Thursday, October 10, 2013

League of Denial Part II

If we had sports reporters and not pom pom wavers, in addition to reviews and critiques of the program, we would have seen a range of great follow up stories following Frontline's "League of Denial: the NFL's Concussion Crisis."   We would have seen interviews with college presidents, athletic directors, high school principals, college and high school football coaches, and parenting organizations.   There would have been interviews with members of boards of university trustees.

Instead, we see League of Denial Part II - college football.

In "League of Denial fails to tell the whole story on concussions," Mike Florio makes a superb point when he says the program failed to hold the NFL Players Association accountable on a problem he says was "hiding in plain sight."   Why was the problem able to hide in plain sight?   Because we don't have sports reporters, just pom pom wavers.

What's been happening with concussions and football is reminiscent of the steroid era in baseball. Baseball writers came to game after game watching the neck sizes and biceps bulge and ignored the story in front of their faces.   Had we had baseball reporters and not cheerleaders, there never would have been a steroid era in baseball.

But concussions are far more serious than steroids.   In examining an 18-year-old brain, Dr. Ann McKee describes what she expected. That brain says McKee, "is supposed to be pristine.   It's supposed to be perfect."   But the brain of the 18-year-old who had died after suffering his fourth concussion isn't perfect; it is already showing damage.  

With information like that, the follow up stories and the questions to be asked of athletic directors, the NCAA, college presidents and boards of trustees and high school principals are easy and obvious, unless you're a pom pom waver and not a reporter.   Here is an education story, a sports story, a health and safety story, a legal story, a medical story, a parenting story and we see our news organizations failing to ask the questions that need to be asked.

When journalism fails, bad things happen - this time, it's to the brains of our children.

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1 comment:

  1. Uw tips zijn opmerkelijk. Ik uw blog en zijn zeer behulpzaam lezen regelmatig.

    ReplyDelete