Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Concussions in sports have become far too common, and are hurting players' chances at not only playing again, but also at living normal lives. Trent Green of the Miami Dolphins is the latest casualty. Sources say he sustained a grade 3 concussion in his game against the Houston Texans on Sunday. A grade three concussion means Green lost consciousness for more than five minutes, and had amnesia for 24 hours or more after the incident. He did fly back to Miami on the team plane, which is positive news, but he may miss the rest of the season as team doctors take all precautions that they can. After all, Green's life is more important than a football game.

When it happens to professionals, it is often because enormous, muscular athletes collide at such high speeds. In Green's case, it was because he was kneed in the head at top speed by a very large man. But in high school games across the country, young athletes are getting concussions as well. One reason for the rash of concussions, at least in high school athletics, may be that helmets don't fit properly. Another reason may be that young athletes don't fully understand the consequences of playing with a concussion, refuse to tell the coach they have had one, and continue to play, at risk for another, more serious head trauma. Whatever the reason, the only real way to curb the trend is by educating people on the dangers of a concussion. Hopefully they get the message before it is too late.


Megan Eaton said...

So because head injuries relating to sports have been so prevelant in the news lately, this is a really good story to cover! I like the link that takes you to explanations of a concussion and how they relate to sports. I also like the articles that give specific examples of what you are talking about!

Sujata Khandelwal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sujata Khandelwal said...

I am by no means a major sports fan, but this story was interesting. I know recently more players have sustained severe injuries. I learned quite a few things from the link to 'grade three concussion.' The website describes exactly the types of impacts that may severly injure or kill an athlete.

It is sad to read about the lengths players will go to stay in the game.

Kristin Gold said...

Following your last link, that players really don't understand that playing with a concussion is serious, I found the interesting NY Times article. The interactive map next to the article shows the deaths and serious head injuries from 1997 to the present. I found that none of these high school head injuries/deaths have occured in New York. In the big high school football states of Texas and Ohio only eight injuries/deaths have occured between the two powerhouses. I find it interesting that in a state like California, which is a powerhouse in sports like waterpolo and baseball, has the most instances of serious head injuries/deaths from football with eleven. Are some states doing a better job than others of teaching the right tackle techniques to prevent head injury? Are players in these states more likely to tell their coaches when they're hurt, thus reducing further risk to injury? Or is it all bad luck?

Ted Johnsen said...


This is a solid piece. I actually never thought that players' helmets may not be fitting them properly. I just always assumed that coaches and trainers were competant enough to figure that out for themselves.

If I were a parent and my son were in football, I would be checking their helmet immediately! The link to the webmd site lays down how to make sure the helmet fits correctly and isn't too big. This is a great link, and one that could prevent further serious injuries.

Good work