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Brain Disease Found In NFL Players

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the do-you-mean-smashing-your-head-isn't-safe dept.

Medicine 271

SternisheFan sends this excerpt from ABC: "On the heels of the latest NFL suicide, researchers announced today that 34 NFL players whose brains were studied suffered from CTE, a degenerative brain disease brought on by repeated hits to the head that results in confusion, depression and, eventually, dementia. The study was released just days after the murder-suicide of Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher. It's not yet known what triggered Belcher's action, but they mirror other NFL players who have committed suicide. Researchers at Boston University's Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy published the largest case series study of CTE to date (abstract), according to the center. Of the 85 brains donated by the families of deceased veterans and athletes with histories of repeated head trauma, they found CTE in 68 of them. Of those, 34 were professional football players, nine others played college football and six played only high school football. Of the 35 professional football players' brains donated, only one had no evidence of the disease, according to the study." It's a good thing we protect our youth from conditions like this.

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Did we really need a study for this? (5, Funny)

Press2ToContinue (2424598) | about 2 years ago | (#42188171)

Do we really need a study to show that repeated hits to the head result in confusion, depression and dementia? If so, I'd like to sign up to be the guy on the research team that whacks this researcher on the head repeatedly so he can discover the effects.

I just want to help. Really I do.

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (5, Interesting)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | about 2 years ago | (#42188225)

Actually, they need to expand the study and find out what performance enhancers might be in use as well.

Darwin (0)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 2 years ago | (#42188363)

'Nuff said.

Re:Darwin (1, Insightful)

jamesh (87723) | about 2 years ago | (#42188579)

'Nuff said.

Wrong. Completely wrong. Absolutely brimming over with wrongability. The dementia in question can strike many years after they have finished playing and breeding. You need to go and read up on how evolution works. I'll give you a hint though - if your kids are old enough to look after themselves when the effects of your stupid (or just plain unfortunate) actions are realised, it doesn't count.

Re:Darwin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188803)

Darwin would have you losing to these guys since by the time their disease develops they have already slept with plenty of desirable women. If jumping off a cliff would make you more attractive to the opposite sex, Darwinism would make us all cliff jumpers.

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (1)

GarretSidzaka (1417217) | about 2 years ago | (#42188565)

yeah muddy the topic why dont you.

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (-1, Offtopic)

thoughtlover (83833) | about 2 years ago | (#42188657)

yeah muddy the topic why dont you.

Muddy the argument so no one can win the debate? That's one from FOX News' playbook. Sorry, that was punintended...

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188299)

Do we really need a study to show that repeated hits to the head result in confusion, depression and dementia? If so, I'd like to sign up to be the guy on the research team that whacks this researcher on the head repeatedly so he can discover the effects.

I just want to help. Really I do.

We know that hits to the head result in all that and more, but now there's actual quantized data. With hard facts it's harder to muddle the issue with "but they wear protective helmets" or some other wishy washy double talk.

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#42188315)

Do we really need a study to show that repeated hits to the head result in confusion, depression and dementia? If so, I'd like to sign up to be the guy on the research team that whacks this researcher on the head repeatedly so he can discover the effects.

I just want to help. Really I do.

If we want information on such minor questions as "how often repeated?", "Just how hard?", "Are the effects merely additive, or does one hit make the next more dangerous?", "Are hits with no clinicially observable effects safe or do they add up?".

It has never been news that hits hard enough to produce immediate, observable, effects are a bad plan. That hits with no effect, or from which you appear to recover, are a very serious risk for degeneration in the mid to long term? That isn't immediately obvious.

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (1)

0111 1110 (518466) | about 2 years ago | (#42188345)

Maybe not obvious but certainly already well known. There will always be people that want to deny such things however. So the more evidence the better. Since most people who play football (of any sort) aren't exactly what you'd call intellectuals in the first place, the practical question for them is when will they actually become drooling vegetables unable to take care of themselves?

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (4, Funny)

xQx (5744) | about 2 years ago | (#42188391)

In other news, this study was repeated using NFL supporters as a control group.

In that study, no statistically significant differences were found between the level of brain damage found in the control group compared with that of the group studied.

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188831)

I would expect the players to suffer slightly less brain damage, at least they have the excuse that they are getting payed a shitload to be involved with the game.

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (0)

robbie73 (2650527) | about 2 years ago | (#42188951)

"payed", huh? brain damage is already setting in?

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188405)

Do people become stupid from playing football or does football attract stupid people?

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188413)

Do people become stupid from reading slashdot or does slashdot attract stupid people?

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188539)

They always call him Mr. Touchdown;
They always call him Mr.T.
He can run and he can throw;
Just give him the ball and look at him go!

Hip hip hooray for Mr. Touchdown;
He's gonna beat em today;
So, lets give a great big cheer
for the hero of the year;
It's Mr. Touchdown, USA

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#42188419)

It will take a lot of data to break through the (conveniently not-at-all-self-serving) 'Just rub some dirt in it and don't be a pussy" school of sports medicine, I fear.

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188493)

One thing I wish would change is barring the expression "got his bell rung" for any hit to the head. What a stupid way to minimize what just happened when people take a huge hit to the head. I've seen people get hit, have the commentators say that and then the player lays on the field for 10 minutes while medical staff attempt to assess if it is even safe to move him.

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188519)

Actually, having been in that position on a (thankfully) few occasions (not related to sports), "got his bell rung" is actually a pretty good description of the sensation involved. It feels very much like a ringing bell sounds.

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#42188597)

I'm sure the wave of insanely monstrous lawsuits coming down the line will do that. And the NFL isn't the only one facing this. The NHL isn't far behind.

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188517)

Yes, because the sports industry is fighting this research as hard as possible because they see it as the end of their cash cow. Read Sports Illustrated and check out how they portray this as pseudoscientific bullshit.

If we can conclusively prove that concussive sports such as football and boxing lead to degenerative brain disease, every company invested in those sports will be looking at the end of their livelihood. Rather than do what's right for the players, they are working hard to spread FUD about such research.

So yeah, we need the study. We are going up against the entire sports industry, and they have deep pockets.

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (4, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#42188603)

Wherever there is money to be made, there will be industry people doing everything they can to keep the money rolling, even if it means insane amounts of damage.

But hey, it's America. Jesus loves a winner. Jesus hates taxes, Mexicans and poor sick people. Jesus loves the guy that gets thirty major concussions in his NFL career and suffers advanced dementia in his fifties.

God bless this great country!

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#42188847)

But hey, it's America. Jesus loves a winner. Jesus hates taxes, Mexicans and poor sick people. Jesus loves the guy that gets thirty major concussions in his NFL career and suffers advanced dementia in his fifties.

Wrong about that last one; Jesus only loves the team owners that profited off of it.

(Unless it's those socialistic Green Bay Packers.)

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#42188837)

Yes, because the sports industry is fighting this research as hard as possible because they see it as the end of their cash cow. Read Sports Illustrated and check out how they portray this as pseudoscientific bullshit.

People letting other people suffer and die to make a buck? Surely you jest.

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188533)

They should do a study on Rugby (australian/england/wales etc.) , where the players don't wear helmets. This obviously means greater chance of serious injury in case of head hits, however because no player is wearing helmets, everyone avoids head hits. Conclusion helmets should be banned in NFL :p

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#42188619)

First of all, it's pretty much been determined that helmets offer little more than a false sense of security, meaning the hits being taken are that much worse. I'll wager, as counterintuitive as it seems, that rugby players don't actually suffer the same degree of head injuries as sports like football or ice hockey, where helmets are sold as not only protection, but an excuse to keep smashing skulls.

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (2)

hedleyroos (817147) | about 2 years ago | (#42188721)

It is illegal to tackle above the shoulders in rugby. You must also perform a tackle using your arms, not shoulder a player. We have very few cases of head trauma.

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (5, Funny)

Lord Kano (13027) | about 2 years ago | (#42188667)

Then you are not thinking this through properly.

I, on the other hand, would like to volunteer for the study that seeks to prove that receiving oral sex to completion from large breasted women is pleasurable.

LK

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188797)

yes

we should test it on politicians (1)

CHRONOSS2008 (1226498) | about 2 years ago | (#42188875)

Just to make sure that you cant get more stupid then you already are.

Re:Did we really need a study for this? (2)

bogjobber (880402) | about 2 years ago | (#42188983)

Yes, actually, we do. It was previously thought that only hits hard enough to cause visible concussion symptoms resulted in brain damage. Now we know that consistent low-level impacts have a far more significant impact on CTE. Another thing that was not understood was how prevalent brain damage was in the sport. Obviously in a game featuring violent impacts you're going to end up with some brain damage, but the fact is that *nearly all* professional football players show some sign of CTE, and even kids as young as 15 or 16 are showing signs of the disease. This has brought about *massive* changes to the way we practice and officiate the sport, particularly at the high school level.

This is a really fascinating subject for anyone that is interested:
The Women Who Would Save Football [grantland.com]
Concussions among adolescents [grantland.com]
Concussions in the NHL [grantland.com]

Oh wait, I forgot this is slashdot, and the hivemind looks down on athletics. OHMAGEERRRRD, FOOTBALL IS SO STUPID.

I love Sarcastiball- (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188203)

'cus it's sooooo much better than Football!

*sunglasses*

Re:I love Sarcastiball- (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188549)

This is cum!

1000 ziplocs anyone? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188207)

Going to be interesting to see if Belcher's brain had this disease, seeing as it was spread all over the parking lot.

Re:1000 ziplocs anyone? (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#42188327)

Going to be interesting to see if Belcher's brain had this disease, seeing as it was spread all over the parking lot.

One of his former colleagues [wikipedia.org] shot himself in the chest instead, for precisely that reason...

Re:1000 ziplocs anyone? (5, Funny)

NFN_NLN (633283) | about 2 years ago | (#42188659)

Going to be interesting to see if Belcher's brain had this disease, seeing as it was spread all over the parking lot.

One of his former colleagues [wikipedia.org] shot himself in the chest instead, for precisely that reason...

Geez, I thought you were trolling but he LITERALLY... "sent a text message to his family saying he wanted his brain to be used for research at the Boston University School of Medicine, which is conducting research into chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) caused by playing professional football" ... and then shot himself in the chest!

This guy was the definition of team player.

Re:1000 ziplocs anyone? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188907)

Going to be interesting to see if Belcher's brain had this disease, seeing as it was spread all over the parking lot.

One of his former colleagues [wikipedia.org] shot himself in the chest instead, for precisely that reason...

Geez, I thought you were trolling but he LITERALLY... "sent a text message to his family saying he wanted his brain to be used for research at the Boston University School of Medicine, which is conducting research into chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) caused by playing professional football" ... and then shot himself in the chest!

This guy was the definition of team player.

Lucky for him that his heart was in the right place.

Jealous much? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188217)

At least his girlfriend was an actual female not his right-hand as is the case for the Slashdot crowd. That or sometimes mommy steps in to give little Billy a handjob when his fingers get too encrusted with Cheetos dust.

Re:Jealous much? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188255)

That or sometimes mommy steps in to give little Billy a handjob when his fingers get too encrusted with Cheetos dust.

It sounds like you're speaking from experience.

Re:Jealous much? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188289)

Yes, your mom tells me all about it.

Re:Jealous much? (1)

jimmetry (1801872) | about 2 years ago | (#42188329)

So, apparently having a human girlfriend is a top-notch achievement? Sorry to say this, but, it's actually a whole lot easier than you think... But here, have a gold star.

Re:Jealous much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188337)

Apparently you get bonus points for offing her and then yourself.

Re:Jealous much? (2)

0111 1110 (518466) | about 2 years ago | (#42188381)

Sorry to say this, but, it's actually a whole lot easier than you think...

Not when you look like me. It was my life goal for decades until I finally gave up. It was just too difficult. I had to go back to electrical engineering and plasma physics. Much easier. If you're a pretty boy it's easy. If you're not it actually is a major achievement.

Re:Jealous much? (2)

jimmetry (1801872) | about 2 years ago | (#42188487)

Hmm. Fair enough to some extent, but I know a lot of single women who are equally pessimistic about their hopes due to appearance. The ratio of men:women is pretty close, and polygyny is rare, so statistically speaking the situation shouldn't be hopeless.

Re:Jealous much? (1, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#42188633)

It is if you're an AC hanging out in his parents' basement writing flamebait posts about /.ers jacking off with Cheetoh-encrusted fingers. I mean, is there anything more pathetic than the grandparent poster, a complete fucking worthless loser whose life is filled with trolling Internet web sites.

Re:Jealous much? (1)

jamesh (87723) | about 2 years ago | (#42188613)

Sorry to say this, but, it's actually a whole lot easier than you think...

Not when you look like me. It was my life goal for decades until I finally gave up. It was just too difficult. I had to go back to electrical engineering and plasma physics. Much easier. If you're a pretty boy it's easy. If you're not it actually is a major achievement.

Have a look around at all the unattractive guys, and then take a look at their wives. Some of them do okay, so don't write yourself off so fast. If you're a pretty boy then getting laid is (probably) easier but statistically speaking finding a life partner when you aren't the prettiest guy on the block isn't impossible or even that difficult. What makes it hard is having the low self-esteem of feeling like you are too ugly to exist - that does make you unattractive (but so does the opposite situation). Thick skin helps too (metaphorically - actually having a disease causing a thickening of the skin probably just makes the situation worse).

im left handed (1)

CHRONOSS2008 (1226498) | about 2 years ago | (#42188887)

LOL

Redundancy (1)

Nostromo21 (1947840) | about 2 years ago | (#42188219)

I would have thought that the 1-line heading would be the start & end to this article, with anything else being redundant...? :-/

Re:Redundancy (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 2 years ago | (#42188285)

Nonsense. This is Slashdot. I'd hope that they'd at least include one line specifying how much more prevalent brain disease was, what the sample size was, and a statement saying their findings were statistically significant. After all, we're nerds. We need some facts to back up the things we already know.

Re:Redundancy (1)

Nostromo21 (1947840) | about 2 years ago | (#42188369)

You're an NFL fan, errrr, right? ;-p

Re:Redundancy (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#42188371)

We also need some better numbers so that we can update the subdual damage rules for our preferred tabletop RPGs. Sure, for short campaigns, you can pretend that getting a cudgel to the face only deals 4D3 subdual damage; but by the time the character is level 20? We'll have to ensure that he has accrued the correct number of effects from the CTE effects table....

Just like any high impact (to the head) sport. (3, Insightful)

ipquickly (1562169) | about 2 years ago | (#42188261)

This has been studied time and time again.
Any sport that involves any repeated impact to the head - whether football, boxing [science20.com] or soccer [medpagetoday.com] will result in brain injury.

Re:Just like any high impact (to the head) sport. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188443)

The Canadian spin on this is players who played in the Canadian Football League and suffered concussions (brain injury), and also NHL 'enforcers' where it was found that CTE was more advanced in players who's careers lasted longer, and who suffered numerically more, and also more serious concussions. Likewise Olympic skiers who suffered serious accidents. Headaches, depression, memory loss. Getting your 'bell rung' means you suffered brain damage. Getting it 'rung' once may not be bad if its not serious, but repetitive hits accumulate damage. Its almost like PTSD for professional athletes. They can put pins in legs, and replace cartilage with teflon and screws and add stainless steel plates here and there, but you only have one brain. We can't replace grey matter with silicon (yet). The disease also takes a while to develop (about 10 years), and sometimes shows up as early onset Alzheimer's or dementia. Players can't sleep, they get angry, they drink, abuse drugs, and they die young.

Re:Just like any high impact (to the head) sport. (1)

SecurityTheatre (2427858) | about 2 years ago | (#42188513)

One in five people in the world get angry, drink, abuse drugs and die young.

Is there actual studies that compare these people with controls?

I mean, I know a guy who was an Engineer who was an alcoholic and shot himself, but he never bashed his head on anything, unless you count a chess board...

Maybe heh as this illness and it's unrelated?

Honestly haven't seen a study that didn't *only* analyze athletes, though I will admit I haven't looked hard and will probably do some research before bed...

Just pointing out the obvious...

Re:Just like any high impact (to the head) sport. (3, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#42188645)

Oh yes, the researchers are far too stupid to use control groups. Thank goodness you came along to explain science to them.

Nonsense (3, Funny)

wbr1 (2538558) | about 2 years ago | (#42188269)

I plraled futbawl sence I wurz 5. It made my dad happy, and me happer. I never get suicidal, and I got hit in ther head hunnreds of times in those years. Preas don't look at my record and see my addiction to oxys and wife beating as any evidence to suppurt ur stupid claims either.

Re:Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188377)

That is too easy, you also left out how there family lives and upbringings come into play with how they deal with emotional problems. I am sure like everywhere on the internet slashdotters will start up with that racial bullshit, but this happens to any man.

Not having a father, or mother who had to work 2 jobs a day, not talking to adults over how to deal with things (ie coaches) the list goes on and on. The atmosphere of sports that men to bitch and whine or talk about there emotional problems.
The drugs they take even tho the league claims to have a tight drug policy, considering the players are a Union I have always questioned the drug policies in sports. I have worked for Unions (unfortunately), there are no drug policies.

Re:Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188529)

Besades, all of ma buddahs who dint play futbawl also beatz their bitches and does the drungs too and so it cant be just from mah hed injurahs, serusly

Re:Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188735)

Please excuse wbr1. One time while playing football his head was accidentially ripped from his body. Doctor says he has Dain Bramage.

Nothing to see here. Move along. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188295)

Was there ever a chance that getting trauma to the head would lead to super scientists or some other type of improvement? American football. The "sport" where you get brain damage from all that kicking the ball with your feet.

Re:Nothing to see here. Move along. (5, Informative)

lord_mike (567148) | about 2 years ago | (#42188497)

The term "football" is in reference to playing the game "on foot" as opposed to mounted on a horse like polo. Many early versions of games called football in the middle ages involved practically no kicking of a ball at all. The direct precursors to Association Football, or Soccer, allowed one to not only touch the ball with your hands, but catch it, too (i.e. the fair catch, which still survives with Soccer's cousins Rugby and American Football).

As for the brain damage with the North American version of the game, I'm not sure if there is much of a solution. There is a common belief that all the hard shell padding and hard helmets are to blame, and going "naked" like rugby would solve the problem. Players wouldn't feel as invincible and their instinct for self-preservation would kick in, reducing the force of their blocks and tackles. The data doesn't support this theory. There have been positive brain trauma studies of this sort going back 80 years ago during the age of leather helmets and soft padding, so reducing protection is probably not the answer. The nature of the game is simply predisposed to hard hits both in blocking and tackling players. The goal is to always get extra yardage or jar the ball loose. That's not an issue in rugby where there is no line to gain, the ball is loose after every play, and there is no blocking allowed. I'm not sure you could make the game safer without so radically changing its nature that it would essentially become something completely different from football as we know it.

Re:Nothing to see here. Move along. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188653)

Or accept that this is a gladiator sport and stop being concerned for the gladiator's health over the show. Go Skins! We want Dallas!!!!!!

Re:Nothing to see here. Move along. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188701)

Whatever, dude. You heard Costas: guns kill football players.

Football = a game for idiots, played by idiots. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188417)

I do not know a single intelligent person who likes
watching football.

It is idiotic barbaric violent crap.

And you have to be a sick fuck to even think it is cool
to watch people beat the hell out of each other during the game.

Of course it fits right in with the old Roman scheme of "bread and circuses"
which was meant to keep the populace in a satisfied and compliant state.
Of course if you are not an idiot that alone will offend you.

Re:Football = a game for idiots, played by idiots. (1)

jamesh (87723) | about 2 years ago | (#42188629)

I do not know a single intelligent person who likes watching football.

I know plenty, but I believe that our "Aussie Rules" football is a little more elegant than the version played in the states. Even so I don't have any real interest in it, apart from winning the footing tipping competition but that's more about the money than the game.

Re:Football = a game for idiots, played by idiots. (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#42188881)

I do not know a single intelligent person who likes
watching football.

It is idiotic barbaric violent crap.

And you have to be a sick fuck to even think it is cool
to watch people beat the hell out of each other during the game.

Of course it fits right in with the old Roman scheme of "bread and circuses"
which was meant to keep the populace in a satisfied and compliant state.
Of course if you are not an idiot that alone will offend you.

I wonder whether nerds' general disinterest in sports is a function of their general ASD nature.

ISTM that sports fandom is primarily a social phenomenon.

nothing wrong with suicide (-1)

0111 1110 (518466) | about 2 years ago | (#42188429)

Suicide is not evidence that someone has brain damage or is insane or anything like that. It is often a brave and highly rational act. When I hear of a suicide I look for what it was in their environment that caused it. Not for what was wrong in their head. It is blaming the victim that is the real problem. Japanese society has a healthy view of suicide.

Re:nothing wrong with suicide (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 2 years ago | (#42188615)

Three types of people commit suicide. The confused, the desperate, and the cowardly. None of the situations that lead to suicide were healthy to begin with.

Re:nothing wrong with suicide (2)

tftp (111690) | about 2 years ago | (#42188843)

Three types of people commit suicide. The confused, the desperate, and the cowardly.

Imagine that you are 80 years old and have $1 million in the bank. One day your doctor tells you that you are incurably ill and will start suffering unbearable pain tomorrow. The doctors can give you additional 100 days of life for the low cost of $10K per day. Then you will die anyway, and your family - or needy charities - will have nothing. You decide to commit suicide instead. Will you be confused, desperate or cowardly as you jump from the roof?

If you don't like my example then feel free to imagine a war hero who accepts a mission that will save thousands of men but will have him killed. Who will be that hero, using the short list of options that you provided?

My point here is simple. Suicide can be also a rational choice.

Re:nothing wrong with suicide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188929)

Desperation, both cases.

The sick man can't live without bankrupting himself, and will still die once the money runs out. In death, perhaps, his will might benefit others.

The soldier must undertake a suicidal mission because there is no other possible means for the mission to succeed, and failure or refusal would mean the deaths of thousands.

You're assuming that 'cowardly' or 'desperate' people can't make rational choices, or that confused people can't make decisions that are rational to them.

Re:nothing wrong with suicide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188647)

Suicide is not evidence that someone has brain damage or is insane or anything like that. It is often a brave and highly rational act. When I hear of a suicide I look for what it was in their environment that caused it. Not for what was wrong in their head. It is blaming the victim that is the real problem. Japanese society has a healthy view of suicide.

Nonsense murder suicide is never a rational decision, it always has some sort of cause. When Joseph Goebbles and his wife killed off their children and then killed themselves it was selfish psychotic behavior. When Jim Jones either ordered the execution or convinced so called sane humans to accept death it was psychotic behavior modification and a manifestation of the said same group psychosis that led many Germans and Japanese to turn to suicide at the end of the second world war.

Suicide has many reasons but by and large is completely either pathological or psychotic or a combination of both in nature. We are the only beings with higher intelligence that undertake in suicide, except perhaps some cases of whales and dolphins beaching themselves.

The only rational suicide would be for those who are suffering terminal illness and are in extreme pain or those who know that the only alternative to a slow death in bed with no chance of any reasonable quality of life chose to take there own life. Then it is a rational decision. Whenever suicide involves more than one life it is not rational.

And those who would counsel or aid others that do have hope of a reasonable quality of life are a serious danger to society themselves! Hitler, and his sociopath doctors and henchmen were evil and nothing else as they tried to engineer a super race.

We are not far from this if we socially condone suicide for those who only need time and social support! We here in Canada have had the right wing idiots advocating eugenics as has the United States, some are still vocal and need to be chastised and exposed for what they really are, sociopaths!

The more we learn about brain injury that causes sociopathic behavior and how to prevent it and mitigate the consequences with proven treatments the more of these unfortunate murder and suicides will be prevented.
   

Re:nothing wrong with suicide (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#42188893)

Suicide is not evidence that someone has brain damage or is insane or anything like that. It is often a brave and highly rational act. When I hear of a suicide I look for what it was in their environment that caused it. Not for what was wrong in their head. It is blaming the victim that is the real problem. Japanese society has a healthy view of suicide.

Unfortunately sometimes something "wrong in their head" *does* cause suicide, and a lot of other behavior that society doesn't approve of.

Re:nothing wrong with suicide (4, Interesting)

pclminion (145572) | about 2 years ago | (#42188947)

Belcher was no victim. He murdered his girlfriend in cold blood and then took the easy way out by killing himself before he could be brought to justice. I suppose his act could be described as rational (having just destroyed his entire life, what reason was there to go on?) But it wasn't brave, or honorable.

It's possible that repeated hits to the head fucked him up, but we don't allow "I was fucked up your honor" as an excuse for other people, such as drunk drivers.

In my esteemed academic opinion: (1)

DaneM (810927) | about 2 years ago | (#42188433)

I KNEW IT, I KNEW IT, I KNEW IT!

Sucks that so many folks are dying, though.

Not the first time this has happened (1)

Grayhand (2610049) | about 2 years ago | (#42188475)

"a degenerative brain disease brought on by repeated hits to the head that results in confusion, depression and, eventually, dementia." Windows Vista users suffered from a similar condition.

We have to sacrifice the youth of a few.. (1)

theascension (2784697) | about 2 years ago | (#42188485)

To satisfy our social self destructive desires.

There's always been some sacrificial element in society, whether it be celebrity, sport or literal sacrifices in less 'civilized' days. The way I see it we're lying to ourselves if we don't accept the pornography of sport, the search for new talent to seduce with fame and throw away as soon as their purpose starts to fade. How is this any different from celebrity or young women in fashion? This research is important and should bring to light an important issue in society we can't seem to live without, but how will 'making the game safer' truly improve the lives of the players while satisfying our desires as spectators? These are the questions we have to ask when we finally take a look and realize just how damaging our practice of sacrificing youth is, be it football, olympic athletes, eenage fashion models, hollywood etc. How do we replace the desire to watch others suffer? Don't dare ever question most sports fans, their only happiness is derived from obscuring the illusion of material filth around them with the constant consumption of sport.

Tom Payne wrote a decent book "Fame: What the Classics Tell us About Our Cult of Celebrity", that touches on the sacrifice aspect of celebrity.

Re:We have to sacrifice the youth of a few.. (2)

csumpi (2258986) | about 2 years ago | (#42188651)

What's the alternative? No challenges, no sports so kids don't get hurt? Hand them an iPad, sit them on the couch with a nanny and feed them cereal? Then get a shrink to subscribe Ritalin once they get messed up from high carb diet, no exercise and low self esteem?

Just let them play some ball.

And this is why I gave up watching football (1)

elfprince13 (1521333) | about 2 years ago | (#42188515)

Get my real time strategic sports viewing kicks from watching professional Starcraft now, knowing that the worst injuries being inflicted on the players is maybe a case of CTS, and only if they aren't careful about posture.

hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188531)

hand egg as it should be called would be better of if they removed the paddings and helmets ,

as reference there has been more deaths in boxing due to padded gloves then there was before when they used to box without ,

its just a false sence of safety

Re:hmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188753)

It's a prolate spheroid you divegrass-loving clod.

Not surprising (4, Insightful)

erp_consultant (2614861) | about 2 years ago | (#42188563)

I mean look at the size of these guys today. Even the wide receivers are huge. Bigger, stronger, faster...all to feed our insatiable appetite for violence disguised as sport. In hockey it's the fights. In nascar it's the crashes. In football it's the big hit. Add to that the enormous sums of money available to the stars of these sports and it's no wonder they will do whatever is necessary to win. All to the delight of the fat, shirtless drunk spewing profanities on every play.

The athletes are simply too big and strong. Could you imagine Fran Tarkenton playing in today's NFL? He would get killed. The equipment cannot protect them adequately. The NFL is stuck between giving the fans what they want on the one hand and getting sued on the other hand by crippled ex players. Cutting back on the head shots is a good start but how much can you really do to prevent permanent injury?

Re:Not surprising (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#42188675)

I'm not so familiar with football, but I know that with hockey, it's been demanded from many quarters for a couple of decades now that all leagues stop the checking and the fighting. The leagues will pay lip service to it, but the hard facts are that fans want to see violence. They want to see enforcers smashing the shit out of the fast little guy from the opposing team that keeps scoring goals. They love it when a player is smashed against the boards by some guy doing thirty miles an hour. It sells tickets. Sure the end result is some fifty year old guy with joints and spine so damaged they're physically like a 70 year old, and their brains addled because they've been giving and taking hits since they were eight years old because their old man, their coach, and every fucking person in the arena wanted to seem some actions.

What I see happening in the football and hockey leagues is a long waver that expunges the league and team of all responsibility. The promise of big bucks, women and fan adulation will keep the bulk of players in the game. The smart ones, yeah, they'll probably go "My brains and my body aren't worth this...", but for the majority, they'll take the long term pain for the short term gain.

Re:Not surprising (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#42188757)

The GP is wrong about football. Sure, there are some guys who want to hurt each other, but often the opposing players are friends, who might have played on the same team in the past. They're big because it gives them a competitive advantage, just like sumo wrestlers or basketball players.

In football, a big hit, sure it'll attract attention, but a nice run or beautiful interception will attract more.

Re:Not surprising (0)

haknick (2035324) | about 2 years ago | (#42188703)

And that is why Soccer rightly so, is still the most popular sport in the world.

Re:Not surprising (-1, Flamebait)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 years ago | (#42188787)

You know, I would listen to opinions like yours more often if you did not use slurs. Fat acceptance is real, we need to stop using size as a shaming word for those who are different from us.

No Different than other studies (1)

Gith (2778139) | about 2 years ago | (#42188567)

What we need to remember here is as the brains studied were from samples taken posthumously. Chances are they played 20-30 years ago, back when they'd take each other's heads off without so much as a flag being thrown. What I'd like to know is the incidence in brain disease with the newer, kinder, gentler NFL we see today, with the next generation collision helmets, brain injury prevention rules, etc.

Belcher's not really the same (1)

Keith Mickunas (460655) | about 2 years ago | (#42188623)

Belcher killed his girlfriend, that was the motivation for his suicide, either from the grief over what he'd done or the realization he'd be going to prison for a long, long time. Also, he'd been in the league a much shorter time than many of the other notable suicides, who often killed themselves after retirement. Belcher was just in his third season.

If he was suffering from a brain disorder from too many hits, it had clearly affected him in a much different manner than any of the others. Has there ever been another murder/suicide or some other violent act attributed to a football player suffering from this disorder?

Re:Belcher's not really the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188729)

Well, there is the Chris Benoit situation from a few years ago. He killed his wife and their son, with his brain showing significant damage. Professional wrestlers sustain similar head injuries to football players (one of the people behind this organization is a former Harvard football player/WWE professional wrestler).

Re:Belcher's not really the same (1)

Keith Mickunas (460655) | about 2 years ago | (#42188789)

The thing is, Benoit had a 22 year career as a wrestler, Belcher was only 25 years old. And so far I've heard nothing about steroid use in the Belcher case.

Long and the short of it is I think it's presumptuous at this point to say that the Belcher case is relevant in this discussion. Now perhaps there's a larger issue about the lifestyles of pro athletes as well as college athletes, and how they are treated by coaches and a society as a whole. But that a whole other mess.

Of course maybe this guy took way too many hard knocks and continued playing in the game. Hopefully they can still test his remains.

Well, it's over. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188663)

"Handegg" (I refuse to call anything but Association Football "football") needs to be banned and removed from play at school level. Anything less is irresponsible.

Only idiot fans of that violent, harmful sports would dare say anything else.

Re:Well, it's over. (1)

thoughtlover (83833) | about 2 years ago | (#42188783)

"Handegg" (I refuse to call anything but Association Football "football") needs to be banned and removed from play at school level. Anything less is irresponsible.

Only idiot fans of that violent, harmful sports would dare say anything else.

"Its funny when people get hurt." -Homer Simpson

I don't want to make it look like I'm only bashing American football because this could easily apply to the NASCAR fans that only watch it for the crashes.. and hockey for the fans that only watch it for the fights... or boxing for people who only watch it for the KOs.. or MMA for the totallyfuckingawesome KOs. OK, I'm just making this worse.

re: youth (1)

thoughtlover (83833) | about 2 years ago | (#42188739)

It's a good thing we protect our youth from conditions like this.

I see your sarcasm and raise you an unfortunate reality [npr.org] . I grew up on the NFL, like many kids did in the 70s and 80s, as our parents and their friends gathered, drank and were merry. I never made a mental connection to football like I did with, say, Star Trek. I didn't ever seek it out, but rather it became background noise and part-reason to gather with friends... and drink. Perhaps a fortunate side-effect of the USA becoming more aware of brain injury could be the replacement of humans with robotic players. Yeah, I know we're nowhere close to stuff like Real Steel, but wouldn't it be kind of cool to see bots being beat to crap and the pieces swept off after? By little robots, nonetheless.

Couldn't stop myself (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188759)

Isn't this a no-brainer?

But ... but ... but ... (1)

hduff (570443) | about 2 years ago | (#42188763)

Sports builds character. How could it be so bad? These brain damaged players are just slackers. Next your gonna say that vaccinations don't cause autism and Jesus didn't ride dinosaurs.

Please respond using a car analogy so I can understand WTF you are saying.

Re:But ... but ... but ... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#42188933)

Sports builds character. How could it be so bad?

It's especially edifying when both sides pray to the same God for victory.

(Though perhaps less so than when armies do it.)

Asshole football players (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188781)

No surprise.

If you've ever had the displeasure of meeting a football player, "brain damage" would be least of your worries.

simple, just make brain damage illegal (2, Funny)

kawabago (551139) | about 2 years ago | (#42188795)

Then no one will be able to get it.

Play the hand you're dealt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42188855)

We all pay a price for monetizing our natural talents and abilities. The NFL guys suffer from head bashing. The brilliant programmers often suffer burn-out from death marches. I've seen both types in their old age and they are both badly damaged.

While some of us are not so big, quick and athletic as to get sucked into the Big Sportz Machine (TM), it is simplistic to presume such a career is less healthy than another.

iStupidicus.giganticus (1)

CHRONOSS2008 (1226498) | about 2 years ago | (#42188857)

yes folks it was discovered while a giant sized NFL guy was trying to text his mom....shame really...we discover that head banging for real just isnt what its CRACKED up to be....

So what is the cure you all say....why ILessStupidicus.runticus gene....These small weak eyed humans needing glasses are the key to salvation of said big people ....

What's crazy (1)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | about 2 years ago | (#42188971)

What's crazy is that women still chase after alpha male guys - and in fact - guys exactly like these - instead of intelligent geeks...

Go figure?

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