Saturday, September 5, 2009

Can Playing Football Actually Ruin Your Life?

It was just a normal football game.

Marc Buoniconti looked to be man of the game but something went wrong when his Citadel team faced Tennessee State back in 1985. A collide with Herman Jacobs which resulted in a painful outcome, a very painful outcome indeed:

"But this has always stopped him: On Oct. 26, 1985, in the first quarter of a game between The Citadel and East Tennessee State at the Mini-Dome in Johnson City, Tenn., Citadel linebacker Marc Buoniconti hurtled headfirst at the Buccaneers' upended tailback, his helmet colliding with Herman Jacobs's lower back. Buoniconti rolled over, his neck dislocated at the third and fourth cervical vertebrae, his spinal cord hacked as if by a dull hatchet. Soon after Mull heard the news that the 19-year-old Buoniconti had become a quadriplegic, a strange sensation washed through him, one he would feel for decades."

Many scary things can happen in football. And it not just happens in just college and professional football, no way, it goes way younger than that back in those peewee football days.

Football injuries really have made bad things happen to athletes for many years since the sport became the favorite in the nation. Sometimes, it just doesn't matter if you are wearing the most protective gear possible, you can die, be crippled, be injured for quite some time, and so much more.

I really hate it when this stuff happens, it just makes things really sad in sports. But I am going to talk about a topic that many of us just have to make a discussion about. Can playing football ruin your life? Let's find out.

Each year, there are more than 250,000 brain injuries dealed with athletes playing football. Ten percent of college and 20 percent of high school football players have gotten received with these brain injuries while 63 percent sustain traumatic brain ones as well. These facts were found from this source.

Now according to PhysOrg.com, the starting of a football game receives 16 percent of injuries, 54 percent during the middle of the game, and 30 percent accounted at the end of the game or into overtimne.

"Not only does the time in competition affect injuries but also the phase of play," says Dawn Comstock, PhD, principal investigator in CIRP at Nationwide Children's Hospital. "During kickoff and punting, a greater proportion of severe injuries occurred compared to all other phases of play. Thirty-three percent of injuries occurring during kickoff and punt were severe and 20 percent were concussions.

"Although more injuries occurred in the middle of the field, injury severity and diagnosis varied little by field location.Overall, severe injuries accounted for 20 percent of all injuries, with 44 percent of severe injuries being fractures."

Things can really get severe. PhysOrg.com also included in another article that high school football, along with wrestling, results with the highest rate of severe injuries.

"Twenty-nine percent of severe injuries occurred to the knee, making it the most commonly injured body site," explained Christy Collins, CIRP research associate at Nationwide Children's Hospital. "The ankle accounted for 12 percent followed by shoulder at 11 percent."

"Severe Injuries negatively affect athletes' health and often place an increased burden on the health care system," Comstock said. "Future research is needed to develop effective interventions to decrease the incidence and severity of high school sports injuries."

It was September 9, 2007. Denver Broncos kick returner Domenik Hixon returned the ball while Buffalo Bills tight end Kevin Everrett was going for a tackle. Everett was reported to have suffered from a neck injury in which he had to be transported to a hospital on an ambulance.

It was probably one of the most frightening things I have witnessed on public television:

More scary outcomes have happened in football, even somewhat crazy like a baby getting injured during a football game, which was quite surprising. I don't know if quite many of you remember "The Hit" between Reggie Brown of Georgia and Junior Rosegreen. But man, what a hit it was.

Brown was lucky to not end up like Everett but it did look like a severe hit. Many more horror-movie-like outcomes have happened like the Reggie Bush hit against the Philadelphia Eagles. Many other scary hits have happened like Cedric Killings hit against the Colts on September 23, 2007 when his Texans lost, 30-24.

Killings had suffered from a huge hit on special teams from Roy Hall. He wasn't moving but was better after he was released from the hospital. He also could have ended up like Everett and Buoniconti.

Here is what ESPN said about the hit:

"And defensive tackle Cedric Killings was taken off the field on a stretcher after a headfirst collision with Indianapolis receiver Roy Hall. The 310-pound Killings, playing special teams, hit Hall on a block as Jerome Mathis was returning a kickoff in the second quarter. The Texans said Killings suffered a neck injury and coach Gary Kubiak said he was moving his arms and legs and talking on the field. Killings was taken to a hospital."

Youth football injuries have occurred as well. But some don't even happen from tackle football. Some injuries can even occur from flag or even just normal football those little kids used to play at recess.

About a year ago, I had a friend suffer from a football injury at recess. He planted his foot in the grass on the kickoff and somehow, his knee got popped out. He would have to sit on a wheelchair and use crutches for about eight months.

Crazy things have happened in football. Football injuries really have taken a big part in some athletes' lives. There are some things I have learned from football. And there is one thing that may keep even myself from playing it:

It can probably ruin your life.