For Whom The Death Knell Tolls: Head Contact Sports

In my last post, I started on the subject of head contact induced CNS [central nervous system damage], CTE, dementia, etc. Today I saw and read an article from the Guardian that so upset me that I had to write this follow-up piece. And this one will be pure American Heresy. As the old pre-Metallica genre band of Detroit, “MC5,” said in their one hit, I am going to in this post, “Kick Out The Jams.” I have been putting this post off for a very long time, paradoxically, even before I started this blog, this topic has been boiling in my scientific mind with growing anger and apprehension. Pro football, boxing, hockey and many of the other head contact [read: traumatizing] sports must be given up in this country someday.

I have been putting this post off for a very long time, paradoxically, even before I started this blog.Tthis topic has been boiling in my scientific mind with growing anger and apprehension for years.. Pro football, boxing, hockey and many of the other head contact [read: traumatizing] sports must be given up in this country someday.

The article entitled, “It’s been devastating’: former NFL players count the cost of concussion,” published in The Guardian, really hit home and set off this rant/post.

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Addiction to Football and Denial about Concussions and “Sports Induced Dementia”

"Concussion" New York Premiere - Outside Arrivals

[Pictured above: Dr. Bennet Omala, neuropathologist of Nigera, from TIME magazine, photo by Jim Spellman of Getty Images]

{Dislcaimer: “Sports Head Injury Induced Dementia” is as far as I know…my own term]

Two days from now the documentary-movie Concussion starring Will Smith based on the ever worsening story of America’s addiction to football and the unceasing drumbeat of the incredibly high risk and now perhaps the predictable high risk of a new form of dementia, about the research and quest of Dr. Bennett Omalu, the Nigerian neuropathologist pictured above [from the current issue of TIME magazine] will be shown in theaters.

TIME’s current issue, features the article: “Concussion Expert: Over 90% of NFL Players Have Brain Disease,” perhaps not so coincidentally, at this time of America’s gluttonous feast of football bowl games, the New Year’s Day all day sports gorge, is highlighting this issue and reminding us all of the risks involved in head contact sports. It goes way beyond football though. The worst example sport in my still undemented mind in spite of being in my sixties, is boxing. One can only remember the sad public dementia of many a prize fighter reduced to being bouncers and childlike ‘greeters’ at Las Vegas casinos and night clubs in the 1950’s and 1960’s when the Mob was king of Vegas and many a boxer owed their early successes to the backing of the Mob who ran boxing for decades. Think of Joe Louis and Muhammed Ali, the former truly demented, and the latter, Ali who has suffered so sadly from extreme debilitation from Parkinson’s disease evident so poignantly when he lit the Olympic torch years ago. The phrase “punch drunk” like so many sayings in our language exists for a reason and now modern neurological medical science has verified incontrovertibly the folk wisdom in that phrase used so much with thought that means brain damage.

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