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Coach Kyle
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February 29, 2020 2:39 pm  

@patriotsfatboy1 stuff like this makes us look stupid. Merril Hoge is a former NFL football player. He's not qualified to write a book criticizing scientists. He does it because anti-science is a big seller. People love voodoo and naturalistic answers like essential oils, homeopathy, and anti-vaccinations. He almost died playing football himself because of a brain injury. Without even reading the book I predict that it can be summed up as something like, "Those scientists are always flip flopping their opinions back and forth based on new data! Like they don't even know things. Take it from me, someone with real experience!" 

The real problem isn't scientists. It's media. They make money selling sports, and they make money tearing it down. 

 

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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Coach Kyle
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February 29, 2020 2:58 pm  

@bob-goodman I don't think I can in good faith tell other people that the complete elimination of youth football will result in more injuries for young children, and I don't think the discovery of CTE changed that. I can tell them that they will be losing a lot of other positive aspects. 

Your "stuff in pockets" argument is pretty convincing, but the rest isn't.

 

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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patriotsfatboy1
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February 29, 2020 3:22 pm  
Posted by: @coach-kyle

@patriotsfatboy1 stuff like this makes us look stupid. Merril Hoge is a former NFL football player. He's not qualified to write a book criticizing scientists. He does it because anti-science is a big seller. People love voodoo and naturalistic answers like essential oils, homeopathy, and anti-vaccinations. He almost died playing football himself because of a brain injury. Without even reading the book I predict that it can be summed up as something like, "Those scientists are always flip flopping their opinions back and forth based on new data! Like they don't even know things. Take it from me, someone with real experience!" 

The real problem isn't scientists. It's media. They make money selling sports, and they make money tearing it down. 

 

@coach-Kyle, Read the book or go to the site. Hoge is not a scientist, which is why he wrote the book with Dr. Peter Cummings, who is a brain scientist. He is the guy whose article on yahoo.com was so widely quoted here. 

The issue is the media and their lazy journalism and the “scientists” like Bennet Omalu and Chris Nowinski who are looking to make money off of CTE fear. 


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Coach Kyle
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February 29, 2020 3:42 pm  

@patriotsfatboy1 I think we're going to agree on a lot of the stuff if we get all the facts, sure. I'm not going to buy/read the book. There is a lot you can get from reviews, and this article has quotes to tell me all I need: https://www.forbes.com/sites/bobcook/2018/10/28/merril-hoges-brainwashed-is-for-football-diehards-not-for-advancing-science-on-cte/#3351540c7c24

In the article they quote Cummings saying, '“Sure, definitely,” Cummings said, quickly and willingly. “I don’t think anyone would deny that it causes head injury.”'

... 

So I followed up: Does football cause CTE?

“There’s no scientific evidence of that,” Hoge said.

“I don’t think we know the answer to that yet,” Cummings said.

 

Cummings sounds like an honest guy. A good scientist who is choosing his words carefully. He wrote this blog, " https://sports.yahoo.com/im-brain-scientist-let-son-play-football-135727314.html "

The problem is, if we want to go by what scientists say, then we have to concede that football probably isn't very good for our brain. He said it himself, he's the only scientist, which means that we're cherry picking the only scientist who agrees with us. That is certainly not how science is done, and that is certainly not how an honest person uses science to inform their belief. This is why I detest using a football player who wrote a book, that makes the whole thing sound like a conspiracy theory, as my reasoning.

Instead I'll ask what are the chances of getting TBI, MTBI, or CTE? And how does that weight into my decision and parent's decisions. If we don't know what the chances are, and so far my personal research agrees with that, then we're not yet to the point of weighing the decision. However, we do know that there is a correlation. The truth is that nobody is sponsoring studies into this. the NFL is the subject of most of the studies, and that isn't much of a concern for us. I saw one study, that I can't find anymore, that said that kids who start at age 8 and go until high school are past some threshold by senior year in high school, and college is likely to put someone over that threshold. 

 

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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patriotsfatboy1
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March 1, 2020 12:39 pm  

@coach-kyle - I am not sure if we are maybe talking about the same thing, so let me get clarification.

On one hand, you say that the media is the problem and yet, you go to the media to review the content in the book.  Read the book, don't read the book, that was not my point.  The book just pulls together information about how the media and some people in "science" are looking to kill football based on the currently incomplete science related to CTE.

Furthermore, you said that we should not listen to a former football player on the issue.  Ok, even if we discount the fact that he wanted to understand why his career was cut short and his Steeler roommate, Mike Webster, died, I can see your point.  However, I don't know how you can then look to a former WWE wrestler whose career was cut short, Chris Nowinski, since he is the head of the Concussion Legacy Foundation and much of the money that he makes is directly tied to ensuring that people have fear of CTE, including the millions of dollars his foundation gets from the WWE, yet we don't see studies about those guys from BU or CLF.  Why?

I do think that playing any contact sport has danger and risk for head injury.  If there is a coach out there that thinks otherwise, then shame on them.  It is because of that understanding that youth football (and presumably other youth sports) have changed rules, increased education for detection of concussions and clarified more stringent return to play guidelines.  We all want the sport to be safer and that is why many of the drills that used to be run are banned or not even run.  However, there are people who will make money off the banning of tackle football in young kids and we have to be leary of them being the basis for the science used.  It is a conflict of interest and it is wrong.  

Now, you say that repetitive hits is a factor and we have to be concerned about 8 year olds playing tackle because of the cumulative effects of contact.  I don't know the answer to that, neither do you and neither does our current science because it hasn't been adequately studied yet.  However, we can be reasonable and infer that having kids who are 5-7 that are just not ready for tackle football yet because they don't the motor skills.  Here comes flag.  We can also say that it is good to have some sort of bridge from flag to tackle that allows for blocking and limited contact, but still uses flag "tackles".  That is where things like Flex football come into play. 

However, we have to be very careful in assuming that starting players older than 7th grade, such as the ban being proposed in my state (MA). I am no scientist, but I do know that force = mass x acceleration.  If we wait to teach kids proper technique until they are larger, we could be putting them at more risk because of those forces.  However, that "science" is not being studied possibly because it does not fit the narrative that the people profiting from it want (i.e. people like Chris Nowinski, who happens to be the leader of Flag Football Under 14).

What I can say is that we don't have enough pages or time to type all of this stuff out on a forum.  To answer the OP, I would say to be educated on what "science" is out there and its sources.  If you keep seeing studies that use the same test subjects without any expansion or updates, then question that.  I have done much of that homework because I think it is good to understand all of the safety issues of the sports I coach while also weighing them with the benefits.  

 


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Coach Kyle
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March 1, 2020 1:12 pm  

@patriotsfatboy1 

 

Definitely. All contact sports can be dangerous. We're taking steps towards making the sport safer. It is still going to be dangerous though. 

That study that I can't find about the hit threshold seemed to be the end of D3 football, not youth. I have not seen a study to suggest that hits earlier are more critical. Common sense actually goes the opposite direction. 

I'm not using the media to justify my point. I used quotes from the co-author and his blog post. I think he agrees with all of us that there is no definitive data out there. It seems to be the case that there is a correlation, but how severe the correlation it is is unknown. Jumping to the conclusion that we need to end youth football or remove kids from it would not be based on science but by jumping to a conclusion. 

Also I think you are making a less convincing argument with the idea that kids need to start playing younger in order to gain the proper skills. I didn't play until high school. I was also able to hit pretty hard right away. Now maybe because I played a year of full check hockey. I don't know. I think though that this makes little sense. As you get older you learn things more quickly, and that suggests that you should be able to handle more dangerous situations. This is why we don't let children use power tools. Obviously it works out better for the kid to be able to play younger because they learn earlier. I also think an argument like that will discourage older kids and parents of older kids from letting them play. 

Overall though I think you said the magic words. We should listen to scientists. We should not jump to conclusions. I don't mean to be controversial. I just think a lot of people make arguments to justify their own reasons of loving football, and while those work for them, they won't work for everyone, and I want to give that perspective of how it might be received by playing devil's advocate at times. 

 One thing that I think everyone can agree with, and I think the argument most convincing to parents on the fence is that football teaches plenty of life lessons and gives kids a unique experience that other sports don't offer.

 

This post was modified 1 month ago by Coach Kyle

Deaths while walking 4,743Deaths from football 12


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Bob Goodman
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March 1, 2020 10:52 pm  
Posted by: @patriotsfatboy1

However, we have to be very careful in assuming that starting players older than 7th grade, such as the ban being proposed in my state (MA). I am no scientist, but I do know that force = mass x acceleration.  If we wait to teach kids proper technique until they are larger, we could be putting them at more risk because of those forces.  However, that "science" is not being studied possibly because it does not fit the narrative that the people profiting from it want (i.e. people like Chris Nowinski, who happens to be the leader of Flag Football Under 14).

But something unintended could result from the idea that children need to learn proper full-contact technique young so they'll be safer when they get to 8th grade, because the football then has so much greater injury potential: that people could turn it around and say, why not allow tackle football only for those under 14, and ban organized teen and adult tackle?

This would not be unprecedented, unfortunately.  There are activities we forbid of children, and there are activities we allow only children to do, if you think about it.  Have you not seen locker rooms with signs excluding those of the opposite sex above a certain age?  Have you not heard of upper age limits (social if not legal) on trick or treat?

Of course that's not an outcome we'd seek!  But there's a danger we'd be adding fuel to that fire.  Again, it all depends on who in the audience is receptive to a particular message.


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gumby_in_co
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March 2, 2020 12:38 pm  
Posted by: @coachdp
Posted by: @trentsutton

I got into a huge pissing match on Facebook

Did you win?

--Dave

Nobody ever wins a pissing match on Facebook. Everyone just gets covered in piss.

When in doot . . . glass and oot.


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patriotsfatboy1
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March 2, 2020 3:42 pm  

@bob-goodman to be honest, if the cumulative nature of football contact is determined to cause problems, then I would think that the ages where there are fewer people playing and more damage as a result, then maybe that is a better outcome than banning it at the youth level.  It won't happen because of the money involved, but if that is what the science shows, then it should be considered.  

I think that kids can play flag, then some transition level between flag and tackle and then tackle.  However, we have to make the sport safer and can we actually talk about this spring and winter tackle BS?  There are kids playing tackle football games year round.  Silly IMO. 

 


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