Definition rewrite -jdormann

Can Serious Head Injuries be Prevented in American Football?

Many athletes and their families lives have been altered forever, or ended because of concussions or spinal injuries due to playing football. When a person plays a high impact sport, their chances of a life-changing injury dramatically increases. Repetitive head injuries have been proven to cause CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Football is a popular sport across America, and research on brain damage from playing continues to prove the dangers it has to a player’s health.

When watching a football game, at any level, spectators can expect to see powerful hits that radiate through the athlete’s head and spine. The high energy hits are thrilling for both the fans and athletes, but cumulative hits cause serious damage to the player’s health. NFL players are the highest level football players in the world, and they are the ones that receive the highest number of head injuries causing the most damage. CTE is a disease that slowly kills brain cells and will completely alter someone’s mental state and thought process. It causes increased aggression, suceptibility to dementia, anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. Studies have proven that playing football at a young age increases the risk of brain damage tremendously. Boston University conducted research on the damage that football has on developing players. In an article by the Washington Post, they wrote, “Those who started playing contact football before the age of 12 suffered more behavioral, cognitive and emotional problems than those who started playing after they turned 12.” This is hard evidence of the detrimental issues football can have on young players. Society needs to be careful about allowing young athletes to participate in football. Children do not fully understand how playing a sport can affect them in the long term. All football players are susceptible to serious brain injuries, but children are much more vulnerable to these life-altering injuries. As more people become aware of the dangers, they are less likely to support the game or allow their developing children to play. If there is a way to prevent or entirely eliminate concussions, people would feel more comfortable with allowing their children to play football.

The risk of concussions and serious injury are prevalent in full contact sports, but other sports do not have the same life-altering injury rate as football.Rugby does have concussions, but it is typically from improper tackling technique. Safety of the player being tackled is also of high importance. There are rules in the game that do not allow unsafe tackles. If a tackler is to spear, tackle above the runner’s shoulders, tackle a player without the ball, or lift the player from the ground, the result will be at least a yellow card removing them from the game and possibly a multiple game suspension.

Certain teams and players have adopted techniques that reduce the chances of serious head injuries. The professional football league has worked towards implementing new rules that keep players safer.Teams like the Seattle Seahawks have adopted this rugby style of tackling and it has improved player safety and tackling efficiency. The different tackling technique may not be accepted by all teams, but the game will eventually have to do something about the head injury epidemic. An article published by The Telegraph states:

Several American colleges have studied this way of tackling. The Seattle Seahawks have worked with Fijian rugby sevens star Waisale Serevi on “taking the head out of the game”. Rugby techniques have subsequently been introduced at Washington, Florida and Michigan State – whose head coach Mark Dantonio extols the benefits of rugby–style tackling.

This type of tackling emphasizes player safety and not allowing the head to be put in danger during contact. Rugby players do not wear padding or helmets, so tackling must be controlled and properly executed. The players must be cognizant of their body position and in complete control of the tackling movement. When using proper technique, athletes executing a tackle will make contact with the shoulder and drive through the opponent.


The way that football players tackle is careless and does not usually follow any specific technique. Players will throw their body into a tackle because their padding gives them a false sense of security. The head is not protected and there is not enough absorption of energy to protect the athlete’s brain. Young athletes are taught some techniques, but proper technique often gets thrown out the window during play.

Intense impact on the shoulder and neck area can cause a stinger. A stinger occurs when the neck is pushed to the side and the main nerve from the brain to the arm is pinched. This can cause the sensation of an electric shock or burning/stinging. Although a majority of the time this injury resolves between hours to days, it can become frequently occurring and could become a lifelong injury. In an article about stingers and the possible health hazards by Alexa Royston and Lindsay Ramey, it reads,”Terminal stingers/burners are characterized by severe neurotmetic injuries, where incomplete reinnervation may lead to permanent weakness and atrophy.” Motor weakness, loss of muscle, and paresthesia occur in extreme stinger cases. There is a number of rugby players that have had stingers, but the statistics are far less than football. The probability of stingers and nerve damage increase when the tackler and runner are playing with the false sense of security that padding gives them. When players continue to participate despite their injuries, they put themselves and others at higher risk because their technique deteriorates.

People that do not support football could argue that players accept the risk of serious injury upon participating in football, but walking away with a life debilitating injury is not a thought for any of players. A high contact, high impact sport that risks permanent injury to the brain, spine, and skeletal muscle system needs to support safer rules and techniques instead of pushing players to create bigger and harder hits.


Tmg. “Is Rugby or American Football More Dangerous?” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 25 Jan. 2016,

Royston, A., & Ramey, L. (2013, September 20). Stingers and Burners. Retrieved March 20, 2018, from

Wilkerson, R. (n.d.). Our knowledge of orthopedics. Your best health. (S. J. Fischer, Ed.). Retrieved March 20, 2018, from–conditions/burners-and-stingers/

Rebuttal argument-jdormann

American football players have been plagued with concussions for years. Typically, these concussions occur during tackles. The padding that players wear gives them a false sense of security and some even use their head as a tackling tool. On the other hand, rugby players do not suffer as many concussions, but they wear no padding. The tackling technique rugby players use is safer for the head and spine. There are some football coaches and teams that have adopted the rugby-style of tackling, but it is not practical for all teams to do this.

Football requires a team to move the ball a minimum of 10 yards for a first down and they have four tries to do this. Each and every yard in a football game matters. Stopping an opponent one yard can make or break a game. There is no first down in rugby, so there is nothing bad about giving up a couple yards. Rugby players can sacrifice yards and it will not effect the game. Of course, the team wants to get the ball to the end zone, but they can take as many tries as they need to.

In a rugby match, the attacking player will not try to squeeze every last inch out of a run because it will not effect the game, and they do not want to risk getting injured. Football players need to push for the extra inches and get the most out of every play. The battle for that extra little bit can cause injuries and unsafe play. Although it may be dangerous at times, football players must hold the attacking team to the minimum amount of yards on every play. The tackling technique football players employ is to stop the runner as soon as possible, with them gaining the least amount of yards. This requires tremendous force to be output by the defender and does not always result in safe play. The risk of personal safety is a price that football players pay to be good athletes. If a player is giving up the slightest amount of yardage, they are not doing their job to the best of their ability.

When rugby players attempt to make a tackle, they are risking their body without padding, and are careful and follow the proper technique. Players risk gruesome injuries in a tackle that could be prevented by using proper technique. The rugby tackle is a wrap technique that is not aimed at stopping the attacker immediately, but by safely stopping the attacker and keeping the defender in a safe position. It eliminates the use of the head in the tackle and does not force excessive pressure on the spine. Living With Sports Injuries,a book written by Elizabeth Shimer Bowers and Clifford D. Stark, reads, “Players frequently experience concussions, as well as neck and shoulder injuries, usually as a result of open field tackling.” Open field tackling can mean high speed collisions and poor technique. When an attacker is running full speed and the defender must make the stop, they will do it by any means necessary and not pay attention to technique. The lack of a safe technique often leads to injuries. The injuries that football players suffer from include fractured bones, dislocations, concussions, and “stingers”, the loss of feeling and inability to move the arm.

Although the fate of a football game may be decided from a few yards, the impact of how players tackle can leave a mark on them forever. Football has a major concussion problem because of how they tackle, and the mindset of the players during the game. Every inch matters to them, but not every brain cell. The rugby style of tackling is much safer for the brain. Rugby players still suffer from concussions, but not nearly as many as football players. The rugby-style tackling technique may result in the loss of a couple yards, or even the loss of a game. The sacrifice of losing one game can save a player the sacrifice of destroying their brain for the rest of their life.

Causal argument-jdormann

Injuries in high impact sports have been found tube more detrimental than in years past. The players that are effected may not be aware of the complications until it is too late for them to recover. Lives are negatively effected and even ended any terrible injuries that could possibly be prevented.

Football players are exposed to concussions from head to head and head to ground impacts. The injuries they suffer can be immediate or long-term. For example, top level players, like Junior Seau, have taken their own lives because of CTE complications.The NFL has turned a blind eye for too many years to these injuries and complications because of them. People that participate in football and other high-impact sports are accepting of life changing injuries when they agree to play the sport, but they do not expect it to be life ending.

Rugby players do not suffer as many concussions as football players because of their body awareness on the field of play. They are taught to tackle differently and not use their heads as a device to bring down the opponent. When a rugby player uses their head in a tackle, they are susceptible to being knocked out and immediately learning that they need to change their technique.

Football players are padded, and they do not receive as much of an immediate effect from high-impact head injuries. The small amount of pain or “ringing” is brushed off as a good hit. The player then goes on to receive countless of these impacts which eventually manifest into permanent brain damage and at the worst, CTE.

Spinal injuries are more typical to rugby players. When good techniques are used, it is not always good enough. Bringing down an opponent at full speed is not always easy and safe. The pure inertia of stopping someone running full speed can compress the spine and cause immediate or future complications. Also, when players are involved in a scrum, they are susceptible to above average forces acting on their body, specifically their spine. In a scrum, eight players from each team essentially line up in one large group and push straight into each other for the ball. One can imagine what happens when their technique is not perfect or something goes wrong. The spine and major muscles in the body take the brunt of the torque and power applied. When there is  by so many men exerting tremendous force.

Visual Rhetoric- jdormann

0:00-0:01 There is a grey cartoon bull in a light blue colored room with potted flowers hanging on the wall. There are also flowers hung on a strand across the ceiling. The bull is looking down and looks like he feels bad about something.

0:01-0:02 The bull picks his head up and seems to be happy now. The screen shifts to an old lady holding a pot of flowers in a window, and the bull appears on the other side of the window and is happy to be smelling the flowers.

0:02-0:03 The old lady looks up and sees the bull and looks to be in shock. The bull takes off running and knocks the potted flowers off of the old lady’s outside window. It is clear to see the bull is outside.

0:03-0:04 A man is outside of what seems to be his house and the bull is looking at him face to face and the man carefully goes back in his house out of fear.

0:04 -0:05 When the man shuts the door, the bull becomes sad. The bull is running fast and looks angry. There is a hole in what looks to be a large dirt field.

0:06-0:07 The bull jumps and looks like he regrets it. He then looks scared and the camera shifts to a rabbit that looks terrified. I would assume the bull is jumping towards the rabbit.

0:08-0:09 The bull lands over the rabbits hole with his horns on either side, not injuring the rabbit at all. He then is standing next to the hole with a goat and they are both looking at the rabbit as it jumps back into the hole. The bull looks like he feels guilty.

0:10-0:11 The bull is looking at a waterfall in a valley and then the screen shifts to an animal transportation trailer and I would assume the bull is inside of that trailer.

0:12-0:13 There is a landscape of a tree on a hill and then the screen shifts to the bull surrounded by animal shaped balloons. The bull seems to be happy.

Definition Argument-jdormann

Can Concussions and Spinal Injuries Be Eliminated from High-impact Sports?

P1. There have been countless lives that have been altered forever, or even ended because of concussions or spinal injuries. When a person plays a high impact sport, their chances of a life changing injury dramatically increases. Repetitive concussions have been proved to cause CTE, and just one spinal injury could put a person in a wheelchair for the rest of their life. Some could argue that people accept this risk upon participating in an intense activity, but walking away with a life debilitating injury is not a thought for players. Recently, rugby and football alike have begun studying concussions and spinal injuries in an attempt to reduce them.

P2. When watching a football game at any level, the spectator can expect to see powerful blows to the head and spine. The high energy hits are the thrill of playing and watching the game, but cumulative hits cause serious damage. NFL players are the highest level football players in the world, and they are the ones that receive the most and worst head injuries. The NFL has been taken to court with over 4,000 lawsuits from players and their families because of concussions. Such a large organization would surely have some knowledge and capabilities to prevent these injuries, but they did not worry about it until recently. As more people become aware of the dangers, they are less likely to support the game or allow their developing children to play. If there is a way to prevent or entirely eliminate concussions, people would feel more comfortable with allowing their children to play football. A different tackling technique has been adopted from rugby to increase the safety of football players. An article published by The Telegraph states:

Several American colleges have studied this way of tackling. The Seattle Seahawks have worked with Fijian rugby sevens star Waisale Serevi on “taking the head out of the game”. Rugby techniques have subsequently been introduced at Washington, Florida and Michigan State – whose head coach Mark Dantonio extols the benefits of rugby–style tackling.

P3. This type of tackling emphasizes player safety and not putting the head in danger during contact. Rugby players do not wear padding or helmets, so tackling is not as violent as football. The players must be cognizant of their body position and in complete control of their movement. Rugby has an injury issue of its own, but it is spinal injuries the players suffer from. Players can suffer from concussions or CTE just like football players, but it is less likely. Jojo Moyes wrote an article for Independent about the high risk of spinal injuries rugby players face. In the article, she wrote:

Ben Smoldon, 21, successfully sued a referee after he was left paralysed following the collapse of a scrum. The new figures reveal that nearly half of all serious rugby injuries occurred in players under 26 and nearly a quarter resulted in the patient needing a ventilator to breathe.

P4. Similar to football, rugby has had lawsuits due to injuries. When players from both teams form a scrum, there is a massive amount of pressure acting on the players. If a scrum collapses or a player is not in the right body position, it can cause them to break their neck or seriously injure their spine. Younger players are not fully developed which puts them at a higher risk of injury.

P5. Both, rugby and football are high impact sports that struggle with serious head and spine injuries. There is no one method that will immediately eliminate all life changing injuries from these sports, but doctors and players can continue working together to take preventative measures making the sports safer. Future studies about impact to the head and spine will help to further the safety of players and keep intense sports like rugby and football around for years to come.


Moyes, Jojo. “Risk of Spinal Injuries Highest in Rugby.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 22 Apr. 1996,

Tmg. “Is Rugby or American Football More Dangerous?” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 25 Jan. 2016,


PTSD Claims, jdormann


“It’s to help kids like that that Brannan and her volunteers put together an informational packet on secondary trauma for parents to give to teachers, explaining their battle-worthy idiosyncrasies and sensory-processing sensitivities.”

-Brannan feels that PTSD can cause serious trauma to those that are around people suffering.

-This claim would be more effective if it explained the packet and why people needed to read it

2.“Brannan gave the packet to Katie’s kindergarten teacher, but thinks the teacher just saw it as an excuse for bad behavior.”

-Not all of the population is aware of PTSD and they do not understand the severity of it because they have not directly seen someone suffering.

-Katie’s teacher doesn’t think that her thoughts and behaviors should be effected by her fathers PTSD

-PTSD does not only effect the person suffering, it can also effect their family and friends

This claim would be more effective if it detailed what specific behavior or the teacher’s point of view about Katie

3. Though Brannan hopes Katie will come out of childhood healthy, she still says, “She’s not a normal kid. She does things, and says things. She’s a grown-up in a six-year-old’s body in a lot of ways.”

-There is proof that a child growing up with someone that suffers from PTSD can alter their behaviors.

-Children do not understand the world and life as grown adults do, so they can be inappropriate or sound absurd at times.

-Katie’s actions are effected by her parents thoughts and actions, just like every child that has an adult figure in their life.

-What exactly does she say? Does she feel that she is different from her peers?

4. “She certainly looks like a normal kid when she comes down from her room dressed for tap class. In a black leotard, pink tights, and shiny black tap shoes, she looks sweet as pie.”

-Katie participates in normal activities for a child her age

-this shows she does not want to be different, and she enjoys the same things her peers do

-How else is she a normal kid other then going to tap classes?

5. “One time, a bad guy in Iraq had a knife and my dad killed him,” she says, apropos of nothing. “Katie Vines.” Brannan is stern but impeccably patient. She doesn’t know why Katie adapted this story about confiscating a weapon from an insurgent into a story about bloodshed, but she isn’t too happy about it.

-Unknowingly, Katie says things that she doesn’t fully understand and it can be at an inappropriate time.

-Katies mother isn’t happy about stories like this because she worries her daughter will be too different then kids her age and seen as an outcast.

-The claim should not include “Brennan is stern but impeccably patient”. This statement is weak and has no correlation to the prior or following claim.

6. “Katie is sorry—God, is she sorry, you can see it in her face and guilty shoulders, but she seems to feel like she can’t help it”

-When Katie is told what she said or did is unacceptable, she understands that her mother and others are unhappy with her.

-Katie is sad because when she shares things she knows or thinks, she is told it is not okay and doesn’t understand why because her knowledge of the world is not formed yet.

-She cannot differentiate between what is okay and what is not

-This claim is repetitive but it supports the idea that PTSD can have secondary effects on families

Stone Money-jdormann

The thought of using stones as money is absurd to people today. Modern day society is uses paper money or credit to purchase items. Before there was paper money, most societies used coins like gold and silver, or they would barter items of similar value. A standard currency that was accepted by everyone, was portable, and could be broken down into smaller amounts was eventually created so people could purchase any item. Money brought an end to most trading and increased the market for goods people could acquire. Money is only valuable because we trust that it will be considered valuable to someone else in the future when we trade it for a product or service.

To me it is strange that a society about one-hundred years ago would use stones as money. After listening to “The Invention of Money” by the Planet Money team, I understand stone money and I have doubts about the real value of money. Brazil began printing money in the 1960’s to fund projects that the government wanted to complete, and ended up causing over inflation. After the massive amount of printing money, prices in Brazil increased absurdly. There was a job that consisted of an employee walking around the store all day to increase prices on items to compensate for inflation. In the podcast, a Brazilian native states, “The government explained to the nation that all the money will be taken from the people to end inflation”. People were left with worthless paper and many committed suicide because they had no way to support their families. There was a group of college students that were able to come up with a plan to restore economic stability and were seen as heroes by the Brazilian people once inflation was ceased. The Brazilian people were tricked by a fake currency that was “virtual” and only had value because the people believed in it.

Modern society has given money an insurmountable amount of power. Our lives revolve around it, people are constantly receiving or using money. The American dollar used to be a representation of the amount of gold the Federal reserve had. Eventually the federal reserve stopped backing money with gold and money became represented by the American  people’s belief in the dollar. In the podcast, the Planet Money team states, “The Federal reserve created over 1 trillion dollars to lend out to failing companies in 2008”. How did this 1 trillion have any value? How did this not cause extreme inflation? The federal reserve does not work with the government or have any structured rules and regulations. There are certain plans they go about, but the money they create and how they influx the economy with the dollar. The American people continue to have faith and believe in the dollar. Without believing the dollar is a legitimate currency, the United States economy would collapse.

In 1933, the United States stopped backing the dollar with gold. This was because the Bank of France purchased gold from the United States in order to back their own currency. In The Island of Stone Money, Milton Friedman states, “The result was headlines in the financial newspapers about ‘The loss of Gold’, the threat to the American financial system, and the like”(4). When the Bank of France took this gold from America, the people did not know how to react. The dollar was no longer backed by gold, and society knew it meant nothing. The Great Depression was hitting families all around the country and the federal reserve was at a loss about what to do. It took years of trust and effort to stabilize the economy and bring back value to the dollar.

A new form of currency used is called Bitcoin. Bitcoin is an online currency that can be sent to anyone and stored in an online wallet or that person. This currency is not backed by any real world items or a nations current currency. Bitcoin can be used for purchase of everyday items to black market goods like drugs and illegal firearms. Investors bought Bitcoin in hopes that it could stabilize and become recognized as a legitimate international form of currency. For a while it seemed like Bitcoin had the footing to become an international currency contender. Anne Renaut with AFP News wrote the article, “The Bubble bursts on e-currency bitcoin”. In this article, she states, “Many saw it coming, but that didn’t stop the Bitcoin bubble from bursting: after rising to dizzying heights, the digital currency suffered its first true crash this week”. Just like currencies controlled by governments or private corporations, the online currency system can suffer from value fluctuations and cause people to lose their investment.

After reading how money has changed around the world and finding out all the different forms of it, I am not convinced that the American dollar is valuable. Money controls many peoples lives and is an integral part of modern society, but it is not valuable outside of us making it valuable. Money is a fictitious thing that we give value to, so that we can buy and sell items. All the dollar consists of is green cotton fiber paper and a mutual agreement that we will accept it for products or services because we will be able to use it again for something else. Without the American peoples’ trust and belief in the dollar, its just a piece of paper.

Works Cited

Friedman, Milton. “The Island of Stone Money.” Diss. Hoover Institution, Stanford University , 1991.

Renaut, Anne . “The bubble bursts on e-currency Bitcoin.” 13 Apr. 2013. 30 Jan. 2015. <–finance.html&gt;.

“The Invention of Stone Money.” 423: The Invention of Stone Money. This Is American Life, WBEZ. Chicago . 7 Jan. 2011.