January 26, 2013 |
NEW ORLEANS -- Over the last two decades, the NFL seemingly could do no wrong. The Dallas Cowboys, bought by Jerry Jones for $150 million in 1989, are now valued at $2.1 billion. Twenty of the league's 32 teams are valued at $1 billion or more. Eight of the country's top 15 most-watched TV programs were Super Bowls, and more than 100 million people around the globe are expected to tune in for next Sunday's matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. Fans will pay thousands of dollars per ticket just to get inside the Superdome to watch the game in person.
January 10, 2013 |
Junior Seau, among the greatest linebackers in NFL history, suffered from degenerative brain disease when he fatally shot himself in May, the National Institutes of Health said in a study released Thursday, another blow to a league whose former players say they were never warned about the dangers of head injuries. More than 2,000 former players are suing the NFL, contending the league never properly addressed the problems with head injuries and in many cases withheld information about the long-term effects associated with them.
December 9, 2012 |
Are NFL kickoffs in their final days? Nothing's official, of course, but it's clear the league is determined to find a safer alternative to one of football's most exciting plays. Commissioner Roger Goodell said this week that the competition committee will look into ways of eliminating kickoffs, thereby reducing the likelihood of head injuries and other catastrophic outcomes. This isn't idle talk. The league could be facing billions in damages as a result of head-injury lawsuits, and those would outweigh any arguments about the sanctity of the game.
October 20, 2012 |
For decades, hits to the head have been as much a part of football as touchdowns and chilled beers. But recently, more and more athletes have spoken out about the long-term damage they've sustained from repeated concussions incurred during games and practice. These types of head injuries are dangerous to adults, but they're even more concerning when they happen over and over again to children. Because of that, parents, teachers and coaches are looking for ways to make the game safer.
October 12, 2012 |
After crashing with more than 20 other drivers in a last-lap melee Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, NASCAR's Dale Earnhardt Jr. lashed out at what he called the "ridiculous" pack racing on the high-banked oval. The driver also occasionally held his head afterward, although he said he was not injured. Turns out that wasn't the case. Earnhardt will miss the next two Sprint Cup Series races after his second concussion in the past six weeks, most likely ending the championship chances of NASCAR's most popular driver.
October 9, 2012 |
Lois Ann Goodman, the tennis judge arrested the day before this year's U.S. Open and charged in her husband's death, has passed a polygraph test in which she denied bludgeoning him with a coffee cup. Goodman's attorneys told Associated Press that they have emailed the results to the district attorney's office and want prosecutors to consider dismissing charges against the 70-year-old woman. “I'm hopeful that they are going to reassess their case,” Alison Triessl, one of Goodman's attorneys, said in a phone interview with Associated Press.
September 24, 2012 |
UCLA guard Jeff Baca is expected to return to practice this week after missing the last two games with what was called a head injury. Baca was held out against Oregon State at the last minute Saturday. He has been suffering from headaches the last two weeks but was cleared to practice this week after undergoing tests Sunday. Coach Jim Mora was coy, saying only: "We'll get a clearer picture on his future [Monday]. " Mora said that "we don't want to make excuses," but Baca's absence from the lineup did play a role in the Bruins' struggles on the ground against the Beavers.
September 22, 2012 |
Wisconsin running back Montee Ball suffered a head injury Saturday against Texas-El Paso and was taken out of the game, according to the official Twitter account of the Badgers. Ball scored on a one-yard run with 14 minutes, 13 seconds remaining in the second quarter, but took a shot to the head on the play. After being examined by team medical personnel, he was ruled out for the rest of the game. This has been a rough season for Ball, a 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist. Actually, it got rough even before the season.
September 20, 2012 |
"Head Games" isn't fooling around. It's a complex, determined look at one of the most pernicious problems facing organized sports on all levels, but because its director is Steve James, this is more than your standard problem documentary. James is not only the director of "Hoop Dreams," the consensus pick as the best sports doc ever made, he is also, as last year's "The Interrupters" demonstrated, a filmmaker with an unusually deft touch. There's more nuance in "Head Games," more space for a wider perspective, than we usually see in films that tell us in no uncertain terms that the sky is falling.
September 11, 2012 |
Heads have been in the sports news recently, and not happily. Oakland Athletics pitcher Brandon McCarthy took a line drive off the bat of the Angels' Erick Aybar last week and had surgery to reduce swelling around a skull fracture. Those are always scary words when it comes to a head, anybody's head: surgery to reduce swelling. Thoughts quickly raced to that day in 1957, when star left-hander Herb Score of the Cleveland Indians took a line drive in the right eye off the bat of Gil McDougald of the New York Yankees.