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Football Injury

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  • Pages: 11
  • Word count: 2546
  • Category: Football

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Football is a sport played by many, ranging from little kids playing for fun all the way up to adults doing it as a career. The game of football has been around for a long time. From the beginning, football was a sense of less sport then brawl. The guys breathed and lived football in the anxiousness to hurt the other guy. The idea of pain was not in there minds. But times have change leading up to present 21st Century football, with the high leading statistics of injury occurring. Many people are now worried about the safety of their family members playing the sport. There are many injuries that come into perspective with the game of football.

The problem at hand is that some of these injuries are leading to long-term mental and physical problems. One of the leading injuries that has come about in the National Football League (NFL) is concussions. It has been seen that the NFL has participated in the act of helping reduce the injuries of the game. But former NFL football players have came out with speculations and lawsuits against the NFL, on the basis that they have not properly help those who have received concussions in their career. Many of those former football players who have died have given their brains to science to help figure out the cause of their death implying, brain injury being the leading cause due to the continues sport of football has endured on them. The impact of concussions is of great importance dealing with football injury and the well being of the players but the injury is a consequence that comes with the game and in reality it’s your personal choice to continue playing or not.

Sports injuries is merely a continues occurrence in sports, either it’s serious or minor injuries. Football leads in all sports in the numerous high percentages of injuries it sustains in a season. As individuals get older in age, the risk of injuries of athletes increase. There’s a perspective that “adults may not be as agile and resilient as they were when they were younger”(Sports Injuries). With the coming of age one needs to take into account that they will have to work harder if they want to continue in playing sports. “The force applied to either bringing an opponent to the ground or resisting being brought to the ground makes football players prone to injury anywhere on their bodies, regardless of protecting equipment” (Football Injuries). In other words, just because a player has protective gear does not mean you are fully protected from another player hurting you. Injury is something that comes with the sport of football. If a player is taking part in physical activity particularly football they should understand of one of the major injuries being head injuries. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the assault on ones head that causes damage to its brain by physical force. Sports Injuries has informed people that of a TBI, it is good to know it ranges from mild concussions rising to a coma or even someone’s death.

TBI in other words a concussion is very at risk for football players. Players who have induced a concussion should stay out, other wise by a professional health care who clears them to come back and play. Individuals who experience TBI “experience a range of symptoms, including dizziness and vertigo, nausea, decreased coordination or balance, cognitive impairment, impaired vision, ear ringing, headaches and fatigue” (Football Injuries). There are many symptoms a player can see but it’s their own responsibility to step up and say something.

It’s amazing how in the United States that most major professional sports leagues, as well as Universities and major high schools have been using a computer program called “ImPACT (for immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) that measures basic skills of memory, word recognition and pattern recognition; which requires that all athletes be tested prior to the season starting to obtain a baseline and periodically retested if they should receive and concussion/post-concussion”(Kluger). All these policy’s/protocol are in place to protect the athlete as well as the coaches, but individuals still choose to ignore the sign or symptoms that come along with head injury’s, especially concussions. All we can do is educate people of the dangers and risks associated with the sport and hope that they make better choices in the future. Among football players in the United States, whether their young adults or NFL professional players the major controversy continues to be a major increase in concussions among these athletes. Some may view football has “a grotesque televised catastrophe”(Taibbi). While others still view it as a form of entertainment.

Many possible issues related with concussions among football today may contribute to the excessive use of steroids in the high stakes of fame and fortune in the NFL. If only playing football we could just worry about minor life altering circumstances such as a torn ACL or spinal cord injury, which would still allow us to have to productive lifestyle. Instead of possible dementia at a young age, which eventually leads to a debilitating, life-altering situation for all involved. Football players when considering playing the sport of football need to take into account the equipment, particularly the helmet, when it comes to head injuries. Even though as a football player you where a helmet, it in no way completely safeguards you from receiving head injuries. The helmet may help you from skull fractures or the blunt impact from a hit but you can still receive a concussion, not just from getting hit. “A concussion often is not a direct result of a blow to the head, but rather of the rapid front-to-back or side-to-side snap that can occur when the body or head is buffeted by a heavy force” (Epstein). So in other words just because the equipment may say protective gear does not mean the player is fully protective. Best thing for a football player in that situation is to strengthen neck muscles, which will help when bracing for a blow because the tensing would mitigate the head jerking.

Another way, which a football player can protect themselves from head injuries is practicing “heads up football”, the act of not leading with your head but with your chest through your hips. “Recent studies examining the autopsies of football players… have been able to identify the unique process by which multiple head injuries affect neurological functioning: chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)” (Buck). People have gone so far as to find why their loved ones being football players have died giving science their brains to examine. Many football players have died due to similar deaths of other football players with head injuries. What is a chronic traumatic encephalopathy? “CTE is a progressive neurological disease that manifests in behavioral, psychological, and physical changes, including emotional liability and anger issues”(Buck).

In other words CTE is a serious matter dealing with football especially with these players continuing in their career of contact sport that will have a long-term affect on their health. Many brain injuries have been linked to a protein called “tau”, which defines a “debilitating disease known as chronic traumatic and encephalopathy, or CTE. The common symptoms include, sudden temporary loss, paranoia and depression during middle age”(Gregory). The “tau” is detected in the frontal lobe, which is responsible for impulse control, judgment, value, reasoning, and the ability to multitask. It has also been associated with depression. In order to diagnose a football player that has died from excessive “tau” protein is by conducting an autopsy. Football players need to come forward and not try to be stubborn playing through these health conditions. If the players continue, they’re going to just follow in the footsteps of other former veterans of the game who have endured the repercussions of their health problems and later death.

This idea of not reporting has been a big epidemic with in football. These guys are risking long-term injury upon themselves going back into the game. A lot of times these football players are only caring about their playing time. Why come out now? The players take the pain to keep moving forward so in their mind, they can succeed. Without the guidance of professional health care these players are going to sustain horrible health problems in the long run. Especially one health problem being head injury leading to many football players lives social and mental down fall.

The growing concern among parents today with sons participating in a contact sport such as football is the sudden rise in concussions. With all the protocols and interventions in place to prevent the occurrences of early concussion detections. Many coaches and athletes are ignoring the findings and are more concern about the winning outcome and playing time then the actual health and well being of that athlete. Although, ImPACT and better helmet padding’s have been implemented, parents are still concerned that their son will suffer life-altering changes such as Cognitive decline/impairment. Parents feel this is a great price to pay for playing a sport that has become so violent. Although, some parents may just view it as a fun sport, others see it as the more contact and aggression displayed on the field, the higher response and praise they will give the athlete. So the players aren’t the only ones who like to see aggression.

A lot of people get a thrill out of people getting hurt and seeing it as well. It has been said for the NFL that, “Players have little control over their bodies; they are the property of the team”(Jackson). But, the actuality is that these players do have a choice, the choice is that does any amount of money and fame equal to your future and life. Some will disagree with this subject entirely and those are the ignorant ones or the players that have sustained so many injuries (concussion) in their careers, which has damaged their value judgment and reasoning ability due to the sustained head injuries to their frontal lobe. Football is a moneymaking industry and their players are just a number and not values as a human being. These teams are not caring on the variety of their players’ health. What they want is to have their players back on the field to play. Many football players feel that they need to portray the typical characteristics of a football player. Such as being rugged, being mean, being tough, and the major one ignoring pain. Ignoring pain because pain equals weakness. Everyday, these players are facing and risking long-term injuries by returning back to a game to soon after sustaining an injury. Statistics have shown that the average NFL player career lasts about 3.5 years, making the window of opportunity slim to none.

“Minimum salary goes up with experience, so the trend is to push out the veterans and bring in younger players at a cheaper labor”(Jackson). Many of these players trust the medical staff to gear them in the right direction but many who have sustained injuries will receive punishment for getting hurt or rewarded for acting as though they never got hurt. Many may be told that a headache is normal and that it’ll go away. Just to go back onto the field, everything is okay. What a price to pay for fame, pride, money, and glory. Although former NFL players have been making their cases for years. It has only been until recently that the NFL has down played any association between football head injuries and issues. Currently, today a NFL player who sustains a concussion may not return to the game that day. As of this new development, the NFL and players union have spent over seven million on health care expenses with retirees with dementia or Alzheimer’s, which have been linked to the protein “tau” with reoccurrence of concussions to the head. “A reform movement is defiantly needed at the lowest levels of the game, where amateur coaches can cause the most harm to their young players”(Gregory). The NFL recognizes the concerns pertaining to helmet contact between linemen and/or running players.

Have also implemented that if a receiver catches a ball and doesn’t have time to protect himself, a defensive player may not launch into them in a way cause the defensive players helmet, facemask, shoulder, or forearm to strike the receivers head. This is of one of the many rules that have been written down in the action on head injury in the National Football League. If the NFL does not continue in the process of helping players’ safety it could be said, “There is every reason to believe that the concussion crisis will get worse”(Gregory). As evidence as a growing number of cases and studies with athletes in National Football League. Junior Seau, is a perfect example of what football is all about. He was a “six time All-Pro and the NFL’s 1994 Man of The Year, and certain to be elected into the hall of fame when he’s eligible in 2015”(Trotter). This was a man that was nick named “Tackling Machine”. He refused to leave the football field regardless of any physical injuries or conditions. Although, the NFL and Seau, never reported an injury with head trauma, but realistically, he was a linebacker and his main objective was to “inflict pain on any opponent, in order to have him quit”(Trotter).

He did admit to having headaches associated with concussions to friends and his ex-wife, but admitting to the realization of the pain he was in to anyone, never, because football was a job and that was what was expected of him. This was a beloved figure in NFL and one of the greatest linebackers, the NFL has ever seen. Was it because he placed himself last and the team first or was it just the fact that this is how the sport works. It’s a shame to loose a great football player to CTE, on the basis of fame and glory and the notion of NO PAIN!!! The overall reality of football, it’s a sport that deals with inflicting pain on others. Either someone likes it or not. If the player feels it’s too hard or can’t take the pain then as an individual they should step up and say something.

Don’t allow someone push you, to do something you do not want to. Not everyone is meant to play football. The game of football takes a lot to play, and if a player wishes to stay in the game and not say anything, then so be it. It’s an overall personal decision that we choose to engage in, but we should stop and reassess our actions and determine the outcome on our health. The sport of football has been around for many years, starting with the leatherheads to present. The sport attracts fans of all ages and generations. The concerns will always be there and studies will continue to show correlations between concussion and mental illness. This is something that Americans just accept as being the norm. The more aggressive the sport continues to be, the more the fans will continue to cheer on for more violence.

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