When we think of football, the first thing that comes to mine is hard hits. Players doing everything in their will to rip their opponents heads off. With the death of former NFL Star Junior Seau, many are asking the question, “Did Football Kill Junior Seau?” Being a former college football player, I’m here to tell you YES, football did kill Junior Seau.
Here’s Why Football Killed Junior Seau:
Concussions play a huge role in the sport of football. I can recall having three concussions during my collegiate career, none of which I reported to the training staff. Throughout my entire football career of football and can recall about six. Junior Seau played football for more than 25 years, therefore it’s easy to believe his concussion count was double or triple what mine was. It’s also easy to believe that many of Seau’s concussions were not reported to the training staff. Players who love the sport of football never want to come off the field or miss time because of injury. Reporting your injuries to trainers is like snitching on yourself! If Seau did amass many concussions and never reported them, this could have had a negative effect on his brain functionality, which could have played a part in his suicide. According to Havard Medical School, athletes in contact sports such as football or hockey are more likely than the average person to experience multiple concussions. Research by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, found that an estimated 1.2 million Americans participate in organized football each year and 10%–20% of these players may suffer from this mild brain injury. Many doctors believe individuals who experience severe or multiple concussions may be at a greater risk for neurologic disease later in life than the average person. During the 2011 NFL Football season (through week 14) there were 184 reported concussions, averaging 4.3 concussions per team. To make a long story short, Football causes concussions. So how do we link this to Junior Seau’s Death?
According to ScienceDaily.com, depression is one of a number of persisting symptoms experienced by athletes following sports concussion. Researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute of McGill University have identified the neurological basis of depression in male athletes with persisting post-concussion symptoms. Depression among the general population is around 5%, while depression in head trauma patients is near 40%. This is proof, that concussions causes depression among football players and is a growing problem as the sport grows in popularity.
Junior Seau is one of many former players who could potentially be dealing with mental problems because of their days in the NFL. Concussions play a long term role in the health of former players and the death of Junior Seau should open some eyes to the problem of head injuries in the NFL.
Words by: Blogzworth (follow me on twitter @Blogzworth)