October 31, 2010


Not surprisingly, the spate of concussions on Sunday, Oct. 17 yielded a lot of discussion among newspapers, magazines, and the blogosphere on the safety of the game of football as it's currently played in the National Football League. Here are some of the items that caught my eye and are worth another look:
  • The November 1, 2010 issue of Sports Illustrated has CONCUSSIONS on the cover, complete with a stunning cover photo of Steelers linebacker James Harrison's hit on Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi. Inside are several articles, including a conversation with Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis on concussions and modified play and a discussion of how players might better protect themselves from concussions (via tensing their necks).
    • I most enjoyed David Epstein's article Unexpected Findings: The Damage Done, which chronicles research at Purdue detailing the cumulative effect of minor hits to the head throughout a game and season.
    • Peter King's cover article includes a great description of Boston University's Ann McKee (associate professor of neurology & pathology; diagnoser of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in football players, in former NFL players) getting ready for a football-ful Sunday.
    • The articles are good, but the entire package is so well-done (and the photographs so striking) that I recommend buying the print issue, or reading it at your library.
  • The New York Times has been giving this a tremendous amount of coverage, of course. I particularly enjoyed William C. Rhoden's October 19 column Thirty-Yard Penalties Would Help Lower N.F.L. Violence and Michael Sokolove's Oct. 23 "Week in Review" essay Should You Watch Football? (yes).
  • Finally, Tweeter and blogger @concussionblog counts the hits at The Concussion Blog. It's a grim, but useful accounting of who got hit when, and not just in the NFL. Dustin Fink includes rugby, soccer, MLB, and more in his counting. He also does a nice job linking to current coverage of concussions around the country.
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