Football is to America today what feeding the locals to the lions was to ancient Rome. I must confess that I have largely lost my taste for it.
Did you see the report last fall that revealed that autopsies performed on 76 of 79 deceased NFL players showed evidence of the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy?
...Researchers there have now examined the brain tissue of 128 football players who, before their deaths, played the game professionally, semi-professionally, in college or in high school. Of that sample, 101 players, or just under 80 percent, tested positive for CTE.Now comes news that even mild concussions have significant long term cognitive repercussions and the problems are exacerbated when football players start playing in their youth.
Researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine studied a group of 42 retired National Football League players between the ages of 40 and 69 years old. The players were matched by age and divided into two groups: those who were first exposed to tackle football before age 12 and those first exposed to the sport when they were that age or older. The researchers then ran the players through a battery of tests to measure how each of their brains functions when it comes to reasoning, concentration, problem solving, and memory. What they discovered should end the argument about whether kids should be playing tackle football.Seems a bit barbaric to me, if not cannibalistic. Young gladiators sacrificing critical thinking skills every sunday for your armchair entertainment. Real men can't count to five or tie their own shoes anymore and rah rah rah.
According to results of the study published in the journal Neurology, retired NFL players who started playing tackle football before they were 12 years old performed about 20% worse on the tests than those who started playing when they were older. That outcome was more than enough for the researchers to suggest there is a link between participation in tackle football before age 12 and brain-related impairments later in life.
The human brain in kids as old as 12 years is still in an important stage of development. It is still not even halfway through the process of connecting its circuitry. So, as the researchers suggest, that’s squarely in a period of time when the repeated impacts to the head that are common to tackle football could decrease brain functions and increase the risk of problems down-the-line.
I love sports, caught the Aztecs basketball game last night, we won, had a great time down there. I played baseball and soccer in school, later competed in the martial arts. Just find it perverse to watch a bunch of steroid fed animals try to beat each other into stupidity or worse.
The birds are at it again in the valley. A bit early. Saw a red tailed hawk inspecting the breeding nest yesterday, the one perched high in the sycamore that they come back to year after year, but only use for one purpose.
This morning I saw an osprey high on a telephone pole. Didn't have my camera. I will take it as an omen. Seahawks win.
|Osprey, Santee Lakes|