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Sports Injury Treatment Then And Now 0

Posted on February 26, 2018 by Joe Fleming

White-Wilson-NFLThe ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus probably first said that “the only constant in the universe is change.” This phrase definitely applies to sports injuries, at least to some extent.

Some people still remember the 1992 NBA All-Star game which featured the return of Magic Johnson. A few months earlier, he had retired after announcing he was HIV positive. Several other players, including Karl Malone, openly expressed misgivings about Johnson’s return and their own risk of contracting AIDS. We now know these fears were foolish, but they were very real at the time.

Fortunately, deadly sexually-transmitted diseases like AIDS are not a problem on most sports teams. But sports injuries are a constant concern. In some cases, the treatment approach has changed significantly in recent years; in other cases, not so much.

Football and Concussions

Head injuries have been an issue in football ever since William Harvey laced up the cleats for Penn in 1894. “In a scrimmage behind the goal I was knocked insensible, but recovered in about fifteen minutes,” he later wrote. For the next hundred years, every player who received a head injury in football got basically the same treatment: a few plays off, some smelling salts, and a cursory “how many fingers am I holding up” medical exam.

Things began to change in 1994 when then-NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue ordered league doctors and other scientists to examine the problem more closely. Today, no one is really sure how the NFL and other football leagues should handle head injuries. Players want to play, coaches want to win, and fans want to see lots of action, but a player’s long-term health is at stake. There’s a balance there somewhere.

New innovations should help improve treatment protocols. For example, the Food and Drug Administration recently approved a concussion diagnosis blood test. Very soon, this test could eliminate the guesswork involved in this area. Read the rest of this entry →

NFL Knee Fractures Now And Then 0

Posted on February 11, 2018 by Joe Fleming
One of the most famous leg injuries of all-time occurred on a Monday Night Football game in 1985.

One of the most famous leg injuries of all-time occurred on a Monday Night Football game in 1985.

Starting in Pop Warner league, most coaches teach players to tackle low and block low. So, it is not very surprising that there are so many knee injuries in tackle football.

Most players can come back after even rather serious ligament or tendon injuries. The knee has a rather large network of these muscles, so if one doesn’t entirely heal, the others often take up the slack. But there’s only one bone, and if it is at all compromised, there is nothing else to bear weight and provide mobility. As a result, a serious knee fracture often means the end of the line, or at least the end of the salad days.

Zach Miller, 2017 Chicago Bears

In an October contest against the New Orleans Saints, Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky found his tight end near the right sideline of the end zone for an apparent touchdown. Officials overruled the call because Miller did not sufficiently possess the ball long enough “to clearly become a runner,” as the rule requires. So, the Bears had to settle for a field goal in a game they eventually lost 20-12.

But the real story is the injury that Miller sustained. At first, trainers said his knee was only dislocated. But the more trainers and doctors looked, the worse it got. The dislocated bone partially severed an artery, and Miller’s leg filled with fluid. He later said that amputation was only a “couple wrong turns away from actually happening.”

J.J. Watt, 2017 Houston Texans

The three-time Defensive Player of the Year is one of the most effective, and one of the most popular, players of his or any generation to line up in a three-point stance. But in an October game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Watts’ left foot struck his right ankle as he pressured the quarterback, resulting in a tibial plateau fracture to the bone directly below his knee.

Even though Watt is only 28, he already has a history of injury and, immediately prior to the knee fracture, was in the midst of the longest sack-less streak of his professional career. So, this latest setback is probably either career-threatening or the start of a very compelling comeback story. Read the rest of this entry →

Pro Football Hall of Fame Gets a Bit Closer to Legitimacy 0

Posted on February 03, 2018 by Dean Hybl
Nearly 50 years after retiring from the NFL, Jerry Kramer (#64) has finally been selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Nearly 50 years after retiring from the NFL, Jerry Kramer (#64) has finally been selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

For me and likely many other long-time lovers of the history of pro football, the relationship with the Pro Football Hall of Fame has always been a messy one.

I have enjoyed the great fortune of visiting the Pro Football Hall of Fame multiple times over the years, including taking my kids to Canton in 2015. The museum is a wonderful place to see, recall and learn about the many great moments, players and teams that have been part of the nearly 100 year history of the NFL.

However, while the Hall of Fame was created to be a historical archive to tell the story of professional football, over the years it has become more associated with the players specifically enshrined as Hall of Famers.

That is where for me the relationship starts to get a bit challenging.

While most of the 310 men who have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame through 2017 are unquestionably deserving, the process in which players are chosen has often been an uneven process in which some former players, coaches and administrators are quickly recognized while others with similar credentials either wait for many years or are totally omitted.

Made up of sports media professionals, the Hall of Fame selection committee has a long history of personal vendettas and bias.

Longtime committee member Paul Zimmerman reportedly said that Ken Stabler would never get inducted in his lifetime and sure enough Stabler was not inducted until the year after he died in 2015.

My greatest frustration with the Hall of Fame selection committee stems from their regular practice of making players and coaches who clearly have Hall of Fame credentials wait extended periods of time before being inducted.

Among the clearly deserving Hall of Famers who have been forced to wait beyond their initial year of eligibility were Fran Tarkenton, Shannon Sharpe, Derrick Thomas, Hank Stram, Willie Lanier, Tom Mack and Willie Wood.

The one position that has historically been treated with limited respect by the selection committee is position of wide receiver. Entering 2018, 25 modern era wide receivers have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, but only four of them (Jerry Rice, Raymond Berry, Paul Warfield and Steve Largent) were selected in their first year of eligibility. Read the rest of this entry →

3 Reasons Why The Eagles Will Win Super Bowl 52 0

Posted on January 30, 2018 by James Andrews

SB52It’s just days until the 52nd Super Bowl and the excitement is mounting. Even those of you who aren’t avid American Football fans will be tuning into watch this epic battle which will take place in Minneapolis.

Tom Brady is, once again, leading the Patriots onto the field; he’s chasing his sixth Super Bowl win and hoping to be named MVP. That’s not even all the records he’s hoping to break.

Money certainly isn’t a motivating factor, although the winners and the losers both get a reasonable chunk of change.

If you’re a gambling person, and let’s face it who doesn’t like a flutter on the Super Bowl, then you might be considering putting some money on the Patriots.

If you are then it is essential to use a legal betting site like https://www.legalbettingonline.com/sports/football/nfl/superbowl.html; if you’re going to win you need to be sure you’ll be able to collect your winnings.

But, playing against them is the underdogs, The Eagles; they can’t be written off yet! Read the rest of this entry →

50 Years Ago: The Ice Bowl 0

Posted on December 30, 2017 by Dean Hybl
It was 50 years ago that the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers met in the Ice Bowl.

It was 50 years ago that the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers met in the Ice Bowl.

There have been a lot of iconic games during the nearly 100 year history of the NFL, but no game has quite combined championship drama with unprecedented weather conditions like the 1967 NFL Championship Game between the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers. Played fifty years ago on December 31, 1967, the game has become known simply as “The Ice Bowl.”

The buildup to the 1967 NFL Championship Game actually started a year earlier when the Packers made a late goal line stand to preserve a 34-27 victory over the Cowboys in the 1966 NFL Championship Game played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

Neither team had an easy path through the 1967 season. In actuality, the two best teams in the NFL during the regular season were the Los Angeles Rams and Baltimore Colts. However, they were in the same division and only one of the two teams could make the playoffs in an era before the wild card.

Baltimore entered the regular season finale in Los Angeles with a 11-0-2 record, including a 24-24 tie with the Rams during their earlier meeting. Not only did the Colts lose their chance at an undefeated regular season during their 34-10 loss, they also lost a chance at reaching Super Bowl II. Instead, the Rams earned the Coastal Division title and a spot in the playoffs.

Even though the Rams had a better record (11-1-2) than the Packers (9-4-1), their divisional playoff game was played in Green Bay on December 23, 1967. The Rams had defeated Green Bay 27-24 in a hard fought regular season game two weeks earlier, but this time the Packers dominated. Read the rest of this entry →

College Football Tailgating Traditions 0

Posted on December 20, 2017 by Samantha Waites

FSU-sod-cemetery-2So, it’s the time of the year when college football is at its peak. The only thing that steals the limelight from them is the tailgates. The tailgating traditions are loved by all. Who doesn’t like experimenting with food and drinks? And to show your hatred towards your rivals, people go to unimaginable extents sometimes. Universities across the country have their own traditions but there are a few we just can’t love. Here’s a sneak peek at such traditions.

  • Auburn’s Toilet Paper:

Well, never thought that this would make it to the list but guess what, everyone loves Tping their opponents place. This started in 1972 when Auburn won and is continued until today. Try this out sometime.

  • Florida State’s Sod Cemetery:

You never forget where you were for your team’s biggest win but for Florida State Seminoles, this was a start to a tradition. They literally etch the memories in stones. There aren’t any remains in this graveyard except for clumps of grass from the opponents’ fields. This tradition began in 1962. Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Mike Gminski: Four-Year Duke Star
      March 10, 2018 | 11:05 am
      Mike Gminski

      Mike Gminski

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was a star big man who achieved great success at Camden Indoor Stadium in the era before Coach K and the One-and-Done big men became the norm at Duke University.

      Much like recent Duke big men Marvin Bagley III, Jayson Tatum and Jahlil Okafor, Mike Gminski made an immediate impact for the Blue Devils. However, because he played 40 years earlier at a time when few players left college early, Gminski spent four years racking up stats and success in Durham.

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