CTE in approximately 91.7% of former NFL players: Boston University study

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is checked during the first half of the team's NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Cincinnati.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is checked during the first half of the team’s NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Cincinnati.
Picture: AP

Like a real bookend at yesterday’s TMA, BU has published the results of its study brains of former NFL players, and that’s not a number the NFL wants to be talked about during Super Bowl week. This is a time when the NFL wants to celebrate itself, what everyone loves about it, why it has become a religion in this country, and it certainly doesn’t want the other side of the devil’s bargain that everyone has made with the sport, whether it’s the players, CEOs, fans, TV people, etc.

At the end of the day, this news isn’t a huge shock, although the exact number may raise some eyebrows. We all know that football is dangerous and means bad things for those who make it to the top level because of the amount of time and goals it takes to get there. While the NFL may not be the definition of informed consent, it’s pretty close so far. You’d have to be pretty sheltered not to know the dangers of the sport.

This obviously sheds new light on the treatment of Tua Tagovailoa this season, which mocked the NFL’s concussion protocols. But if the league were to stick to the right protocols that actually make a difference, what would that look like? Will teams show up to Week 8 with 12-15 starters unavailable? Players are immediately removed from games not to return on any big hit? As we said when Tua was knocked out, nobody wants that. The players don’t want that. The fans don’t want that. The league doesn’t want that. If anyone did, we would see a drop in popularity or viewership. We didn’t. What is the NFL’s punishment for still not taking concussions seriously? I haven’t seen it yet, except for the settlement with the ex-players who sued that they could have easily afforded.

Maybe putting an actual number on it like this study does will scare more children and parents away from the game at an earlier stage. There will always be enough players for the NFL, even though the quality may drop. But how much would it have to drop for fans to actually change the channel? How many of them have to change the channel before the NFL stops being the all-powerful cabal it is? Most of the NFL regular season this year was pretty crappy and they were still the highest rated shows on TV. Now you certainly don’t hear about the mediocrity of most of the regular season.

We’ve all come to terms with it. And what system can be implemented to protect players from themselves? The nature of the league means that almost every position except QB players the front office always wants to replace them with the next younger, cheaper guy. Nguaranteed contracts just make it easy. Miss a few weeks to take care of yourself and you may never get your job back. And the next guy wants to get his dollars while he still can.

To really protect players without changing the game beyond any recognizable state would require a true restructuring of how contracts work and how rosters are built. How will that happen? And really, where is the external pressure? The fans don’t really care that much. They had more than enough representation of the poisonous and destructive nature of the game. We all continue to tune in.

Don’t forget hockey

Speaking of leagues that can’t take head injuries seriously, here’s Jacob Trouba cleaning up Nazem Kadri last night. While Trouba has become a threat, this goal is clean and what he was paid for:

Of course, one of the more annoying aspects of hockey these days is that hits like this, while legal and clean, almost always result in batsman who has to fight someone on hittee’s team because…I don’t know, Canada? As much of an anachronism as hockey fights have become, these might be the most annoying. Here is one bit of brawling that the NHL could eradicate, but by serving a 17 minute penalty (brawling big, inciting less and 10-minute misconduct) did not prevent. I don’t know if an immediate ejection and a five-minute power play would work.

Not that Dillon Dube’s selection for this fight is going to stop Trouba from throwing another check or returning the blow he dealt Kadri in some time reversal. It’s pointless and stupid. Hockey has risks, just like football, but maybe we can do our best to get rid of the pointless and stupid ones.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *