Suddenly, super serious concussion protocols

January 7, 2014

Suddenly serious - There was no protocol for concussions when I played football, although the word was thrown about when a player went into a fog or London Fog. "Nice coat, did someone drop a manhole cover on your head, or did you join the FBI?" OK, I’m back, but what do you expect from a guy who was concussed multiple times in his formative years? I will never forget a particularly jugheaded Temple coach standing in front of me on the sidelines after a punt returner had kicked me in the face while I grabbed at air. "Frederick, do you have a concussion?” “I’d be the last to know, Coach. Ask someone who knows me well.“ I never saw so many key players leave games and not come back as I did during NFL Wild Card Weekend. And what is really scary are the looks on the faces of these warriors who take hundred of hits during a season but suddenly the medical staff is kneeling in front of them running sophisticated tests: “How many fingers?" and “How many Colts does it take to turn out your light bulb?” There is now overwhelming evidence that enduring multiple collisions over younger years in the name of “sport” puts the person at higher risk in later life for dementia, Alzheimer’s, ALS, depressive mood disorders and suicidal thoughts. Plus, former players have joined in a class-action suit for all the years there was no protocol. Makes you think twice before signing a parent permission slip allowing your kid to play football.

Getting home - A sports book I want to write will be titled "Getting Home: How Can I Screw This Up?” If I see one more football coach whispering behind a laminated color-coded play chart, I’m going to bury my head inside a box of mini vanilla wafers. Drop the chart, Coach, and pick up the emergency card “How can we get home from here?” Fredman's plan for backing into the victory circle. Andy Reid looked like the new year's baby into the second week of a no-carb diet. He was lost and spacey. Mike McCarthy of Green Bay and Chip Kelly of Philly, who could see the season slipping away as the clock ticked down, were grasping to lose at least with possession of the ball and a chance. And Marvin Lewis of the Bengals should have gotten in Andy Daulton’s grill: “One more pick and the next pass you throw will be at the captain of the cheerleaders.”

Running the wheel - Time for high school teams to get back on the hamster wheel of head-to-head competition, because beyond parents, it's hard for anyone to relate to out-of-state wins and losses in Christmas tournaments. Basketball is set up for the Sussex Central then Caesar Rodney rotation. Wrestling at Sussex Central. Swimming at Easton then home versus Lake Forest. Track treks to the Worcester County meet. There is Mariner versus Beacon girls' and boys' basketball at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 8 at Cape. And Cape hockey and lacrosse girls not playing a winter sport are out there playing their sports somewhere; you can put that in the bank.

Snippets - If the temperature is in single digits and you go out for a five-mile run before sunrise, you may be an exercise obsessive. If the CDC lists your body mass index in the obese range you may be an NFL lineman. If you watch "Jeopardy" because you’re impressed with what you don’t know and football because you’re astounded at what you can’t do, you may need a hobby that combines brains and brawn and gets you off the couch, perhaps carrying the couch to another room and vacuuming up the dog hair with a shop vac. I’ve seen two referendums for a swimming pool at Cape get torpedoed since 1975, and it’s just ridiculous for so many obvious reasons. This is all about life and lifestyle. We live at the beach, so we don’t want to look like a bunch of back road non-swimming yokels in camouflage jon boats. Delaware should schedule North Dakota State because any IAA championship is running through Fargo, don’t you know. Tyler Witman, a former Cape golfer, was a two-time medalist (state champion) for the Vikings. He went on to gold at the University of Maryland. Tyler is now the PGA professional at the Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla. Concession Club does a 100-hole hike each May called Blessing in a Backpack to raise funds for impoverished children. Tyler, 28, participated in 2012 and 2013. In 2012, he played nine full rounds, 162 holes, and averaged 78 for his nine consecutive rounds using only a five iron. Go on now, git!

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