Griffin's Noggin

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Griffin's Noggin

Postby cvillehog » Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:53 pm

I know what every Redskins fan everywhere was thinking immediately after the game yesterday: "I'm so glad that we won, but what does Tiki Barber think about RG3 playing a week after being concussed?" Well, look no further than USA Today! http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nf ... n/1634175/

Tiki's Take: Robert Griffin III sent wrong message by playing after concussion

10:16AM EDT October 15. 2012 - "RGIII proved me wrong. I thought he should have sat out this week." — Washington Redskins fan commenting on Robert Griffin III's three-touchdown game (he had a combined 320 running/passing yards as well) Sunday.

As complimentary as this comment is, it typifies the challenges that NFL and youth sport medical professionals across the country face when trying to diagnose and prevent concussions.

It's difficult to argue that Griffin's outstanding day, including his electrifying, 76-yard touchdown run that sealed the Redskins' win over the Minnesota Vikings, was anything short of amazing. But if he really wanted to be an example for the game, he wouldn't even have suited up.

Last week, while scrambling on a third down, Griffin took a hard hit that concussed him and forced him out of the game. The Redskins, while acknowleding that he suffered a "mild concussion" and was "shaken up" quickly cleared him for practice on a limited basis during the week and then allowed him to play Sunday. The result was a huge win over one of the NFL's hottest teams.

I have to admit, given I grew up a Redskins fan in Southwest Virginia and played on that FedEx Field stage man times, it was exciting to witness the success of another young black and noncoventional quarterback.

Football has always had an overt machismo about it. There is an "are you hurt, or are you injured?" mentality that is ingrained into the conscience at a young age by parents, coaches and peers. It's a toughness that sometimes is seen as the defining difference between those who make it to the professional ranks and those who do not.

But it is also one of the reasons that many NFL players who have allowed their brain tissue to be examined after death have shown signs of chronic traumatic encepholopathy — a degenerative brain condition that leaves holes in brain tissue and affects reasoning and impulse control.

Diagnosis of brain trauma has greatly improved over the past few years as teams put players through a battery of baseline tests that allows for better understanding of the cognitive effects of concussions.

Less than 10 years ago, believe it or not, the diagnosis was left to the player. I remember taking a shot to the head in 1997, my rookie season, from Toby Wright, one of the league's hardest-hitting safeties. I was unconcious and left the game. But I quickly returned becasue I knew that was what I supposed to do — that is not let my team down. Ultimately, I stayed in the game for only a couple of snaps because I couldn't remember the plays.

There were no real precautions then, so you played whenever you "thought" you were well enough to compete. We know now that leaving decisions like that to players who can't think straight is silly. And dangerous.

Now in the NFL, there are many precautionary measures to prevent concussed players from playing too soon. The league and teams, and everyone surrounding the game, pay significant lip service to player safety with good cause. But how much has really changed?

Players still lie to stay on the field. They don't want to see someone else doing their job, especially when they know that they could be one injury away from not having one.

Short of guaranteeing contracts — which most likely will never happen — there's not much that can be done to force players to think about their long-term health as opposed to their short-term glory, other than to continue to educate them and hope they see the light — before seeing too many stars.

RGIII will be lauded for an amazing performance by his teammates, coaches, fans and media. In coming back from his concussion in just a week, he sent a message to his teammates and fans: I'm the tough kind of leader you want in that huddle. But he also sent a message to kids on every level of football, from Pop Warner to high school and college, who suffer head injuries ... and want to be just like him.


It's an interesting line of criticism, actually. In the recent past, a player like RG3 would have been sent back into the game pretty quickly after getting knocked around like that. But because the coach heeded the league's emphasis on treatment of potential traumatic brain injuries, the Redskins are now facing criticism for letting him play the following week? Even after being cleared by doctors? I guess everyone has to have something to write about.

On a related note: if the league wants to stay around, it will have to prevent almost all brain injuries, and doing so may require significant changes to the way the game is played. Could this be the last generation of actual football? Would previous generations call what we watch actual football?

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Postby Bob 0119 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:17 pm

The science of concussions is not an exact science.

Tiki tells his story but never points out that Griffin never lost consciousness. He failed a test (twice if I recall) and the Redskins sent him to the showers.

They didn't lie about him failing the tests (i.e. say that he passed so he could go back in). Griffin reported on his twitter that night that he was feeling fine.

Griffin showed NO other symptoms. No dizziness, no nausea, no headaches. He passed the tests on Wednesday. The Redskins cleared him for "limited practice" as a precaution and tested him every day including game day.

How long should he have sat out? A week? A month? The rest of the season as a precaution? Hell, if we're going to do that, then why don't we just end the games after the coin tosses as a precaution so no one gets hurt.

It's asinine the level of criticism the Redskins are getting. Vick has been falling apart since the pre-season; why doesn't Tiki talk about them? Where's the calls for them to bench Vick until he's 100%?

It's because they don't WANT to see the Redskins win. They REALLY didn't want to see Griffin bounce back from his "mild concussion" (said with as much sarcasm and scorn as they can muster). They wanted to see Shanahan proven to be an idiot for even making up a phrase like "mild concussion" (even though medical professionals use that phrase on a daily basis to differentiate from more serious concussions where loss of consciousness and the other symptoms do occur)

/rant
“If you grow up in metro Washington, you grow up a diehard Redskins fan. But if you hate your parents, you grow up a Cowboys fan.”-Jim Lachey

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Postby cvillehog » Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:36 pm

Bob 0119 wrote:The science of concussions is not an exact science.

Tiki tells his story but never points out that Griffin never lost consciousness. He failed a test (twice if I recall) and the Redskins sent him to the showers.

They didn't lie about him failing the tests (i.e. say that he passed so he could go back in). Griffin reported on his twitter that night that he was feeling fine.

Griffin showed NO other symptoms. No dizziness, no nausea, no headaches. He passed the tests on Wednesday. The Redskins cleared him for "limited practice" as a precaution and tested him every day including game day.

How long should he have sat out? A week? A month? The rest of the season as a precaution? Hell, if we're going to do that, then why don't we just end the games after the coin tosses as a precaution so no one gets hurt.

It's asinine the level of criticism the Redskins are getting. Vick has been falling apart since the pre-season; why doesn't Tiki talk about them? Where's the calls for them to bench Vick until he's 100%?

It's because they don't WANT to see the Redskins win. They REALLY didn't want to see Griffin bounce back from his "mild concussion" (said with as much sarcasm and scorn as they can muster). They wanted to see Shanahan proven to be an idiot for even making up a phrase like "mild concussion" (even though medical professionals use that phrase on a daily basis to differentiate from more serious concussions where loss of consciousness and the other symptoms do occur)

/rant


I'm totally with you Bob. And, even without that internal contradiction, these commentators are hypocritical for criticizing the Redskins here when they are the people who have glorified big hits over and over throughout the years (and, in fact, I didn't see any of them say the hit on RGIII was anything but legal).

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Postby rskin72 » Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:25 pm

+1 with Bob. I really think much is being made about RGIII's playing this weekend. The NFL is uber-sensitive to this issue right now, to the point where I would think they would err on the side of caution if there were ANY reason to suspect lingering effects on RGIII (or any player) who had just suffered a concussion. Heck, there were independent doctors/neurologists who confirmed that RGIII was good to go.

All of this scrutiny about us and RGIII...where were the concussion police last season when McCoy got lit up and still played?
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Postby ATX_Skins » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:36 am

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Postby welch » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:56 pm

Barber's essay seemed good and thoughtful.

RG3 is spectacular. He does things now -- as a rookie -- that no Redskin has ever done. Runs like Charley Taylor and throws a bit like Sammy Baugh.

I want RG3 to be the Redskin QB for a long time.

Barber's essay reminds me, though, of damage that the game does to even the best players. Mark Rypien and Art Monk suffer memory problems. That's serious.

Rypien won the starting job because he studied the playbook offseason, after Stan Humphries had been promised the job. "Mark knows this offense better than I do", said Joe Gibbs. Humphries had studied nothing, and was out of shape. Rypien led that team to SB 26.

Art Monk: the model player.

I won't dismiss Barber's article. I'll hope to Redskin heaven that RG3 never gets hit in the head again...but know the chances.

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Postby Irn-Bru » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:50 pm

ATX_Skins wrote:Image


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