FEARLESS 2019, Round 16 – Concussion: should the AFL be worried?

Hi all, the answer in short form is yes. If we tally up the dollars spent on frontier teams Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney, then it’d be fair to say that we have a need for a new frontier team called ‘concussion’. It will cost the AFL a sizeable amount of money if past and current players get renumerated for the impact of concussion. A class action is already underway, albeit in its infancy.
Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is the findings of Dr Bennet Omalu, medical science researcher, played by Will Smith, Hollywood acting icon, in the movie Concussion. Omalu’s findings weren’t overly enjoyed by the NFL which oversees the sport of American Football (Gridiron – for the uninitiated). As per the Google search, CTE is defined as such: a brain condition associated with repeated blows to the head. It is also associated with the development of dementia. Potential signs of CTE are problems with thinking and memory, personal changes, and behavioural changes including aggression and depression.
In the AFL, Patty McCartin may yet be the most important number 1 draft pick for reasons associated with concussion. Much to the disappointment of Saints fans and the AFL world in general, Patty might never play the game again and said in a recent interview that he struggles with even simple tasks like going to the supermarket.
Indeed at the lower leagues, the effects of concussion are debated and explored even by parents and clubs alike. The value of helmets on players likewise.
I personally know of a 12-year-old footy player who had to retire because of three repeat concussions. The parents were doing the right thing by the boy and, with luck, there will be no long term effects. It’s hard though…try to tell a 12yo not to do anything ever again, particularly something they love and are good at.
I guess we’ll know with the passage of time how this plays out.

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  2. Rabid Dog says

    More holes in this preamble than a Swiss cheese.

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