A cautionary tale in the NY Times:
The rate of diagnosed clinical depression among retired National Football League players is strongly correlated with the number of concussions they sustained, according to a study to be published today.
The study was conducted by the University of North Carolina’s Center for the Study of Retired Athletes and based on a general health survey of 2,552 retired N.F.L. players. It corroborates other findings regarding brain trauma and later-life depression in other subsets of the general population, but runs counter to longtime assertions by the N.F.L. that concussions in football have no long-term effects.
As the most comprehensive study of football players to date, the paper will add to the escalating debate over the effects of and proper approach to football-related concussions.
As a diehard Steelers fan, the first thing I thought of when I read this was the sad, sad tale of Mike Webster, one of the greatest centers in the history of the game (if not the greatest). The author also reaffirmed that it is reasonable to hate Bill Belichick, the whiniest, most obnoxious piece of excrement in the NFL this side of Al Davis and Bill Romanowski:
In January, a neuropathologist claimed that repeated concussions likely contributed to the November suicide of the former Philadelphia Eagles player Andre Waters. Three weeks later, the former New England Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson not only revealed that his significant depression and cognitive decline had been linked by a neurologist to on-field concussions, but also claimed that his most damaging concussion had been sustained after his coach, Bill Belichick, coerced him into practicing against the advice of team doctors.
It is safe to say that I feel the same way about Belichick doing this to his players as my UGA graduate mother feels about one of footballs other greatest villains and serial abusers of players, Bear Bryant.