Concussions have been in the news a lot lately.
First was the concussion suffered by "Tonight" star, Conan O'Brien, when he slipped and hit the back of his head during a fake triathlon with "Desperate Housewives" star, Teri Hatcher.
According to news reports, O'Brien "saw stars," couldn't stand and had slurred speech. After trying to continue the taping, O'Brien ended up going to the hospital.
Next up: Tim Tebow, the star quarterback for the Florida Gators, and favorite for the Heisman Trophy. During a game against Kentucky on September 26th, Tebow took a vicious hit and was knocked unconscious. Helped to his feet, he started vomiting on the sideline, was carted off the field and admitted to a nearby hospital for observation. He has since undergone a battery of standard concussion tests, been held out of practice and told not to watch television or read, but is reportedly still experiencing headaches. No timetable has been set for his return to the practice field.
Finally, on September 30th, the New York Times reported on a telephone survey of over 1,000 former NFL players conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research and commissioned by league which found, alarmingly, that former players were being diagnosed with Alzheimer's or similar memory-related diseases at a rate 19 times higher than the normal rate for men aged 30 through 49.
No laughing matter
Yet what struck me most about these stories was the degree to which the seriousness of concussions was actually downplayed.
For more of my thoughts on the recent concussion news, click here.
Created October 8, 2009