As is the case every Monday, there’s a lot of concussion news, and most of it speaks for itself. At the National Football League level, we had the latest Michael Vick lunacy. Vick got blasted again in yesterday’s Philadelphia Eagles game against the Washington Redskins. On the video, you can see Vick woozy and being held upright by a teammate while the Redskins’ London Fletcher signals emphatically for medical assistance. Vick sat out a few plays, without nearly enough time for a full concussion evaluation by the NFL’s own professed standards. The Eagles said he’d gotten “dirt in his eye.”
Let me again emphasize that I wouldn’t really mind any of this if the sharp language and imagery of NFL agitprop didn’t lead the public to believe that the league’s practices were, in any way, shape, or form, a model for amateur sports – much less that NFL doctor-marketed “concussion management software” were a solution.
About those amateurs … On Friday night in Phoenix, New York, 16-year-old Ridge Barden died in an ambulance 45 minutes after a “routine” play – “the most bizarre thing” his coach had ever seen. The New York Times account is at http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/17/sports/death-of-phoenix-player-raises-questions.html?adxnnl=1&hpw=&adxnnlx=1318878279-2TvLQDheFW10HLRIoczZmw.
I commend to readers of this blog the newest installment of the catastrophic football injury roundup by Matt Chaney, http://blog.4wallspublishing.com/. The under-resourced Chaney, scouring both mainstream news and Internet sources, has come up with at least 45 non-fatal incidents so far this season. The youngest is an unnamed 5-year-old who fell comatose from an injury in a “Mighty Mite” league in Hawaii.
There are also 12 cases of brain hemorrhages, like the one that struck young Barden in upstate New York, four “brain bleeds or swelling,” one skull fracture, 21 spinal fractures, and several other categories, some of which do not involve the concussive nature of football.
Soon I’ll have a little more to say about “vessel rupture and stroke” (2 cases). Meanwhile, everyone should bone up on Chaney.