From what I have read and heard, the NFL playoffs have been quite the little Entertainment this year, what with the high scoring and down to the wire finishes. And now some sort of sibling rivalry theme awaits in the Super Bowl, apparently. Since my very public declaration a few weeks ago that I was quitting football cold turkey, I have not watched a single game. So far, it hasn't been too terribly challenging. The true test of my principles will come next year when Urban Meyer is BCS-eligible and Chud has the Browns steaming toward an AFC North title.....
Anyway, more CTE data keeps rolling in. The latest is from a group at UCLA who are attempting to formulate a protocol for diagnosing CTE in living individuals. Until now, the only way to identify the pathognomonic tau proteins of CTE was during an autopsy. In a very small study (5 ex-NFL players vs. a control group) the researchers used images from PET scans to identify increased uptake consistent with tau protein deposition in the brains of the former players compared with the control group.
Obviously more research is warranted but the implications are harrowing. This could be the game changer that completely marginalizes organized football as we now know it. What if we get a study that demonstrates steady accumulation of tau protein over time, at age 15, 20, 30, 45, etc? What if another paper proves that a boy who plays football from age 8 until senior year of high school increases his risk of developing some element of CTE by, say, 26% compared with boys who never played? How many parents would be willing to take that chance?
The game is slowly becoming an anachronism. Again, goodbye to all that. Watch the EPL instead.
Update: Junior Seau's family is suing the NFL.
I still have to argue against your decision to abandon football. I'm glad Seau's family is suing, and I hope all of the former players recover millions. The NFL intentionally kept them uninformed about the dangers associated with how they played the game, and they did so solely to make money. Currently, however, all of the players on the field are aware of (or should be) the same information as you. They know the risk they are taking. If Steven Ridley thinks it is an acceptable risk to live the life he has in exchange for getting knocked unconscious by Bernard Pollard, I'm not going to act like Big Brother and tell him he can't. If I had the opportunity to play in the NFL, I would probably take the risk, too. As long as the players are making informed, voluntary choices, I say watch away. And grab me a beer while you're up.
Don't watch EPL-- watch La Liga! Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Falcao...Nice tight ball control. Maybe you don't have BeInSport?
Oh, you said "Elgible" not "Remotely Plausible"...
Its one thing to get a washed up SEC Coach, there's a reason Urban didn't win at Idaho or wherever he was before he came to the SEC, winner of the last 7, (and probably next 7) BCS Championships, can't wait till the Playoff starts and all 4 teams are out of the SEC West...
Students brains are valuable and science cannot yet determine which are most vulnerable to the hundreds of "small dings" players "shake off".
It is not just the concussions that have lasting effects and not just deaths by suicide that have been documented but the mood and behavior changes that forever alter players futures.
When we know the risks, how long do we wait to act?
Watch Malcolm Gladwell as he speaks to University of Pennsylvania students Feb 2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWaPXzTDEDw
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