Monday, February 4, 2019

Who wins?? Who won??

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Friday Night Lights
Friday Night Lights was a highly successful TV show that ran five seasons and followed the drama of a coach and a high school football team in a small Texas town. Friday nights in schools are filled with passion and loyalty from an enthusiastic community. BUT...  

Real life high school football is different. Real life football high school is deadly.

The thing is I know those boys' names. 

Their families are part of the community. Their high schools were within walking distances of our former home. Two young men needlessly suffered nearly fatal brain injuries that have taken away their futures.

Here is what happened:

Vu's injury happened in 1992, and Scott's in 2007. Both had had untreated concussions the week before the game, and were told to "lie down for a while".

Both were sent into the game despite their clearly expressed information that they had excruciating headaches. Scott even told the trainer that his vision was blurry and he couldn't focus his eyes. He came off the field and told the trainer again that he was dizzy, his head was throbbing. 

The coach said some inappropriate words that sent Scott back onto the field.


Many years later..

Doctors have confirmed that if they had been treated and allowed to heal after the first concussion, the catastrophic injury would be a non-issue. "Second-impact syndrome" is the term used.



Scott


Vu was down in the first play. His eyes rolled back into his head and he stopped breathing.  He died twice on the field, was resuscitated, then died again in the ambulance.  

Immediate surgery to remove a part of his skull and repair injury to the brain saved his life. 

Scott collapsed on the field in the first quarter, and immediately suffered catastrophic brain injury. He, too, had the same surgery in which a portion of the skull had to be removed.

Both were comatose for a lengthy time. Vu awoke, and spent years in 24 hour care initially, then years in physical recovery. 

Scott eventually became conscious, but remains unable to speak and to stand or move on his own. His mind is keen and alert, communicating on iPad or computer with someone supporting his arm. His health is improving and he has finished requirements to graduate from high school.

Recent lawsuits have been settled. Vu was award about $4 million, and Scott about the same.  Due to lengthy treatments involving full time care, Vu is virtually broke. He owns yoga studio with his wife.


Scott and Vu, now
Although Scott's lawyer and family were suing for $25 million (an amount estimated to provide for his life-long care), Scott received $4.4 million and depends on caregivers to eat, bathe, and communicate. 

His injury has also taken nearly all, and his loving family cares for what Voice of San Diego calls "a living ghost".

I am passionate and angry about these two young men and how denial  of concussion problems continue to plague the entire football industry. 


Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.png
This is what CTE is.
In pro-ball, "issue" is called Chronic Traumatic Encephalophy. The stats on football players should scare us all. Many retired players have developed dementia, depressions, and other related brain injuries.  Many have committed suicide.

This post is way too long, I know. 

When some 17 yr. kids go through hell because coaches want to demolish the other teams, people must amass a fury so large and so loud that football stadiums explode.

All sports that involve player impact are susceptible and at risk for such injuries. Head helmets are inadequately designed or built to prevent or reduce injuries.

However some sports analyzers have seen an increase in injuries since football helmets have been introduced into games.  They insist that, if helmets were taken out of the game, players would follow the natural response to protect the head.  Hits would be less violent, focus would be on the play, not the bludgeoning. They might be on the right track.



At least this ends on a short, kinda cute commercial. It also shows how young a commitment to the game begins.








51 comments:

  1. What a shame about those two young men. It does make you wonder about the helmets since the ones worn in the past were leather and there weren't as many injuries. Of course, part of that is on how big players are now. Thirty years ago, there weren't many three hundred pound players. Now that's normal for the line.

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    1. I saw in the S. Bowl yesterday that players are leaner and faster. Not all of them, of course. But those tackles still take out players.

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  2. Girls soccer is also a dangerous game and results in many injuries and concussions. Unfortunately, my granddaughter is one of them. She now suffers from seizures and her life has changed.

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    1. Oh. I can't think of enough words to express my anger and sorrow.

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  3. As I said Susan I played football 4 years in high school and I did have a concussion but my coach kept me out of the game and two more games until I was totally better. I feel for these two men and others who should have kept them out of the game. I was taught how to use my shoulder, not my head but today the head is used as a battering ram. Today's players are bigger and faster and unfortunately players are used wrong. They need new helmets to protect the players and new rules are needed to make sure that if a players uses their helmet wrongly, he should be kept out of the game until he knows the right way. Coaches are also needed to be taught the correct way, if not get them out of the game. I still enjoy watching the game but every time I see a player get hit on their head, it frightens me. Thank you for this blog Susan. See ya.


    Cruisin Paul

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    1. The size of the linebackers were insane about 15-20 years ago. Does anyone remember "The Refrigerator"? His assignment was to take down anyone in his way. I wonder where his targets are now?

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  4. A reason I'm shocked Tom Brady doesn't retire after years of success and more money than he knows what to do with. One sack and his brain could be poop for life.

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    1. Exactly. Maybe the q-backs take less hits? But one sack and he is a changed man.

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    2. "Sack" is to hit the quarterback before he can throw the ball to a another player. It can and sometimes does hurt the quarterback severely. If this happens enough to cause a concussion over and over through his career, he is also in the CTE group.

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    3. Thank you and I'm so glad neither of my boys wanted to play sports. at age six, the older one did try a season of our Australian football, mostly to please his father who thought I was making the boys into sissies. He gave up after that one season though and I was glad. The younger son now plays lawn bowls with his dad and his uncle.

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  5. I am with you 100% on the post. I keep taking myself back to the Romans when Death was cheered. I never played HS sports, it has always amazed me that sports are put head and shoulders above safety and just plain learning.

    Anyway the injuries you feature are probably just a drop in the bucket across the country and world. But the yells and thrills are too loud for common sense to be heard. Even in NC I know of the wealthy who pay to move a family to their schools area just to have their son on the football team for a couple years. Sad and wild

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    1. Are parents so uninformed that they would do this?!

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  6. That is only part of why I would not allow my sons to play football.

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    1. My mother in law prohibited her youngest son to stop playing when he was 10.

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  7. Susan:
    Our city loves to feature local high school sports, and (personally), I think less time needs to be spent playing such sports and more time devoted to producing better educated individuals.
    ---Sports were even a big deal back when I was n school...the jocks got the girls, the attention (and yes, sometimes the injuries).
    ---The games have gotten rougher, the players larger, and injuries more severs and more commonplace, even with better gear.
    That's a recipe for disaster.
    But that's just my take on it.

    Very good post.

    Stay safe out there.

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  8. You are spot on, Bob. This makes me cry.

    this site lists retired pro football players who suffer or have committed suicide:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_NFL_players_with_chronic_traumatic_encephalopathy

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  9. I agree on every word you say Susan. I've also seen first hand unfortunately what head injuries can do to boys. My first love♥ died on a rugby field after a terrible collision. He was 17, was told to man up and get back out there. Very sad for those two boys.

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    1. Oh, I am so sorry for that young man and his family.

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  10. Just dreadful what happened to those two boys but the same story is told all over the country. We are just realizing what professional players experience in later life. I really use to love watching football but the head hunting that has entered the sport has made me second guess. Hopefully concussion protocol has made the coaches more aware of sending the boys back out there. Now if they could just stop helmet to helmet hits.

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    1. Throwing or crashing a player hard enough to know them him out is reprehensible.

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  11. A lot comes back to the coach. I wouldn't let my kid play football, but then any game can result in life altering injuries. Heck, even taking a car ride to the grocery store can.

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    1. Basically, any head injury (like a concussion) in any situation is deadly and has long reaching results.

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  12. Head impacts causing brain shrinkage and dementia is frightening. That alone should make the power clowns sit up and take notice but my guess is they're protecting the money and that I'm afraid matters most in this sad world of ours.

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    1. the movie "Concussion" with Will Smith as Dr. Bennett Omalu (a real life doctor) who uncovered the concussion denial promoted by NFL and pushed to have CTE recognized. Good movie, about what exactly you have written.

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  13. There must be a way to make the game less violent but then the fans would be disappointed. They seem to enjoy the risk.

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  14. Replies
    1. Their families need all the prayer given for them.

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  15. Those coaches have a responsibility to the safety of their players and they failed. I never played football but used to watch it. I gave up that years ago, it's not fun seeing people trying to destroy others. I feel sorry for those two young lives that were altered by a coach's bad decision. They along with their families are paying an awful price for the rest of their lives.

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    1. Greediness and cruelty seems to walk hand in hand with coaches.

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  16. Terrible tragedies and a terrible waste of young lives.

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  17. This is why i no longer attend games or watch on TV.

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    1. Same here. In restaurants considered to be a sports bar, There are televisions showing games all over the place.

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  18. I guess they all think, "it will never happen to me" until it does. So sad that so many young lives are ruined.

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  19. That post wasn't too long, you are exactly right to be angry. Frankly, that entire staff should be imprisoned. There is enough info available to anyone to know what not to do, and they did them all. In addition, were it me, I would fire everyone in the district that signed off on this staff. It is hard enough when you are treated correctly to get through a concussion. And these players, they don't think clearly, a lot of times they TRY to get back on the field and have to be restrained.

    Just when I think my ranting is over for one night...

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    1. Those players have developed a mind-set in late summer when the coaches drive them so hard and gain control. Players want to please him/them and buy into this.

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  20. The worst part is when coaches want them to "walk it off" or some such nonsense. When someone says they aren't feeling good, people should listen.

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    1. I believe there should be student advocated on hand to dispute this with the coaches, and defend the students.

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  21. I don't like sports in general and have never like American 'football', it has the most contact of any of the contact sports and all of it is just so rough, I'm surprised any of them manage to remain in school and able to think. I know it is your national sport, right up there with baseball, but I wish it would die out. There are just too many injuries. The coaches are only partly to blame, but when someone is dizzy and non-focusing, they should be told to get back on the field. Why aren't there doctors in attendance at the games?

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    1. As long as there are industries (like beer companies) who gain profits as audiences grow, they are totally responsible. In pro=games, maybe there are drs., there would have to be.

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  22. I'm sure there would be a shift in the game if coaches were made to partake in the lifelong care of those who suffered from their (the coach's) decision.

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    1. that is a perfect idea. If coaches had to see the results and participate, perhaps there would be a change.

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  23. Since the game is probably here to stay, required in-depth training for high school coaches should be required. Don't they have medical staff at high school games?

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    1. Medical staff are not on site, just trainers who have had first aid. I checked online and EMS/ambulances are not as also. In fact, no state has a requirement to do so.

      there have been many many injuries of this sort since Scott's injury.

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  24. Replies
    1. Sadly this happens across the world with the same results.

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!