Today’s health and safety news in more than just football:
* U.S. News and World Report examined the top winter sports for injuries and snowboarding came out on top.
Snowboarding, said O’Connor, is Exhibit A for outdoor sport-related injuries, with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics showing that this activity alone accounts for one-quarter of all sports injury-related ER visits during winter. Half of those visits involve broken bones and sprains, often of the wrist and elbow, incurred when snowboarders fall on outstretched hands.
* CentralOhio.com reported on the U.S. Government announced involvement in the concussion issue in light of the Junior Seau diagnosis of CTE. For the writer, it brought to mind a conversation he had with two well-known football people.
This past spring, I sat in a room with former Cleveland Browns coach Sam Rutigliano and Washington Redskins general manager Bruce Allen before they were feted at a banquet hosted by Ashland University. At one point, the conversation turned to concussions and some of the safeguards the NFL is implementing.
“In my opinion, the evolution of football since I was a kid has changed,” Allen said. “Every half decade there’s been greater emphasis on technology and equipment. I wasn’t there for leather helmets, but I do remember players playing with no facemasks and then one bar.
“The advances throughout the decade have increased the protection of the players and I’m confident it’s going to continue to increase in the future.”
“They’re making a lot of changes and they’re in the best interest of the game,” said Rutigliano, 79. “As defensive coaches, especially linebacker coaches, we used to say when (receivers) go across the field, we want them hearing a cat sipping milk from 100 yards (away). It’s not a fear thing. It’s just part of the game and everybody recognizes that.”
* PolyMic.com published an opinion piece that concussions are leading to the downfall of football.
* As the NHL prepares to return, the CBC reported that Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby is concussion free for the first time in more than a year. The Associated Press reported Pierre-Marc Bouchard of the Minnesota Wild is also back from a concussion. However, Hampus Lindholm, the Anaheim Ducks’ top pick last year, is sidelined by a concussion, according to the Orange County Register.
– Bill Bradley, contributing editor