The same dementia-like disease found in the brain tissue of several National Football League players has shown up in the brains of four U.S. veterans exposed to improvised explosive devices and other head trauma, according to new research.
In the misspent days of my television-watching youth in the 1950s -- this is so long ago that the remote control consisted of getting off the couch, crossing the room and turning the dial to one of the five other channels -- my favorite show was the after-school classic, The Mickey Mouse Club. (This Disney reference is only tangential to hockey, unlike Wayne Gretzky's 1984 off-the-cuff assessment of the Devils as a Mickey Mouse organization, and, of course, the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, but please stick with me.) The show's best day was Wednesday, known as Anything Can Happen Day. It's a memory, like Proust's madeleine, that flooded over me like hot Zamboni water recently during a chat with Predators coach Barry Trotz.
In the NFL, controlled violence is, and always will be, an essential part of the sport. As fans, we have no problem with coaches telling players to run hard, hit hard and tackle hard, because we know that we can't take that kind of contact and tough physicality out of football.
On Jan. 29, CNN will debut Big Hits, Broken Dreams, a documentary exploring concussions in high school football. SI.com's Ben Glicksman talked with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN chief medical correspondent and practicing neurosurgeon, about his findings and what parents, coaches and athletes need to know to try to protect themselves.
Jamal Lewis, Dorsey Levens and two other former NFL players have filed a lawsuit accusing the National Football League of misleading them and failing to protect them against on-the-field brain injuries they say caused health problems years after they retired.
Seventy-five former professional football players are suing the National Football League, saying the league knew as early as the 1920s of the harmful effects of concussions on players' brains but concealed the information from players, coaches, trainers and others until June 2010.
SEATTLE -- Today we have a little bit on the labor-thawing NFL front, as well as the annual Father's Day book list (with an offbeat sports bio I cannot recommend highly enough), a tribute to one of the giants of the sportswriting business you may not know, how one team's prepping for the resumption of football (let us pray), some encouraging news about helmet technology, and a death in the 49er family that means half of one of the great backfields in history is gone.
When Taylor Twellman won Major League Soccer's MVP award in 2005, he threw his head at balls in the penalty box with the force of a bird smacking into a window. That's how the U.S. and New England Revolution forward scored 101 goals in eight MLS seasons -- and how his playing career took an irretrievable turn on Aug. 30, 2008.
"Decimated." That word actually has a specific meaning, focused on an ancient Roman punishment. Some teams feel like they've been decimated and, in the modern sense, some have. There are a lot of injuries coming with "season-ending" tags on them, but remember that "season-altering" is just as bad from a fantasy context. While losing a top pick like a Ryan Grant is bad, it could have been any of the players in the top tier. You have to remember each player is one play, one moment away from ending things. After Tom Brady's near-miss accident -- in which the person in the other car is still in serious condition -- last week, we should all realize just how close we all are. Injuries are going to happen. You just have to be prepared, draft (and now find) depth, and focus on putting up points on a consistent basis. Given how many significant injuries we've had in Week 1, I wonder if the NFL and NFLPA will take a closer look at what an 18-game schedule might do to the health of players and
With his head bowed and a barely detectable quiver in his voice, the baseball player known as the "Iron Horse" devastated the crowd at Yankee Stadium, not by hitting a home run, but by announcing that he was dying.
People who experience serious head injuries often require days -- if not weeks -- of medical care to get back on their feet. For most of them, the mental aftershocks will last long after they've checked out of the hospital.
In recent months, NFL running backs Brian Westbrook and Jamal Lewis were cut in the aftermath of concussion-laden seasons. To be sure, their age, salary and decline in play were factors. But regardless, after a year in which the relationship between concussions and player health drew the keen interest of Congress and other lawmakers, it seems improper for NFL teams to cut players who may still suffer from postconcussion symptoms.
Kurt Warner knew, as he walked to see the Arizona Cardinals team medics last Sunday morning in Nashville, that playing against the Titans was not up to them. It was up to him. His words would determine whether he'd go out on the field with his sore neck and an odd, sharp sensitivity to light.
Throughout the 2009 NFL season, SI.com's Jeff Ritter will work with Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley to get his thoughts and observations on the NFL and take you behind the scenes with the Steelers. Woodley is in his third season and finished with a career-best 11.5 sacks in 2008 while helping Pittsburgh win a Super Bowl title. The 6-2 Steelers host the 6-2 Bengals on Sunday.
It's only been three years since Florida quarterback Chris Leak stood at a lectern and claimed a vicious hit from Georgia defensive tackle Jeff Owens hadn't resulted in a concussion. "I just got dinged," Leak said. "No more than that."
A fire that claimed the lives of 44 children at a day-care center in Hermosillo, Mexico, started Friday in an air-conditioning unit in an adjacent warehouse, the attorney general of Sonora said Monday.
Sgt. Ryan Kahlor has the same nightmare every time, a vision of walls painted in blood and fat, and men on top of houses, throwing pieces of Marines' bodies off rooftops. It's a vision he can't shake, because he lived through it while deployed to Iraq last year.
Every step is precious now. Every movement is a gift. Every morning brings another sunrise, full of sweet promise. When Kevin Everett was a little boy growing up in Port Arthur, Texas, he would sit with his grandpa James Nico, and the older man would explain to him life's lessons. One of them was this: Don't ever be bitter. Just keep doing your best, even when things aren't looking so good.
Dan Morgan never wanted to be anybody's lab rat. Football player, husband, father, businessman: Yes, all of those things to the very fullest. But lab rat, where his every breath is extrapolated as a theoretically measurable part of some larger tableau? Not a chance he would sign on for that. His game and his life are too personal, too private, too treasured.
Jesse Billauer rolls into the Beverly Hills Hotel with a blonde bombshell by his side and immediately attracts everyone's attention as soon as he opens his mouth. The tanned surfer is telling his friends to hold on to their girlfriends tight or he just might nab them up before the night is done. His friends laugh but quickly tighten their grip on their significant others. They know Billauer too well.
The images on the large screen came one after another, each more disturbing and haunting than the other. There was Mike Webster shown naked from the waist up, lying dead on an autopsy table. There was Terry Long dead on an autopsy table with his tongue sticking out, still showing the pain of someone who had endured a prolonged death after ingesting antifreeze. Then there were simply the words of Dr. Bennet Omalu -- who didn't show pictures of Andre Waters because he shot himself -- as he described Waters' condition at his autopsy.
Harry Carson realized something was wrong when he was doing television commentary. The former Giants linebacker would be on the air, live, and he'd lose his train of thought. Carson suspected the concentration issue was connected to other symptoms he'd been experiencing -- headaches, blurred vision, a loss of his sense of smell, and sensitivity to lights and noises -- and he went to see a doctor. "I thought I had a brain tumor," he says. The problem turned out to be postconcussion syndrome. Carson, 53, now a member of the Brain Injury Association's Sports Injury Prevention Council, estimates he had between 15 and 18 concussions during his 13-year Hall of Fame career, though he never reported any of them. "Pain and hurt and being uncomfortable was ingrained in me as a player," he says. "No one knew because I kept it to myself."
Scientists in the U.S. have successfully used neural stem cells to regenerate damaged spinal cord tissue in mice, raising hopes that the technique could be used to treat disabilities caused by spinal cord injuries and human neurological disorders.