Truth & Rumors > NFL

Concussion problems could doom football

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08:04 AM ET 05.07 | Gary Plummer estimated in a recent article that Junior Seau may have sustained 1,500 concussions. On Friday, Baltimore safety Bernard Pollard told a Houston radio station that he believes pro football might be extinct within 20 to 30 years. "I know what my body has been through," Pollard told Houston's SportsRadio 610 AM. "I'm 27 years old. I take care of myself, but it's a violent sport. I don't want him to have go through it. I don't want to see my son with a concussion." That last sentiment is the key. ... Say all you want about lawsuits and liability. The NFL's billions will provide a formidable defense. Doomsday for football will come if parents are afraid to let their kids play.

The Arizona Republic

Junior Seau, Icon Sports Junior Seau, Icon Sports
May 7, 2012  08:17 AM ET

My kids will have season tickets to watch someone else's kids kill each other on the field...

May 7, 2012  08:21 AM ET

We all live the life we choose. At least, most of us have a choice.

May 7, 2012  08:24 AM ET

people will still play the game, no matter the risks....

May 7, 2012  08:29 AM ET

A lot of kids grow up pretty rough and consider football a way out of those circumstances. If your life is gonna be dangerous anyway, what have you got to lose?

May 7, 2012  08:31 AM ET

I just don't understand all the players out here criticizing the game that's earned them so much money. Pollard, Warner, these guys need to take what they know and help in the development of the game; not it's demise. If there's better equipment, then lobby for it. If there isn't, then lobby to get it developed. I can't see the NFL sitting quietly and being ok with the game going away.

May 7, 2012  08:31 AM ET

Seau played for 20 years. Of course he suffered a lot of concussions.

Comment #7 has been removed
May 7, 2012  08:46 AM ET

Junior Seau led with this head like James Harrison does. The rule of leading with your head hitting someone has recently been enforced. The NFL looks for concussions and have made changes in the last few years that can make the game safer. New equipment and rules will help, it will always be violent.

May 7, 2012  08:55 AM ET

You can develop better helmets to protect the skull, but how do you protect the brain being slammed against the skull?? the bigger the people and the faster they can move increases the chances of concussion with every play to someone. I am considering telling my grandson to not play football, stick with B. Ball and Baseball.

May 7, 2012  08:58 AM ET

In all of this, nobody has brought up the fact that soccer players have been shown to have the same high incidence of head trauma and early onset of ALS, from repeatedly heading a soccer ball traveling up to 60 mph. There are fewer studies, and it gets less publicity, but the results are the same.

May 7, 2012  09:13 AM ET

Yeah I'm sure kids will stop chasing the millions because of possible brain damage. Just like NASCAR will go out of business due to wrecks and possible sudden death!

There is nothing the NFL can do to completely protect the players because it's a violent sport. I wouldn't be surprised if the NFL starts writing a concussion clause into the players contracts.

May 7, 2012  09:14 AM ET

Pollard's hardly a credible source and odds are that there will always be football. Players will just sign waivers lured by $$$. Fans are hardly turned off by injuries. Yeah, everybody's sad for the affected players, but there a certain bloodthirstiness to the mob that will continue to fuel all contact sports.

May 7, 2012  09:14 AM ET

As the awareness of the dangers of long term injury in these sports grows, the rules of the sport will change, football, soccer, whatever. Otherwise, the courts will intervene with judgements against the team owners who "knowingly" put players at risk of such injuries.
Football may still exist in twenty years but it will be a game that we might not recognize today.
Anyone want to bet on how long it takes soccer to ban heading?

May 7, 2012  09:19 AM ET

Then they need to ban all sports then.Boxing cause brain damage along with watching espn.

May 7, 2012  09:20 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

As the awareness of the dangers of long term injury in these sports grows, the rules of the sport will change, football, soccer, whatever. Otherwise, the courts will intervene with judgements against the team owners who "knowingly" put players at risk of such injuries. Football may still exist in twenty years but it will be a game that we might not recognize today. Anyone want to bet on how long it takes soccer to ban heading?

I don't follow the logic here. There is auto racing which, more than football, carries the risk of death. Presumably, drivers do, like football players could, sign stronger waivers indicating that they know full well what they're getting into. Together with "new" equipment designed to lessen the effects of the violence - I know, I know: physics, etc. - I don't see courts banning football. (Soccer by the way is the red-headed stepchild of US sports at present. Football is, well, America. Not agreeing, just saying.)

May 7, 2012  09:25 AM ET

Like baseball, the owners will just import kids from the Caribbean to play the game for them.

Comment #17 has been removed
May 7, 2012  09:29 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Then they need to ban all sports then.Boxing cause brain damage along with watching espn.

We had a Commanding Officer in the Navy that seriously considered banning basketball because someone blew out his achilles coming down from a rebound. There will always be idiots who believe they can legislate safety and the bottom line is that there's risk getting out of bed or even staying in bed.

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