The Pro Football Concussion Report

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

In the News

Charlotte City Council Gets to Meet Jerry Richardson

Jerry Richardson appears at Public City Council Meeting       © Julie Rose
Jerry Richardson appears at Public City Council Meeting      © Julie Rose

05.09.13

Perhaps someday they’ll even get to sit in a luxury box, but for now Charlotte City Council members are getting some heat for conducting behind closed doors negotiations with Carolina Panthers officials. In order to help the city council determine how much of the city’s budget to earmark for the team’s stadium renovation, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson showed up to the private meetings. Although it’s unusual to have one of the parties with a vested interest at one of these city meetings, several council members were grateful for his presence:

“I don’t know if it was appropriate or not, but it was important to him,” says Councilman Andy Dulin. “It must have been of importance because he did show up – you know that put an exclamation point on the seriousness of the negotiations that some might not have done. I appreciated him being there.”

NFL funds Idiotic Study with Leather Helmets

University Research on Leather Helmets
University Research on Leather Helmets

05.09.13

“One’s skull would be significantly better protected when running headfirst into a brick wall while wearing a modern American football helmet versus a vintage leather helmet.” Seriously, that’s in an editorial just published in the Journal of  Neurosurgery. Apparently, as part of the never-ending NFL funded university research on impact and football helmets scientists discovered that upon impact a 1940′s leather helmet provides less protection against concussions than today’s modern helmets. Now, nobody ever suggested they would, but it still might be worth a $100k to some researchers for a paper. The team of researchers also recommended that due to differences in methodologies and conclusions with other impact tests, “we must continue examining experimental protocols to achieve better quantification of helmet performance . . .”

Kyle Turley has thoughts of Suicide

Retired All-Pro Kyle Turley, Now Country Rocker    (www.gridironrecords.com)
Retired All-Pro Kyle Turley, Now Country Rocker   (www.gridironrecords.com)

05.06.13

Kyle Turley had a colorful NFL career as both an outspoken All-Pro player and a moonlighting rock musician, and now he’s even lighting it up more in retirement. In an interview with Michael Gehlken of the U-T Sandiego, Turley revealed that he is on the anti-seizure drug Depakote and that he has used the NFL Crisis Hotline.

Committee Members, University Researchers Pursue NFL Money Pie

Concussion Research Papers & Marketing Headlines
Concussion Research Papers & Marketing Headlines

05.02.13

There seems to be an awful lot of money available for concussion research lately. Actually for at least the last 10 years, NFL MTBI committee members and now, current NFL Concussion Committee members and their associated universities and institutions jostle for their piece of a lucrative research pie. Over $100 million has been pledged by the NFL and the NFLPA alone. Almost as much money as the Packers have pledged to QB Aaron Rodgers! But unfortunately, some of the paid research seems to just end up supporting a business position or enhancing the marketing of a particular product.

How did the Seau Family choose the NIH for Junior’s Brain?

Seau Family  (family photo)

04.29.13

How did the Seau family choose the NFL supported NIH as the destination for Junior Seau’s brain research? Apparently, behind the scenes there was a “surreal” battle going on. According to yesterday’s ESPN Outside the Lines piece, Dr. Bennet Omalu, the father of C.T.E. in football players aggressively sought to get custody of Seau’s brain to pursue research. And at least 5 other research teams contacted the Seau family to win the battle for Seau’s brain.

Forrest Gregg Inducted into the Hall of Covington?

Forrest Gregg
NFL Hall of Famer and current Big Pharma Spokesman Forrest Gregg (AP)

04.25.13

It was interesting to read  last week that Hall of Fame lineman Forrest Gregg, despite suffering from Parkinson’s disease would not sue the NFL. First on the NFL’s Twitter feed, and later in USA Today, and then in the Seattle Times, Philly.com, Miami Herald, ESPN, Sporting News, etc.  Although Gregg’s neurologist, Dr. Rajeev Kumar, does in fact blame repeated blows from football for Gregg’s condition, Gregg himself says he’s an “independent type” and ”I don’t need anything from anybody but what I earned.” Okay, that seems admirable enough. Genuine old school, tough independent guy – the kinda guy actor Clint Eastwood has made a huge career out of pretending to be. But typically, choosing to not do something doesn’t gather that many headlines. Perhaps it does though when it’s part of a coordinated campaign of a pharmaceutical giant, the NFL, and their common denominator Washington D.C. law firm Covington Burling.

I’m Eating Vicodin like Flintstone Chewables

Toradol Pain Medication
Off Label Use of Injectable Toradol a Heart Attack Risk

04.22.13

“Miss the rest of the season or figure out a way to play.” That’s what a team doctor told former Washington Redskin Fred Smoot after he fractured his sternum. Worried about his livelihood, Smoot chose the latter, he figured out a way to play.  To mask the pain, Smoot injected regular doses of the short-term post-op anti inflammatory Toradol. It’s difficult to imagine that each player that’s ever played in the NFL couldn’t tell horrific stories of what they’ve done medically to be able to play every Sunday.