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football & brain trauma [split]

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  • football & brain trauma [split]

    Maybe all these football players should choose track instead of football:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009 ... _gladwell/

  • #2
    this is a long read, but well worth it. Makes you wonder how football will be allowed to continue to exist if more studies like these come out.

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    • #3
      I agree, it's an enlightening article. But I'm quite sure that football will continue to exist in the same way that smoking is allowed to continue. The Surgeon General may issue a warning, but those too young to exercise good sense will continue to ignore it until it's too late.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by gh
        this is a long read, but well worth it. Makes you wonder how football will be allowed to continue to exist if more studies like these come out.
        Boxing still exists, doesn't it?

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        • #5
          only among the "lower classes"; not practiced in gated-community lilywhite high schools.

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          • #6
            The perception of boxing has changed in the last 70 years in many respects.. There were a limited number of weight classes, only one "world" champion per class and most people with any interest in or knowledge of sports could name/identify them. Now, not so.
            If you will permit a personal observation:
            Then, as now, boxing was a potential way out of poverty for a small number of otherwise underprivileged young men. Fourteen hour days "chopping cotton" and driving a tractor gets a young man thinking about alternate (non-farming) career choices.
            I boxed, with some success, as a youth. Then, as now, it hurt to get hit. I concluded that unless you were some sort of sadist or masochist, boxing as entertainment made no sense. I was not angry with my opponents and they had no reason to be angry with me. Until, that is, we had hit each other a few times.
            Obviously, I did not have the killer instinct in impersonal combat. I was remorseful and depressed after hurting an opponent, especially a friend or acquaintenace.
            During WWII, when Joe Louis was still a personal and national hero, I abandoned my plans to become world welter weight/middle weight champion when, at about 14 years old, I fought an 18 year old sailor home on leave. I was strong and quick. That swabbie was stronger and quicker. He demonstrated to me the difference between a boy and a man. Not that it would have made much difference, I got in a lucky punch in the first round dislocating my right thumb and fought the last two rounds one-handed. He never knocked me down but he pummeled me unmercifully.
            Despite my dad's attempt to arrange a re-match because of my injury, that was my last fight. I told my dad he could fight him if he wanted to but I was convinced.
            I believe boxing/wrestling were among the events in the ancient Olympics, which made more sense when hand to hand, life or death combat was a day to day occurence. Today, the principal practical reason for boxing skills, aside from professional, would seem to be to defend oneself in bar room brawls or street fights. In that regard, I will attest that my local boxing reputation did immunize me from harassment by the town bully, the banker's son who delighted in picking fights with country kids when they came to town on Saturday. Ironically, he was the only person I wanted to fight.

            Back to the legitimacy of boxing as a "sport".
            Surely, medical professionals must have known of the long term danger of repeated concussions but we in the proletariat did not think beyond the black eye and cut lip which soon healed. I don't deny that it is desireable to be able to defend oneself but as "sport" my non-pacifist opinion is that boxing belongs in the chicken and dog fighting category.

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            • #7
              Recall that Dr. Robert Cade (Gatorade) invented a football helmet system where the head was surrounded by compartments filled with water (guessing a gel would also work). Claimed it would eliminate concusions, but helmet makers said it was too expensive to make, at the time.

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