From this morning's Chicago Tribune, researchers from OUR MOST HATED RIVAL Purdue have begun to study the effects of repeated head trauma on younger football players, namely high schoolers. Obviously the alarming news is that evidence seems to confirm the idea that the cumulative effect of minimal blunt force can have equally or even more severe impact over time than the occasional "big" hit. From the article:
But what surprised the researchers was that four players who showed no symptoms of concussion had significant performance drops on routine cognitive tests.
One must wonder if we are seeing a sport at its apex rather than on its ascent. Lest we forget that boxing was the undisputed king of the American sporting landscape not even 50 years ago only to have fallen into "niche" status as a dangerous outlier. While one would be shocked to see such a precipitous fall for football, a sport which has a far larger economic imprint than boxing ever did, it stills bears mentioning that major changes will be coming. The NFL's stricter guidelines for concussed players are a beginning but, as the article points out, could be very little far too late.