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Thread: Playing Sports: Are They Really Worth It?

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    Default Playing Sports: Are They Really Worth It?

    Recently in Pittsburgh news, there has been several interviews with former players about how they are physically and mentally after their careers have ended. One interview I read was with Antwaan Randle El regretting that he ever played football. In the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, there is a new series with former Penguin Phil Bourque about the problems he's having too.He's admitted to not seeing a doctor because hes' "stubborn". Both guys have long lapses of memory, and have trouble doing simple things such as walking down the stairs. There's other countless stories just like this.

    Phil Bourque: Part 1
    Antwaan Randle El story

    Bourque said he has not sought medical advice for his memory issues, although he might in the future.

    “I’m probably like most people,” he said. “I’ll wait a year. After a year, if it continues, I probably should talk to somebody. But I’m stubborn, like everybody else. It probably will take a lot for me to do that. … But it’s definitely a concern.”
    “The kids are getting bigger and faster, so the concussions, the severe spinal cord injuries, are only going to get worse,” he said in the interview. “It’s a tough pill to swallow because I love the game of football. But I tell parents, ‘You can have the right helmet, the perfect pads on, and still end up with a paraplegic kid.’

    “There’s no correcting it. There’s no helmet that’s going to correct it. There’s no teaching that’s going to correct it. It just comes down to it’s a physically violent game. Football players are in a car wreck every week.”
    The question is very simple. With what the world is learning more and more about concussion and post career effects, do you think playing high contact sports such as football and hockey worth it? In instances like Bourque, do you feel this is also connect to hypermasculinity and the macho culture that surrounds these sports?

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    Default Re: Playing Sports: Are They Really Worth It?

    I think players are starting to become a lot more careless about the way they play. They think that with today's modern equipment and technology, that they could go out there, and attack with reckless abandonment, and nobody would get hurt. That couldn't be more further than the truth.

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    Default Re: Playing Sports: Are They Really Worth It?

    You don't even have to go as far as professional athletes to see the effects of playing sports, I have many friends that have issues with mobility because of playing sports most of their life.


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    Default Re: Playing Sports: Are They Really Worth It?

    It seems the number of people that look back and would still do it all over again is still higher than those that regret playing.

    For many, sports is an escape out of a shitty environment. If you grow up in the ghetto, and have the ability to get out of it by using your ability, would you really think "well, living in this crappy slum with gang violence around is much better than what playing football will do to my body".

    If a person chooses not to play, I don't blame them. If they choose to, I don't feel bad for the effects on their bodies. Just like unprotected chair shots in wrestling. If you don't want to take them, don't, it want ruin my enjoyment. If you want to do unprotected chair shots, go ahead, I won't feel sympathy for your brain issues in the future.
    Last edited by Leper Messiah; 02-06-2016 at 10:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Playing Sports: Are They Really Worth It?

    Millions of dollars say yes it is worth it.

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    Default Re: Playing Sports: Are They Really Worth It?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rocketmansid View Post
    Millions of dollars say yes it is worth it.
    All the money in the world wouldn't compensate for living a miserable life from your thirties until death. And the important thing to remember is that it is only a small minority of players who do end up making the big money in the pros, but the head injuries are effecting those who played sports in high school and college for no recompense.

    I honestly can't believe how anyone could let their children play dangerous contact sports like American Football with all the stories about the lasting effects of head trauma coming out. The story of Tyler Sash really effected me having watched him play for my team. He was a guy who only played two years in the NFL, yet had the same level of CTE that Junior Seau was discovered to have had. The effects of undocumented sub-concussive impacts on his head throughout school rendered his post-football life unliveable, and he died of a painkiller overdose at just 27. Incredibly sad, and a story that really made me question my position as a fan of the sport.


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    Default Re: Playing Sports: Are They Really Worth It?

    I still don't get how the NFL or NCAA hasn't looked into softer helmets, those helmet to helmets just are so scary. I am glad players have wisened up and are learning about the dangers of head injuries.

    I don't know hr, wrestling was just as bad. Thankfully the chairshots to the head and headbutts have been limited post Benoit but I do think there needs to be a better supporting team around these players. I just don't know how Sash was able to get to overdose on painkillers. Same with Seau, I just don't know how the people surrounding him could allow him to go and commit suicide. Wrestlers can compile numerous injuries, I can't imagine the toll it takes on one's back to be slammed in the ring for all those years. All the massages and treatments in the world can't help a back getting slammed onto the mat 5x a week.

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    Default Re: Playing Sports: Are They Really Worth It?

    I'm surprised more people aren't pointing fingers at the NCAA, given all the risks that people endure, even those at the top college levels get treated like garbage. This video does just talk about basketball but it's still frightening.



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    Default Re: Playing Sports: Are They Really Worth It?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blindy View Post
    I just don't know how Sash was able to get to overdose on painkillers. Same with Seau, I just don't know how the people surrounding him could allow him to go and commit suicide.
    When your brain doesn't work properly and you live your life in constant pain it's pretty easy to see why you'd end it, regardless of the support you may be receiving.


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    Default Re: Playing Sports: Are They Really Worth It?

    It's why I respect Chris Borland walking away before getting a huge paycheck and while he is still young after his concussion scare....I just wish he did it a year before so the 49ers aren't left with a waste of a day 2 draft pick. THat's my lone real gripe with that but I completely get what Borland thought about.

    NCAA view the kids as money makers sadly. Not enough is done for protection for these kids in these games. Sucks to see a kid blow his knee out when he had no choice but to attend 1 year of college in NCAAB, happened to Nerlens Noel and he won't be the last one. Same with these RBs like McGahee, Gurley who blow their moneymaker(Knee) out in college before they can even get paid. Given the lack of mileage a back can have in the game, sucks they have to wait until they are usually 21-22 before jumping to the NFL, especially with the 4 year contracts they have to play under, meaning they will get 1 big contract in their lifetime.

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    Default Re: Playing Sports: Are They Really Worth It?

    Quote Originally Posted by HR View Post
    When your brain doesn't work properly and you live your life in constant pain it's pretty easy to see why you'd end it, regardless of the support you may be receiving.
    No I get it from the players point of view even if I don't agree with it(Steve Gleason is dealing with something so much worse and he's been nothing but positive and he is fortunate to have a really good supporting family, really inspirational story) I just don't know how Seau's family could allow Junior Seau to get a gun and allow him to kill himself. I just don't get it, especially in the condition that he is in.

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    Default Re: Playing Sports: Are They Really Worth It?

    I got a question...how can they design a nascar helmet that allows drivers to slam into a wall at 200 mph and be fine?....I don't see Richard Petty walking around not talking well...he seems pretty sharp...surly with the technology today designing proper safety equipment shouldn't be that hard.

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    Default Re: Playing Sports: Are They Really Worth It?

    My mentor wrote a good book on this topic, The Cheers and the Tears: A Healthy Alternative to the Dark Side of Youth Sports. Will write more on it later when I am more awake but we are really split on this issue as I consider "professional" sports abusive on many levels but he considered them a choice that people make.

    Can't help thinking of Hoop Dreams when I think of this though. Pretty much the John Oliver stuff but a three hour movie that details how badly black kids get screwed by the system.


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    Default Re: Playing Sports: Are They Really Worth It?

    I have several injuries from my playing days that really do affect my quality of life now. I've discussed the knee injuries and post concussion syndrome on here several times over the years but there are others too.

    If someone asked me if I would do it all again, even knowing what I know now, the answer is "I don't know". I miss the game terribly but I've also had a difficult time watching a full game for many years. I have seen just 3 complete football games in the last 4 years or so. Because of my injuries though, I have very strong opinions on rules both for NCAA and NFL as well as high school and pop Warner.

    For me, the real question was whether I would let my son play. He never showed an interest in playing but I probably wouldn't have let him. The number of players that have serious injury long before ever reaching the pro level is too high.
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    Default Re: Playing Sports: Are They Really Worth It?

    Oh wah. I've had multiple concussions, multiple back surgeries, 2 bad knees with no cartilage left, 9 blown discs in my back and neck. I did martial arts for close to a decade, played football, wrestled, baseball, and boxed. I loved every minute of all of that. But I never went pro in any sport. At least these guys have the money to get the best treatment.
    You could wreck your body doing damned near anything. Falling down a flight of stairs. Car accident. Taking a line drive to the head sitting in the stands. Mugging.
    But sports taught and gave me a lot. Teamwork. Discipline. Proper training methods. Flexibility. Creativity. Quick decision making.
    Sports aren't bad. But anyone could get hurt on or off the field.
    Now do we need to do a better job protecting players when possible? Absolutely. If the ability to prevent injury exists, it should be made available.
    We need to not blame any sport itself but continue to work hard at making those sports safer. I think we have done a much better job over the last decade at keeping players safer. Prior to that it was never a big concern to teams, coaches, or even players to recognize and prevent injury.
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    Default Re: Playing Sports: Are They Really Worth It?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Michaels View Post
    I got a question...how can they design a nascar helmet that allows drivers to slam into a wall at 200 mph and be fine?....I don't see Richard Petty walking around not talking well...he seems pretty sharp...surly with the technology today designing proper safety equipment shouldn't be that hard.
    A few thoughts:

    Most cars don't hit 200 mph for a long period of time. Probably 160-170 MPH on average through out a race. They also padded walls up ( even more after Kyle Busch's wreck last year) to make them safer when a driver hit it. Also, after Dale Earnhardt Sr. died in a wreck, the made the HANS device mandatory, which keeps a person's head a d neck stable in a wreck. It's less about the helmet, and more about all of the other safety precautions they take.

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    Default Re: Playing Sports: Are They Really Worth It?

    Quote Originally Posted by StunVKMcmahon View Post
    Oh wah. I've had multiple concussions, multiple back surgeries, 2 bad knees with no cartilage left, 9 blown discs in my back and neck. I did martial arts for close to a decade, played football, wrestled, baseball, and boxed. I loved every minute of all of that. But I never went pro in any sport. At least these guys have the money to get the best treatment.
    You could wreck your body doing damned near anything. Falling down a flight of stairs. Car accident. Taking a line drive to the head sitting in the stands. Mugging.
    But sports taught and gave me a lot. Teamwork. Discipline. Proper training methods. Flexibility. Creativity. Quick decision making.
    Sports aren't bad. But anyone could get hurt on or off the field.
    Now do we need to do a better job protecting players when possible? Absolutely. If the ability to prevent injury exists, it should be made available.
    We need to not blame any sport itself but continue to work hard at making those sports safer. I think we have done a much better job over the last decade at keeping players safer. Prior to that it was never a big concern to teams, coaches, or even players to recognize and prevent injury.
    The bolded part is the issue not the injuries. There are ways to teach all of that stuff without injuring anyone. But the real issue is how to make sports safer and what to do about injuries that do happen. But I have a hard time believing any parent thinks it's worth it when their kid dies or ends up paralysed because they were injured playing a sport.

    With any sport, things can be done perfectly and an injury can still happen. Injuries happen everywhere and at any time.

    But, statistically, you aren't likely to suffer a spinal injury walking down the street. However, statistically, you ARE likely to suffer one playing football. That's the issue and the reason why someone would question whether it's worth it.

    The only sport I've seen injury analysis for is the NFL. The NFL has a roughly 25% injury rate (defined as serious enough to miss games). But it isn't just the number of injuries that occur but the type and how to limit the most serious ones.

    For example, chop blocks are the easiest and most likely cause of knee injuries in the NFL. Diving into someone's unprotected knee joint is the easiest way to injure someone on the football field. The easiest way to prevent this is by making chop blocks illegal. Yet, the NFL allows them as long as the defender isn't engaged with another player. And even that change wasn't made until the 1990s.

    Major League Baseball made rule changes to prevent home plate collisions in an effort to reduce injuries. It only took them 140 or so years to do it despite knowing full well what the risk was. It just wasn't until players made $20 million per year guaranteed that it became important to keep them on the field.

    Colleges do a very poor job of limiting injuries or providing adequate care to their student athletes.

    There are a lot of injuries that occur in sports that can be prevented but simply aren't for various reasons. That's the real issue.
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