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Thread: Is CTE the beginning of the end of football?

  1. #1
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    Default Is CTE the beginning of the end of football?

    I love football, at least, I love college football of all kinds, the tradition, the whole culture.

    I love NFL football when I really invest in a team, like when I was in around New Orleans.

    It makes it so easy for GU BB season to get here fast, after a long summer, college football starts and then next thing you know ....

    But, when I hear the concern about CTE, it concerns me greatly.Then I hear that Aaron Hernandez, who killed at age 24, had "advanced CTE" that one wouldn't expect outside of at least a 70 year old, it really takes me aback.

    I am not saying CTE caused Hernandez to kill, or even his suicide. Not at all. I'm concentrating more just on the pathological finding made possible by his suicide, that at that young an age, they'd seen that kind of damage. What that did to his behavior, whether he was destined to be a killer who should go straight to hell with or without football, we'll never know.

    And, of course not all the suicides are b/c of it. But, some formerly highly respected players took their lives seemingly out of the blue. It's hard to ignore.

    Harder still to make the game safer.

    I know only this, I'm having a bit harder time watching and enjoying college football now. Wondering what these kids are doing organically to their brains. I know this, too. If I were NFL Commissioner, I'd be setting up near mandatory annual check-ups for all current players and all retirees, with both psychiatrists and neurologists, testing, jumping on worrisome changes. That seems like a no-brainer, for lack of a better term.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
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    I suspect that lawsuits and insurance liability will render the sport cost-prohibitive for many school districts around the country within the next couple of decades. There are regions of the country where local communities will never let it go, but there are other places where it will die off over a generation or two.

    I have mixed feelings about this. I played the sport and loved it. I still enjoy watching college football.

    My own kids refuse to play it, because they are worried about long-term brain injuries. My oldest son loves sports. He's the biggest, strongest kid in his class and would probably be an outstanding lineman if he had any desire to do it, but he wants to study engineering at an elite school and go to work in a big tech firm. He doesn't want to jeopardize those future goals, so he sticks to baseball and basketball. I certainly can't argue with his logic.
    "The Foo is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together on one message board with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson blogged alone." JFK -4.29.62-

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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Centre Mad Man View Post
    I suspect that lawsuits and insurance liability will render the sport cost-prohibitive for many school districts around the country within the next couple of decades. There are regions of the country where local communities will never let it go, but there are other places where it will die off over a generation or two.

    I have mixed feelings about this. I played the sport and loved it. I still enjoy watching college football.

    My own kids refuse to play it, because they are worried about long-term brain injuries. My oldest son loves sports. He's the biggest, strongest kid in his class and would probably be an outstanding lineman if he had any desire to do it, but he wants to study engineering at an elite school and go to work in a big tech firm. He doesn't want to jeopardize those future goals, so he sticks to baseball and basketball. I certainly can't argue with his logic.
    That's an excellent point about liability that I hadn't thought of.

    And a son that is that self-aware at that age is a credit to you. Most teens believe they are indestructible, that they'll never die.

    Thanks for the great post, perspective and anecdote.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
    Mark Twain.

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    I don't know what to think about CTE and football. I played football, basketball, and baseball in high school. I took my fair share of big hits on the football field but I never really felt like my bell was rung. I have had my bell rung playing both basketball and baseball. On the other hand the hardest hits I have ever had came from rough housing with my brother and friends. So to blame it all on football doesn't really seem fair. Plus the study like the one showing 99% of for former football players have CTE are basically clickbait. People with healthy brains don't usually donate them to be studied. People who think they may have CTE will be more inclined to donate their brains to be studied. So those studies have a bit to much selection bias for my taste.
    You can't make a half sandwich. If it's not half of a whole sandwich, it's just a small sandwich.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eroop22 View Post
    I don't know what to think about CTE and football. I played football, basketball, and baseball in high school. I took my fair share of big hits on the football field but I never really felt like my bell was rung. I have had my bell rung playing both basketball and baseball. On the other hand the hardest hits I have ever had came from rough housing with my brother and friends. So to blame it all on football doesn't really seem fair. Plus the study like the one showing 99% of for former football players have CTE are basically clickbait. People with healthy brains don't usually donate them to be studied. People who think they may have CTE will be more inclined to donate their brains to be studied. So those studies have a bit to much selection bias for my taste.
    I'm not a doctor or even a real trained scientist, but I thought they had controls for people that simply engaged in normal rough housing. So, those inclined to donate their brains are being compared to people who didn't play football, along with simply ex-football players that were totally asymptomatic.

    But, I'm no doctor and can't "know."

    If any are here, it'd be great to hear.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
    Mark Twain.

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    Any sport that must be regulated by the state for the safety of the players...limiting practice time (full contact) .....will be phased out ......LINK

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    The Hernandez one is troubling because of how few NFL games he played. I think people try to suspend reality when looking at lower levels of the sport and saying "oh it only happens in the NFL." It would not surprise me if cte is one of the underlying causes for many of the players who abuse women. I know other factors such as home life and socio economic status are sometimes pointed to as the cause, but if you look at athletes in other sports that grew up in similar conditions there doesn't seem to be as many (reported) cases of abuse by them as NFL players. I don't know, but I won't be signing any parental consent forms for my boys to play football.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzgirl_127 View Post
    The Hernandez one is troubling because of how few NFL games he played. I think people try to suspend reality when looking at lower levels of the sport and saying "oh it only happens in the NFL." It would not surprise me if cte is one of the underlying causes for many of the players who abuse women. I know other factors such as home life and socio economic status are sometimes pointed to as the cause, but if you look at athletes in other sports that grew up in similar conditions there doesn't seem to be as many (reported) cases of abuse by them as NFL players. I don't know, but I won't be signing any parental consent forms for my boys to play football.
    Great post.

    The NFL was unforgivably late in addressing violence against women seriously.

    An example of how late (and not a political statement) former V.P. Joe Biden and many other pols from both sides were starting to pound on the podium about the problem 25 years ago.

    Some people are pointing straight at O.J. and wondering.

    The other thing the Hernandez thing says to me - a worrying matter - perhaps it is early (N=1) evidence that most of the damage that occurs, does so when they are playing as growing adolescents.

    I respect your decision.
    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
    Mark Twain.

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    League of Denial showed that even kids who have died on the football field in high school had CTE. It is extremely disturbing.

    I don't think it will end football, but football could become something like the World Wrestling Federation. I could see the best athletes deciding to play other sports....athletes who might never have played tennis and soccer might drift towards those sports.

    I just don't see it being anywhere near as popular as it is today. It also doesn't help that the salary cap prevents players from getting the kinds of salaries that major league baseball players do....the kind of salaries that might inspire a great football player to play 4 years and then retire.

    As much as Hernandez, domestic violence and all of these other things disturb me, what bothers me even more is how the NFL lied to players and the public about the dangers of concussions. You can watch the Frontline special called League of Denial right here (for free):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRYYwwRzeSQ

    Don't bother with the film. The book itself is even better.

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    Default Youth Football Might Not Live to See Tomorrow, but It’s Here Today

    "The Foo is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together on one message board with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson blogged alone." JFK -4.29.62-

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    Youth Football Might Not Live to See Tomorrow, but It’s Here Today
    Here in the burbs of OKC there has been a drop off in youth football participation and there has been a huge uptick in youth LaCross, which is not even a HS sport. Soccer moms (and dads) have spoken!
    Birddog

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    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.

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    Default NPR: Changes In Brain Scans Seen After A Single Season Of Football For Young Players

    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-...-young-players


    A single season playing football might be all it takes to change a young athlete's brain.

    Those are the preliminary findings of research presented this week in Chicago at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

    Researchers used special MRI methods to look at nerve bundles in the brain in a study of the brains of 26 young male football players, average age 12, before and after one season. Twenty-six more young males who didn't play football also got MRI scans at the same time to be used as a control group.

    In the youths who played football, the researchers found that nerve fibers in their corpus callosum — the band that connects the two halves of brain — changed over the season, says lead study author Jeongchul Kim, a research associate in the Radiology Informatics and Imaging Laboratory at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C.

    "We applied here two different imaging approaches," he says. One analyzed the shape of the nerve fibers and the other focused on the integrity of the nerves.

    Kim says the researchers found some nerve bundles grew longer and other bundles became shorter, or contracted, after the players' initial MRI scans at the beginning of the season. He says they saw no changes in the integrity of the bundles.
    I’m starting to believe that kids should never be allowed to play this sport and that pains me, because I love it.
    "The Foo is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together on one message board with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson blogged alone." JFK -4.29.62-

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    Short answer: Yes.

    We'll see it move the way of boxing, and we'll see boxing move the way of bullfighting or dogfighting.

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