Big Hits Make Big Profits

Professional football players are expected, and paid, to deliver excruciatingly hard blows to their opponents since it is the nature of their livelihood. Would they still be willing to put their bodies in harms way if they fully understood what these hits could mean for their health? In the 2015 sports biopic Concussion, Dr. Bennet Omalu discovers a degenerative brain disease known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. He uses the brain tissue of late professional football players to show the link between the disease and repeated blows to the head. The film also shows the NFL’s initial resistance to Omalu’s research. Once the research became more accessible to the public, the NFL had no choice but to take action and support the fight for advanced player safety. Although the film is primarily about Omalu’s discovery of CTE and his fight for validation, Concussion does a poor job at fully displaying the NFL’s side of the story.

In recent years, the NFL has put in place some new concussion protocols in order to prevent the injury from occurring unnecessarily. In 2013, the NFL implemented the “Crown-of-the-Helmet” rule (Timeline: the NFL’s Concussion Crisis). This rule is designed to penalize a player who “intentionally initiates contact with another player using the top of his helmet”(Hanson). Depending on the severity of the hit, the player can either be slammed with a 15-yard penalty or be ejected from the game entirely. This rule is quite effective since it forces the players to keep their heads up while making the tackle, thus greatly reducing the likelihood of a severe head or neck injury. This rule also raises awareness for the importance of education within the sport at younger ages. Enforcing proper tackling techniques at a young age allows kids to grow up in the sport knowing that they should not be leading into a tackle with their head. The Crown-of-the-Helmet rule should ideally prevent numerous concussion and spinal cord injuries from occurring, which will ultimately reduce the chance that these future players will suffer from CTE. With this one rule change, the NFL has completely altered the play of the game, but its benefits most certainly outweigh the costs since this rule is also proving to protect the future generations of professional athletes.

Football hit
Dunta Robinson of the Atlanta Falcons and DeSean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles.  Robinson hit Jackson with such force, both were sent out of the game due to injury (October 2010).
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One thought on “Big Hits Make Big Profits

  1. Your introduction rambles on after announcing your thesis. Remember your focus should be on how well the movie portrays the NFL conflict, so you need to keep reminding us of the NFL’s stance in the movie.

    in harm’s way (apostrophe needed); find a better word than “process.”
    Revise: In the 2015 sports biopic Concussion, Dr. Bennet Omalu discovers a degenerative brain disease know as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.

    End your introduction with this sentence: Although the film is primarily about Omalu’s discovery of CTE and his fight for validation, Concussion does a poor job at fully displaying the NFL’s side of the story.

    What’s left of your intro: Might work as your conclusion with tweaking.
    to prevent players from “experiencing” unnecessary head and neck injuries (not “obtaining”)

    Good body para!
    Revise: “Crown-of-the-Helmet” rule should ideally prevent numerous concussion and …. (Name the rule again or make “this” modify a noun).
    Eliminate repeating a word: With this one rule change, the NFL has completely changed the play of the game…

    Like

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