Traumatic brain injury in football is not incidental, but an inevitable and central aspect of the sport. Read more...
Traumatic brain injury in football is not incidental, but an inevitable and central aspect of the sport. Starting in high school, through college, and into the NFL, young players face repeated head trauma, and those sustained injuries create lifelong cognitive and functional difficulties.
Muchnick's "Concussion Inc." blog exposed the decades-long cover-up of scientific research into sports concussions and the ongoing denial to radically reform football in North America. This compilation from Muchnick's no-holds-barred investigative website reveals the complete head injury story as it developed, from the doctor who played fast and loose with the facts about the efficacy of the state-mandated concussion management system for high school football players, to highly touted solutions that are more self-serving cottage industry than of any genuine benefit.
Known for extensive reporting on the tragic story of the Chris Benoit murder-suicide, Muchnick turns his investigative analysis to traumatic brain injury and probes deep into the corporate, government, and media corruption that has enabled the $10-billion-a-year National Football League to trigger a public health crisis.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-03-02
- Reviewer: Staff
Investigative sports journalist Muchnick (Wrestling Babylon), who has written extensively about the tragic effects of traumatic brain injury among wrestlers, turns his attention to the same issue in football. In this compilation of blog entries written between 2009 and 2013, Muchnick unflinchingly documents National Football League veteran Dave Duerson's time on the league's disability claims review board, which he spent frequently denying benefits to other retired players and "downplaying known evidence of the connection between football traumatic brain injuries and long-term mental-health problems." When Duerson committed suicide in 2011, he left a note indicating that he himself suffered from brain damage. Another target of close scrutiny is Dr. Joseph Maroon, longtime neurosurgeon of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who was on the NFL's concussion policy committee while simultaneously promoting concussion management software and nutritional supplements that purportedly protect against concussions. Muchnick argues that the NFL's violent culture has a dangerous effect on teenage athletes and that tackle football must be banned in public high schools. It's not easy reading. The author's tone is sometimes polemical or pompous, but his arguments will resonate, not only with football aficionados but also with fans of hockey, boxing, and other contact sports. (Feb.)