Wednesday’s health and safety news involving sports:
* Former Super Bowl MVP Hines Ward is training for the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii, according to SI.com’s Fansided blog. Check out the video below of the retired Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver’s training regimen:
* The New York Times wrote about the wave of concussions that has affected the NHL this season.
But in the past two weeks, 11 N.H.L. players are believed to have sustained them, among them (Sidney) Crosby?s teammate and the reigning most valuable player, Evgeni Malkin, thrusting the issue of head injuries back into the spotlight.
Concussions continue to plague the league, despite its increased emphasis on reducing them. For the second season, the N.H.L. is playing under its broadened version of Rule 48, which penalizes hits that target an opponent?s head or make the head the principal point of contact. But many of the recent injuries, including Malkin?s, were not caused by hits deemed worthy of fines or suspensions.
Last season, according to CBC network estimates, about 90 players missed games because of concussions, about 13 percent of N.H.L. players on active rosters on a given night. Crosby missed 60 games while recovering from a concussion he sustained in the 2011 Winter Classic.
* CBSSports.com said the increase in NHL concussions dictates that the league needs to make some rules changes.
So what’s holding the league back from taking further steps? Sadly, it seems aesthetics and perhaps tradition are big reasons. Both should be mostly irrelevant when it comes to the safety of players.
Part of it is a fear that more rules will mean less hitting, but there’s also fear that a ban on all hits to the head would require an end to fighting. Regardless of that fear, the NHL has to examine what it can do to further protect its players.
* The Hockey News reported that the parade of concussion victims continues with Montreal Canadiens left winger Rene Bourque going down with a head injury.
* The horrific crash at the end of Saturday’s Nationwide series race at Daytona Speedway has left driver Michael Arnett out indefinitely with a dislocated sternum, according to The Associated Press.
* The Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro, Tenn., published an op-ed piece, saying that concussion awareness could save people’s lives.
* WMTW-TV reported on how Portland, Maine, voted on new concussion policies for their schools as required by state law.
* The Bryan (Texas) Eagle wrote about the region’s sports medicine team.
* The Sydney Daily Herald in Australia wrote about the grade school concerns about concussions in that city.
– Bill Bradley, contributing editor