NFL Can Solve Concussion Problem But Isn’t

The new NFL logo went into use at the 2008 draft.

Now that the NFL concussion problem has gotten the attention of PBS’ Frontline tv news documentary program newsletterplease

its time for this multi-billion-dollar per year business to do the simple and necessary steps required to reduce dangerous head injuries to its players. They need to do so now before their neglect on this subject becomes a financial and legal liability that will eventually lead to the elimination of the game we love.

In “League of Denial: The NFL’s Concussion Crisis” Frontline showed that the biggest sports league in the world has knowingly sent too many players into retirement with what appear to be permanent brain injuries.

//www.youtube.com/embed/

As I wrote in a June 2012 blog “NFL Concussion Problem is Solvable” one of the steps the NFL could take right now, this year is to put padding on the outside of the hard-shell helmets their players wear. It’s been done before by at least two players in the 1990s.

Buffalo Bill Mark Kelso padded his helmet.

Buffalo Bill Mark Kelso padded his helmet.

Buffalo’s Mark Kelso was no bench-warming back-up player. He wore his padded helmet while forging a 7 year NFL career and playing in four Super Bowls.

Steve Wallace in his "Cone helmet"

Steve Wallace in his “Cone helmet”

San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Steve Wallace wore a foam cap. He was good enough to play in a Pro Bowl. Why don’t players protect themselves by wearing these easily manufactured foam caps on their hard-shell helmets? Because they can. Players can choose to do this on their own without the league stepping in. They don’t because too many of them think they make you look bad, or geeky, nerdy, or uncool. It’s such a sad statement in our society the clothing appearance is more important than the risk of life long medical disability.

The next question is why doesn’t the NFL require the foam padding on the outside of the helmets? It’s a mystery. Though you can guess it has something to do with style, appearance, aesthetics.

There is still more they can do. During the last off-season the NFL announced that it would require its players to start wearing padding in the football pants, in particular, over their knees. This is a huge step. Just think of how many times we’ve seen a player knocked senseless while blocking or tackling and inadvertently being kicked in the head by another players knee. It happens all the time. Common sense would presume that a pad on the knee and a thin pad on the players helmet would do a lot less neurological damage than a hard knee smashing into a head covered by a hard-shell helmet. The problem is the NFL delayed this change, the mandatory padding, until 2014. It’s hard to imagine why; especially when at the time of the announced change more than 2000 thousand former players had joined in a class action lawsuit against the NFL claiming damages from head trauma during their playing years continued to plague them into retirement.  The lawsuit was settled in August 2013 for $765-million and a guarantee of lifetime medical insurance coverage.

NFL Referees have increasingly thrown flags for helmet hits. The league has also increased the frequency and amount of fines it assesses players every week for those same helmet hits. And I applaud such action.

I am not among the foolish whiners who claim their taking away what we love best about this vicious game, the big hard hits. For the past 20-30 years players have not tackled properly. They fly at the ball carriers, usually with their head down, and essentially “push” them as hard as they can hoping the guy with the ball falls down. (I know I’m simplifying…bear with me) But watch the old, I mean 1960s-old NFL Films highlight reels of Tommy Nobis, Dick Butkis, Chuck Bednarick, Ray Nitschke, Deacon Jones. These Hall of Famers and all others at that time didn’t lower their heads and run into the ball carrier. They kept their heads up to see. They collided with the runner and they wrapped their arms around, and lifted and drove backwards with their legs. This is how I was taught how to tackle at Bellevue, Washington’s Olde Jr High, and then Sammamish High School in 1976-1982. In watching those old highlight films I challenge you to tell me they didn’t hit and tackle hard, and that those hits were exciting. They were savage and brutal. They were great. A perfectly executed hit-wrap-lift-and drive tackle is still more exciting to me then some head collision.

Teaching how to tackle properly again and added padding on the outside of helmets and over the players knees can only help. And it better. Because in our litigious society increasing evidence of repeated concussion trauma and its life time effects on the players will only lead to the inevitable legislative control and eventual loss of the great game of football.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

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Go to our website, read our story and try some AdvoCare. You won't regret it.

Go to our website, read our story and try some AdvoCare. You won’t regret it.

My Weight Loss. How I did it.

Me

Me

I am proud to say I stand as a living breathing example of how you can lose weight and not dramatically change your life in doing so. If I’m right that there are a lot of people who are overweight because they don’t think they can lose weight, or haven’t reached a stage yet where they feel the need and don’t want to change eating, drinking and exercise habits in order to make it work have I got the solution for you.

As of this morning I weigh 208-pounds. I’m 6-foot 1-inch tall. And I have a 32-waist. Since I’m 49 years old and was 185-pounds in high school and know that I’ve added muscle mass since that time I’d say I’m doing pretty good. Nine months ago I wasn’t doing good. I was 245-pounds and had a 40-inch waist, a big ol’ pot belly.

46 years old, 240 lbs.

Me at my worst- about 245 lbs.

I thought a blog on specifically what I’ve done since my great weight loss adventure began would be helpful. So, here is what’s typical.

(With the mention of each product I use I provide a link for you to go to the website and see and read, purchase and try-out said product)

I wake at 5:30am, weigh myself and immediately have my AdvoCare Spark, Prostate Support, and Bio Tools.

At 6am I’m in my exercise room to begin my workout Mon-Fri. I was a member of LA Fitness for the first 6 months of this journey. But since I have much of the workout equipment already in my home I decided not to pay the monthly fee at the gym and just continue what I’ve been doing for 10 years at home.

The first 20 minutes of my workout consists of vigorous stretching.

In following a plan devised by a fitness trainer I conduct resistance training (weight lifting) Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Tuesday and Thursday its cardio workouts, or simply treadmill work.

Monday’s are “core” days. I do three sets of 60-second planking. Sit-ups. And most everything else on the universal weight machine we bought years ago. I do lat-pulls, bench press, and butterfly presses. I frequently do an exercise in which I hook on a single handle to the weights, hold it with my arm stretched fully down my side, and then I bend sideways at the waist lifting the weights while doing so. With all lifting I do 3-sets of 10-to-15-reps. Muscle building is not a goal. Thus the high reps. At this point I’ll then put in ten minutes on the treadmill to wrap up my hour.

Wednesday are “legs” days. And I hate legs days. After stretching I do 3-sets of 60-second squat-and-holds. Did I mention that I hate this? I do leg extensions, leg curls, and toe raises by clicking the lat-pull bar to the weight pulley near the ground. I grasp the bar behind my back and with my arms fully extended and NOT shrugging my shoulders I rise up on my toes and lift the weight simultaneously. I do 3-sets of 20-reps of this exercise. As with Monday and Friday I close-out with 10 minutes on the treadmill. But on legs day instead of jogging I wear 10-pound ankle weights and walk the treadmill with a steep incline. By the end of my hour on Wednesday’s my ass is kicked. Did I mention I hate “legs” days?

Whenever there is only 10-20 minutes left in my workout I take my packet of AdvoCare MNS pre-breakfast supplements.

Friday’s I work on arms and shoulders. Arm curls, arm extensions, and fly weight lifts (arms fully extended to the side. Raise weights up from legs to shoulder height, keeping arms straight and locked). And I also have a 10-pound weight tied to a dowel with a long shoe-string. I roll the dowel in my hands, lifting the weight. I do this palms up and palms down. Three-sets each exercise.

On Tuesday’s and Thursday’s I put in 40-minutes on the treadmill, after stretching.

Breakfast comes after my workout. Since my weight loss began breakfast 4-5 days per week is an AdvoCare Meal Replacement Shake; Chocolate. When I’m doing the 24-Day Challenge I don’t add anything to the shakes. When not doing the Challenge I might add something to the shakes like peanut butter, a banana, strawberries,  black berries, or raspberries. I’ve done the challenge three times, or every three months. And I have my breakfast MNS supplement packet, which usually contains OmegaPlex Fatty Acid pills.

About 3-4 hours after breakfast I have a late morning snack. It’ll either be a piece of fruit, nuts and seeds (unsalted), or an AdvoCare Snack Bar or Fruit and Fiber Bar. Love ’em. Sometimes I’ll have a celery stick with Adam’s All-Natural Peanut Butter (no salt, no sugar).

30-minutes prior to lunch I enjoy another Spark, AdvoCare Catalyst, and my MNS pre-lunch supplement packet.

I eat a late lunch so that I can watch one of my favorite TV programs, Pardon the Interruption on ESPN. At lunch I frequently eat dinner-left-overs. Lately, that’s included a lot of fish, and chicken breasts. The food items that are most frequently missing from my diet now, that were regular before, are cheese and bread and condiments loaded with sugar and salt. Also I have my lunch-time AdvoCare MNS supplement packet.

To help one’s metabolism nutritionists recommend eating 5-6 times per day. I never did this before beginning to lose weight. And now the meal I’m most likely to miss is the late afternoon snack. Since I eat lunch so late I often am not hungry, and merely forget to eat something. When I do it’s usually a piece of fruit, nuts and seeds (think trail-mix), or celery and peanut butter.

Throughout the day I have a glass or bottle of water with me at all times, and I drink it at all times.

Around 6pm I’m having a cocktail, usually rum and coke. Usually 2.

Dinner comes around 7pm. On Friday’s it’s almost always pizza. My wife will fix-up some pasta recipe most weekend days. But usually its something quick and sensible; again lots of chicken and fish. I don’t eat out often. I might have a fast-food meal once every 1-2 weeks. Salads are part of my dinner 3-4 nights per week. I use spritzers now instead of the italian or bleu cheese dressings I used to always pour over my greens. If I don’t have a salad I have vegetables of some kind.

I don’t avoid hamburgers, or other junk food any more than I used to. I still enjoy a fat, juicy burger, beef steaks, spaghetti with meat sauce and parmesan and lots of other “bad” stuff. I don’t think I eat as much as I use to eat. And if I had a big-bad lunch I have a very light dinner. And vice-versa. I don’t think I was previously as conscious about eating light during one meal because I had or was going to have something heavy in another.

About 2-3 times per week I enjoy a dessert; usually about 2-hours prior to bedtime. Dessert could be a bowl of ice-cream or 2 cookies.

How does this differ from the time when I was 40 pounds over-weight. Honestly? Not much. I added AdvoCare. Other than that most of what I just described I’ve been doing for at least 10 years. The only major difference is AdvoCare. And now I weigh less than I have in nearly 30-years. It’s the truth. You figure it out.

Sonja's lost over 30 pounds and even more since this pic was shot in July 2012.

Sonja’s lost over 30 pounds and even more since this pic was shot in July 2012.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Go to our website, read our story and try some AdvoCare. You won't regret it.

Go to our website, read our story and try some AdvoCare. You won’t regret it.