The Pro Football Concussion Report

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

In the News

Roger and Homer Summer Together

Homer's Gulf Stream
In Winslow Homer's Gulf Stream, a lone black sailor is surrounded by a sea of sharks.

04.18.13

It’s only 7 years since the 32 NFL team owners narrowly chose Roger Goodell as their organization’s commissioner over CBA attorney Gregg Levy of the Covington Burling law firm. And now Goodell can enjoy the spoils of the NFL’s huge financial success. Reportedly the Goodell family is building a large summer home in the area of Prouts Neck in Scarborough, Maine. Their new backyard view will be similar to that of the famous American painter, Winslow Homer.

Does the NFL Care about NCAA Concussions?

USC Medical Staff and Robert Woods
Russ Romano ATC , James Tibone MD, and John Brodhead MD examine WR Robert Woods

04.16.13

USC wide receiver Robert Woods is getting plenty of interest from NFL teams prior to the 2013 draft, according to a report by Mike Florio of NBC’s ProFootballTalk.com. Florio says that Woods, a junior at USC, has likely raised his draft position from 2nd to 1st round since having a good showing on Pro Day. Based on the assumption that a player can only safely suffer a limited number of concussions in a career, it would be interesting to find out if NFL teams are counting concussions when taking taking account of a player’s medical history.  Woods appeared to suffer a spectacular concussion during last season’s USC – Utah game.  The standout wide receiver was nailed by Utah’s Brian Blechen during a punt return, but USC team medical personnel quickly evaluated and approved the star receiver for return to play.

Does the CBA Cover Larry Morris?

Larry Morris Georgia Tech

04.12.13

Larry Morris played in the NFL from 1955 to 1976. He recently passed away after suffering from dementia for over 20 years. Morris, a hard hitting linebacker known as the “Brahma Bull” retired 2 years before the first Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) was signed between the league and the players union.  So how does the NFL’s CBA preemption argument affect an older veteran and plaintiff like Larry Morris?

Football Tastes Good like a Cigarette Should

1967 Anti-Smoking TV Commercial
Ask Your Heart Association Anti-Smoking TV commercial, 1967

04.10.13

Like father, like son. Painting the new siding, washing the old Ford Mustang, hurling rocks at the neighbor’s house, and finally, watching pops fire up a Pall Mall as we sit in the park contemplating how the heck we were able to avoid going to Vietnam. Since the 60′s, we’ve seen dramatic TV commercials and brilliant magazine ads and giant billboards warn us about the dangers of smoking. And we’ve changed. Percentage wise, half the number of Americans smoke cigarettes as we did in the 60’s. Our society as a whole is a little fatter, older and more educated than we used to be. And these days, the RG3s are 4 times more popular than The Say Hey Kids.

Can University Research Really Be Independent?

Can university researchers be trusted?
Can university researchers be trusted?

04.03.13

A recent New York Times story revealed that an NFL league doctor had attempted to “correct” a CDC workplace safety fact sheet about football concussions and CTE (the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy). The doctor pointed out that any reference to CTE should be removed because it was “not fully understood” and because it was not listed on the death certificates of the retired NFL players in the study and thus lacked “epidemiological validity.” This has created some controversy, but brings to light a bigger issue. How does the public know which medical experts to trust?

Teaching Proper Tackling Techniques since 1967

Coach Ara Parseghian, Neurosurgeon Richard Schneider, MD 1960s

04.02.13

“Like safe cigarettes, safe football is a myth.”  In The Myth of Safe Football, Patrick Hruby suggests that in spite of teaching new tackling techniques to past and future generations of football players, the sport is a collision sport that can’t be played safely.  The collisions aren’t accidents, they are part of playing the game well. A tackle can’t be made using a particular “safe” technique when the opposing player is doing everything physically possible to avoid being taken down.

On the road to $25 Billion Dollars

NFL Doctors

03.29.13

As expected, the NFL medical experts have studied their information and reported that there is no increase in the number of injuries during Thursday night football games. In the report, the doctors used scientific looking figures with decimal points to justify their conclusion.

“In 2012, the injury rate for Thursday games was 5.2 per game versus 5.3 in games played on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.”

So it’s actually the safest day to play football, by 1/10th of an injury. Perhaps they should play all games on Thursday. Oh, those NFL scientists.