Concussions: Are They Evolving Contact Sports?
November 28, 2011 2 Comments
Concussions are becoming a very serious matter in contact sports, not just professional but as well as youth, high school, and college sports.
With a specific focus on concussions in football and hockey, I personally believe they are changing sports for better and for worse.
A concussion is a head injury with temporary loss of brain function, they have always been a piece of interest in sports but recently they are becoming more and more apparent and pose a serious problems to the rules and regulations of the sports we grew to know and love.
Firstly, with the rise of concussions there is a limit to the amount of play professional athletes are able to maintain. Simply put, there are rules in place where once a player is declared to have a concussion they are required to pass concussion symptom tests performed by their respective trainers.
Even if they feel healthy enough to play they are still not legible to step on the ice or field until they pass the required tests. This matter arose as retired athletes were experiencing post-concussion symptoms or even worse psychological disorders such as dementia.
In football, the sport is evolving to the point where you are required to make a perfect form tackle on an opposing individual or you are likely subject to a fine. In regards to hitting quarterbacks, it is getting to the point where players are just about barely able to touch them without having a penalty such as” roughing the passer” called on themselves. Even though the hits causing most concussions are dangerous, players were taught to be as aggressive as possible but I still think the hits are just plain entertaining and should be allowed as long as there was no specific intent to give a blow directly to the head .The following video is one example of a questionable hit that caused a concussion and resulted in a fine ( I don’t believe the player should have been fined for this hit as he even argued himself that this was how he was taught to hit and it comes as second nature to stop a play and not allow the opposing team to make a play):
Concussions have become such a matter of concern in football that doctors around the nation even declaring to get rid of youth football and instead not allow individuals to play football until they are at least age 16 due to brain development.
I find this absolutely ridiculous because almost everyone has played football as a child and it is part of the American dream to play football in my opinion. Also as a child you are able to retain the rules of football better as children’s brains are like a sponge soaking up information from the environment around them.
In hockey, rules are changing due to hits causing concussions on star players such as Sidney Crosby, Marc Staal, and Ryan Miller. Sidney Crosby was slammed into the board and hit his head which resulted in him being out for several months with post-concussion symptoms, from this they have enforced stricter boarding rules which now can bring a suspension to the individual who placed the hit. Marc Staal was hit by older brother, Eric Staal, on open ice and he continues to be out with post-concussion symptoms. This hit resulted in no suspension or fine, just some inter-family anguish. My most outstanding opinion is towards Milan Lucic’s hit on Ryan Miller. I don’t believe there was any problem with him making the hit on Miller as he was far out of the crease and triangle (normal goalie zone). He was suspended and fined for this hit yet he was simply making a play. If Miller had not left his zone he would have been in the clear but the rules have now been changed that no player may make a hit on the goalie under any circumstance. In the following video you will see the hit itself and realize that he had no option but to make the hit, I mean come its hockey it’s meant to be a physical sport that requires awareness and quick thinking and before the 2004 season lockout players were able to slash and be as aggressive as they wanted for the entertainment perspective:
With everything in mind, you really have to consider players in all sports are making millions of dollars and living a life of luxury, I’m sure they can afford taking a concussion every now and then to keep sports entertaining. So come on, let sports rules and regulations stay how they are and don’t allow the pussification of sports in America.