Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: More than a bang on the head

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  • andin,

    concussion researcher Doug King

    He got blamed by the community cause he was trying to help the victim that died?
    I mean FUCK!
    Are there pockets of sport lovers out there who are totally deranged?
    Or do I just have to put his experience down to an evolutionary fail going back millenia?
    And all those centuries of our ancestors trying to instill some ethics into their descendants was a complete waste of time?

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to andin,

    He got blamed by the community cause he was trying to help the victim that died?

    Yes. I was shocked when I heard that.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Graham,

    Concussion is one (terrible) consequence of a sporting life, but check in with any elite athlete and middle age is a mess of deteriorating joints and ongoing pain.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 217 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Mark Graham,

    Concussion is one (terrible) consequence of a sporting life, but check in with any elite athlete and middle age is a mess of deteriorating joints and ongoing pain.

    Yes, but literally losing your ability to think straight and control yourself is in a different league.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    I can't remember where I first heard this, but apparently boxing has caused more brain injuries since the introduction of padded gloves, because before then, your average pugilist could only land a small number of blows to the head without shredding his knuckles and wrecking his wrist.

    What's to stop rugby players wearing body armour and helmets like gridiron players, hockey players ...

    Come to think of it, is there any sport apart from rugby where the players DON'T wear protective clothing?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • Mr Mark,

    I played football ( The Beautiful Game ) both competitively and socially through my 20s and 30s and I gotta say I felt borderline -concussion more than a few times after leaping to head a ball that'd been blasted toward me with a good deal of power (always worst when it happened to be an unusually heavy ball). All of which possibly explains a lot.

    Wellington • Since Dec 2009 • 128 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    I can't remember where I first heard this, but apparently boxing has caused more brain injuries since the introduction of padded gloves, because before then, your average pugilist could only land a small number of blows to the head without shredding his knuckles and wrecking his wrist.

    Boxing also has the 'standing eight-count', where a boxer who has taken a heavy hit can take eight seconds to shake it off before going back for more, which makes it more dangerous than, for example, MMA, where the match is over if you are unable to defend yourself.

    What's to stop rugby players wearing body armour and helmets like gridiron players, hockey players ...

    Helmets haven't stopped gridiron players suffering very badly from concussion. There's even a Will Smith film about it.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Maz,

    And Richie McCaw is a commercial pilot...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2010 • 30 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    I can’t remember where I first heard this,

    QI was where I first heard it.
    see: https://www.comedy.co.uk/tv/qi/episodes/6/4

    When wearing boxing gloves, it is much easier to kill your opponent. In bear-knuckle boxing, people would always aim for the chest, stomach and arms, because the chin was too dangerous. The chances are that you would hurt yourself badly if you attacked there. Only two people have been recorded as dying in bear-knuckle boxing in over 150 years. When boxing gloves were brought in, this protected the hands so people could go for the jaw and thus kill people more easily. Four Americans die of boxing related injuries every year. British boxer and former world middleweight champion Alan Minter once said: "Sure, there have been injuries and deaths in boxing, but none of them serious."

    Though I have to say using 'bear-knuckles' sounds pretty dangerous!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • Ianmac,

    As an 8 year old I spotted the big kids playing with the old-fashioned thick skinned soccer ball. The dew was heavy on the ball. The high ball came my way so I had my first go at heading. Crunch. Down I went, dazed and puzzled by it all. At least now days, the balls are light and less damaging than 60 years ago.
    Watched the disturbing program last night. Strange reaction recently to stopping contact/tackle rugby for school kids?

    Bleneim • Since Aug 2008 • 135 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Though I have to say using 'bear-knuckles' sounds pretty dangerous!

    Well, not if you're the bear....

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Asinius, in reply to James Littlewood*,

    What's to stop rugby players wearing body armour and helmets like gridiron players, hockey players ...

    One of the issues in American football is that helmets have given players a false sense of security and they're more likely to lead with their heads. Some teams are starting to experiment with helmet less practices to improve tackling technique.

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/01/06/how-training-without-helmets-could-reduce-head-injuries/?_r=0

    Wellington • Since Nov 2009 • 5 posts Report Reply

  • Shane Le Brun,

    This reminds me of the debate on "Mild" TBI soldiers were diagnosed with, did some googling, and its not just for sports folk.

    http://www.ninds.nih.gov/news_and_events/news_articles/CTE_found_in_veterans.htm

    Being too close to explosions, such as designated door breacher, or just generally being danger close to explosions on multiple occasions will lead to the same thing, fortunately our soldiers haven't been in the line of fire too much for this to be an issue here, apart from the folk who allege they were on the receiving end of their own Bushmaster Cannons at Baghak....

    Since Mar 2015 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    Though I have to say using ‘bear-knuckles’ sounds pretty dangerous!

    Constitutionally guaranteed in USA; the right to bear arms.

    Since Mar 2010 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    Excellent program Russell, and brings up the iconic image of two top class rugby players spreadeagled on the pitch after clashing heads.

    I failed to find the image on the google, but found this from one of the players.

    My partner, sitting here in his wheelchair with his high spinal injury, was likened (in his walking and rugby playing days) to the other player in that particular incident.

    You'd think that ACC would be strongly advocating better concussion management for younger players....imagine if the dementia in later life can be proven to have been caused by concussion...

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to william blake,

    Loaded for bear!

    the right to bear arms.

    ..and lo, trouble’s a bruin for the Right, indeedy!
    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7943 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    As long as the Left remembers to roll out policy plans in an order
    sorted for ease and whizz.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1923 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to linger,

    The left have always preferred League, it is about winning, not beating....

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Mark Graham,

    The construction industry has the same toll, in terms of bad backs and fucked hips and forestry takes its toll too and let's not forget the other industries that value their profits above the welfare of their workers. Do I have to list them?.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Bruce Thorpe,

    I am long past retirement from work or active sport, and despite indulging in my time in an unfair amount of recreational chemical indulgence I can truthfully say my only medical issues come from sport and manual work.

    Hokianga • Since May 2007 • 52 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich Lock,

    Boxing also has the 'standing eight-count', where a boxer who has taken a heavy hit can take eight seconds to shake it off before going back for more

    Yes and it's almost always much more than 8 seconds, because that's just the time between the ref having made the other boxer stop and go to the corner, and the other boxers standing up, at which point the 8 count begins. During that entire break, of course, the other boxer is recovering too, and will launch the next barrage slightly fresher.

    which makes it more dangerous than, for example, MMA, where the match is over if you are unable to defend yourself.

    Not to mention that MMA fights end as often as not with a submission, in which the loser taps out before they are seriously harmed.

    Quite a lot of MMA fights involve hardly any blows at all, if both fighters prefer to wrestle.

    Helmets haven't stopped gridiron players suffering very badly from concussion. There's even a Will Smith film about it.

    I understand the prevailing wisdom to be that harm is far more likely, the more padded you are. Certainly the people I know who have played both rugby and gridiron have said that gridiron is much more dangerous. The head is literally a weapon, that you deliberately smash straight into opponents.

    It makes sense on the argument that however much protection you give yourself in a contact sport, if it's competitive, the cutting edge will always be riding the line of physical damage.

    Similar arguments are often made in motorsport, that things that apparently make the vehicle safer actually make racing more dangerous because all they do is encourage more risk taking. ABS brakes, for instance, meant that drivers could brake later into corners. So, of course, they do. Which means that they come off corners much faster than before if the vehicle loses control.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    You’d think that ACC would be strongly advocating better concussion management for younger players….imagine if the dementia in later life can be proven to have been caused by concussion…

    The evidence is starting to mount up.

    I had three concussions before the age of 18, when I stopped playing rugby. None of the playing field, although one was tossing a ball around and running down at the park. I remember the last two – apart from the time I spent unconscious – and it was the most horrible, sickening feeling. I vomited for hours afterwards and I have a bolt of white hair that may be at the impact point of the last one.

    There's probably a case for saying I shouldn't have been playing after that last one.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    i) I wish they would leave Doug alone he's a decent bloke doing a good thing.

    ii) My principle point of concern is that many of those involved in the decision making process around concussion have no direct experience of the modern game as it is played at school and club level. The players are far fitter/faster (more collisions), stronger (greater force) and the structure of competition means they play more often (more collisions). Given that the effects of CTE are cummulative if you are worried about those 40+ now. Then be somewhat concerned about this problem moving down the age groups.

    iii) Even the mildest of memroy deficits can make your life f**king miserable; standing in a room uncertain about why you are there is not funny on a day to day basis.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Maz,

    And Richie McCaw is a commercial pilot...

    Who already is struggling to tell the difference between our flag and Australias.

    Do I want to come up for a spin Richie? Yeah.... Nah.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2214 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    On the Dean Lonergan thing of 1991....

    Rob Allen (brother of the mercurial All Black Nicky Allen, who suffered a fatal on-field concussion after a series of knocks over several years)

    I wasn't following League in 1991 (I still don't), but I notice that Rob Allen commented on Media Take that Dean Lonergan was removed from the field a few minutes after returning, wandering obviously dazed and mindless in the dead ball area, or something.

    I've tried to look it up and this account seems inconsistent with other accounts, like this Herald article from 2012, which incidentally also spoke to Rob Allen. In that one, Dean Lonergan himself seems to state that he continued to play the entire game after the initial 10 minutes off following all the convulsing.

    Was he actually taken off the field a second time, or was Rob Allen mistaken with his comment on the show?

    Edit: It's a bit of a shame that the Herald is hosting this Top 10 Moments in Kiwi League article from 2009, which ranks the moment as number 1 and more or less condones what happened.

    "he returned after 10 minutes to play one of his finest games in national colours - not that he remembers it"

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

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