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Football related CTE

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Buck Melanoma, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    FOOTBALL: Cognitive issues plague former Chargers player Hendrickson
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    Steve Hendrickson played football for Napa High, the University of California Berkeley and the Chargers before winning a Super Bowl while with the San Francisco 49ers. J.L. Sousa | Napa Register

    19 hours ago • HOWARD YUNE hyune@napanews.com

    NFL players linked to CTE

    Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a progressive brain disease believed to stem from repeated head trauma in contact sports, including football, hockey, professional wrestling and boxing, a sport in which the malady is also known as pugilistic dementia.Brains afflicted with CTE develop protein plaques, known as tau protein, similar to the protein tangles that clutter the brain tissue of Alzheimer’s patients and others with dementia. Symptoms include memory loss, confusion, loss of impulse control, headaches and dementia in late-stage patients.
    At least 18 former NFL players have been identified as suffering from CTE since laboratories at the University of Pittsburgh and Boston University began studying the brains of deceased players a decade ago. As with Alzheimer’s, a conclusive diagnosis can be made only during an autopsy.Notable football players confirmed to have suffered from CTE include:
    Mike Webster
    Pro Football Hall of Fame center who played 17 years in the NFL, winning four Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers. After his retirement in 1991, Webster slid into bankruptcy, homelessness and mental problems, along with deafness and headaches so crippling he sometimes Tasered himself to sleep. Died in September 2002 of a heart attack, age 50.
    Terry Long
    Offensive lineman for Pittsburgh from 1984 to 1991, and a teammate of Webster, was suspended for steroid use in his final season and attempted suicide. After two divorces and an indictment for allegedly burning his chicken processing plant for the insurance money, Long, 45, killed himself in July 2005 by drinking antifreeze.
    Dave Duerson
    An NFL safety for 11 years and a four-time Pro Bowler, the Notre Dame graduate at first found post-football business success, but then filed for bankruptcy in 2006, a year after an alleged domestic battery incident cost him his Notre Dame board of trustees seat. Shot himself in February 2011, at age 50; left behind a note stating he pointed the gun at his heart so that his brain might be donated to Boston University for research, which produced a CTE diagnosis three months later.
    Andre Waters
    Spent 12 years in the NFL, mostly with the Philadelphia Eagles, as one of the league’s hardest-hitting safeties before coaching at several colleges for a decade. Shot himself in November 2006, at age 44, after bouts of depression. Boston University analysts compared Waters’ level of brain damage to that of an 85-year-old with early-stage dementia. Waters, during his last pro season in 1995, estimated he had sustained at least 15 concussions.
    Justin Strzelczyk
    Offensive lineman who played nine years for the Steelers, his retirement years were marred by a divorce, drug abuse and worsening bouts of depression and hearing voices. Strzelczyk was 36 when he was killed on Sept. 30, 2004, after plowing his pickup into a tanker truck at the end of a 40-mile police chase in central New York.
    Shane Dronett
    A defensive tackle in the NFL for 10 years on three teams, Dronett, a husband and father of two girls, later descended into paranoia and violence that included pointing a gun at his wife and his mother. Killed himself by gunshot in January 2009, at age 38.
    Chris Henry
    A talented but troubled wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals, Henry was arrested five times in 28 months and was suspended for half of the 2007 NFL season. Died in December 2009 of head injuries after he jumped or fell from a pickup driven by his fiancée while arguing with her. At 26, he is the youngest NFL player to be diagnosed with CTE, although at least one college football player, 21-year-old Owen Thomas of the University of Pennsylvania, was diagnosed with the condition after his suicide in April 2010.
    Wally Hilgenberg
    Played 15 NFL seasons as a linebacker, including 12 years with the Minnesota Vikings. Although he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also called Lou Gehrig’s disease) before dying at age 66 in September 2008, Boston University researchers published a report in 2010 attributing his paralysis and death to repeated head blows during his football career, suggesting the trauma could cause physical rather than mental disability in some patients.
    Online
    Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy
    http://www.bu.edu/cste/
    (Sources: ESPN, Associated Press, New York Times, GQ, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Beaumont (Texas) Enterprise, Boston University)

    This was Steve Hendrickson:
    A bullish running back who joined Napa High's varsity football team as a freshman and became its unquestioned leader. A hard-hitting linebacker at Cal, as comfortable in the classroom as on the AstroTurf of Memorial Stadium. A feisty, fearless human pinball who played five seasons with the Chargers and lasted seven NFL seasons amid faster and taller opponents.
    This is Steve Hendrickson:
    A battered body with an increasingly broken-down mind, his short-term memory disappearing. A father of two unable to work for the last six years, divorced for the past year.
    And a man who fears the sport into which he poured his heart may be shortening his life and dimming his memory.
    "I can remember material I had before the concussions," said Hendrickson, who played for the Chargers from 1990-94 and still lives in Escondido. "Twenty years ago seems so clear to me, but yesterday seems just ---- far away, foggy."
    Through 15 years of running and tackling from high school to the pros, Hendrickson distinguished himself as a man who played far bigger than his sub-6-foot frame.
    Now, the marks left by his football career are apparent to those who see him, and even more to those who know him.
    The square chin, untamed hair and wide shoulders are still there, but so, too, is a flattened nose and a face pale and sallow beyond Hendrickson's 45 years. A knife-like vertical scar slashes across his right knee, the mark of a knee replacement operation so painful he quickly abandoned a similar surgery for his left leg. On his right hand is a ring commemorating the Super Bowl he won with the San Francisco 49ers, the one dot of brightness on his person.
    Perhaps the most subtle signs of Hendrickson's troubles are his gray eyes: narrowed to gunslits, often unfocused, and sometimes drooping when gripped by a deep malaise that can put him to sleep for a week or more.
    It takes a leap of imagination to see in the man the schoolboy who, more than three decades ago, began his climb to the pinnacle of the nation's most popular sport.

    Prep phenom
    In the fall of 1981, the Napa High Indians had won their first seven games, but a rash of injuries had left the team shorthanded and in need of a new linebacker as the playoffs neared.
    Their rescuer would be an unlikely choice: the youngest of eight children, 15 years old, 180 pounds and just promoted from the junior varsity squad. Soon, though, Steve Hendrickson showed an intensity and moxie that immediately won him the starting linebacker post ---- and grabbed his head coach's attention from the first varsity practice.
    "We were running gassers at the end of practice, 20-yard (sprints) back and forth, and Steve was full bore. He was full speed all the time," remembered Les Franco, who coached the Napa football team throughout the 1980s.
    "There was a senior starter who was kind of jogging the gassers, and Steve went and hit him, knocked him down for loafing. And he said to him, 'You're varsity, so start acting like it!' A freshman telling a varsity player to pick up the pace! So we knew we had ourselves a football player, even then."
    Hendrickson helped the Indians reach the postseason and made himself invaluable to the Indians all over the field for the next three seasons ---- as a plow horse of a fullback and the middle linebacker of the Napa defense, even as a kickoff specialist. He was named the Monticello Empire League's player of the year in his last two seasons and made the All-state team as a senior in 1984. His No. 30 remains the only jersey Napa High has ever retired.
    So eager was Hendrickson to stay on the field that he once played the entire second half of a game against Vallejo with a separated shoulder. Even when healthy, he absorbed constant hits running the ball in an option offense in which "you get hit whether you have the ball or not," his coach recalled.
    "His tolerance for pain was off the map," Franco said. "Of all the players I had, I've never had a player who loved the game as much as Steve."
    Hendrickson's accomplishments earned him a football scholarship at Cal, where he developed into a linebacker skilled enough to be chosen for the 1988 Blue-Gray Football Classic and be named the all-star game's best defensive player. The following April, the 49ers selected him in the sixth round of the NFL draft, shortly before he graduated from Cal with a history degree.
    Undersized by NFL standards at 5-foot-10 and a cannonball-like 250 pounds, Hendrickson endured a constant battle to keep his roster spot each summer and find new ways to make himself useful to a team. The 49ers cut him before re-signing him later in 1989 ---- after he had been signed and dropped by the Dallas Cowboys ---- in time for the team's Super Bowl XXIV victory.
    He joined the Chargers in 1990 and was constantly showcasing his versatility. Hendrickson lined up at nine different positions in the first seven games of the 1992 season, including linebacker, fullback, H-back and special teams. That his versatility left him open to even more tackles was something Hendrickson accepted as the price of keeping a place in the big time.
    "I never feel secure," he told the Los Angeles Times midway through the 1992 season. "Most of it comes from being a special teams guy and seeing great special-teams guys in the league get cut or left unprotected."
    Hendrickson played during a time when concussions were not regarded as serious injuries. Coaches and players alike often dismissed the seemingly less-severe hits as "dings" or "getting your bell rung."
    Hendrickson does not recall sustaining any especially jarring hits to his head during his high school days, and Franco, his Napa coach, said he gave the team trainer free rein to bench any player who showed concussion symptoms. But Hendrickson also believes he sustained at least 20 concussions during more than a decade in college and pro ball, some on hits that left him barely able to stand.
    "I remember one time when I realized Bill Bates (of the Dallas Cowboys) was holding me up, so I asked, 'Hey Billy, what's up?' " he recalled. "And he said, 'You got knocked out. I'm holding you up so you don't fall over.' "
    If his name stayed off the league's weekly lists of the injured, Hendrickson said it was because trainers and coaches rarely asked him probing questions.
    "They never even questioned you, and I never questioned it," he said. "They'd tell me how I got (the concussions) but never said it was some bad thing or that I should sit out. And when you cover kickoffs like I did, you'll get a few, especially with the helmets they had then."
    The abandon with which Hendrickson played ---- throwing himself toward ballcarriers or those trying to tackle them ---- earned him suitably forceful nicknames among his teammates: Rocket Head, Madman, Frankie (short for Frankenstein). But his older sister remembers an even more evocative one.
    "They called my brother Brunswick," said Linda J. Lewis, Steve's elder by 21 years. "He was like a bowling ball. He had no fear. And he got hurt a lot."
    Job failures after football
    Hendrickson played all 16 games in helping the Chargers reach the Super Bowl after the 1994 season. But 1995 was his final NFL season.
    With his playing career finished and not yet 30 years old, Hendrickson involved himself in activities including a multimedia company and a youth football camp. By his late 30s, Hendrickson's family began sensing ominous changes. His memory was starting to slip; he had more trouble concentrating; and his job opportunities became fewer and shorter-lived.
    "I know I had a large vocabulary, but now I had a hard time reaching for it. That's how I know something was wrong," he said of that period. "And then I'd get in these states where I'd be comatose two or three days, unable to move."
    Soon after Hendrickson received a job arranged by former Chargers teammate John Carney, Lewis got an alarmed phone call one evening.
    "He did really fine for three days and then all of a sudden, John calls me and says, 'He didn't show!' " she said. "So I called Steve and he said '(expletive), I forgot to go!' I asked where he was at and he said, 'I'm at the movies.' "
    The breaking point came in 2006 when Hendrickson found work as a soil specialist, only to have his new job fall apart within days. Tasks he learned one day would flee his brain the next ---- if extreme fatigue didn't confine him to bed first.
    "They would train me on one thing one day, and then they'd have to retrain me on the same thing the next day ---- and I would swear to God they'd never showed me or taught me that," he said. "But there were some things that I'd retain. I was one of the only guys they had who passed the materials testing. And then I'd go out in the field and completely forget the process ---- even if it was written down."
    Unable to keep a job, Hendrickson applied for disability payments from the NFL's pension program. But he described the process as a long and frustrating battle with the plan's board that evaluates a player's applications.
    The Social Security Administration accepted Hendrickson's disability claim after doctors at Cal State Northridge diagnosed him with trauma-related brain damage in 2007. He has collected about $36,000 annually from the league's pension plan, but because the pension program's board classified him as disabled by "non-football" causes, he's ineligible for the higher annual payment to which those with football-related disabilities are entitled.
    A new plan that took effect last September raises the payment to $50,000 a year for Hendrickson and other ex-players at the same benefit level.
    "What did I do for the last 20 years, roll down the stairs without a helmet?" he quipped.
    The retirement years of players like Hendrickson are playing out against the backdrop of heightened scrutiny of the possible links between repeated football head injuries and dementia and cognitive decline in later life.
    In the decade since neuropathologists at the University of Pittsburgh and Boston University began diagnosing deceased players with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) ---- brain damage from the accumulation of toxic, cell-killing proteins ---- 18 NFL veterans have been identified with the condition.
    Meanwhile, more than 2,400 ex-players, spouses and players' estates have become plaintiffs in more than 80 lawsuits accusing the NFL of hiding the long-term effects of concussions for decades, a charge league spokesmen have denied. Plaintiffs' lawyers seek to unite most of the cases into a class-action suit to be heard in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia.
    As of mid-June, Hendrickson's name was not among those listed in the court papers.
    "It would be nice if the NFL wouldn't make us jump through these hoops," he said. "If someone has a brain disability, they have to fill out all this paperwork (to get disability payments). Well, what's the one thing that's a very difficult task? These mundane tasks of filling out specific things, having the paperwork and organizing it. Those are the skills you lose."
    The possibility of football-induced brain damage hangs over at least two of Hendrickson's Chargers teammates, including Junior Seau, who committed suicide May 2 after a Hall of Fame-caliber 20-year NFL career. Another teammate, center Curtis Whitley, was diagnosed with CTE after his death from a drug overdose in May 2008 at age 39.
    Much of the news coverage in the wake of Seau's death focused on whether his episodes of erratic behavior after his retirement ---- including a 2010 incident in which he drove his truck off a Carlsbad cliff ---- might have been signs of encroaching brain damage stemming from concussions.
    "I was in shock when he died," Hendrickson said of Seau, "but I knew from the beginning it was suicide."

    Family rallies in support
    It was, at first glance, a relaxed family gathering, a time for relatives to catch up. Hendrickson had driven up from his Escondido home to Napa in the last week of May to spend time with his older sister, greet his 19-year-old daughter, Courtney, on her return from the Cal field hockey team's tour of South America, and visit his mother, Bev, who was widowed two years ago.
    But Bev mostly looked on from a recliner in her living room, largely silenced by dementia. And chatting from a nearby sofa, Hendrickson, seemingly labored with fatigue in the late afternoon, wondered if his condition might be harder on his loved ones than himself.
    "You look at the guys who did stupid stuff or the guys who straight-up killed themselves like Junior Seau: nobody sane does that," he said. "A lot of the time it's hard to diagnose, because you're smarter or you're too proud and you're not going to admit to it. The people that know it are your family, like my daughter. Those are the people who live it, and they know it more than us. Some of the time, we don't even know what we're doing or saying."
    As Hendrickson took a few minutes' pause outside, Courtney, who recently completed her sophomore year at Cal, shared her memories with a surprisingly good humor ---- at first.
    "Growing up it was like, 'Ugh, he's in one of those moods again. I don't want to be around him,' " she said. "Then the next day he'd be making eggs and French toast and I'd be going, 'Oh, my dad's back! Long time, no see! Where have you been?'
    "I didn't really understand what was going on. I thought it was just him being an (expletive). For example, I can tell when he's in a weird funk. His face seems to change, his habits change. He'll sleep all the time. It's like he's being run by his hypothalamus, because he's only driven by the basic needs to survive. He'll just sleep and eat, and that's about it."
    A high schooler when her father was diagnosed, Courtney found the knowledge of his condition a blessing and curse, replacing uncertainty by growing fear.
    "We finally knew what was going on, but at the same time, it's terrifying," she said. "Ignorance is bliss sometimes. (At first) you think it's something wrong with his personality, but when it's something wrong with your brain, it's ... not exactly settling," she said, her voice growing quiet.
    And what does she feel thinking about the condition her father might be in five years or 10? Whatever mask of stoicism Courtney still had, suddenly fell away from her reddened face as the tears welled.
    "It's something I can't think about," she whispered as her aunt held her in her right arm. Patting her niece's shoulder, Lewis answered: "I know. I understand. I've been watching it, too."
    For all his awareness of his decline, Hendrickson, in a sad way, may be the luckier one, his sister said.
    "He doesn't address it is the problem. It's not in his real world," Lewis told her niece. "It's in my real world, and it's in your real world because we see it. But he doesn't address it because it's not in his world. He's found somewhere, a safe zone, that he's put himself in, that he feels safe there."
    Was it worth it?
    "Living the life, it wasn't a great life," Lewis said. "You're a piece of meat, there one day and gone the next. And it might cost you your brain."
     
  2. boltfanatik

    boltfanatik Toxic Minority Member

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  3. Dublin Bolt

    Dublin Bolt BoltTalker

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    OMFG... I remember him. And he is only 46, wow. Looks over 60. That can't be him surely?. F me.
     
  4. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    It's a sad story, to be sure. and only one of many.

    I realize that these guys choose to play the game, but what a stiff price to pay. :(
     
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  5. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    What pisses me off is the NFL declining benefits for the guys who really need them by saying their head injuries are "non-football related". It's such total bullshit. There is money and assistance there for these guys and they're being denied access to it. Retired players and their families deserve to be treated better than that.
     
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  6. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    I definitely agree that the NFL should take better care of their former players in general, but I think there's a cutoff where you have to remember that the NFL is a for-profit business and not a charity.
     
  7. Sandolf

    Sandolf Blue Moon Rising

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    There is always going to be a potential risk in contact sports. In motor sports there are even the opportunities that arise where a competitor can be killed through the aggression of another. Why does this not happen more frequently? One could argue that the standards of safety have improved. But I believe it goes further than that. It is an educational process where respect for the well being of an opponent is taught and emphasized throughout one's career.

    Hockey is making some inroads in this regard. The NHLPA and the League are trying to impress upon their "workers" that you do not take away the livelihood of another through reckless behavior. BUT... as long as the hits are being glorified down at the small child level... this behavioral pattern becomes more and more difficult to reverse as the player grows older.

    Rules changes, equipment, medicine and pensions may treat the symptoms. The attitudes are the cause. What manifests itself into the New Orleans Saints situation is the effect. Start by educating players from the very beginning to respect their fellow humans instead of granting praise for inflicting pain.
     
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  8. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    It doesn't necesarily come down to a case of attempting to inflict pain. It's a simple case of physics. A heavy object, moving at high speed will have a large impulse when it is suddenly accelerated in a different direction. No malice whatsoever is required for injuries of this type to occur.
     
  9. Sandolf

    Sandolf Blue Moon Rising

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    Hence the risk potential I stated in the very first sentence. :whistling:
     
  10. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    You stated a risk potential, then went on to describe in 2 paragraphs how the culture of violence which takes root in the early stages of the game is perpetuated to the professional level, and how teaching different attitudes is a solution to the problem.

    This is a false argument, as the only solution to the problem is to not play the game, as the game is inherently violent.
     
  11. Sandolf

    Sandolf Blue Moon Rising

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    If you are one of those who deals in absolutes, there is no point in conversing with you. The game can and must evolve into a spectacle less violent. There are precedents in other sports, so do not tell me it cannot be done. It is a longer term progression. But indeed the players will have to take some responsibility for what they are inflicting upon each other. It was you that said compensating victims (with charity) is not financially viable. What would you propose?
     
  12. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    It is truly a tough situation all the way around and the only way to completely protect the participants is to ban the game. Hard physical contact is the allure to the game, remove it and you might as well be playing hide and go seek.
     
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  13. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    The players accept an element of risk when they play the game. Whether you take malice out of the game or not, you will still have (largely) the same number of injuries, both short term and chronic to the players. I did not say that compensating former players wasn't financially viable, I said that it had its limits. Ultimately, anyone who straps on a helmet for an extended period of time, especially at the college/NFL level is accepting the inherent risks in so doing. The game will never be less violent because the ultimate objective of the game is violence. As long as it is tackle football, it will be a violent game. You might see different injuries occuring with a greater degree of frequency in response to new rules emphases, however the injuries, likely inclusively those to the brain, will remain. The best actions, which have already been taken by the league, are to outlaw spearing/helmet to helmet hits and to require the presence of concussion experts at games (while giving them access to replays to make assessments). The NFL has 1 remaining unfilfilled safety measure which they could enact, which would be mandating a certain type of helmet.
     
  14. Sandolf

    Sandolf Blue Moon Rising

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    Well let me see. Formula One can ban turbo chargers. Limit displacement to three liters. Mandate eight cylinders instead of twelve. Create carbon fiber cockpits. Make the HANS device mandatory... (which probably would have saved the life of a certain NASCAR legend). And you say all the NFL can do is improve helmets? :D

    hahaha... That flies in the face of good old American know how! :laugh:
     
  15. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    I suppose you find no disparity whatsoever in the differences between altering performance/safety characteristics of a vehicle and those of a human being. I suppose your assertion would be a good idea if football was played while inside of a mechanized exoskeleton...
     
  16. Sandolf

    Sandolf Blue Moon Rising

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    Well enough main board mud balling for one day. Ikeman... go watch a rugby match. The only thing there separating these players from an epidemic of mass dementia is mutual respect. It can be done.
     
  17. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Kids would love it. ;)
     
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  18. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    I've said it before....... hard shells invite violent collisions. Take away the armor, and you'll get a change of culture.
     
  19. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    They also don't wear protective gear. Would you like to remove all protective gear from the game of Football? I think that's an entirely different discussion. As far as mutual respect being the only thing separating those players from an epidemic of mass dementia being mutual respect, I imagine that concern over their personal well-being is as much of a factor if not more. The feeling of relative safety afforded by pads and a helmet is clearly being underestimated on your part.
     
  20. Sandolf

    Sandolf Blue Moon Rising

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    Hmmmnnn.



    [​IMG]

    A pause for thought. :)


    [​IMG]
     
  21. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    I don't think giving retired players the benefits they have earned is charity. These benefits already exist and are supposed to used for guys just like Hendrickson, but they're not. It's a big problem and has been for a long time.

    The man suffers from a debilitating condition caused by playing pro-football and the NFL is denying him help by saying his condition is not caused by football. They aren't denying him because he's past any cutoff point and looking for a hand-out. It's despicable.
     
  22. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    Looks to me like he's getting his 50k.

    Giving the players what they've earned is obviously not charity. However, if I choose to enter a profession, knowing that it's dangerous, I don't think that I should be able to sue my employer for additional benefits, on the basis that I've been additionally affected.
     
  23. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    And if those guys get hit in the face by someone else's head/knee/heel they'll get a concussion. Good solution.
     
  24. Sandolf

    Sandolf Blue Moon Rising

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    You're obviously having difficulty following along... or you just like to argue. Have a good time. Pop another Flenburger for me too.
     
  25. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    You're trying to present solutions for the problem of CTE. You present solutions which aren't better than the solutions which the NFL has currently implemented. This isn't a failure in comprehension, it's an absence of anything worth adjusting our viewpoints over.
     
  26. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    Safety should be the first item on the NFL's priority list and no expense spared on head trauma protection. Other sports like racing, jump on safety and improvement immediately when injury or death occur. It seems to me that the NFL leave this important topic up to people outside the game and keep all their facts and medical documentation away from those who may be able to help. JMHO.
     
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  27. Blue Bolt

    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    There are better helmet designs out there. The NFL can't really claim they are doing there upmost for player safety. If you eliminated the hard shell, players wouldn't lead with their heads, believe me.
     
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  28. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    Ratings:
    +408
    Imagine that.

    The choice between safety & entertainment is a false dichotomy, much as it was in ancient Rome.

    Hide and seek would find a fan base if it were marketed properly. Think paintball.
     
  29. Sydalish

    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    Messages:
    4,551
    Ratings:
    +1,807
    He's not asking for additional or special benefits. He's asking for the benefits he earned and was promised which are being denied.

    The lawsuits against the NFL are happening not only b/c the NFL has a nasty habit of denying former players who should qualify for disability benefits via their pension (something they were PROMISED by the NFL via a contract, not something they are requesting in hindsight)... but also because there is (at least) some proof that the NFL knew about the negative long-term effects football can cause on the brain before it became widely recognized and hid it. If the NFL was keeping that new medical information from it's players, how could they be expected to make informed decisions on whether or not the risks outweighed the rewards?
     
  30. Ikeman83

    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Messages:
    2,470
    Ratings:
    +629


    Am I misreading this, or is he now not currently receiving the same 50k a year that other players with disabilities receive?
     

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