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Thread: OT (or not): Dwight Clark

  1. #1

    OT (or not): Dwight Clark

    So Dwight Clark announced yesterday that he has ALS. It is tragic (he is 60 yo), and I'm sure everyone prays for the best. Interestingly (and why this may not be totally OT), he said he believed that football contributed to the development of the disease. Leaving aside his scientific opinion, the fact that there are quite a few ex-NFL players w/ the disease is worrisome; this is a lot more frightening than CTE and may have an impact on the game itself going forward.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by UrsaMajor View Post
    So Dwight Clark announced yesterday that he has ALS. It is tragic (he is 60 yo), and I'm sure everyone prays for the best. Interestingly (and why this may not be totally OT), he said he believed that football contributed to the development of the disease. Leaving aside his scientific opinion, the fact that there are quite a few ex-NFL players w/ the disease is worrisome; this is a lot more frightening than CTE and may have an impact on the game itself going forward.
    I have a hard time imagining how the NFL will address what these types of developments will do to their product. Not that my kids were necessarily future NFL stars, but I would never allow my kids to play tackle football. I would assume that talent would move even more from football to something else like basketball. I am not predicting that there will be the level of talent drain in football like there is in soccer, but I can't imagine this wouldn't affect at least noticeably the product in the future.

  3. #3
    someone put up a poll. I don't know how.

    Would you let your son play tackle football?

  4. #4
    I've said it before, and I'll say it again.....until players are coached to tackle (contact with head to the side, wrap, drive, control) instead of "hit", the injury factor and incidence of these kinds of results will continue. Leading with the head, encouraged increasingly by "advanced technology" in helmet design, has replaced proper tackling and has hurt the game and has led to the consequences we all hate to hear about. The game needs to be coached, and enforced with this in mind.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by oskigobears View Post
    someone put up a poll. I don't know how.

    Would you let your son play tackle football?
    Not a chance.

    I do a highly unscientific poll as well. Whenever I meet a guy who played tackle football in HS or college, I ask whether they would allow their son to play if they wanted to (in some cases, it is obvious without asking because the son is already on a team). 90% of the time the answer is no. These dads are former players themselves, at least in HS.

    There is also evidence out there that college educated people are far less willing to let their sons play tackle fb.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by TomBear View Post
    I've said it before, and I'll say it again.....until players are coached to tackle (contact with head to the side, wrap, drive, control) instead of "hit", the injury factor and incidence of these kinds of results will continue. Leading with the head, encouraged increasingly by "advanced technology" in helmet design, has replaced proper tackling and has hurt the game and has led to the consequences we all hate to hear about. The game needs to be coached, and enforced with this in mind.
    In my view the coaching has only a minor effect on the likelihood of catastrophic injury. The game simply moves too fast for a player to always have their head out of harm's way. Your opponent is not a tackling dummy who is just going to let you form-tackle him. He's going to juke you, straight arm you, put his head down, put his shoulder down, whatever. Your head is going to be in the wrong place sometimes.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by calbear93 View Post
    I have a hard time imagining how the NFL will address what these types of developments will do to their product. Not that my kids were necessarily future NFL stars, but I would never allow my kids to play tackle football. I would assume that talent would move even more from football to something else like basketball. I am not predicting that there will be the level of talent drain in football like there is in soccer, but I can't imagine this wouldn't affect at least noticeably the product in the future.
    Tackle football will go the way of boxing, once America's most popular sport.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by UrsaMajor View Post
    So Dwight Clark announced yesterday that he has ALS. It is tragic (he is 60 yo), and I'm sure everyone prays for the best. Interestingly (and why this may not be totally OT), he said he believed that football contributed to the development of the disease. Leaving aside his scientific opinion, the fact that there are quite a few ex-NFL players w/ the disease is worrisome; this is a lot more frightening than CTE and may have an impact on the game itself going forward.
    In the Los Angeles Times this weekend, there was a story regarding Gale Sayers and dementia. Football takes it toll as there are few who can say that they left the sport unscathed. Having played, I would not let my child play the sport due to the number of concussions that I experienced. There were parts of games that I just couldn't recall and the physical toll on joints and the back are still felt years afterwards.

    http://chicago.suntimes.com/sports/f...ling-dementia/

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by FuzzyWuzzy View Post
    In my view the coaching has only a minor effect on the likelihood of catastrophic injury. The game simply moves too fast for a player to always have their head out of harm's way. Your opponent is not a tackling dummy who is just going to let you form-tackle him. He's going to juke you, straight arm you, put his head down, put his shoulder down, whatever. Your head is going to be in the wrong place sometimes.
    Right. The game is too fast as presently played. Rugby is MUCH slower than football because the players don't have hard shell helmets and aren't idiots. They don't want to smash their skulls in. Football likely needs to get rid of the helmet to survive, and protect player health.

    Edit: To clarify an awkward sentence, I am not saying football players are idiots. I am saying rugby players would be idiots to run as fast and hit as hard as football players, because rugby players do not have hard shell helmets. They'd bust their skulls open if they did. NFL players, with hard shell helmets, can run that fast and hit so hard because the helmets give a sense of invincibility as most hits don't hurt too badly.
    Last edited by grandmastapoop; 03-20-2017 at 12:33 PM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by FuzzyWuzzy View Post
    Tackle football will go the way of boxing, once America's most popular sport.
    It might well, but I'm thinking that a multi-pronged approach might save it:
    + tackling techniques
    + improvements in equipment
    + rules changes
    + medical advances, including concussion protocols

    Even then, a fair percentage of parents just won't let their kids play anymore. Too bad, because I love football, but I get it. (And obviously, what is REALLY "too bad" is all the brain injuries.)

  11. #11
    I expect we will see more of this 'bow wave' in the future. Athletes in all sports are better (maybe 'over') conditioned than ever
    before, and the results aren't seen until years later. Look at the way Tiger Woods is having body failure issues at a young age.
    Golfers on the tour advertising arthritis medications. I remember in my late thirties when a top international volleyball player retired
    at a very young age (24?) because his knees had failed him. My knees starting going in my early forties (meniscus wear). I've had
    three knee surgeries and rotator cuff surgery. I suspect that if you play and train hard for any sport you will have long term
    consequences. Collision, contact and non-contact sports; too much and you will pay a price later in life.

  12. #12

    The PAC12 needs to study ex-Huskies from the sixties

    I remember back in the late sixties, UW was known as a helmet smashing team, they broke dozens of helmets in practice each week. One notable effect was that
    after a top PAC team played Washington, they usually lost the following week. UW could do the conference a real benefit by following up on those players health;
    they are in their late sixties and seventies and adverse effects should be pretty obvious.

    Quote Originally Posted by grandmastapoop View Post
    Right. The game is too fast as presently played. Rugby is MUCH slower than football because the players don't have hard shell helmets and aren't idiots. They don't want to smash their skulls in. Football likely needs to get rid of the helmet to survive, and protect player health.

  13. #13
    My prediction is that football will eventually go the way of boxing--a sport enjoyed by white middle class fans and played almost exclusively by poor people of color who see it as a way out.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by UrsaMajor View Post
    My prediction is that football will eventually go the way of boxing--a sport enjoyed by white middle class fans and played almost exclusively by poor people of color who see it as a way out.
    I don't have numbers, but I really don't think boxing is enjoyed mostly by white middle class fans.

    Here's some support for my point:

    http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2011/2/17...ufc-is-limited

    http://mmapayout.com/2014/05/survey-...d-boxing-fans/
    Last edited by grandmastapoop; 03-20-2017 at 12:49 PM.

  15. #15
    My mom passed at age 73 this past November from ALS. I feel bad for Dwight and his family. Not an easy way to go and it's hard as a family member and care giver to watch it go down. Most assisted living facilities won't take an ALS patient because of the level of care required. Dwight may have the resources to get through the disease, but those that do not often end up losing everything. This is why Medicaid is important.



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