Research Position Paper-Flyerfan1974

Imagine being paid millions of dollars for a profession. Now imagine knowing that this very profession will cause very severe damage to your body every week. This is exactly what professional football players do between the months of  September and February. Hundreds of players put their minds and bodies on the line for the public’s amusement, and they are playing the ultimate price for it. In the NFL, concussions are becoming a very common side effect of playing the game. CNN discusses how the NFL reported 1,215 concussions in the past five NFL seasons. Mathematically speaking, concussions occurred   0.95 times a game in those past five seasons; that’s almost one per game. According to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, a person with a history of repetitive brain trauma has a highly increased chance of developing Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a degenerative brain disease that form proteins called Tau that spread throughout the brain slowly killing brain cells. CTE leads to chronic brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, and premature death. The NFL is a multibillion dollar corporation, and football is an American tradition, we cannot just ban football to be played. Some want to change the rules of football, drastically changing the game. There however is a way we can protect players, and not have to drastically change the game. To make football safer we need to take the helmets off the players.

 

Football is a very violent natured game, injuries are more likely to happen during football than any other sport. This year alone, so many players received season ending injuries, not even halfway through the season. With all the injured players, we could make a 53-man team with backups. All these players wore the same amount of padding and helmets, but they still had extreme injuries. It’s so dangerous that each team only plays 16 games a year. Baseball plays 162, hockey, and basketball play 82. Sure, we think the players are protected head to toe, but actually their heads are in grave danger. The head trauma has become so painful to watch that an ESPN football analyst even quit his job. A New York Times article talks about how Ed Cunningham resigned from a top job as a college football analyst due to the fact he did not want to see these college players health at risk. Cunningham a former player, saw other players as old as him have to retire due to fear of CTE and other long-term brain injuries. He said he cannot simply keep contributing to footballs multibillion dollar apparatus. He just couldn’t see the brain injuring hits on college kids every week. Football players heads may look protected, but helmets hurt player, and the numbers prove this.

According to CNN, there have been 22 former NFL players who have been killed due to CTE, most of them committed suicide. Former Steeler’s center Mike Webster committed suicide at the age of 50. His brain was discovered be affected by CTE. Dave Duerson, Ray Easterling, and Junior Seau all great players of their time, committed suicide and were later discovered to have been affected by CTE. CTE can only be professionally diagnosed by an autopsy, so there must be hundreds of former players living with early stages of CTE. Dr. Bennet Omalu first identified CTE in 2002, football has been played since the early 1900s so there must have been thousands of cases before the 21st century. CNN also reports that according to a study published in the Journal of American Medicine (JAMA), Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy was found in 99% percent of former players. In September of 2017, the brain of convicted murderer, only 27-year-old Aaron Hernandez showed one of the most severe case of CTE ever. These numbers show how devastating head trauma is to current and former NFL players, with all the padding they wear, we would think that players would be safe. Helmets are actually the main problem in the war on head trauma. They do protect players somewhat from hitting the ground, but then another helmet hits another, it is like two Mack truck colliding. The results are deadly for the brain.

Helmets can only do so much when protecting a player’s brain. The game of football is very violent, players are close to 7 feet and mostly all weight over 200 pounds. The results of a brain getting hit by a 300-pound defensive lineman can be disastrous. Helmets may be somewhat protective, but they actually have negative effects. Helmets cause players to feel more protected and in turn cause them to take riskier hits. This is a phenomenon called risk compensation, and has actually been seen in other sports. An article in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine written by Brent Hagel and Willem Meeuwisse discusses this phenomenon. Protective equipment may prompt their users to act more aggressively and increase their chances for serious injury. Risk compensation has been seen in many different sports such as baseball, hockey, and skiing. Athletes have protection that makes them feel safe and they do riskier techniques that result in injuries that the protection cannot handle. For example, in children’s baseball using softcore balls, volunteer coaches were seeing more instances of injuries than leagues that used hardcore baseballs. The children took greater risks when fielding the softcore balls and moving out of the way of wild pitches. The kids that played with hardcore balls faced something dangerous and they knew it would hurt, which made them be more conservative.  Risk compensation can even take place outside of sports. Motorists with seatbelts are more likely to drive more recklessly than other motorists without their seatbelts. Edward Green with the Washington Post talks about risks management in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Pope Benedict XVI commented that condom distribution was not helping the fight, but worsening it, he was pointing out to risk compensation. Condoms are meant to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS, but they were actually helping the spread. People would feel protected enough that they would take place in riskier sex acts, making the condom useless and helping the spread of HIV and AIDS.

Getting rid of helmets in football is the best option when making football safer, it will make concussion and injury rates decrease dramatically. Risk compensation is playing an enormous role in head injuries received in the NFL. When players have the helmet and the pads, they feel protected and invincible. They in turn will make riskier hits that will injure themselves or someone around them. Players without helmets will feel unprotected and will not make those risky hits that cause severe injury. They will play more conservative and not risk their brains. There is so much evidence that supports this proposal.

In Hagel and Meeuwisse’s article, they talk about how before helmet use, there were less concussions. During football practices, many teams practice a drill called the tackling drill. During this drill, 2 players line up and hit one another as hard as they can. Toward the end of the 1940’s players no helmet. The concussion rates were low due to the players being taught that the initial point of contact when tackling should be the shoulder. In the early 1960’s the point of contact when tackling was moved from the shoulders to the head. The change was made right after new safer helmets have been developed. Over the period of 1955 to 1964, there was a noted increase in the number of tackling fatalities compared to between 1945 and 1954. Players were dying right on the field due to brain and spinal cord injuries. They were “spearing,” a term that describes when a player runs head first into the person they are trying to tackle. They are acting like a ram does when it go to hit an opponent. When spearing was banned in 1976, there was a significant decrease in the amount of head injuries, cervical spine injuries, and deaths, even with an increase in participation. Even though spearing is banned, we still see it today. Players may do this on purpose, or by accident. There is no physical barrier to stop these players, so taking away helmets will prevent them with no physical barrier, but they will fear for their health.

American football and rugby are extremely similar in many ways. In fact, Walter Camp, the “Father of American Football,” actually changed the rules of rugby to become what we know today as American football. A study conducted in Sydney, Australia discovered how risk compensation affects rugby players. This study conducted by Dr. A S McIntosh and Dr. P McCrory studied sixteen under 15 rugby union teams that were recruited from three interschool competitions in metropolitan Sydney and the adjacent country region. A prospective study was undertaken over a single competitive season. The study had two groups: a headgear group and a control group. Headgear wearing rates and injury data were reported to the investigators and verified using spot checks. A total of 294 players participated in the study. In the study time frame, there were nine incidences of concussion; seven of the players involved wore headgear and two did not. The conclusion was that although there is some controversy about the desirability of wearing protective headgear in football, this pilot study strongly suggests that current headgear does not provide significant protection against concussion in rugby at a junior level. As we can see, risk compensation was present in this study. 9 players received concussions and 7 were ones who were wearing headgear. There were not a larger number of concussions because of rugby not having pads, and the players with the headgear only felt safe enough that they could hitting with their head. It is quite amazing that out of 287 players without headgear only 2 received concussions.

Any type of headgear is detrimental to our football players. Many see them as some kinds of machines, but they are humans. They still can be injured and have years taken off of their lives due to increased amount of brain trauma. Removal of helmets will end helmet to helmet contact, it will end tackling drill deaths, and it will end the pain of the world. Helmet to helmet contact is the worst thing a person can do to their body. Two helmets come at each like two cars crashing head on, and the results are disastrous for the soft tissue inside a human’s head. Men have been paralyzed or even died from head on helmet hits. Along with instant death, these hits cause long term mental damage, they cause concussions, they cause CTE, and then they cause death.

Even though loss of consciousness is a symptom of a concussion, most concussions happen without a loss of consciousness. Players take a hit, then since they did not lose consciousness they assume that they are fine and go back to the field, injuring their brain more. In the NFL there are spotters who watch the game and decide if a player who took a hit needs to come off the field, but do they always see each hit? There is so much action going on the field at once. In high school there are no spotters, it is up to the discretion of the athletic trainer who cannot see everything from the ground as the spotter cannot see everything from up high. A student who is fighting for a starting spot get a nasty blow to the head, and does not lose consciousness, is he going to keep playing or go to the bench where someone can take their spot? A good friend of mine plays center for our local high school team, he is a junior and in a tight race for the spot. He walks to his car with a box the size of a basketball containing ibuprofen. I confront him and say why do you need that. He responds with, I get a lot of headaches, and I cannot tell anyone because I will lose my starting spot. I later told his parents about this because I did not want him to end up like all these NFL players with advanced stages of CTE. No one can go into these players brains and feel what they feel, officials cannot stop helmet to helmet hits before they happen. All of this just happens and we need to see what happens after the hits. All these hits, they are killing people.

Today’s football helmets are extremely evolved from the old leather helmets. Before advanced helmets, concussions were really no worry at all. Players were taught to tackle with their shoulder instead of their head. Then when the helmet came into play, the number of head and spinal injuries, and deaths increased dramatically. This is because after 1954, players were taught to hit head first. This was influenced by the new advancement of the helmet. Players felt safer and would hit harder. Today’s helmets have extra padding and facemasks now a day. We have been researching ever since the mid 1900’s and have developed the most advanced helmets. The advancement in helmets has been a leading factor in the reason that concussions are more common than ever. Players are feeling safer and safer, and are making more riskier hits. Since 2014, there has been a 58% rise in the frequency of concussions. However, recently a helmet has been created that will be different from all the other helmets. According Wired. Com, that helmet is the new Zero 1 helmet. The Zero 1 is created by a company in Seattle called Vicis. The new helmet is supposed to flex on impact, instead of a traditional helmet. The Zero 1 is like a car bumper, it flexes and absorbs the force. A traditional helmet is like hitting a metal trashcan, the outside of the can absorbs the force, but rattles everything inside. In this case the brain is being rattled when a player gets hit. The new Vicis Zero 1 helmet features a 4-layer system to absorbing shock.  These include a lode shell, a core layer, an arch shell, and a form liner. The lode shell is an outer layer that makes contact with other helmets, it consists of bendable plastics. The core layer is made up of hundreds of flexible columns that act like shock absorbers. his layer is the heart of the Vicis helmet, and was developed with the help of Per Reinhall, head of the University of Washington’s mechanical engineering department and a co-founder of Vicis. The columns vary in length and thickness depending on their position in the helmet. They are made up of a resistant polymer that bends in any given direction when bent. It is kind of like a knee or elbow joint. When we jump, our knees absorb the force when we land by bending. In the helmet the polymer bends, absorbing the shock. Under the core layer is the arch shell and form liner. The arch shell is the base of the polymers, while the form liner fits custom to the persons head, adding more protection. The Zero 1 has gone through many tests to see if it is safe for our player. These include a drop test where a dummy head in dropped onto an anvil, and a rotation test, where a moving pendulum strikes the helmet form the side. Both tests concluded that the Zero 1 helmet reduced the force of impact from 20-50 percent compared to traditional helmets. With a helmet like this, the NFL is a lot safer, chances of head trauma are reduced significantly and player’s minds can rest at ease.

The new Vicis Zero 1 helmet may sound like a great invention, but it is clearly the opposite. Ever since the introduction of the new traditional helmet concussion rates have been through the roof. This is because of risk compensation, more stigma that the helmets are helpful, then players will hit harder, and make risky tackles. Now with an even more protective helmet, players will play even more dangerous. They may even begin to hit head first, which is extremely dangerous. Why make a helmet that will increase concussion rates when we can just discard them? Playing without helmets will make the league safe and watchable. Rugby players play the game that American football is based off of, and they wear no padding. They do not see the kinds of head trauma in the NFL.

President Trump took many shots at the NFL at his Alabama campaign rally. He slammed players for kneeling during the national anthem, but he said a particularly disturbing comment. The president suggested that the NFL is being ruined now that they are addressing brain injuries. His exact words were “Because you know, today if you hit too hard — 15 yards! Throw him out of the game. They had that last week, I watched for a couple of minutes. Two guys, just really, beautiful tackle. Boom! 15 yards. The referee goes on television, his wife’s so proud of him. They’re ruining the game! They’re ruining the game.” He basically said that efforts to make players safe ruins the game. President Trumps comments were very disturbing at his rally. These players are human beings, they are the same as us. We all are humans, we get sick, we all are susceptible to injuries. The president basically is saying that efforts to protect players from early CTE related deaths makes his game watching experience unenjoyable. There are probably many people out there that feel this way, but do not have the means, nor the courage to say comments like this. That is fine, it is their opinion. Here is a way we can all enjoy the game, and our players are 100 percent safe. Take away these weapons, let players not be prompted to take those dangerous hits. Helmets need to be put on the sidelines.

Helmets do not help the problem, but they are the problem. Football is already a dangerous game, and when we give players weapons on the field, the games becomes even more dangerous. Newer helmets will make the players hit even more harder, causing more severe injuries. Rugby is as dangerous as American football, and it does not see the kind of injuries that football sees. Playing without helmets will cause the players to become more careful on the field, making football safer. Instead of sidelining our players because of injury, we need to sideline helmets.

 

 

 

Work Cited

  1. Hagel, Brent, and Willem Meeuwisse. “Risk Compensation: A.LWW.

2. McIntosh, A S, and P McCrory. “Effectiveness of Headgear in a Pilot Study of under 15 Rugby Union Football.” British Journal of Sports Medicine, British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine, 1 June 2001.

3. What is CTE? Concussion Legacy Foundation, 30 Aug. 2017,

4. “NFL Concussions Fast Facts.” CNN, Cable News Network, 16 Nov. 2017,

5. Emanuel, Daniella. “CTE Found in 99% of Studied Brains from Deceased NFL Players.” CNN, Cable News Network, 26 July 2017,

6. Branch, John. “ESPN Football Analyst Walks Away, Disturbed by Brain Trauma on Field.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 30 Aug. 2017,

7. Stinson, Elizabeth. “This Flexible Football Helmet Wants to Save Your Brain.” Wired, Conde Nast, 3 June 2017,

8. Loria, Kevin. “Trump Suggested the NFL Is Being Ruined Now That It’s Addressing Brain Injuries – Here’s What Collisions Do to Players.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 26 Sept. 2017,

9.Vinton, Nathaniel. “Concussions up 58% This Season in NFL Regular Season Games.”NY Daily News, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, 29 Jan. 2016,

10. Brad Gagnon Nov 3, 2017 . “NFL 2017 All-Injured Team Is Loaded with Pro Bowl Players at Halfway Point of Season.” CBSSports.com, 3 Nov. 2017,

11. Green, Edward C. “Edward C. Green – Condoms, HIV-AIDS and Africa – The Pope Was Right.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 29 Mar. 2009,

 

Definition Rewrite-Flyerfan1974

What is Risk Compensation?

Imagine a player in the NFL and running down the field to score a touchdown. Out of no where he is hit extremely hard and he goes down. He has no idea where he is or who he is. All he knows is that his head is pounding, this is what it feels like to receive a concussion and it happened far too often in the NFL. People are proposing to make drastic changes or just banning the game. There however, is a way that we can prevent concussions without drastically changing the game, get rid of helmets.

When Walter Camp changed the rules from Rugby into American football he did not want players to become seriously injured. The violent nature comes from the players, they don’t have to make an enormous hit, but they do anyway. These enormous hits, they cause injuries. Why do they do this, a concept called risk compensation. Protective equipment, like helmets and pads, may prompt users to act more aggressively and thereby increase the potential for serious injury. Im sure when a football player is on the field with no helmet he is not going to make a risky play, but give him a helmet and he will make that play knowing he is suppose to be protected. In Hagel and Meeuwisse’s article, they talk about how before helmet use, there were less concussions. During football practices, many teams practice a drill called the tackling drill. During this drill, 2 players line up and hit one another as hard as they can. In the 1940’s, when there were no helmets, players were taught the initial point of contact should be the shoulder. In the 1960’s when todays helmets made their first appearance, players were taught that the initial point of contact was the head due to it being protected. There was a noted increase in tackling drill fatalities between 1955 to 1964 compared to between 1945 to 1955 when the point of contact was the shoulder. The players in the 1940s and early 1950s had no helmets, but this time period had a significantly less number of tackling drill fatalities than when helmets were invented. They were “spearing,” a term that describes when a player runs head first into the person they are trying to tackle. They are acting like a ram does when it go to hit an opponent. When spearing was banned in 1976, there was a significant decrease in the amount of head injuries, cervical spine injuries, and deaths, even with an increase in participation.

Risk compensation is also found in other sports such as, baseball, hockey, skiing, snowboarding, and bicycling. Risk compensation is even found in rugby. For example, in children’s baseball using softcore balls, volunteer coaches were seeing more instances of injuries than leagues that used hardcore baseballs. The children took greater risks when fielding the softcore balls and moving out of the way of wild pitches. The kids that played with hardcore balls faced something dangerous and they knew it would hurt, which made them be more conservative.  Risk compensation can even take place outside of sports. Motorists with seatbelts are more likely to drive more recklessly than other motorists without their seatbelts. Edward Green with the Washington Post talks about risks compensation in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Pope Benedict XVI commented that condom distribution was not helping the fight, but worsening it, he was pointing out to risk compensation. Condoms are meant to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS, but they were actually helping the spread. People would feel protected enough that they would take place in riskier sex acts, making the condom useless and helping the spread of HIV and AIDS.

Rugby is the sport that started American football. Walter Camp changed the rules of rugby to create American football. It is an American tradition that cannot ever be taken away, that is why we need to fix it. Rugby is absolutely a violent sport, players are jumping, running, hitting, being put into giant huddles, and players are even being thrown, and they do this all without any protective equipment. If we ask many Americans, they may not understand the rules about Rugby. Rugby does not have as much injuries as it does in football. It is ironic that the sport with the most protective equipment has more injuries. In the British Journal of Sports Medicine there is a study about Rugby. In this study, scientists wanted to find out if headgear reduces the incidence  of concussions in Rugby. Sixteen under 15 rugby union teams were recruited from three interschool competitions in metropolitan Sydney and the adjacent country region. A prospective study was undertaken over a single competitive season. The study had two arms: a headgear arm and a control arm. Headgear wearing rates and injury data were reported to the investigators and verified using spot checks. “A total of 294 players participated in the study. There were 1179 player exposures with headgear and 357 without headgear. In the study time frame, there were nine incidences of concussion; seven of the players involved wore headgear and two did not. There was no significant difference between concussion rates between the two study arms.” The conclusion was that although there is some controversy about the desirability of wearing protective headgear in football, this pilot study strongly suggests that current headgear does not provide significant protection against concussion in rugby union at a junior level. As we can see risk compensation was present in this study. Out of the 9 players, 7 were wearing the head gear. Due to having protection, here players must have felt more safe, and make more riskier hits.

Risk compensation is all around us and is not just on a sports field. When driving we are more likely to drive more risky while wearing a seatbelt. While boating we are most likely to make dangerous moves wearing a life jacket. With the phenomenon of risk compensation defined, we can now determine how to fix the problem of concussions in football. With the definition of risk compensation in our minds we can safely say that taking away helmets in football will make it safer and reduce the number on concussions.

Works Cited

Hagel, Brent PhD*; Meeuwisse, Willem MD, PhD “Risk Compensation: A “Side Effect” of Sport Injury Prevention?” Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine.

A S McIntosh, P McCrory  “Effectiveness of headgear in a pilot study of under 15 rugby union football” British Journal of Sports Medicine

Brad Gagnon Nov 3, 2017 . “NFL 2017 All-Injured Team Is Loaded with Pro Bowl Players at Halfway Point of Season.” CBSSports.com, 3 Nov. 2017,

Rebuttal Rewrite-Flyerfan1974

Do We Just Change the Helmets?

Taking helmets out of football is a very counterintuitive idea itself. It may seem as if this will hurt the players, but in fact it will help protect the players. Helmets will keep players from taking risky, hard hits, and cause them to have more caution when playing the game. They all will be protected from severe concussions, spinal cord injuries, and developing CTE later in life. There is however, some opposition to this counterintuitive idea. Many people feel as if there would be no change to the amount of head injuries sustained in a football game. They feel as if players will still hit hard, and make risky plays.

Today’s football helmets are extremely evolved from the old leather helmets. Before advanced helmets, concussions were really no worry at all. Players were taught to tackle with your shoulder instead of your head. Then when the helmet came into play, the number of head and spinal injuries, and deaths increased dramatically. This is because after 1954, players were taught to hit head first. This was influenced by the new advancement of the helmet. Players felt safer and would hit harder. Today’s helmets have extra padding and facemasks now a day. We have been researching ever since the mid 1900’s and have developed the most advanced helmets. The advancement in helmets has been a leading factor in the reason that concussions are more common than ever. Players are feeling safer and safer, and are making more riskier hits. Since 2014, there has been a 58% rise in the frequency of concussions. However, recently a helmet has been created that will be different from all the other helmets. According Wired. Com, that helmet is the new Zero 1 helmet. The Zero 1 is created by a company in Seattle called Vicis. The new helmet is suppost to flex on impact, instead of a traditional helmet. The Zero 1 is like a car bumper, it flexes and absorbs the force. A traditional helmet is like hitting a metal trashcan, the outside of the can absorbs the force, but rattles everything inside. In this case your brain is being rattled when a player gets hit. The new Vicis Zero 1 helmet features a 4-layer system to absorbing shock.  These include a lode shell, a core layer, an arch shell, and a form liner. The lode shell is an outer layer that makes contact with other helmets, it consists of bendable plastics. The core layer is made up of hundreds of flexible columns that act like shock absorbers. his layer is the heart of the Vicis helmet, and was developed with the help of Per Reinhall, head of the University of Washington’s mechanical engineering department and a co-founder of Vicis. The columns vary in length and thickness depending on their position in the helmet. They are made up of a resistant polymer that bends in any given direction when bent. It is kind of like a knee or elbow joint. When you jump, your knees absorb the force when you land by bending. In the helmet the polymer bends, absorbing the shock. Under the core layer is the arch shell and form liner. The arch shell is the base of the polymers, while the form liner fits custom to the persons head, adding more protection. The Zero 1 has gone through many test to see if it is safe for our player. These include a drop test where a dummy head in dropped onto an anvil, and a rotation test, where a moving pendulum strikes the helmet form the side. Both tests concluded that the Zero 1 helmet reduced the force of impact from 20-50 percent compared to traditional helmets. With a helmet like this, the NFL is a lot safer, chances of head trauma are reduced significantly and player’s minds can rest at ease.

With the increasing protectiveness of the NFL helmet, injuries are surely going to occur. Risk compensation is going to play a huge role, as helmets become more protective, players will become more injured. Players will hit harder, and make risky tackles because of the new Zero 1 helmet. It does not help anything.

President Trump took many shots at the NFL at his Alabama campaign rally. He slammed  players for kneeling during the national anthem, but he said a particularly disturbing comment. The president suggested that the NFL is being ruined now that they are addressing brain injuries. His exact words were “Because you know, today if you hit too hard — 15 yards! Throw him out of the game. They had that last week, I watched for a coupled of minutes. Two guys, just really, beautiful tackle. Boom! 15 yards. The referee goes on television, his wife’s so proud of him. They’re ruining the game! They’re ruining the game.” He basically said that efforts to make players safe ruins the game.

President Trump’s comments were very disturbing at his rally. These players are human beings, they are the same as you and me. We all are humans, we get sick, we all are susceptible to injuries. The president basically is saying that efforts to protect players from early CTE related deaths makes his game watching experience unenjoyable. There are probably many people out there that feel this way, but do not have the means, nor the courage to say comments like this. That is fine, it is their opinion. Here is a way we can all enjoy the game, and our players are 100 percent safe. Take away these weapons, let players not be prompted to take those dangerous hits. Helmets need to be put on the sidelines.

Helmets may be evolving, but as they evolve, they hurt our beloved players. The advancements of Vicis’ Zero 1 helmet only sets player safety 3 steps back. Players are going to act more violent, causing more and more injuries, it is simple logic. Players are still going to make those concussion causing hits, only harder. And with harder hits comes more severe concussions, which leads to a rise in the number of players who acquire CTE later in life, cutting their life expectancy by a significant amount of years. Taking helmets out of football with significantly reduce the number of concussions NFL players experience. This in turn will cause a chain reaction, reducing the amount of CTE in retired players, reducing the number of early deaths in individuals.

 

Stinson, Elizabeth. “This Flexible Football Helmet Wants to Save Your Brain.” Wired, Conde Nast, 3 June 2017,

Hagel, Brent. “Risk Compensation: A.” Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, July 2004,

Loria, Kevin. “Trump Suggested the NFL Is Being Ruined Now That It’s Addressing Brain Injuries – Here’s What Collisions Do to Players.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 26 Sept. 2017,

Vinton, Nathaniel. “Concussions up 58% This Season in NFL Regular Season Games.” NY Daily News, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, 29 Jan. 2016,

Reflective- Flyerfan1974

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

In this class I learned to really think in depth about a claim or concept. For example in my visual rhetoric assignment, each second of the video is analyzed and described in great detail. I didn’t just illustrate what was happening, but I tried to figure out what could of happened. For example, when there was a screen full of coal and ashes, I made predictions and explored what could have happened. I could only use what was in the background.

Another example of making examples would be when I was completing my annotated bibliography assignment. I would discover very strong points that made my research paper more complex. For example when writing the background on one source I discovered the connection between helmets and deaths between the years on 1955 and 1965.

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

When writing my research paper I had to put my ideas together from my definition, casual, and rebuttal arguments. When going though my research paper each idea followed each other like train cars following each other. Some ideas from my rebuttal actually fit in better with my definition argument. Vise versa for my causal argument and definition argument.

Another example would be stone money, I first wrote my stone money with a lot of information and it did not flow together nicely. After some feedback and a lot of thinking I was able to make it all come together nicely in my stone money rewrite. Each idea has to flow together and it worked out nicely with stone money. I also had the same experience on my safer saws assignment.

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

In my safer saws  assignment I had to read 10 articles and write based on certain people point of views. I had to really think about it, what are these peoples interest? Who would benefit from this? Where do these people stand? In my writing I illustrate the writing of an inventor who’s life work has been completely stolen. I had to see myself in Steve Gass’s shoes and determine how I felt if as a college student my 3000 word research paper had been ripped off.

In my rebuttal argument, I needed to determine why the opposing party disagreed with me. I needed to determine their purpose, then address the causes that made them disagree with my work. I analyzed why the opposers felt this way.

Core Value IV: 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 my research paper I introduced a counterintuitive idea that people cannot wrap their heads around, making football safer by removing the helmets. It was very hard to explain this idea to people, but I was able to do it. In my definition argument I defined this idea, and when researching it I was helped by many brilliant sources. I found examples of my counterintuitive idea and discovered that is it a phenomenon studied by many researchers. I also found examples on studies that gave hard evidence when proving the idea. The study was recent, and gave actual numbers when describing their result. My whole thesis was hard to explain in words, but my sources and examples helped me paint a picture for the reader.

Core Value V. 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 every piece I wrote, I always clearly explained my information and cited it. I never use information that is not my own, plagiarism is stealing. These people who wrote these long articles online and in books must have spend a lot of time to make them so great, it is morally and ethically wrong to deprive them of their recognition. My research paper contained 10 sources and I always gave an indirect citation to my sources. Many of these papers really help me understand my thesis better, and help me prove it, I would never stab the authors in the back. I always though citation needed to be parentheses with the authors name, but I discovered that indirect citation makes the sentences flow so nicely.

Annotated Bibliography-Flyerfan1974

  1. Hagel, Brent, and Willem Meeuwisse. “Risk Compensation: A.LWW.

Background: This article explains a phenomenon called risk compensation and how it prompts humans to act more aggressively when they believe that they are protected. This will result in causing serious injuries to themselves and others. There are also parts on how risk compensation takes place in many other sports.

How I use it?: In my essay I use the information present in the article to introduce risk compensation to the reader. I do not just throw it at them, but I gradually give them information one sentence at a time; using examples from many different sports.

2. McIntosh, A S, and P McCrory. “Effectiveness of Headgear in a Pilot Study of under 15 Rugby Union Football.” British Journal of Sports Medicine, British Association of Sport and Exercise Medicine, 1 June 2001.

Background: This article presents a study about risk compensation in rugby. Out of 294 players, only 9 received concussions, and 7 of these 9 were wearing head gear.

How I used it?: In my essay, I use the information found in this article to give hard scientific evidence to prove risk compensation. The data also proves my thesis that headgear causes athletes to cause more damage to themselves. It has not tested in the sport of football, but the next closest thing to it.

3. What is CTE? Concussion Legacy Foundation, 30 Aug. 2017,

Background: This article gives us insight on what CTE is. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is a degenerative disease that affects a persons brain. Proteins called Tau form and destroy brain cells. CTE causes people to develop dementia at an early age, and causes people in most cases to become suicidle.

How I used it?: I used the information in this article to illustrate to the reader what CTE is and what it does to humans. I also wanted to show the tragic events that it causes.

4. “NFL Concussions Fast Facts.” CNN, Cable News Network, 16 Nov. 2017,

Background: This article gives symptoms of concussions, statistics on concussions in the NFL, and a timeline of concussion related instances in the NFL.

How I used it?: This article shows how many concussions are reported in the NFL in past years, and a time line to show what is happening. I used the information to update my reader on what has been happening for years.

5. Emanuel, Daniella. “CTE Found in 99% of Studied Brains from Deceased NFL Players.” CNN, Cable News Network, 26 July 2017, 

Background: The article discusses how CTE has been found in almost all of the brains of deceased players who have played in the NFL.

How I used it?: I used the information present to show how almost every former player is being diagnosed with CTE. This shows how the changes the NFL is making is not helping the battle with brain trauma, and how there is a need for a huge change.

6. Branch, John. “ESPN Football Analyst Walks Away, Disturbed by Brain Trauma on Field.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 30 Aug. 2017,

Background: This article talks about how ESPN football broadcaster Ed Cunningham quit his job because of all the brain trauma in the sports. Cunningham a player himself, tells his story about how he cannot stand to watch players retire early due to health concerns.

How I used it?: I use this example to show how concussions in football is affecting people who are not just playing it right now. Ed Cunningham did play football, but this just adds to his worrying of the dangers of the game.

7. Stinson, Elizabeth. “This Flexible Football Helmet Wants to Save Your Brain.” Wired, Conde Nast, 3 June 2017, 

Background: This article discusses how a company called Vicis developed the Zero 1 helmet. This new state of the arc helmet is more flexible and it absorbs hit, protecting players brains.

How I used it?: I use this example to show how opposing parties feel that football is evolving more safely and how we do not need to take away helmets. I also highlight that since the players will feel more protected, they will hit harder and cause more injury.

8. Loria, Kevin. “Trump Suggested the NFL Is Being Ruined Now That It’s Addressing Brain Injuries – Here’s What Collisions Do to Players.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 26 Sept. 2017, 

Background: This article talks about how President Trump made a comment that assessed penalties for dangerous hits, ruin the game.

How I used it?: I used this as an example to show how people need to stop opposing changing the game of football when peoples lives are on the line.

9.Vinton, Nathaniel. “Concussions up 58% This Season in NFL Regular Season Games.” NY Daily News, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, 29 Jan. 2016,

Background: The NFL has reported a 58% rise in head injuries since 2014.

How I used it: I used this article to show how our efforts are not working since head injuries are increasing these past 3 years.

10. Brad Gagnon Nov 3, 2017 . “NFL 2017 All-Injured Team Is Loaded with Pro Bowl Players at Halfway Point of Season.” CBSSports.com, 3 Nov. 2017,

Background: This article discusses how we could make a whole team with the players that were injured this year.

How I used it: I use this article to show how many injuries happened this year and how we can make a whole team out of them. I also make a point to show that no position is safe from the violence of football.

11. Green, Edward C. “Edward C. Green – Condoms, HIV-AIDS and Africa – The Pope Was Right.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 29 Mar. 2009,

Background: This article discusses how Pope Benedict XVI discussed that condom distribution in Africa was hurting and not helping. Also how risk compensation plays a role in the HIV-AIDS epidemic .

How I used it: I use this article to help my reader with an example of risk compensation outside of sports.

 

Rebuttal-Flyerfan1974

Do We Just Change the Helmets?

 

Taking helmets out of football is a very counterintuitive idea itself. It may seem as if this will hurt the players, but in fact it will help protect the players. No helmets will make keep players from taking risky, hard hits, and cause them to have more caution when playing the game. They all will be protected from severe concussions, spinal cord injuries, and developing CTE later in life. There is however, some opposition to this counterintuitive idea. Many people feel as if there would be no change to the amount of head injuries sustained in a football game. They feel as if players will still hit hard, and make risky plays.

Today football helmets are evolving more and more everyday. Great minds are developing technology that will save the game of football. The new Vicis Zero 1 helmet is the latest in state of the arc brain saving technology. With all the brain trauma happening in the NFL, the league was distributed grants for companies to develop better equipment, that company was Vicis. The Seattle company developed the Zero 1 helmet to help the win the war on concussions. The new helmet flexes on contact, instead of the traditional helmet that has a hard outer shell, sort of like a battering ram. The new helmet has the same idea as a car bumper, it flexes and absorbs blows. The Zero 1 helmet also features 4 layers of brain saving protection. These include a lode shell, a core layer, an arch shell, and a form liner. The lode shell is an outer layer that makes contact with other helmets, it consists of bendable plastics. The core layer is made up of hundreds of flexible columns that act like shock absorbers. his layer is the heart of the Vicis helmet, and was developed with the help of Per Reinhall, head of the University of Washington’s mechanical engineering department and a co-founder of Vicis. The columns vary in length and thickness depending on their position in the helmet. They are made up of a resistant polymer that bends in any given direction when bent. It is kind of like a knee or elbow joint. When you jump, your knees absorb the force when you land by bending. In the helmet the polymer bends, absorbing the shock. Under the core layer is the arch shell and form liner. The arch shell is the base of the polymers, while the form liner fits custom to the persons head, adding more protection. The Zero 1 has gone through many test to see if it is safe for our player. These include a drop test where a dummy head in dropped onto an anvil, and a rotation test, where a moving pendulum strikes the helmet form the side. Both tests concluded that the Zero 1 helmet reduced the force of impact from 20-50 percent compared to traditional helmets.  With a helmet like this, the NFL is a lot safer, chances of head trauma are reduced significantly and players minds can rest at ease. The helmet is no longer a weapon, but a vital part of a players padding and safety.

President Trump took many shots at the NFL at his Alabama campaign rally. He slammed  players for kneeling during the national anthem, but he said a particularly disturbing comment. The president suggested that the NFL is being ruined now that they are addressing brain injuries. His exact words were “Because you know, today if you hit too hard — 15 yards! Throw him out of the game. They had that last week, I watched for a coupled of minutes. Two guys, just really, beautiful tackle. Boom! 15 yards. The referee goes on television, his wife’s so proud of him. They’re ruining the game! They’re ruining the game.” He basically said that efforts to make players safe ruins the game.

Helmets may have been upgraded, and made to absorb hits, but they still do the same damage. Risk compensation is when protective equipment prompts individuals to act more aggressively which increases the potential for injury. If you give an individual better protective equipment, they are going to have an increase in aggression, causing more injuries. Before, players with traditional helmets felt protected, so they made more riskier hits, causing more injuries. Now the players will feel even more protective, causing even more riskier hits, and even more injuries. Also even if these helmets are more protective, Vicis said they reduce the force of impact by 20-50 percent. This still is not a solution that will make football 100 percent safe. Players being prompted to act even more aggressively on the field, combined with not 100 percent helmets will even make the game more dangerous. Our efforts are not working, according to the NFL, head injuries have increased 58% since 2014. This proves our efforts are doing nothing, and show we need a huge change in the game.

President Trumps comments were very disturbing at his rally. These players are human beings, they are the same as you and me. We all are humans, we get sick, we all are susceptible to injuries. The president basically is saying that efforts to protect players from early CTE related deaths makes his game watching experience unenjoyable. There are probably many people out there that feel this way, but do not have the means, nor the courage to say comments like this. That is fine, it is their opinion. Here is a way we can all enjoy the game, and our players are 100 percent safe. Take away these weapons, let players not be prompted to take those dangerous hits. Helmets need to be put on the sidelines.

Helmets may be evolving, but as they evolve, they hurt our beloved players. The advancements of Vicis’ Zero 1 helmet only sets player safety 3 steps back. Players are going to act more violent, causing more and more injuries, it is simple logic. Players are still going to make those concussion causing hits, only harder. And with harder hits comes more severe concussions, which leads to a rise in the number of players who acquire CTE later in life, cutting their life expectancy by a significant amount of years. Taking helmets out of football with significantly reduce the number of concussions NFL players experience. This in turn will cause a chain reaction, reducing the amount of CTE in retired players, reducing the number of early deaths in individuals.

 

Stinson, Elizabeth. “This Flexible Football Helmet Wants to Save Your Brain.” Wired, Conde Nast, 3 June 2017, http://www.wired.com/2016/01/the-zero1-flexible-football-helmet-may-save-players-brains/.

Hagel, Brent. “Risk Compensation: A.” Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, July 2004, journals.lww.com/cjsportsmed/Fulltext/2004/07000/Risk_Compensation__A__Side_Effect__of_Sport_Injury.1.aspx.

Loria, Kevin. “Trump Suggested the NFL Is Being Ruined Now That It’s Addressing Brain Injuries – Here’s What Collisions Do to Players.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 26 Sept. 2017, http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-nfl-criticism-concussions-brain-injuries-cte-2017-9.

Vinton, Nathaniel. “Concussions up 58% This Season in NFL Regular Season Games.” NY Daily News, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, 29 Jan. 2016, www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/concussions-rise-nfl-league-data-reveals-article-1.2513828.

Causal Argument—Flyerfan1974

A Devastating Chain Reaction

When watching NFL football I see what others do not see, players playing with weapons. No they do not have knifes or guns on the field, the weapons are on their heads. Football helmets are used as weapons to hurt other players. It is like a huge ram is coming at a player, then nails him with his horns. Helmet to helmet hits are a problem the NFL is trying to stop, but they cannot physically stop players from committing these wrong doings. During a game I may see a player use his helmet to to tackle someone, this is just like a battering ram. Humans were not made to hit like this, and for that football players are taking the ultimate toll on their bodies.

Helmet to helmet hits are the worst thing a person can do to their body. Two helmets come at each like two cars crashing head on, and the results are disastrous for the soft tissue inside both. Men have been paralyzed or even died from head on helmet hits, in 2011 a Frostburg State player and a highs school player from Homer, New York both died from helmet to helmet hits. Along with death, these hits cause longterm mental damage, they cause concussions. In 2015, there were 275 diagnosed concussions in the NFL, in 2016 there were 244 diagnosed concussions. Thats 275 of the players in the NFL who may  develop longterm mental impairment. Current symptoms of a concussion are, headache, confusion, memory loss, loss of consciousness, vision change, mood change, and fatigue.
Even though loss of consciousness is a symptom of a concussion, most concussions happen without a loss of consciousness. Players take a hit, then since they did not lose conciseness they assume that they are fine and go back to the field, injuring their brain more. In the NFL there are spotters who watch the game and decide if a player who took a hit needs to come off the field, but do they always see each hit? There is so much action going on the field at once. In high school there are no spotters, it is up to the discretion of the athletic trainer who cannot see everything from the ground as the spotter cannot see everything from up high. A student who is fighting for a starting spot get a nasty blow to the head, and does not lose consciousness, is he going to keep playing or go to the bench where someone can take their spot? A good friend of mine plays center for our local high school team, he is a junior and in a tight race for the spot. He walks to his a car with a box the size of a basketball containing ibuprofen. I confront him and say why do you need that. He responds with, I get a lot of headaches, and I cannot tell anyone because I will lose my starting spot. I later told his parents about this because I did not want him to end up like all these NFL players with advanced stages of CTE. No one can go into these players brains and feel what they feel, officials cannot stop helmet to helmet hits before they happen. All of this just happens and we need to see what happens after the hits. All these hits, they are killing people.

Concussions are killing former NFL player, the concussion itself doesn’t kill. What kills are the effects of concussions. Dementia, Alzheimers, depression, and CTE all can be caused by suffering chronic concussions. Dementia and Alzheimers, diseases meant for senior citizens, are being diagnosed in players only 50 years old. People with Alzheimers have their memory deteriorated at a rapid pace until they die from the disease. It is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. CTE is diagnosed in people who have history of repetitive brain trauma, such as football player. Symptoms of CTE affect a persons mood and behavior. Aggression, depression, and paranoia have all been seen as behavior changes. CTE has caused many former players to have extremely early deaths, including mostly suicides. Former Steeler’s center Mike Webster committed suicide at the age of 50. His brain was discovered be affected by CTE. Dave Duerson, Ray Easterling, and Junior Seau all committed suicide and were later discovered to have been affected by CTE. In  2017 convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez hung himself in his prison cell. Hernandez brain was tested and contained a severe case of CTE. He was 28 and researchers say that it was the most severe case of CTE in the brain of a person his age. The list of suicides goes on and on. More deceased NFL players brains are being examined and the results are out of the ordinary. A study published in the medical journal JAMA, found that of all the brains of deceased players studied, 99 percent of them had CTE.

Helmet to helmet hits, concussions, and CTE has gotten so bad that an ESPN football analyst even quit his job. Ed Cunningham resigned from a top job as an college football analyst due to the fact he did not want to see these college players health at risk. Cunningham a former player, saw other players as old as him have to retire due to fear of CTE and other long term brain injuries. He said he cannot simply keep contributing to footballs multibillion dollar apparatus. He just couldn’t see the brain injuring hits on college kids every week.

Helmet to helmet hits have a detrimental effect in the game of football today. They cause detrimental injuries such as spinal injuries and concussions. These hits can even kill players right on the field. Concussions then cause catastrophic results, causing CTE. CTE then causes players to have intense mental disorders and finally these players commit suicide. These devastating hits on the field need to stop, there needs to be someway we can prevent the hit before it even happens. It is worthless to try to add protection from bad hits when the protection does not work. We need to stop them before they happen, for the safety of our players.

Works Cited

What is CTE” Concussion Legacy Foundation

“NFL Concussion Fast Facts” CNN Library http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/30/us/nfl-concussions-fast-facts/index.html

“CTE found in 99% of studied brains from deceased NFL players” Daniella Emanuel http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/25/health/cte-nfl-players-brains-study/index.html

“ESPN football Analyst walks away, disturbed by brain trauma on field”, John Branch https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/30/sports/espn-ed-cunningham-football-concussions.html