Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I Wonder If They'll, Ah, Hmm, Err, Remember?

It's always been ridiculous that the NFL has denied any long term cognitive consequences to the rate of concussions among its players. Finally. a study shows just how bad it is.
A study commissioned by the National Football League reports that Alzheimer’s disease or similar memory-related diseases appear to have been diagnosed in the league’s former players vastly more often than in the national population — including a rate of 19 times the normal rate for men ages 30 through 49.
Of course, the NFL, an entertainment group that focuses on teamwork, on individual responsibility, on team/ownership responsibility, refuses to take responsibility for the health of its players. It would be comical if it weren't so tragic, so evil in intent & result.
An N.F.L. spokesman, Greg Aiello, said in an e-mail message that the study did not formally diagnose dementia, that it was subject to shortcomings of telephone surveys and that “there are thousands of retired players who do not have memory problems.”

Memory disorders affect many people who never played football or other sports,” Mr. Aiello said. “We are trying to understand it as it relates to our retired players.”
Those inane responses sure have me convinced  that concussions are a lot like having sex without using a rubber, perfectly safe & subject to interpretaion, study, & denial. Not really, of course. A lot of people get syphilis, (36,000 Americans in 2006) but if you wear a condom, practice safe sex, & are careful about partners, you won't get syphilis. It's a disease that is easily cured in its early stages. A problem diagnosed in its early stages is almost always treatable, or, in the case of concussions, preventable. Why does the NFL put its players at such risk? Glad you asked, as usual, money trumps an individual's health, her life, her family. Enough to make a person sick or demented. My emphases.


nonheroicvet said...

The saddest case I can think of may be that of Lionel Aldridge who played for the packers in the 60's. He went on to become a sportscaster in Milwaukee (and a pretty good one) and gradually went down hill until one day he died while living in a cardboard box somewhere.

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