Football Concussions Become a Real Headache

Will Fuller and Matthew Metheny

In the National Football League alone, over 160 players went down with concussions in the 2012 season. Junior Seau, a former NFL star, committed suicide last year due to a depression that was apparently brought on by  numerous concussions he suffered during his NFL career, leading many to further question the safety of football.
Concussion is defined as a temporary unconsciousness caused by a blow to the head. They can cause many problems for players including: memory problems, headaches, dizziness, vomiting, and emotional distress. Too many concussions can lead to long term and permanent brain damage. There have been cases where NFL players were forced to quit football and end their careers due to multiple concussions.
The simple truth is that concussions are unavoidable in football as it is such a violent sport, so little can be done to prevent them from occurring. Concussions are a problem at the high school level, including here at Miramonte, as over 10 players from all levels (Varsity, JV, and Frosh) have gotten them over the past year.
Varsity player Luke Lundstrom ‘14 has had four concussions, two from football. “Whenever I get a concussion I can never focus in class and my memory is really spotty for about two weeks,” Lundstrom said. It is symptoms like these that make concussions vexing, as they greatly interfere with schoolwork.
Another football player with a history of concussions is Grant Miller ‘15. “My sophomore year I would have come up for the NCS playoffs, but I couldn’t because I got a concussion in the last week of the season,” Miller said.
The biggest problem regarding concussions in football is the long terms effects of the injury. Concussions have been linked to severe brain damage in later ages for  retired football players, depression, such as in Seau’s case, and even memory loss for some players who can’t even remember that they played football.
The new focus on concussions in football has players rethinking the consequences of playing the game, and whether in the end it is worth the damage that could be inflicted. Football helmet companies have attempted numerous times to come up with new technologies to prevent concussions with more protective helmets, but nothing has been effective. However, it is important for everyone to realize that football is a dangerous game and injuries are a matter of when they happen, not if they happen.