American football is an electrifying game that requires a great amount of hard, passionate work from its players. Fans across the nation support and stand behind their team as they watch the season progress and teams’ destinies unfold. Along with the glorifying effects of this sport, football brings a very violent nature to the sports world.
Every play there are collisions between finely tuned athletes playing with passion. These collisions are a part of the sport, but can manifest many harmful injuries.
Lately, concussions have been the main talk of the NFL’s concerns, and with great reason. This head injury should not be taken lightly for it leaves a player with dire effects.Effects that could include: dizziness, anxiety, memory problems, and irritability all can take place after diagnosis. What is also scary are the cumulative effects such as a five times greater chance if developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Rodger Goodell and the NFL have revised the policy in many different ways, most importantly the return-to-action policy.
"The player should not be considered for return-to-football activities until he is fully asymptomatic, both at rest and after exertion, has a normal neurological examination, normal neuropsychological testing, and has been cleared to return by both his team physician(s) and the independent neurological consultant," the policy states.
Although the policy states this, many teams still send players back into the game. Recently in NFL’s week 1 action of the Green Bay Packers vs. the Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia’s Middle Linebacker, Stewart Bradley, went head first into teammate, Ernie Sims', right leg while trying to make a tackle on ball carrier, Greg Jennings. After the play Stewart Bradley appeared to have been knocked-out by the heavyweight champion of the world because of his wooziness stature and falling back down to the ground where surrounding players immediately called for the athletic trainers.
Yet to the audiences’ surprise, Stewart Bradley was back in the game during the second half even though just a quarter earlier he could not even stand up.
In the same week one match up, Philadelphia Eagles' Quarterback, Kevin Kolb, got up slow after having his head skid across the field on a come from behind tackle by Green Bay Linebacker, Clay Matthews. Yet before the end of the half, he was allowed back into the game before eventually being taken out in the second half.
How is this possible under the “new” and “improved” policy? If the NFL were really worried about the concussion problem, there would be more of a lock-down on each team.
Players with successive concussions should be on a short leash. It has been proved that continuous head injuries can cause more severe effects. This would include players such as Washington Redskins Running Back, Clinton Portis, and now recently acquired Brian Westbrook of the San Francisco 49ers. Both great people and players but are vulnerable to future health issues because of their glory days in football.
With the power and money that the NFL has, would it be possible to have each team monitored closely on how they handle concussed players. We have witnessed how even the most obvious of cases (Stewart Bradley) can be missed whether on purpose or not.