Jeremy Shockey rips Roger Goodell in Twitter rant about health of NFL players

As the issue of concussions and head injuries in the NFL becomes more prevalent, so too do the discussions about it on Twitter. On Sunday night, Jeremy Shockey decided to get in on the act by preaching about the negative effects playing football has on the health of players.

He is not the first player to do this and won’t be the last, but what was particularly interesting about Shockey’s rant was the way he ripped Roger Goodell and basically accused him of lying to players for the benefit of the game. Here are a few of the tweets.

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Troy Polamalu admits he’s lied about concussions to get into games

Troy Polamalu says football players suffer an alarming amount of concussions during a typical season and that he’s even lied to hide his concussions so he could continue playing.

The Steelers safety joined “The Dan Patrick Show” to talk about his experience filming “Dark Knight” and was asked how many concussions he’s suffered during his career.

“I’ve had, I believe, eight or nine recorded concussions,” Polamalu said. “We’ll have another conversation after I’m done playing football.”

Polamalu was asked how many unrecorded concussions he’s had.

“Well, you know, when people say that you kind of just feel like a little buzzed or dazed, if that is considered a concussion, I would say any football player records at least 50-100 concussions a year.”

If players only have a fraction of their concussions officially recorded, does that mean they’re lying to hide them? Polamalu says he has.

“Yes I have, for sure,” Polamalu said. “There’s so much built up about team camaraderie and sacrifice and football is such a tough man’s game. I think that’s why it’s so popular. That’s why so many blue collar communities and people can really feel attracted to this because it is a blue collar struggle that football players go through.

“I wouldn’t say that I’ve had any major lies. Where someone said ‘Hey, is your knee messed up?’ when it may be kind of messed up and you just push yourself to be out there with your brothers.”

Polamalu acknowledged that there are some situations where a player is too injured to hide it. His comments shouldn’t come as a surprise; Rob Gronkowski admitted last season he would hide concussions symptoms to play, and Peyton Manning has joked about fudging a baseline concussion test. Players may continue to hide symptoms so that they can play, but maybe comments like this will alert team doctors to be more proactive when it comes to testing players for such serious injuries.

Roger Goodell says iPads could help diagnose concussions during games

With controversy surrounding concussions in the NFL growing by the day, the league is looking to come up with new and quicker ways to diagnose concussions. In an ideal world, any player with a concussion or concussion-like symptoms would not be allowed to play again until after they have fully recovered. The problem is diagnosing a concussion in the middle of a game is difficult, and for the most part players want to ignore them and get back onto the field. Roger Goodell said he expects iPads and other tablets to help with that in the near future.

“There are some tremendous professionals that are taking a very cautious and conservative approach that are making it safer for our troops, NFL players, girls soccer players and that you can manage the risk of concussions, that we can do more to prevent it and that we can understand it better to make sure you fully recover from these injuries,” Goodell said according to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King.

“The first thing to do is prevent it. That goes to rules, equipment. The second is our sideline assessment tools. We have made changes to that. There are some new technologies that make this very soon in the future where on a tablet, you can actually take a test on the sideline to determine (the concussion).”

Goodell also said tablets could help for spotting concussions, as officials will be able to send video of vicious hits or head shots to the sidelines for doctors to evaluate to determine if a player needs to take the iPad test. While the technology may help and the use of spotters has helped point out potential concussion-like symptoms, it won’t solve the problem of players lying. If a player is effective in showing doctors that he is fine and does not report his symptoms, there will still be little doctors, spotters, or iPads can do for them.

Although they may bother Bart Scott, it’s clear that iPads and other tablets have become a very useful tool throughout the NFL in more ways than one.

Rookie LB Andrew Sweat chooses law school over NFL because of concussions

As an undrafted free agent, former Ohio State linebacker Andrew Sweat already had the odds stacked against him in terms of NFL success. He was signed by the Cleveland Browns following the draft, but Sweat will not be making the final roster come late August. In fact, he is not going to try. According to the Columbus Dispatch, Sweat has decided to attend law school rather than pursue a career as an NFL player.

Sweat suffered a concussion during his senior season at Ohio State, but doctors had pronounced him healthy prior to the draft. There was initial speculation that he had chosen a law degree over football because of the long-term health risks associated with the game, and Sweat confirmed that on Twitter Monday afternoon.

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Doc Rivers said his grandmother wanted Hakeem Olajuwon deported when he gave Doc a concussion

With the sudden suicide of NFL legend Junior Seau on Wednesday, concerns about concussions in sports have reached an all-time high. While the reasons behind Seau’s decision to take his own life may never be known, there are many who believe his suicide could have something to do with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is a condition caused by repeated brain trauma that can lead to depression and dementia.

During an interview with WEEI in Boston on Thursday, Celtics coach Doc Rivers was asked if he had ever suffered a concussion during his NBA playing days. Rivers said that he had, and that his grandmother did not take it very well.

“I was (concussed before),” Rivers said according to Sports Radio Interviews. “(Hakeem) Olajuwon got me once and I will tell you a true story. I got knocked out by Olajuwon and my grandmother, who is Jim Brewer’s mother, actually called David Stern and she wanted him deported. I never knew that. David Stern told me that years later. She wanted him out of the country.”

As you can see, almost all former and current players have experiences with head injuries at some level. And almost all grandmothers despise that unfortunate aspect of the game, I’m sure. Concussions and head injuries are an unfortunate consequence of the existence of the leagues we love, and hopefully technology and rule changes will continue to help improve the means we have for protecting players.

Troy Aikman thinks concussions may ruin football’s status as No. 1 sport

Player safety continues to be a growing issue in football, and Troy Aikman thinks it could wind up hurting the NFL if the league doesn’t proceed appropriately.

The Hall of Fame quarterback was on a forum panel in Los Angeles on Friday discussing the city’s NFL prospects when he expressed concern about concussions harming the league’s status of being the country’s No. 1 professional sport.

“The long-term viability, to me anyway, is somewhat in question as far as what this game is going to look like 20 years from now,” Aikman said, according to the LA Times.

“If (I had a son), I wouldn’t tell him he couldn’t play football. If he wanted to, I would say ‘OK, great.’ But I don’t know if I would be encouraging him to play. Whereas, with the other sports, you want your kids to be active and doing those types of things.”

That sentiment is what Aikman, who suffered 10 concussions in his career, believes is going to drive people away from football, opening the door for other sports to supplant the NFL in popularity unless the league takes a proper course of action.

“I think we’re going to look back at this point in time and say these were the missteps that the National Football League took that kept football from being the No. 1 sport,” he said.

“I believe, and this is my opinion, that at some point football is not going to be the No. 1 sport. You talk about the ebbs and flows of what’s popular and what’s not. At some point, the TV ratings are not going to be there.”

Aikman certainly voices a valid opinion. Football is always going to be a violent sport. But one can only hope standards and equipment are improved to the point where player safety doesn’t ruin the NFL’s reputation. You know, before having a team in London will.

Photo credit: Dale Zanine, US Presswire

Jerry Jones says if he hadn’t had 50 concussions he’d be president of the U.S.

The issue of concussions in football is one that has become increasingly sensitive as the years pass. Concussion tests have become more advanced and teams have been ordered to be more careful with players who appear to have suffered any type of head injury. Part of the reason is a number of players have come forward during their retirement about the long-term suffering they’ve had to deal with as a result of concussions during their playing days. According to Pro Football Talk, Jerry Jones says he knows a thing or two about concussions.

During one of the segments in the debut of Costas Tonight on NBC Sports Network, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones chimed in on a topic that had been addressed before he took the stage.

Jones, who played college football at Arkansas, said that he has had “50 concussions.”  He then joked that, if he hadn’t suffered so many blows to the head, he would have been the President of the U.S. instead of the owner of the Cowboys.

Jerruh Jones, United States President? That doesn’t exactly have a comforting ring. Jones also pointed out that he wasn’t trying to make light of what some retired players are going through.  As PFT mentioned, however, the issue of concussions isn’t exactly one the NFL wants to hear a team owner making light of.  If Jerry hadn’t suffered so many concussions, maybe he wouldn’t say so many dumb things.  I say we just leave it at that.