WBEZ | concussions http://www.wbez.org/tags/concussions Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: Media myths and misperceptions surround Chicago violence http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-11-26/morning-shift-media-myths-and-misperceptions-surround <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/PhilCLogo.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago has been called the nation&#39;s &quot;murder capital&quot; - but the title isn&#39;t really accurate. WBEZ&rsquo;s Natalie Moore and Dr. Rosalind Blasingame-Buford of BUILD, Inc. break down the myths and the national perceptions of violence in Chicago.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-48/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-48.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-48" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Media myths and misperceptions surround Chicago violence" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Tue, 26 Nov 2013 08:37:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-11-26/morning-shift-media-myths-and-misperceptions-surround Bears fans react to debate over concussions http://www.wbez.org/news/bears-fans-react-debate-over-concussions-108905 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/flickr_mikemorbeck.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A senior football player at Lane Tech high school <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-10-10/news/chi-injured-lane-tech-players-family-to-attend-game-20131010_1_waiting-game-sister-critical-condition">remains in critical condition today</a> after suffering a severe head injury at last Friday&rsquo;s game.</p><p>It&rsquo;s the latest, and perhaps most local, in a string of news stories about football-related brain injuries.</p><p>On Tuesday, PBS FRONTLINE began airing a much-anticipated documentary, called<em> <a href="http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/league-of-denial/">League of Denial</a></em>, based on a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/League-Denial-Concussions-Battle-Truth-ebook/dp/B00DXKJ6IQ">book</a> by the same name, about football&rsquo;s connection to long-term brain damage.</p><p><a href="http://www.nj.com/giants/index.ssf/2013/10/league_of_denial_documentary_is_a_cautionary_tale_for_every_parent_and_should_give_pause_to_every_nf.html">Some</a> <a href="http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1803918-league-of-denial-strikes-at-the-heart-of-the-nfl-and-football-as-we-know-it">say</a> the documentary, and the companion book by Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada, could fundamentally change how people view the game of football.</p><p>WBEZ wondered what kind of impact the overall debate has had on local football fans. We headed to Soldier Field two hours before kick-off Thursday night to find out.</p><p>Here&rsquo;s what a few Bears fans had to say:</p><blockquote><p>&ldquo;(The NFL is) doing a lot to improve the game, but it&rsquo;s a little too late for the guys that have been playing for 20, 30 years.&rdquo; - Paul Loftus</p><p>&ldquo;It changed the perspective a little bit, but we love football. We&rsquo;re a football family.&rdquo; - Chris French</p><p>&ldquo;I think everybody, before they get into high-level football, should be aware of the risks. But I think, everything in life is kind of a risk-reward decision. So (players) should be aware of the risk before they make their decision, because I feel like up to this point, it&rsquo;s been a lot of, we don&rsquo;t really know how bad concussions are, but now they know.&rdquo; - Val Pinskiy</p><p>&ldquo;If I had a son, I would look at the way, they play football. But as far as watching a game, that&rsquo;s what you pay for. They&rsquo;re kind of like gladiators.&rdquo; - Kurt Schlickman</p></blockquote><p>What do you think about the link between football and long-term brain damage? Has it changed how you view professional football? College? High school? Pop Warner?</p><p>Have you seen the PBS FRONTLINE documentary? What did you think? Note: League of Denial: The NFL&rsquo;s Concussion Crisis airs again tonight, Friday, Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. on WTTW. Find other local times <a href="http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/local-schedule/">here</a>.</p><p><em>Share your thoughts in the comment section below or e-mail WBEZ producer Becky Vevea at <a href="mailto:bvevea@wbez.org">bvevea@wbez.org</a>.</em></p><p><em>Monica Eng contributed to reporting. Becky Vevea is a producer for WBEZ. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZeducation">@WBEZeducation</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 11 Oct 2013 15:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/bears-fans-react-debate-over-concussions-108905 Morning Shift: A Superbowl champ tackles concussions in the game http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-09-06/morning-shift-superbowl-champ-tackles-concussions <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Football - Flickr- LITTLE MIAMI LACROSSE.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago Bears Superbowl champ Dennis McKinnon discusses a new film that takes on the concussion epidemic in the NFL. Also, financial expert Sandy Botkin gives tips on saving for one of the mor financially taxing expenditures any of of us makes - higher education.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-59/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-59.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-59" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: A Superbowl champ tackles concussions in the game" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 06 Sep 2013 08:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-09-06/morning-shift-superbowl-champ-tackles-concussions Amid football concussion concerns, Palatine mayor plans flag league for younger players http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-12/amid-football-concussion-concerns-palatine-mayor-plans-flag-league <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_kids_football_todd_j_vanemst.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 463px" title="Kids are going to play football. Can it be safe? (AP Photo/Todd J. VanEmst)" /></div><p>Giving our youngest football players a chance to play the sport they love the right way &mdash; safely &mdash;&nbsp;is the aim of one former pro and suburban mayor.&nbsp;Palatine Mayor Jim Schwantz, a former NFL linebacker who racked up time with the Bears, 49ers&nbsp;and Cowboys, plans to launch the&nbsp;<a href="http://nwffl.org">Northwest Flag Football League&nbsp;</a>for young suburban athletes starting in August 2013.</p><p>Schwantz said he saw a&nbsp;gap for players at a vulnerable age, third through sixth grades, with only tackle football available in his area. Not that Schwantz doesn&rsquo;t believe in tackle football &mdash;&nbsp;he has coached it for two years. However, he sees risks that could be avoided.&nbsp;According to Schwantz, most players in this age group are not ready for the physical demands of the game. &quot;Studies show kids don&rsquo;t have the muscle strength in [their] necks to support helmets until they get older and stronger,&quot; he said.&nbsp;</p><p>When it comes to football, the biggest worry for most parents is the potential for concussions.&nbsp;&quot;Any time there is a collision with your head there is a potential to have damage,&quot; said Schwantz. &ldquo;You can fall and hit your head with flag football, but we will do our best to eliminate those instances from happening.&quot;</p><p>Schwantz will do his best to minimize the potential for concussions in his league, which will be managed with scripted plays, using various stations to train and develop the players as athletes. Schwantz and other high level coaches will closely monitor every aspect of the two-a-week sessions. Although kids in Schwantz&#39;s league will&nbsp;scrimmage, they won&#39;t play games against outside opponents; this gives them time to stress fundamentals. &ldquo;You can work on game plans, you can work on routes, work on plays and defense,&quot; said Schwantz. &quot;The emphasis is on the individual training to make sure they are ready to go.&quot; The mayor hopes players that want to compete in high school will use this as a stepping stone into tackle football. His league aims to give young players the option to grow and mature without &quot;falling through the cracks.&quot;</p><p>The mayor&#39;s concern is also personal: Schwantz&#39;s son is in eighth grade and plans to follow his dad&rsquo;s footsteps to play football at Fremd High School in Palatine. When I asked the former linebacker if he worries about concussions with his son, he said yes &mdash; there is a concern. If his son were to suffer a concussion, Schwantz said both he and his wife would monitor the situation closely before they allow a return to the field, noting that any subsequent concussions would be risky if they didn&rsquo;t manage the initial one. Schwantz is not alone in his concern: His son, he said, is also watched by &ldquo;my wife, my brother, my parents, my in-laws.&quot;</p><p>&quot;We had a bunch of eyes on one kid,&rdquo; Schwantz said.</p><p>The league will practice at Harper College&#39;s facilities in Palatine, but space like this is hard to come by. Local fields are filled with soccer, lacrosse and other sports, so unfortunately, any future expansion of a league like this could be problematic.</p><p>Some football enthusiasts think flag football doesn&rsquo;t give a kid the true essence of the game. But this former high school, college and professional player wants to give kids an alternative for the right reasons: &ldquo;letting kids play football safely and learn teamwork, dedication, hard work and perseverance &mdash; the life lessons you learn in football.&rdquo;</p><p>I think he has the right idea.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">@CRayeStout</a>&nbsp;and Facebook <a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame">Cheryl Raye-Stout #AtTheGame</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 19 Dec 2012 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-12/amid-football-concussion-concerns-palatine-mayor-plans-flag-league Opinion: Sit NFL players with concussions for at least a game http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-11/opinion-sit-nfl-players-concussions-least-game-103855 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_jay_cutler-houston.jpg" style="height: 437px; width: 620px;" title="Jay Cutler's concussion has been a hot topic this week. (AP Photo/Nam Y.Huh)" /></div><p><em>Updated 12:39 p.m.&nbsp;</em></p><p>Sitting NFL players with concussions is a no brainer. So why isn&rsquo;t it mandatory?</p><p>Last Sunday the league had three starting quarterbacks get &quot;knocked out&quot; of the game: The Bears&#39; Jay Cutler, San Francisco&#39;s Alex Smith and Philadelphia&#39;s Michael Vick. Smith has already been cleared to go back on the field. On Friday, the Bears announced their decision to rest Cutler and start Jason Campbell in the game against San Francisco Monday. There is still no time table for when Cutler will be able to return.</p><p>I&#39;m glad the Bears have decided to rest Cutler. When a player is concussed, the question about whether he should play the following week should be simple &mdash; no. Not maybe, not &quot;waiting for medical evaluations&quot; &mdash; it should be a flat no.&nbsp;The NFL has made a lot of noise with their concerns for concussions, but not enough. When a player has been removed from a game or is diagnosed with a concussion after a game he needs time to recover before any new physical contact. A&nbsp;rule should be in place that bars the player from the next game. Period.&nbsp;</p><p>I don&rsquo;t want to hear that injures are &ldquo;part of the game,&rdquo; please. This kind of injury can &mdash; and will &mdash; complicate a player&rsquo;s health, and possibly their future, if it&#39;s not treated the right way. This is not like an ankle or knee injury; they need legitimate time to recover from a brain injury.</p><p>Recovery time will vary since the severity of the injury will vary.&nbsp;But give the players at least 10 to 14 days to recover. We know from Cutler&rsquo;s past history that he had one concussion two years ago with the Bears and suffered others in college. That&rsquo;s one too many to take any chances with his career &mdash; and his future. We&#39;ve seen the effects repeated head injuries have had on former players, notably<a href="http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1205982/index.htm"> Jim McMahon.</a> He is now suffering from early dementia. &nbsp;</p><p>As to that hit Jay Cutler took, by many accounts it was a &ldquo;clean&rdquo; hit by Houston&rsquo;s Tim Dobbins. Really. Then why did the league fine Dobbins $30,000? The NFL should have fined him for gloating about taking down Cutler after the game, too. And while they&#39;re at it, the league should add long suspensions to players who sack that way. Players will shrug off the money &mdash; playing time not so much.</p><p>Football is a game of hitting; there is no denying that basic aspect of the game. But the manner in which it&#39;s done and the ferocity of the impact it still&nbsp;a problem for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league. The concussions are not decreasing and must be dealt with, especially for the sake of the players&#39; futures.&nbsp;So why not have the players miss a minimum of one game? Winning can&rsquo;t be everything &mdash; or wait. In this league it is.</p><p><em>This article was updated to indicate the Bears&#39; decision to rest Culter.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Fri, 16 Nov 2012 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-11/opinion-sit-nfl-players-concussions-least-game-103855 NFL To Adopt New Concussion Evaluation Process http://www.wbez.org/story/concussions/2011-02-23/nfl-adopt-new-concussion-evaluation-process-82784 <p><p>NFL players who suffer violent blows to the head in games will be evaluated for possible concussions by using a new system of tests in the 2011-2012 season, according to reports.</p><p>The news comes after a season in which head injuries made headlines in sports coverage, as the NFL levied record fines against defenders whose hits on defenseless players were determined to be beyond newly tightened rules.</p><p>And less than a week ago, former NFL player Dave Duerson shocked the football community by committing suicide — and leaving a note requesting that after his brain be studied under the NFL's Brain Bank program, which analyzes the ways the sport might change brain physiology.</p><p>More details about the new test will come out Friday, when the NFL holds its scouting combine. Here are more details, from the AP:</p><p><blockquote></p><p>But the NFL says the new sideline test will include a checklist of symptoms, a limited neurologic evaluation and a balance assessment. It will employ many components of the evaluation process developed during a Concussion in Sport meeting at Zurich in 2008.</p><p>The test was developed by the NFL's Head, Neck, and Spine Committee, with input from the NFL team physicians and athletic trainers and their professional associations.</p><p></blockquote></p><p>The effort to protect players from possible brain injury related to concussions may help extend the careers of the NFL's offensive stars. For instance, Super Bowl-winning quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers suffered two concussions in the 2010-2011 season.</p><p>Back in 2000, concussions put a premature end to quarterback Troy Aikman's career. The former quarterback is widely believed to have suffered at least 10 concussions in his career.</p><p>A <a href="http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9901E7D61E30F935A15752C0A962958260">New York Times article</a> relates the aftermath of one of Aikman's concussions, in a 1994 playoff game that put him in Super Bowl XXVIII.</p><p>That article — from 17 years ago — includes this line: "Aikman's concussion has focused attention on a dangerous and recurring injury in the National Football League."</p><p>Sadly, that attention seems to have resulted in only incremental gains in players' safety — mostly due to improved helmet design and materials. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit <a href="http://www.npr.org/">http://www.npr.org/</a>.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1298492828?&gn=NFL+To+Adopt+New+Concussion+Evaluation+Process&ev=event2&ch=103943429&h1=concussions,Health,Sports,Football,NFL,sports,The+Two-Way,U.S.,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&c3=D%3Dgn&v3=D%3Dgn&c4=134000896&c7=1055&v7=D%3Dc7&c18=1055&v18=D%3Dc18&c19=20110223&v19=D%3Dc19&c20=1&v20=D%3Dc20&c31=129257573,127606515,127602530,126950481,126921057,125939178,103943429&v31=D%3Dc31&c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001"/></p></p> Wed, 23 Feb 2011 14:04:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/concussions/2011-02-23/nfl-adopt-new-concussion-evaluation-process-82784