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Old 01-10-2013, 05:18 AM   #1
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Default Junior Seau had a broke brain


Doctors: Junior Seau's brain had CTE


Updated: January 10, 2013, 7:11 AM ET
By Mark Fainaru-Wada, Jim Avila and Steve Fainaru | ESPN.com

SAN DIEGO -- Junior Seau, who committed suicide last May, two years after retiring as one of the premier linebackers in NFL history, suffered from the type of chronic brain damage that also has been found in dozens of deceased former players, five brain specialists consulted by the National Institutes of Health concluded.

Seau's ex-wife, Gina, and his oldest son Tyler, 23, told ABC News and ESPN in an exclusive interview they were informed last week that Seau's brain had tested positive for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease that can lead to dementia, memory loss and depression.

More on OTL, World News

Additional coverage of this story will be available on Outside The Lines, 3 p.m. ET on ESPN, and on World News with Diane Sawyer, 6:30 p.m. ET, on your local ABC television network station.

"I think it's important for everyone to know that Junior did indeed suffer from CTE," Gina Seau said. "It's important that we take steps to help these players. We certainly don't want to see anything like this happen again to any of our athletes."

She said the family was told that Seau's disease resulted from "a lot of head-to-head collisions over the course of 20 years of playing in the NFL. And that it gradually, you know, developed the deterioration of his brain and his ability to think logically."

CTE is a progressive disease associated with repeated head trauma. Although long known to occur in boxers, it was not discovered in football players until 2005. Researchers at Boston University recently confirmed 50 cases of CTE in former football players, including 33 who played in the NFL.

Seau shot himself in the heart May 2. His death stunned not only the football world but also his hometown, San Diego, where he played the first 13 years of his 20-year career. Seau led the Chargers to their first and only Super Bowl appearance and became a beloved figure in the community.

Junior Seau played for three teams but never was described as having suffered a concussion.

Within hours of Seau's death, Tyler Seau said he received calls from researchers hoping to secure his father's brain for study. The family ultimately chose the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C., to oversee the research.

For rest of article: http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/...otball-players



Crossroads

ESPN's cross-platform series, "Football at a Crossroads," examines health issues surrounding football at all levels of the sport, from youth football, high school and college football, through semipro and professional football.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:21 AM   #2
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Remember that helmet Mark Kelso of the Bills used to wear? There has to be better helmets available to stop some of these concussions.

EDIT:

Last edited by Bacchus; 01-10-2013 at 05:24 AM..
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:50 AM   #3
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Hopefully they develop better equipment & these new rules help.
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:56 AM   #4
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Remember that helmet Mark Kelso of the Bills used to wear? There has to be better helmets available to stop some of these concussions.

EDIT:
They run into a problem where helmets have a tough time doing two things at the same time.

If you make it protect from catastrophic collisions the helmets don't perform as well on the lower impact collisions and the players get more damage from many small hits to the brain.

If you make the helmet great for the normal NFL hits then they don't perform as well for the big huge hit and you maybe get a player seriously brain injured.

Really there is only one solution. Players will need to buy big time insurance or work out a plan with the union and owners to create a fund. Then unfortunately if a player gets too many concussions they may have to say your career is over in the NFL because it's not safe for you to play. Then if player diagnosed with that and ended maybe they have a big fund and he gets a severance pay or something. It would be a formula based on yrs played and how much money you made a yr i guess. Or maybe just a set rate or something.

I'm not saying this idea would work just throwing it out there. But I know what won't work and that just letting the NFL get sued every time a player commits suicide etc etc. If the sport really killing players then they will have to think at what age should kids even start playing.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:04 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bacchus View Post
Remember that helmet Mark Kelso of the Bills used to wear? There has to be better helmets available to stop some of these concussions.

EDIT:
Despite the NFLs PR campaign, Helmets are largely ineffective at preventing concussions. They are very good at preventing cracked skulls, which is what they were originally intended to prevent. They also protect against abrasions, and cuts. But many concussions are the result of rapid (as in almost instantaneous) acceleration and deceleration of the head, resulting in internal trauma. Helmets can't protect against this type of injury nearly as well as we would like.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:50 AM   #6
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I wonder if these issues had any reasoning in his son picking lacrosse over football (he's a stud lacrosse player).
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:59 AM   #7
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I wonder if these issues had any reasoning in his son picking lacrosse over football (he's a stud lacrosse player).
I'm sure nobody has ever gotten a concussion playing lax
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:04 AM   #8
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I wonder if these issues had any reasoning in his son picking lacrosse over football (he's a stud lacrosse player).
It did. He was good at football but says why risk giving up Lacrosse for football after seeing the effects on his Dad.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:27 AM   #9
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They need Jack in the Box head style helmets, filled with a soft to gradually medium ply foam rubber to slowly decelerate the head when it impacts anything. Less jarring of the old noggin' less brain trauma!
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:31 AM   #10
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There's only one way to cure a "broke" brain: give it money.

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Old 01-10-2013, 09:59 AM   #11
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That seems like it justifies offing yourself.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:00 AM   #12
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Gotta implement these, pronto:

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Old 01-10-2013, 10:45 AM   #13
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Honestly his brain was working good enough to have the frame of mind to shoot himself in the chest.

I'm sorry but these head injuries aren't a big deal to me. No one makes these guys play football. They are compensated well for doing a line of work that will affect them the rest of their lives. Scared of being hurt, hit or having pain later in life, than football isn't for you.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:55 AM   #14
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I'm sure nobody has ever gotten a concussion playing lax
I've gotten several of them but the head hitting is considerably less than in Football.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:28 AM   #15
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Honestly his brain was working good enough to have the frame of mind to shoot himself in the chest.

I'm sorry but these head injuries aren't a big deal to me. No one makes these guys play football. They are compensated well for doing a line of work that will affect them the rest of their lives. Scared of being hurt, hit or having pain later in life, than football isn't for you.

I think you are missing the point. You may not care one way or another about these players welfare, but as more and more knowledge gets out there, an increasing number of fans are going to feel uncomfortable with grown men, many plucked from underprivileged areas, braining themselves to death for nothing more than mere amusement of the masses.

Once again, I get that you don't care. But you alone do not fund the multi-billion dollar enterprise that is the NFL. The NFL has to worry about turning off fans who may begin to feel they are effectively cheering a bloodsport.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:50 AM   #16
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I think you are missing the point. You may not care one way or another about these players welfare, but as more and more knowledge gets out there, an increasing number of fans are going to feel uncomfortable with grown men, many plucked from underprivileged areas, braining themselves to death for nothing more than mere amusement of the masses.

Once again, I get that you don't care. But you alone do not fund the multi-billion dollar enterprise that is the NFL. The NFL has to worry about turning off fans who may begin to feel they are effectively cheering a bloodsport.

I wonder how come nobody is whining in boxing, UFC or MMA?
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:59 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Bacchus View Post
Remember that helmet Mark Kelso of the Bills used to wear? There has to be better helmets available to stop some of these concussions.

EDIT:
http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/tec...ns-in-football
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:59 AM   #18
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I think you are missing the point. You may not care one way or another about these players welfare, but as more and more knowledge gets out there, an increasing number of fans are going to feel uncomfortable with grown men, many plucked from underprivileged areas, braining themselves to death for nothing more than mere amusement of the masses.

Once again, I get that you don't care. But you alone do not fund the multi-billion dollar enterprise that is the NFL. The NFL has to worry about turning off fans who may begin to feel they are effectively cheering a bloodsport.
You talk like I want to see injuries. But that isn't the truth. Injuries come with the territory. And like it or not humanity loves violent competition. Look at the NFL. Deacon Jones, Jack Lambert, Jack Tatum, John Lynch, Atwater, Romanowski all guys who were vicious hitters some of whom were dirty were loved by fans. We're a society that watched Ali get punched into dementia. Hell go back to ancient Rome with the gladiators.

For the most part most don't care. They look at it as part of the job. The spectacle gives these guys fame fortune and glory and a cost for that is pain and injury. It isn't the fans worry that is making these stories a big deal. It's the players who want more money and the league looking for ways to prevent future payouts.

If a guy who willingly juggles chainsaws loses a limb no one feels sorry for that guy. His profession of choice was dangerous and he knew the risks.

No one makes these guys play football. It is their choice and they know the risks. Why should we feel sorry?

Boxing, UFC, hockey are all contact sports that don't have as big of notice about similar injuries. Why no b****ing in those sports?

Last edited by BroncoMan4ever; 01-10-2013 at 12:02 PM..
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:02 PM   #19
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I wonder how come nobody is whining in boxing, UFC or MMA?
They did, at least with boxing. Compare the percentage of High Schools with boxing programs from the 60's to today. There are many reasons for Boxing falling from its former lofty position as one of the top 3 sports in North America, but the distaste for its violence played a factor. UFC and MMA aren't even close to as mainstream as the NFL. They can continue to survive on and build their demographic. Conversely the NFL has to maintain its demo and find a way to play both ends as much as possible to maintain position as the market leader. They can't eliminate the violence of the game as that would turn off fans who enjoy that aspect. But they also have to reassure the more conscientious fans that we are not Plebeians cheering for the deaths of the Gladiators. This later task will become more and more difficult as more information regarding concussions and their long term health effects becomes available.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:16 PM   #20
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There's a really good article in Popular Science about helmets and different options. If you are really interested in learning more this has some really fascinating bits. A long read but good. http://www.popsci.com/science/articl...protect-us-all
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:17 PM   #21
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You talk like I want to see injuries. But that isn't the truth. Injuries come with the territory. And like it or not humanity loves violent competition. Look at the NFL.
I am looking at the NFL. And I'm seeing that its popularity increase coincided more a rise of prolific and entertaining offenses than it did with increased violence of the sport.

I don't think you want to see injuries. Few true fans do. But I know that you don't care if a player is injured because you feel the average compensation an NFL player receives is more than enough to justify the inherent risks. Fair enough. Some people don't feel that way and the NFL is closely monitoring this group to make sure it doesn't eventually affect their bottom line.

As I mentioned earlier, the NFL isn't like Hockey, UFC, Boxing, or the MMA. Its popularity is largely confined to one Continent and does not maintain itself by marketing to a very specific and devoted fanbase. The NFL is mainstream and thus must balance the tendencies of multiple disparate demographics in order to maintain its current market share. Unlike the UFC and the MMA, the NFL knows that there are not that many remaining growth sectors for the sport. That is why they are so desperately trying to expand overseas and get other nations interested. But, until they can find a way to expand, they have to focus on retention of their current fan base. That means finding a way to maintain the level of violence a certain demographic enjoys, without letting it escalate to the point that another demographic is put off.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:38 PM   #22
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As counterintuitive as it sounds, it would probably increase safety to do away with helmets and even most padding all together. Think about it. It is precisely because of the protection provided by helmets and padding that defenders feel safe in launching their bodies at an offensive player to begin with. Do you think someone with no helmet or shoulder pads would launch head first at another player? It might increase bad scrapes and scratches and busted teeth, but I suspect you would see a descrease in concussions and the type of brain trauma that is the result of high impact hits.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:59 PM   #23
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Honestly his brain was working good enough to have the frame of mind to shoot himself in the chest.

I'm sorry but these head injuries aren't a big deal to me. No one makes these guys play football. They are compensated well for doing a line of work that will affect them the rest of their lives. Scared of being hurt, hit or having pain later in life, than football isn't for you.
I empathize with these men, and more importantly their families.

But you are correct- football, and the physics of the game are undenaible, concussion are part of the program. While I think trying cut done on viscious helmet to helmet hits is a good idea, its the problem of cumlative concussive issues that is the real problem. Just because you were not knocked out cold does nto mean you were not concussed... heck,lineman bumps heads on every single play... every one... you tell me when 360lb meets 300lb from time to time there is not noodle smacking against the skull... forget about it!

The really smart ones get drafted, sign a ice contract, and retire after their rookie deal expires... if you want have a banged up brain, then by all means play 16 seasons in the NFL....

But they know the risks... so be it
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:08 PM   #24
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Yet another reason to become a kicker or punter.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:29 PM   #25
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They are currently working on making helmets with non-Newtonian fluid padding, essentially the padding will be a viscous fluid under soft collisions providing excellent energy absorption just like an air bag or crumble zone in a car does to protect what is inside. Under hard collisions the liquid becomes solid and forms an impenetrable barrier protecting the skull by distributing the energy as much as possible to prevent point of impact damages such as hemorrhaging and skull fractures.

For an example of the technology you can google "walking on custard".

Helmets have come a long way in the last 30 years and will have come a lot further in the next 30, it is tragic that so many good men have to suffer horribly, but the technology doesn't exist yet to protect them from themselves and people like them.
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