CogPsych Term Paper
In America, sports are a large part of our culture. At a very young age, my parents enrolled me in a youth football league. Football players and other athletes begin to play sports at about the same time we learn how to walk. We dive in full speed, head first to our sports for the first time. But maybe going in head first is the very issue that we see is developing into a bigger topic than we had ever imagined. The head trauma that occurs over the years compounds and becomes more and more forceful the older and stronger we get. Throughout the various decades, football players have received concussions unnoticed causing serve damage. Concussions have become a high alert topic in sports at all levels, especially football. Concussions in football have been a prominent issue for the last decade due to deaths of former professional and even deaths of high school football. Personally, I have suffered eight concussions, leaving me with various side effects to this day. Lasting effects of concussions leave football players with continuous memory issues, in which I will examine the correlation within this paper.
Concussions are blunt force trauma to the head, causing the brain to shake inside the skull leading to potential bruising and impairment of memory, vision, hearing, and speech. Recently, health professionals raised the issue of concussions making them aware to the limelight. However, this is not a recent issue. Football players have been suffering from concussions since the beginning of football. Prior to the more advanced helmets, players used leather straps. Offensive and defensive linemen and running backs are most prone to receiving concussions, but the most noted concussion event was Troy Aikman’s concussion of 1994. Aikman was the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys in the 90’s and took a knee to the head and was rendered unconscious. He was taken to the hospital and when questioned by doctors and team personnel, Aikman had no recollection of what happened to him. “I didn’t know what planet I was on. I still to this day have no recollection of ever having played in that game. So whenever I see footage of that game, it’s like somebody else is out there doing it,” (Frontline PBS). Not only was he knocked unconscious, he remained out for the following week. Around the same period, Hoge retired from football after an unfortunate bad concussion. Following this year of football, the National Football Player League Association instituted procedures and policies for current and past players who suffered from concussions.
The NFL, college and lower level football leagues throughout America have taken vast strides to improve their concussion protocols and policies to prevent long term damage caused by concussions. The NFLPA officials worked closely with health professionals to create a written policy and protocol for concussions that occur during practices, games and preseason drills. According to the “NFL Head, Neck...