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George Hale’s Perspective: Dave Duerson and CTE 

SPORTS FANS CAN’T BE BLAMED FOR NOT PAYING A LOT OF ATTENTIONTO THE DEATH OF DAVE DUERSON.HE WAS A INTENSE AND DEDICATED FOOTBALL STAR PLAYING DEFENSEFOR THE CHICAGO BEARS IN THE ’80’S,HE DIDN’T JUMP UP AND DOWN AND DANCE FOR THE TV CAMERAS.DUERSON WAS A TOTAL DEDICATED FOOTBALL PLAYER.A WEEK AGO DUERSON ENDED HIS LIFE WITH A SELF INFLICTEDGUNSHOT TO HIS CHEST.THIS IS A SAD STORY THAT DOES HAVE A LESSON AND THAT’S WHY THESPORTS WORLD AND FOOTBALL IN PARTICULAR SHOULD PAY ATTENTION.HIS LIFE HAD FALLEN APART. BUSINESS AND PERSONAL PROBLEMS HAD SURFACED IN RECENTYEARS.BEFORE HIS SUICIDE DUERSON SENT TEXT MESSAGES TO HIS FAMILYASKING THAT HIS BRAIN BE DONATED TO RESEARCH OF C T E., ACONDITION BELIEVED TO BE CAUSED BY MAJOR COLLISIONS WHICHOCCUR IN HIS SPORT.THERE ARE AT LEAST 20, NOW DECEASED N F L PLAYERS , WHO WEREFOUND TO HAVE SYMPTOMS OF C T E. SEVERAL KILLED THEMSELVESAS DID DUERSON.IF YOU FOLLOWED THE N F L THIS YEAR YOU KNOW THAT A NUMBEROF HIGH PROFILE PLAYERS HAD TO SIT OUT GAMES BECAUSE OFCONCUSSIONS.THESE CONSTANT HITS TO THE HEAD CAN CAUSE A DEGERERATIVECONDITION SIMILAR TO ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE.IT’S BEEN SHOWN THAT A PRO FOOTBALL PLAYER, WHO STARTS IN HIGH SCHOOL AND CONTINUES THROUGH COLLEGE WILL ENDURETHE EQUIVALENT OF 25,000 CAR CRASHES IN HIS CAREER.SO YOU CAN SEE, AMONG OTHER THINGS, WHY PLAYERS ARE RESISTINGTHE NFL PLAN TO ADD TWO MORE GAMES TO THE REGULAR SEASON.TO THEIR CREDIT THE N F L IS STARTING TO CRACK DOWN ON HEAD TOHEAD CONTACT BUT IT’S ONLY A BEGINNING.BEFORE THE NEXT FOOTBALL SEASON MORE RESEARCH HAS TO BEDONE AND BETTER EQUIPTMENT DESIGNED.PLAYERS ARE NOT WITHOUT FAULT. SOME TACKLING TECHNIQUESARE FULL OF DANGER.THE BIGGER OBLIGATION I WOULD THINK IS FOR THE NFL TO PUT MONEYINTO RESEARCH THAT WILL IMPROVE SAFETY AMONG AMERICA’SYOUTH TO CUT DOWN ON CONCUSSIONS.NEXT FALL 3.4 MILLION YOUNG ATHLETES WILL PLAY FOOTBALL.THE INJURY STATISTICS ARE STAGGERING,ABOUT 135,000 CHILDREN BETWEEN THE AGES OF 5 AND 18 ARE TREATEDIN EMERGENCY ROOMS FOR SPORTS RELATED CONCUSSIONS AND OTHERHEAD INJURIES.NOT ONLY FOOTBALL BUT SOCCER AND HOCKEY HAVE SIMILAR PROBLEMS.CONCUSSIONS HAVE BEEN OUR “DIRTY LITTLE SECRET” FOR FAR TOOLONG,THE TRAGIC DEATH OF DAVE DUERSON SHOULD SERVE AS A WAKE UPCALL TO THE NFL AND THE COUNTRY AT LARGE.I FIND IT IRONIC THAT 20 YEAR OLD TREVOR BAYNE WAS SAFERWINNING THE DAYTONA 500 DRIVING 200 MPH THAN SOME OF OUR PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL PLAYERS ARE ON THE FIELD.NASCAR CLEANED UP ITS SAFETY ACT AFTER DALE EARNHART ANDSO SHOULD THE NFL..THIS IS GEORGE HALE WITH MY PERSPECTIVE ON SPORTS