Visual Rhetoric Rewrite- jdormann

Don’t Judge a Bull by His Cover

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 rabbit’s 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.

Research- 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, susceptibility 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.

Athletes put themselves at higher risk of injury when they are involved in full contact sports. The seriousness of their injuries is not always known until it is too late to help them. The players that are affected may not be aware of the complications until it is too late for them to recover or get help. Diseases and debilitating injuries can lay dormant in the athlete for years with little to no symptoms. Studies in the past ten years have begun uncovering numerous diseases and injuries football players suffer. Athletes and families lives are negatively affected and even ended by terrible injuries that could have been prevented.

Rugby players do not suffer as many concussions as football players because of their body awareness on the field of play, use of safe techniques, and the strict enforcement of safety rules. They are taught to tackle differently and not use their heads as a device to bring down the opponent. Players need to be keen on their body awareness and careful of their position when going into contact. There are rules in rugby to protect the players from being exposed to serious injury. High tackles, dangerous tackles, unnecessary contact, and many other penalties are in place to keep players safe. Chris Bodenner wrote an article for The Atlantic that states, “An equal one is the ‘culture of respect’ that’s one of the game’s foundations and most carefully guarded traditions. Players rarely deliberately hurt one another; when they do, they are banned for months on end.” The culture of respect between rugby players is a known agreement to leave the fighting and differences on the field. It is a rough sport and has a sense of brotherhood for all players, regardless of the team or skill. Safety is of the utmost importance for the referee. When a player commits a dangerous penalty, they are sent off of the field and must stay off for a time range of two to ten minutes. If the official overseeing the match deems the action seriously dangerous, the athlete in the wrong will be suspended anywhere from one week to indefinitely. Participants understand the results of their actions and take extra precaution to keep themselves and their opponents safe.

Naturally, football has a lot of contact and physicality involved. The problem is not the physical nature of it, but the unnecessary and unsafe techniques players use. The basic contact in football is blocking and tackling. Football players risk career-ending, even life-threatening injury every time they slam into an opponent. Even worse, recent studies have shown that injuries to the brain may lie dormant and symptomless for years. Cumulative injuries that could have been prevented if detected in time result in mental illnesses ranging from depression to dementia and even suicide.

Football players can receive “mini” concussions over one-hundred times throughout a game when they slam into an opponent. These mini-concussions are small, unnoticeable concussions are caused by repetitive blows to the head causing the brain to slam into the skull, but without any symptoms of a concussion. Players that are blocking and tackling often have more of these mini-concussions. The complications that come from cumulative mini-concussions do not show up for years. Down the line, a person may begin to have symptoms of dementia, aggression, and personality changes. They will not be aware that they are changing, but their family will notice. This is CTE. CTE is caused by repetitive head trauma that cumulates and slowly destroys the brain. It may not show any symptoms for ten or more years. Doctors have no real cure for CTE, and it can result in life-ending consequences.

Elite level football athletes are more likely to end up with horrific complications from concussions compared to any other elite level athlete. For example, NFL players, like Junior Seau, have taken their own lives because of CTE complications. Junior Seau was a linebacker in the NFL that was recognized for his passionate play and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. He received countless blows to the head throughout his football career and was found to have suffered CTE. CTE does not show a person’s true emotions and personality, but it distorts their thinking and turns them into someone they never would have become. According to Mary Pilon and Ken Benson, “Researchers at Boston University, who pioneered the study of C.T.E., have found it in 33 of the 34 brains of former N.F.L. players they have examined.” The disease can only be identified after death with the close eye of a trained doctor and a microscope. The NFL has turned a blind eye for too long and left these traumatic injuries and complications to the wayside. The techniques used in football must change, or future and current players will follow the footsteps of those that suffered before 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. 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. Football fans and players can be ignorant of the facts, but outsiders do not desire to stop them from participating. The conversation about football and life-altering injuries only pushes to make it safer, not eliminate it.

When good techniques are used, it is not always good enough. Bringing down an opponent at full speed is not easy and can be extremely unsafe. Rugby players also receive head injuries, but it happens less than football players. The pure inertia of stopping someone running full speed can compress the spine and cause havoc on the skull. The symptoms are not always immediate but can cause future, unforeseen complications. Overall, contact sports display numerous possible injuries, and the players are not always able to avoid them. The decisions players make on the field, and the techniques they employ are a deciding factor in most injuries. No athlete is safe, but every athlete should think about themselves and their health before pushing too far and engaging in dangerous play.

American football players have been plagued with concussions, unknown to them for years. Typically, these concussions occur during tackles. The padding that players wear gives them a false sense of security and some players use their head as a tackling device. Rugby also gets a lot of criticism because of injuries players receive, but the concussion rate of rugby players is far lower than football. They wear no padding or head protection, yet there are fewer concussions. The difference comes down to the technique. 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 not all coaches believe it is practical for their team to follow suit.

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 from getting one more yard can make or break a game. Football players will dive head first into opponents crushing their neck, compressing their spine, and smashing their brain against the inside of their skull just to stop them from getting one yard. 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 affect the game. Not all rugby tackles involve tackler stopping the runner immediately. The runner will normally get another one to five yards during the tackle. The goal between the two games is to score at the end of the field, but it should not require players to destroy their brains in order to win the game.

In a rugby match, the attacking player will not try to squeeze every last inch out of a run because it will not greatly affect 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. The Seattle Seahawks have adopted the rugby style of tackling, and they are one of the best defenses in the NFL. The Ohio State University Buckeyes have also adopted the rugby-style technique. Jeanna Thompson wrote an article on sbnation.com that reads, “Ohio State’s defense jumped from No. 47 in the country in 2013 to No. 19 the next year. In 2015, the Buckeyes boasted a top-10 defense, surrendering just 311.3 yards per game.” For any college football team to move up twenty-eight spots for defense is very difficult. The team attributed their success to the newly adopted tackling technique. A safer and more effective tackling method did not lose a collegiate football team any games.

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 typically results in 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.

USA Rugby is the national governing body for rugby in the United States. They oversee national, collegiate, and high school teams. The organization is always working towards educating themselves and athletes to make the game more competitive and safe. A study done by USA Rugby compared concussions in collegiate rugby and collegiate football. Out of one thousand players in the study, an average of two percent of rugby players received concussions and four and a half percent of football players received concussions. Based on USA Rugby’s study, football’s concussion rate is more than double that of rugby’s. The rugby tackling technique is effective for tackling the player and keeping them safe.

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 the athletes tackle, and the false sense of security equipment gives them. Every inch matters to them, but not every brain cell. If careless tackling techniques continue to be utilized by football players, the sport may not exist due to the health hazards it poses.

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.

The rugby style of tackling is much safer for the brain. Rugby players suffer from concussions and will continue to do so, but it is the fault of the tackler and the improper use of safe techniques. Players can be taught and encouraged to use the safest method of tackling, but they may continue to resort to easier approaches. Safe technique starts with the coaches not accepting laziness and dangerous tackling at practices, then it continues to the referees game-time decision to remove players or penalize a team. If football adopts the rugby-style tackling technique, it 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.

References

Bodenner, C. (2016, October 14). Which Is More Dangerous, Rugby or Football? Retrieved April 1, 2018, from https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2016/10/rugby/504143/

Pilon, M., & Belson, K. (2013, January 10). Seau Suffered From Brain Disease. Retrieved April 1, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/11/sports/football/junior-seau-suffered-from-brain-disease.html

Royston, A., & Ramey, L. (2013, September 20). Stingers and Burners. Retrieved March 20, 2018, from https://now.aapmr.org/stingers-and-burners/

Stark, C. D., & Bowers, E. S. (2010). Living with sports injuries. New York: Facts On File.

Thomas, J. (2016, September 06). Rugby-style tackling could be the future of a safer NFL. Retrieved April 5, 2018, from https://www.sbnation.com/2016/9/6/12341916/nfl-rugby-tackling-concussions-seahawks-falcons

Tmg. “Is Rugby or American Football More Dangerous?” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 25 Jan. 2016, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/film/concussion/is-rugby-or-american-football-more-dangerous/.

“USA Rugby Injuries” [One slide in a presentation received by email]. (n.d.). Referred to a study purported to have been conducted by USA Rugby. Origin unknown.

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

Self-Reflective statement- jdormann

Core Value 1. My work demonstrates that I used a variety of social and interactive practices that involve recursive stages of exploration, discovery, conceptualization, and development.

Throughout the semester I used feedback from the professor and other peers to hone my work. I received feedback on the blog posts from the professor and revised my work accordingly. Sifting through my own work to correct what others recommended also opened my eyes to other improvements that could be made. The difference between my definition first draft and the rewrite is a clear example of my recursive development over the semester. I explored many sources that supported my claims and also ended up being of no use by my final revised research position. These sources have been compiled in the white paper over the semester, and are now part of my annotated bibliography.

Core Value 2. My work demonstrates that I read critically, and that I placed texts into conversation with one another to create meaning by synthesizing ideas from various discourse communities. 

The sources I used to compile my final research essay come from a broad spectrum. I used websites, brochures, peer-reviewed studies, and other types. The information I utilized from my sources helped me develop my overall conversation and explain my points with factual information to support it. An example of these sources put to use would be the quotes I used in my causal argument rewrite. The way I synthesized my sources may not have been the same way that someone else would have, but I used textual clues and interpreted the author’s message how I believe it was meant to be.

Core Value 3. My work demonstrates that I rhetorically analyzed the purpose, audience, and contexts of my own writing and other texts and visual arguments.

The visual rhetoric assignment is an example of how I analyzed the purpose, audience, and context of a visual argument. I watched an advertisement and explained in detail each couple of seconds and what happens to develop the argument. The purpose was directed at a broad audience and had the purpose to open people’s eyes to learning and attention issues. Watching a video second by second and explaining each frame can be confusing until the viewer reaches the end and reads back on what they wrote. There are small details that are skimmed over and seen as insignificant, but they all play a part in the overall message of the visual argument.

Core Value 4: My work demonstrates that I have met the expectations of academic writing by locating, evaluating, and incorporating illustrations and evidence to support my own ideas and interpretations.

In the stone money assignment, I demonstrated academic writing by incorporating the ideas of the NPR broadcasters with my own ideas. I incorporated the words of Milton Friedman from the NPR podcast. I was able to locate specific evidence within the podcast to help support my ideas. Friedman explained how the American dollar no longer was back by gold. I used his explanation to help support the idea of money having no actual value and only being a piece of cotton fiber paper.

Core Value 5. My work demonstrates that I respect my ethical responsibility to represent complex ideas fairly and to the sources of my information with appropriate citation. 

In my rebuttal rewrite argument, I was able to think ethically and explain my ideas thoroughly with supporting evidence. The evidence I used was cited properly using APA formatting. I used the information provided by a database article to support and help explain my argument in a logical way. The author made a statement about the dangers in open field tackling and I used their words to support my claims on why it is dangerous and what can be done to prevent it.

Bibliography-jdormann

Bibliography

  1. Tmg. “Is Rugby or American Football More Dangerous?The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 25 Jan. 2016, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/film/concussion/is-rugby-or-american-football-more-dangerous/.

Background: This article discusses the injuries rugby players face compared to those of football players. It focuses on concussions and the impact the long-term impact it has on player health.

How I used it: This article helped me understand the concussion epidemic in professional football. It also shed light on the injuries that rugby most commonly has and helped to build my argument around that.

2. To, P. B. (2016, June 08). Rugby, like NFL, doesn’t have concussion issue figured out. Retrieved from http://www.espn.com/espn/story/_/id/16029747/rugby-nfl-concussion-issue-figured-out

Background: This article on the ESPN website focuses on the inherent concussion problem in rugby and comparing it to the concussion problem in the NFL. Kat Merchant was a female rugby player for the English national team, and she suffered 10 or more concussions just to play rugby at the highest level possible. The NFL’s attempt to lessen their concussion problem is also highlighted. Head Coach Pete Carroll with the Seattle Seahawks began teaching a different tackling technique for his players to use. This new tackling technique is based on how rugby players tackle and making sure that the head is not involved in the tackle.

How I used it: This article helped me to see the concussion issue in rugby and how it measures up to that of football. It explains how the tackling techniques in rugby are safer than football’s techniques. This helped me build a solid argument.

3. Leonard, T. (2016, August 21). Is rugby safer than football? Retrieved from http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sports/sdut-rugby-head-injuries-safety-2016may16-story.html

Background: This article from the San Diego Union-Tribune focuses on the long-term effects of playing high-speed contact sports, like rugby and football. There are not many studies done comparing the concussions side by side, but there is plenty of information on injuries. One player on San Diego’s rugby team had suffered numerous concussions and blackouts while playing the game. Studies done in the UK found that high-level rugby players also developed CTE like their NFL counterparts. The studies and stories show proof of a problem, and USA rugby, like the NFL, is working on ways to remedy concussions.

How I used it: CTE is not limited to just football. For both football and rugby to stay around, the concussion percentage needs to be reduced by different rules or better techniques.

4. Moyes, J. (1996, April 22). Risk of spinal injuries highest in rugby. Retrieved from https://www.independent.co.uk/news/risk-of-spinal-injuries-highest-in-rugby-1306291.html

Background: This article from the Independent focuses on the relation of spinal injuries in rugby compared to those in other sports. By far, rugby has the most spinal injuries compared to any other sport. Out of 98 injuries compiled by the Trevor Jones Tetraplegic Trust, 58 are rugby related. Along with the reported injuries, the Rugby Football Union has withheld information and statistics on spinal injuries for years.

How I used it: Rugby is the least safe sport when it comes to spinal injuries and paralyzation. Compared to every other sport, there are none that have near the same amount of spinal injuries.

5. Khaleeli, H. (2013, January 28). American football or rugby: Which is more dangerous? Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/sport/shortcuts/2013/jan/28/american-football-rugby-more-dangerous

Background: This article from The Guardian focuses on the safety concern for players in the NFL. More than 4,000 families have brought lawsuits to the NFL regarding concussions and debilitating head injuries. Players like Junior Seau took their own life because of symptoms brought on by CTE. His family sued the NFL for “wrongful death” and won the lawsuit. Jim McKenna, A professor of physical safety and health at Leeds Metropolitan University, claims that rugby is much safer than football. Football players use their head as a tackling tool, which is never the case with rugby tackles. Football players purposely throw their head into contact to bring down an opponent, and rugby players do their best to keep their head out of a tackle.

How I used it: Rugby players do not suffer as many concussions and head injuries as football players. Football players need to be taught techniques for safer play so they can have a life after the NFL and not suffer from CTE or other debilitating head injuries.

6. American College of Sports Medicine. (2011). ACSM Information On ConcussionPs In Sports[Brochure]. Author.

Background: This article from the ACSM, American College of Sports Medicine, focuses on the symptoms and causes of a concussion. A concussion happens when there is a sudden acceleration or deceleration of the head. It can occur when the head contacts the ground, a ball, or another player. Concussion symptoms are not always obvious and apparent. A couple symptoms are irritability, change in sleeping patterns, dizziness, vomiting, and double vision. Even doctors sometimes struggle in detecting symptoms associated with concussions.

How I used it: Concussions are hard to detect and there needs to be more research done to reveal better detection methods. If someone may have suffered a concussion, it is better to take the preventative measures rather than risk their health and safety.

7. Tong, E., & Almquist, J. (n.d.). Concussion- The Invisible Injury. Retrieved from https://view.flipdocs.com/html5/?id=10004296_115508&P=0#20

Background: The article written by Emily Tong and John Almquist focuses on the diagnosis and legislation related to concussions. Many high school and college athletic programs have the players take a baseline test for normal cognitive function. When a player may have gotten a concussion, they go back and have them take the same test and compare the scores. If the cognitive function of the athlete is not 100% they will not score as well as they did the first time. All 50 states have passed laws to protect young athletes from returning to play before their ready. The players are to be educated on concussions and symptoms, and they are told to refrain from playing if they have any symptoms. After a player is diagnosed with a concussion, the law requires the player to be cleared by a medical professional.

How I used it: Concussion issues are important enough to be written into the state legislature of all 50 states. Player safety is more important than any aspect of the game, and the brain is a delicate and important piece that players need to take better care of.

8. Johna Register-Mihalik, Christine Baugh, Emily Kroshus, Zachary Y. Kerr, and Tamara C. Valovich McLeod (2017) A Multifactorial Approach to Sport-Related Concussion Prevention and Education: Application of the Socioecological Framework. Journal of Athletic Training: March 2017, Vol. 52, No. 3, pp. 195-205.

Background: This article was written by Johna Register-Mihalik, Emily Kroshus, and Tamara C. Valovich McLeod. It focuses on the different levels of change that must occur to improve the concussion problem. From the interpersonal role all the way out to society’s role. Players need to be educated on concussions, coaches and parents need to be educated on identifying the symptoms, and schools and governments need to put policies in place to protect player’s future health.

How I used it: Understanding and fixing the concussion problem is not a one-step process, but a long and tedious approach that involves the individual players all the way up to the state government.

9. Armour, K. S., Clatworthy, B. J., Bean, A. R., Wells, J. E., & Clarke, A. M. (1997, December 12). Spinal injuries in New Zealand rugby and rugby league–a twenty year survey. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9451410

Background: This article was done by the Christchurch of Medicine and it focuses on spinal injuries rugby players suffered in New Zealand. The scrum produced the highest percentage of spinal injuries. Forwards and heavier players suffered more spinal injuries compared to backs and lighter players.

How I used it: Spinal injuries are a part of rugby and may not be avoidable, but there are precautions and techniques players can implement to reduce their chances.

10. Royston, A., & Ramey, L. (2013, September 20). Stingers and Burners. Retrieved March 20, 2018, from https://now.aapmr.org/stingers-and-burners/

Background: The article has statistical and factual information about stingers and burners. The author explains how the injury happens, what it does to the body, how to treat it, what the symptoms are, and the possible outcomes of the injury.

How I used it: I used this article to explain stingers and learn how exactly they damage the body and what to do for treatment and prevention. This helped me to build an argument about tackling techniques and how safe they are.

11. Wilkerson, R. (n.d.). Our knowledge of orthopedics. Your best health. (S. J. Fischer, Ed.). Retrieved March 20, 2018, from https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases–conditions/burners-and-stingers/

Background: The article explains the anatomy of a stinger as it travels through the body and explains the causes and risk factors for getting a stinger.

How I used it: I used this article to understand stingers and relate the risk factors to the tackling techniques most football players use.

12. Pilon, M., & Belson, K. (2013, January 10). Seau Suffered From Brain Disease. Retrieved April 1, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/11/sports/football/junior-seau-suffered-from-brain-disease.html

Background: This article explains that cumulative head injuries lead to CTE. It is about a well-known player that took his life and was found to have CTE.

How I used it: The article helped me to build a case against the football style of tackling. CTE is a horrible disease and the information the article provided about it and it’s effects, helped me to explain CTE and why it must be eliminated from athletes lives, starting with player safety.

13. Bodenner, C. (2016, October 14). Which Is More Dangerous, Rugby or Football? Retrieved April 1, 2018, from https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2016/10/rugby/504143/

Background: This article explains the ways that football and rugby compare on injuries and the dangerousness of both sports compared to each other.

How I used it: I used this article to explain the false sense of security football players have because of their padding. It helped me build an argument explaining how football is more dangerous overall, and especially in the tackle.

14. “USA Rugby Injuries” [One slide in a presentation received by email]. (n.d.). Referred to a study purported to have been conducted by USA Rugby. Origin unknown.

Background: This is a powerpoint put out by the national governing body for rugby in the United States. It compares injuries in rugby and football. Specifically, colligate athletes are monitored throughout the study. It focuses on injuries as a whole and then mentions a comparison of concussions.

How I used it: I used the information in this powerpoint to support my claims about rugby being safer compared to football. There is a specific study mentioned in the powerpoint that touches on the concussion rates comparing both sports.

Rebuttal rewrite- jdormann

American football players have been plagued with concussions, unknown to them for years. Typically, these concussions occur during tackles. The padding that players wear gives them a false sense of security and some players use their head as a tackling device. Rugby also gets a lot of criticism because of injuries players receive, but the concussion rate of rugby players is far lower than football. They wear no padding or head protection, yet there are fewer concussions. The difference comes down to the technique. 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 not all coaches believe it is practical for their team to follow suit.

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 from getting one more yard can make or break a game. Football players will dive head first into opponents crushing their neck, compressing their spine, and smashing their brain against the inside of their skull just to stop them from getting one yard. 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 affect the game. Not all rugby tackles involve tackler stopping the runner immediately. The runner will normally get another one to five yards during the tackle. The goal between the two games is to score at the end of the field, but it should not require players to destroy their brains in order to win the game.

In a rugby match, the attacking player will not try to squeeze every last inch out of a run because it will not greatly affect 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. The Seattle Seahawks have adopted the rugby style of tackling, and they are one of the best defenses in the NFL. The Ohio State University Buckeyes have also adopted the rugby-style technique. Jeanna Thompson wrote an article on sbnation.com that reads, “Ohio State’s defense jumped from No. 47 in the country in 2013 to No. 19 the next year. In 2015, the Buckeyes boasted a top-10 defense, surrendering just 311.3 yards per game.” For any college football team to move up twenty-eight spots for defense is very difficult. The team attributed their success to the newly adopted tackling tehnique. A safer and more effective tackling method did not lose a collegiate football team any games.

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 typically results in 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.

USA Rugby is the national governing body for rugby in the United States. They oversee national, collegiate, and high school teams. The organization is always working towards educating themselves and athletes to make the game more competitive and safe. A study done by USA Rugby compared concussions in collegiate rugby and collegiate football. Out of one thousand players in the study, an average of two percent of rugby players received concussions and four and a half percent of football players received concussions. Based on USA Rugby’s study, football’s concussion rate is more than double that of rugby’s. The rugby tackling technique is effective for tackling the player and keeping them safe.

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 the athletes tackle, and the false sense of security equipment gives them. Every inch matters to them, but not every brain cell. If careless tackling techniques continue to be utilized by football players, the sport may not exist due to the health hazards it poses.

The rugby style of tackling is much safer for the brain. Rugby players suffer from concussions and will continue to do so, but it is the fault of the tackler and the improper use of safe techniques. Players can be taught and encouraged to use the safest method of tackling, but they may continue to resort to easier approaches. Safe technique starts with the coaches not accepting laziness and dangerous tackling at practices, then it continues to the referees game-time decision to remove players or penalize a team. If football adopts the rugby-style tackling technique, it 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.

References

Stark, C. D., & Bowers, E. S. (2010). Living with sports injuries. New York: Facts On File.

Thomas, J. (2016, September 06). Rugby-style tackling could be the future of a safer NFL. Retrieved April 5, 2018, from https://www.sbnation.com/2016/9/6/12341916/nfl-rugby-tackling-concussions-seahawks-falcons

Causal rewrite- jdormann

Athletes put themselves at higher risk of injury when they are involved in full contact sports. The seriousness of their injuries is not always known until it is too late to help them. The players that are affected may not be aware of the complications until it is too late for them to recover or get help. Diseases and debilitating injuries can lay dormant in the athlete for years with little to no symptoms. Studies in the past ten years have begun uncovering numerous diseases and injuries football players suffer. Athletes and families lives are negatively affected and even ended by terrible injuries that could have been prevented.

Rugby players do not suffer as many concussions as football players because of their body awareness on the field of play, use of safe techniques, and the strict enforcement of safety rules. They are taught to tackle differently and not use their heads as a device to bring down the opponent. Players need to be keen on their body awareness and careful of their position when going into contact. There are rules in rugby to protect the players from being exposed to serious injury. High tackles, dangerous tackles, unnecessary contact, and many other penalties are in place to keep players safe. Chris Bodenner wrote an article for The Atlantic that states, “An equal one is the ‘culture of respect’ that’s one of the game’s foundations and most carefully guarded traditions. Players rarely deliberately hurt one another; when they do, they are banned for months on end.” The culture of respect between rugby players is a known agreement to leave the fighting and differences on the field. It is a rough sport and has a sense of brotherhood for all players, regardless of the team or skill. Safety is of the utmost importance for the referee. When a player commits a dangerous penalty, they are sent off of the field and must stay off for a time range of two to ten minutes. If the official overseeing the match deems the action seriously dangerous, the athlete in the wrong will be suspended anywhere from one week to indefinitely. Participants understand the results of their actions and take extra precaution to keep themselves and their opponents safe.

Naturally, football has a lot of contact and physicality involved. The problem is not the physical nature of it, but the unnecessary and unsafe techniques players use. The basic contact in football is blocking and tackling. Football players risk career-ending, even life-threatening injury every time they slam into an opponent. Even worse, recent studies have shown that injuries to the brain may lie dormant and symptomless for years. Cumulative injuries that could have been prevented if detected in time result in mental illnesses ranging from depression to dementia and even suicide.

Football players can receive “mini” concussions over one-hundred times throughout a game when they slam into an opponent. These mini-concussions are small, unnoticeable concussions are caused by repetitive blows to the head causing the brain to slam into the skull, but without any symptoms of a concussion. Players that are blocking and tackling often have more of these mini-concussions. The complications that come from cumulative mini-concussions do not show up for years. Down the line, a person may begin to have symptoms of dementia, aggression, and personality changes. They will not be aware that they are changing, but their family will notice. This is CTE. CTE is caused by repetitive head trauma that cumulates and slowly destroys the brain. It may not show any symptoms for ten or more years. Doctors have no real cure for CTE, and it can result in life-ending consequences.

Elite level football athletes are more likely to end up with horrific complications from concussions compared to any other elite level athlete. For example, NFL players, like Junior Seau, have taken their own lives because of CTE complications. Junior Seau was a linebacker in the NFL that was recognized for his passionate play and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. He received countless blows to the head throughout his football career and was found to have suffered CTE. CTE does not show a person’s true emotions and personality, but it distorts their thinking and turns them into someone they never would have become. According to Mary Pilon and Ken Benson, “Researchers at Boston University, who pioneered the study of C.T.E., have found it in 33 of the 34 brains of former N.F.L. players they have examined.” The disease can only be identified after death with the close eye of a trained doctor and a microscope. The NFL has turned a blind eye for too long and left these traumatic injuries and complications to the wayside. The techniques used in football must change, or future and current players will follow the footsteps of those that suffered before 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. 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. Football fans and players can be ignorant of the facts, but outsiders do not desire to stop them from participating. The conversation about football and life-altering injuries only pushes to make it safer, not eliminate it.

When good techniques are used, it is not always good enough. Bringing down an opponent at full speed is not easy and can be extremely unsafe. Rugby players also receive head injuries, but it happens less than football players. The pure inertia of stopping someone running full speed can compress the spine and cause havoc on the skull. The symptoms are not always immediate but can cause future, unforeseen complications. Overall, contact sports display numerous possible injuries, and the players are not always able to avoid them. The decisions players make on the field, and the techniques they employ are a deciding factor in most injuries. No athlete is safe, but every athlete should think about themselves and their health before pushing too far and engaging in dangerous play.

References

Pilon, M., & Belson, K. (2013, January 10). Seau Suffered From Brain Disease. Retrieved April 1, 2018, from https://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/11/sports/football/junior-seau-suffered-from-brain-disease.html

Bodenner, C. (2016, October 14). Which Is More Dangerous, Rugby or Football? Retrieved April 1, 2018, from https://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2016/10/rugby/504143/

Grammar exercise- jdormann

If primary caretakers have a negative attitude toward their child, it increases the risk that their child will grow up hostile towards others. And it’s not just aggression toward others that results from child abuse; a large number of children raised by abusive parents also harm themselves. This negative behavior is because the children don’t learn appropriate techniques for handling life’s disappointments. If someone is not raised with coping skills, they are likely to act “inappropriately” then if they have developed more reasonable approaches. The effect of poor parenting as reported by Dr. Geoffrey Dahmer in “The Bully Papers,” is that everyone gets the child they deserve.