Two New Whoppers From the NFL’s and WWE’s Dr. Joseph Maroon

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Dr. Joseph Maroon of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the National Football League and World Wrestling Entertainment and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center – also of ironman competition fame, supplement-huckstering and NFL-assisted marketing of dubious “concussion management” software – has a new long Q&A with The Intelligencer / Wheeling (West Virginia) News-Register. See—TODAY-S-GUEST–Dr–Joseph-Maroon.html?nav=510#.Tj_rrgQagV0.twitter.

The interview has all the standard Maroon tropes. A couple stand out.


  • On NFL return-to-play protocols, Maroon says that the league has mandated, as the first of three standards, that “you must be completely asymptomatic, in other words no headaches, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, sleepiness, drowsiness, at rest.”

Funny, but in Maroon’s video at the PR website, he says nothing about the athlete being “completely asymptomatic.” (See “Performing a Neurological Exam,”

Perhaps it could be argued that this point is so obvious that it doesn’t even need to be said – but if so, then why does Maroon feel it is important enough to articulate today in his West Virginia interview but not in his official NFL website video of a few months ago? As I have pointed out on this blog, Maroon’s video also contradicts a newer one by the league’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee co-chair Dr. Richard Ellenbogen; Maroon says an “efficient and expeditious” two-minute neurological exam can confirm readiness to return to play, and Ellenbogen says otherwise.

I will again contact Ellenbogen and challenge him to take responsibility for sending unmixed messages to the public on


  • Maroon makes this stunning remark: “I saw some statistics a few years back, if you look at the time that kids … spend in automobiles at the same time they could be on the practice fields … the incidence of injury from being in car accidents would be significantly higher than participating in sports.”

Even if Maroon is attempting to commingle brain injuries with all injuries, this assertion intuitively makes no sense. Of course, over time while in a car, as either driver or passenger, you run the risk of serious injury or death in a crash. But I would like to see the citation of “some statistics a few years back” suggesting that such incidence is “significantly higher” than the day-to-day injuries, minor and major, in football practices and games.


I am requesting clarification by Maroon, the NFL, and The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register.


Irv Muchnick

1 Comment

  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    I know Maroon is writing to impress some locals but he is out of his mind.

    How many kids in cars get heads slapped repeatedly for more than decade? Oh, sorry Joe, Mark, Mickey and UPMC are just learning about head injury (according to Mark Lovell). He and the boys produced garbage research using ImPact to promote magic concussion resistant helmets, deny long-term neurological illness and deny long-term impairment in NFL athletes.

    His license should be revoked, the funding of Impact Research investigated and the marketing of ImPact reviewed.

Concussion Inc. - Author Irvin Muchnick