Look for our upcoming ebook UPMC: Concussion Scandal Ground Zero. Complete info on the Concussion Inc. ebook shorts series is here.
Correction: According to today’s New York Times, there are a dozen brain-injury lawsuits against the National Football League by ex-players – not the mere eight I’ve previously mentioned.
From the genius bar, Maurice Jones-Drew of the Jacksonville Jaguars ridicules the fad of concussion awareness in the NFL. He thinks he is making a point when he surmises that the league is simply skittish about the litigation avalanche, and he prattles on about having systematically sustained concussions and hidden them himself.
This, of course, is a source of exceeding Neanderthal pride, which a writer for the website Bleacher Report – ever at the ready with thinking fan’s jocksniffing – presents as latent dissidence and smarts. Bleacher Report doesn’t add that Jones-Drew was among the players who, from the sharp vantage point of Twitter, mocked Jay Cutler for insufficient masculinity when the Chicago Bears’ quarterback removed himself from last year’s conference championship game with a serious knee injury.
(Jones-Drew is a product of Coach Bob Ladouceur’s football factory, De La Salle High School in Concord, California, whose website whines, “The public’s perception of what we do or what we stand for is drastically different than what actually takes place.” See https://concussioninc.net/?p=4982.)
Somewhat higher on the intellectual food chain are remarks by Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, co-chair of the NFL’s Head, Neck, and Spine Committee, for an Associated Press report on the latest concussion protocol tweaks, which were inspired by the Colt McCoy fiasco. Ellenbogen told the AP:
“Team doctors are pretty concerned about concussions, and I don’t think they’re people that are going to be bought and sold…. If the real problem is the doctors are being influenced by the coaches, then we’ve got to fix that…. To be honest with you, we ain’t done. When our committee meets with the team physicians after the Super Bowl, everything’s on the table. You think this is the last rendition of what we do? Heck, no. We’re not done.”
Your humble blogger has emailed Ellenbogen and his NFL committee co-chair, Dr. Hunt Batjer, about this, and I’m still waiting for their response. Since “everything’s on the table,” I’ve asked them if there isn’t a more important question than whether doctors are being influenced by coaches: to wit, whether doctors are being influenced by the corporate entities with which they contract. The background is in “‘Independent Neurologists’? NFL OK’s Doctors’ ‘Sponsorship’ Relationships With Teams,” October 21, https://concussioninc.net/?p=4868.
One of these Caesar’s wife-level custodians is Joseph Maroon of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center – team neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers. I continue to seek Ellenbogen and Batjer’s comments on whether they agree with me that their videos at the nflhealthandsafety.com website contradict Maroon’s at the same site, and what the NFL’s titular concussion czars intend to do about that. The background is in “NFL’s Dr. Hunt Batjer, Like NFL’s Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, Contradicts NFL’s (and WWE’s) Dr. Joseph Maroon on Concussion Exam,” August 17, https://concussioninc.net/?p=4426.