Guest Column by Katherine Snedaker of Pink Concussions on “Omalu: The Force Awakens”

From ChaneysBlog: 1900-1968 News Line of Football Brain Damage and Policy-Making
January 1, 2016
Historian Matt Chaney’s ‘Football Papers’ Project — Brain Injury Findings Are a Story As Old As the Invention of the Huddle
January 4, 2016

As football historian Matt Chaney is exhaustively documenting, the case of the long known, established, and named chronic traumatic encephalopathy — even in application to football players — is overwhelming. Tomorrow we’ll have more thoughts from Chaney, and we’ll resume pressing Sony Pictures for an accounting of the Concussion movie marketing campaign in partnership with football industry attack dog MomsTeam.

First, we’re honored to publish this guest column by Katherine Price Snedaker LCSW, who runs the educational website Pink Concussions (“female concussions via sports abuse, accidents, or military service”), http://pinkconcussions.com, in association with SportsCAPP.com.

 

by Katherine Snedaker

Seeing the movie Concussion is like seeing the new Star Wars movie “Omalu: The Force Awakens” without watching the six previous films.

So based on Matt’s research, these are the films that need to be made…

Based in the Greek and Roman times, the first film features the earliest doctors who wrote about head injuries in gladiators and soldiers. Even without  modern medical equipment, doctors could “see” the phantom menace of invisible brain injury. Also the helmet industry begins a two thousand year odyssey to find a better way to protect the head.  

The second film, set in the Middle Ages, will star knights who fight in “clone-like” shells of metal in competitive games and war. Over the centuries, the helmet changes form as craftsman try to use different shapes and materials to protect the warriors’ head.

In the third film, football rises from the ashes of the Civil War. While heralded as the “All American Game” with war-like training to make boys into men, a dark side emerged as boys and men are wounded and killed in this new “battle” sport.

Coaches and doctors seek to find balance between the light and the dark of football and the universe waits for a hero to save the day.

President Teddy Roosevelt rises as the “New Hope” in the fourth film. Jedi Teddy wins the battle to end football with new rules making football safer from the Dark Side (the Death Star is destroyed) and order is restored to the universe.  

However, in the fifth film set in the 1920-30s, a new, bigger Death Star appears as scientists and doctors continued record brain damage in football players’ and boxers’ head injuries using terms like “Punch Drink,” DP and CTE. Despite the American Association of Pediatrics twice clearly stating (in 1957, and 1967), that football should be banned for children, football’s popularity grows so we leave the film having to wait for the sequel.

In the sixth film in the 1960-80s, the NFL rises to power as the new force of the Dark Side, with a  new and improved “Death Star,” as it towers over the game of football seeking to control all aspects of the game.

Like sixth Star Wars movie, this film is rather incestious as the family ties emerge and it is hard to see who is on which side?! Luke finds out Darth Vader is his dad and Leia is is his sister…

Everyone is also related somehow in football saga. For example, NFL team doctors are now on the sidelines of football to fight for the health of players have internal conflicts since they are also employees of the NFL.

New rules changes are supposed to destroy the dark side of football (or the latest Death Star) and it seems to be the end of the conflict.

Not to spoil the real movie for you, but like every other action movie, our hero Omalu single- handily battles the giant NFL.

But it is hard to cheer on Omalu’s claims to be the first Jedi to have an epic battle with the Dark Dark of Football. Yes, he found CTE in Webster’s brain while personally funded his quest, but it is the film’s lack of placing Omalu on the shoulders of those who came before him that leave one feeling that the film is less than the truth.

That is unless we produce  the six missing movies….

Comments are closed.