Say Owe- Concussions Are Not The Problem!
By Ryan McDaniels
Hello! Is there anybody out there? Has anyone stopped to look at the leading causes of death, injury or other maladies that tend to cut short the lives of far too many promising young men in America? I don’t have to look it up to tell you that sports related concussions don’t make the list. In fact they aren’t even close to the top. Albeit in some cases head trauma may contribute to the finality in a chain of events that lead to a violent end for otherwise virulent young men.
Yes, concussions are serious and they need to be looked at more closely. But, Junior Seau died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, as will 10-15,000 other American men this year. One of the leading stories surrounding this tragic and untimely death is whether or not the family will donate his brain for research on traumatic brain injuries. I repeat Junior Seau was shot to death! Junior took a loaded a gun put to his chest and pulled the trigger.
The NFL and other major sports leagues are adding this to the pile of reasons why they must change their rules to protect against head trauma. Is the National Rifle Association funding this research as a diversion? This article is not about gun control or concussions. It is about our priorities as a nation and how warped they become when we let the twenty-four hour news cycle dictate reality. “And it’s true we are immune when fact is fiction and TV reality?” Thank you, Bono.
Hello America! Junior Seau, an urban American male with a skin tone darker than alabaster died of a gunshot wound at the age of 43. The only story here is that he lived longer than most men that suffer that fate. He actually beat the odds. Did years of playing the punishing position of linebacker, in the world’s most violent sport, make him more susceptible to depression or other mental illness? Maybe. Probably. But, have football, hockey, boxing and other grueling sports that occupy young boys time saved far more lives than they have snuffed out? Absolutely, positively, unquestionably the answer is yes. The same cannot be said for firearms.
Yet, as daily news coverage blasts the scourge of our democracy, the dreaded head injury, our gun laws have loosened. Also, prescription drug factories are now more prevalent in Florida than alligators. And, we are still the fattest country known to history. Yes, we need to address concussions. But boy, we really need to address our priorities first.
Our cities and towns have lost “The War on Drugs” in a rout not witnessed since the blitzkrieg waltzed through Poland. On our Southern Border, warring factions of Mexican Drugs Cartels are responsible for unprecedented causalities committed almost entirely with guns manufactured legally in the United States. Aside from crime and punishment issues: childhood obesity, diabetes, prostate cancer, car accidents and overdoses are not only crippling the American male population but our healthcare system as well.
On the other side of the church isle, a generation of strides made to address the discrepancies of healthcare for the tender-gender is being rolled back on of all things moral grounds. Stop the insanity!!! Oh, I’m sorry was that a politically incorrect statement given the rise of head trauma and mental illness that has be falling our great nation?
Junior Seau suffered from depression and the NFL is looking at concussions. How about looking at depression? An ailment that affects more than half of all Americans, most of whom don’t play contact sports. Maybe I’m a conspiracy theorist but hasn’t all this talk about concussions made the issue of steroids in sports seem like ancient history? You tell me, do you think a linebacker playing Division 1 College Football in the 1980’s and in the NFL in the 1990’s was more prone to long-term health effects because of steroid abuse or concussions? I don’t know if Junior Seaus used steroids. All I know is that there is a mound of medical evidence that has outlawed the former and nothing conclusive on the latter.
CBS Sports reported today that the news of Seau’s death prompted St. Louis Ram Jacob Bell to retire in the prime of his career in fear of long-term repercussions from concussions.
Someone should study the effects of Bell abruptly turning off the switch on a lifetime of high intensity, adrenaline fueled endorphin rushes. This change of gears will most likely have more immediate effect on his mental health than the long-term effects of head trauma. Or, how much weight will he gain or lose? Depending on how he takes care of himself when an army of trainers are not looking over his shoulder, Mr. Bell could possibly die from one of the real health concerns of African-American males in our country heart disease, diabetes and gunshot wounds.
Junior’s impact on the NFL was immense. May they study his life not to find out what is wrong the rules of our games but the priorities of our society?