Friday, December 16, 2011


ConcussionA concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that may result in a bad headache, altered levels of alertness, or unconsciousness.
It temporarily interferes with the way your brain works, and it can affect memory, judgment, reflexes, speech, balance, coordination, and sleep patterns.
"You aren't a real player until you get a concussion."

As many of you have known this is hot topic in the NFL, NHL, MLB, & soccer. Researchers and major universities (including BU) have noted that concussions can lead to other head traumas and lead to serious consequences. For instance, the NFL just had a debacle in James Harrison's hit on Colt McCoy last week. Harrison could've lined up his chest and wrapped his arms around the McCoy and not go for the big hit. Another example, the leading scorer in the NHL Claude Giroux accidentally got his head hit by his teammate Simmons and Crosby as well accidentally. In the MLB, the worst play to get a concussion is when the runner runs into home plate and bashes the catcher. In soccer, I watched some gnarly 50/50 headers that knock one of the players out of the game. 
This is such a major issue that many of the leagues, especially the NHL and NFL, have done nothing about. Each league has rules but in reality it comes down to the players aka the goons like Harrison and Cooke from the Penguins. The information that the players receive is minute compared to most readers of the site (assuming you all are college educated BU students/ alumni). By informing the players of the actual consequences of a hit on opposing player could make the players think twice. You could see Harrison be like "don't want that to happen to me..." 
Other rules could be stipulated especially in the NHL where great players are sidelined because of head trauma. For instance, fighting could be ruled out of the league. Harsh? No. Loss fans? Yes. Real fans stay? Yes. By thinking about removing fighting in the league makes the fans wonder about a league without fighting. There are such leagues they are in the college hockey where throwing a punch is an automatic suspension similar to other professional leagues not named the NHL. College hockey is fun. There are hits, roughing penalties, trash talking, and great plays. So by removing fighting, it still is hockey. The essence is still there. Hockey could also make changes to the rink. There were numerous occasions to make the glass more forgiving as well as the boards that the governing body shots down. 
This is serious issue that should be researched into more by ALL leagues. Any thoughts from our readers?  

1 comment:

  1. There are a lot of opinions on concussions and what improved understanding of them has done for sports. I agree with your thoughts on fighting in the NHL, however, until the NHL takes the time to improve helmets (weaker than most bike helmets) being used, I dont see how taking away fights will really change. The majority of NHL players dont fight. Even today you see teams with "goons" who are responsible for the fighting. A punch to the face, although certainly not good for anyones brain, doesn't have the same level of damage as bouncing your skull off the ice when you're tripped or testing the strength of the glass with your face, when you get drilled in the corner.

    As for the NFL, that is a completely different can of worms that we could debate for days, so we'll just save that for another time.