Youth Football

LEROY HOLLINS, Commissioner – Youth Football

CHUCK KYLE, High School Football Coach

LIZ RAEBURN, Wife of College Football Coach

AMANDA RODRIGUEZ, Blogger

ERIN ZAMMETT RUDDY, Magazine writer and blogger

OTHA THORNTON, President-elect, PTA

 

Retired NFL Players on TV every week

CRIS COLLINSWORTH

Last season during a Houston Texans Chicago Bears game, Collinsworth referred to QB Jay Cutler as a “real Bears quarterback” after Cutler scrambled and made an idiotic head first dive into the defense on the very next play after suffering a concussion. After the actual play in which Cutler’s brain injury occurred (brilliantly diagnosed by Bears medical staff at halftime), Collinsworth praised Cutler’s strategy of laying injured on the field as a good opportunity for him to “clear the cobwebs.”  

DEION SANDERS

“The game is a safe game, the equipment is better. I don’t buy all these guys coming back with these concussions. I’m not buying all that. Half these guys are trying to make money off the deal. That’s real talk. That’s really how it is. I wish they’d be honest and tell the truth because it’s keeping kids away from our game.”

MERRIL HOGE

“The biggest problem in our society today with our youth is obesity. You will do more damage to your son or daughter by allowing them to sit on the couch, play XBox and eat a donut, health-wise, than you will ever do if you put them on a football field.”

MICHAEL STRAHAN

HOWIE  LONG

BILL COWHER

 

Wives of Former NFL Players Who are on TV Every Week

DIANE LONG, Wife of HOF and FOX Sports broadcaster Howie Long

CHRISTINE GOLIC, Wife of ESPN Star Mike Golic

 

Retired NFL Players who are not on TV every week

BRETT FAVRE

BARRY SANDERS

LAVAR ARRINGTON (5:25 in the video)

“To me, it’s sissification, and I think that’s the only way to put it. These kids are not going to be necessarily fast enough or strong enough that if they’re playing the game correctly that they can actually inflict the type of harm on themselves will kill them or that will keep them from being productive citizens in school.”

 

Current NFL Football Coaches

MARVIN LEWIS

 

Talk Show Hosts

WHOOPI GOLDBERG

 

NFL Medical Professionals

DR. MITCHELL BERGER, NFL Head, Neck & Spine Committee

Dr. ELIZABETH  PIEROTH, Psychologist

 

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