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NFL to announce another $100 million concussion initiative

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A week after watching its MVP take at least four shots to the head in the second half of the opener (three unflagged and one negated by intentional grounding), the NFL wants to do something about concussions.

Specifically, according to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, they want to throw $100 million at the problem.

The league’s newest initiative will devote $60 million to technological development (build a better helmet), and $40 million toward funding medical research into the effects of head injuries.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the $100 million “builds on what we’ve done the last few years but it takes it to another level in a variety of areas. … It’s all about protecting our players. … We’ve seen some very positive things. But we’re not satisfied. We’re not comfortable. There are still things for us to do to make our game safer for our players and make it better for our players, and that’s what we’re gonna do.”

Cam Newton would have taken a few flags being thrown, after he took repeated shots during last week’s season-opening spectacle (which was about a thumb and a lion from being a different kind of spectacle).

Goodell has acknowledged officials missed “at least one” penalty, and the league is looking at whether the Panthers followed the league’s concussion protocol.

They’re calling their new shiny object “Play Smart. Play Safe” and Goodell said the NFL needs to do a better job explaining itself in these situations.

“All of this is important work,” Goodell said. “But we recognize it hasn’t always been clear how connected these initiatives are to player health and safety. Moving forward, we will do a better job explaining all of these changes and the reasons behind them to our players and our fans.”

And acknowledging the potential for skepticism (sorry, cough, dog hair in the coffee, I’ll be OK), Goodell promised “an independent scientific advisory board of doctors, scientists, and clinicians” to research the long-term effects of brain injuries.

(After their independent investigation of Tom Brady, the greater New England branch of his business will be particularly skeptical.)

He also offered that possible rule changes could be in the offing. Cam Newton would have been happy with just calling the ones on the books, so future opponents don’t target his head the way the Broncos did.

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28 Responses to “NFL to announce another $100 million concussion initiative”
  1. skoobyfl says: Sep 14, 2016 6:02 AM

    Biometric helmets are the future demise of the NFL, leading to 2 hand touch football league in the name of safety.

  2. morbidtaint says: Sep 14, 2016 6:21 AM

    The NFL is in a bind, I mean they have to do something because CTE isn’t going anywhere. Eventually I imagine people will have a problem with minor’s playing football and over time schools will be pressured to cut it out all together, which will of course dry up the talent pool. I don’t want to see this happen, I’d love to see break-thrus in CTE, but after the debacle Thursday night a lot of people are going to have a hard time taking the NFL seriously.(There’s a lot of marks against them already.) I’m sure from Roger Goodell’s point of view, some bad officiating just cost the NFL 100 Million dollars in what’s probably more of a political bribe than anything, doubt that will sit too well with him.

  3. 345snarkavenue says: Sep 14, 2016 7:01 AM

    Calling Dr. Pash. Calling Dr. Pash.

  4. rportkid says: Sep 14, 2016 7:13 AM

    Skeptical? Thought so. The NFL and Goodell are so corrupt. Can’t believe anything that comes out of Goodell’s mouth.

  5. funshipm174 says: Sep 14, 2016 7:19 AM

    Always the N.F.L. way. Throw money at the problem,make it look like they care and try to make it go away for awhile.

  6. rhamrhoddy says: Sep 14, 2016 7:52 AM

    “You are all idiots. And, in every situation, we will treat you as such.”

    – Roger Goodell, every time he speaks to the public

  7. 2manyconcussions says: Sep 14, 2016 8:29 AM

    It might be helpful if they learned that is it nearly impossible to build a helmet that will prevent concussion. One would need to surround the head with a very large cotton ball. In addition to looking very silly, solving the concussion issue by trying to build a better helmet shows they really don’t yet understand the problem.

  8. packfanaj12 says: Sep 14, 2016 8:37 AM

    This should be a yearly commitment until there is only a few to none a year. It’s honestly not a huge amount when you think how much money is earned by the NFL annually. Even if it’s not 100 mil a year… this should be an ongoing battle… I mean a concussion means someone brain is getting smashed into their scull, that’s horrible.

    I LOVE big hits in football… it’s what makes the game fun to watch… Improve helmet, pad technology & concussion recovery and I think everyone wins.

  9. sdelmonte says: Sep 14, 2016 8:41 AM

    Even assuming the NFL is sincere, the only helmet designed so far that might actually prevent concussions is 10 times as expensive as the current helmet. Will the league subsidize its manufacture? Help high schools and colleges pay for it? Mandate its own players wear it? And will the league be an active but unbiased partner in proving or disproving if such a helmet works?

  10. selldannysell says: Sep 14, 2016 9:05 AM

    More window-dressing.

  11. fallujahff says: Sep 14, 2016 9:19 AM

    All of it is smoke and mirrors until you start ENFORCING the rules DURING the game.

    If you make it painful and potentially a game losing plays/penalty, headhunting will stop.

  12. bowenfootdoc2013 says: Sep 14, 2016 9:21 AM

    How about spending some money on younger full time officials who depend on their ref. job for their livlihood. And, maybe they can run up and down the field and actually watch what is taking place within their watch . Also enact a player must sit on the bench for a quarter penalty for the illegal contact.

  13. jimmyjohns01 says: Sep 14, 2016 9:28 AM

    Obvious attempt to deflect some of the negative criticism.

  14. jag1959 says: Sep 14, 2016 9:37 AM

    “After their independent investigation of Tom Brady, the greater New England branch of his business will be particularly skeptical.”

    Every branch of ‘his business’ should be extremely skeptical after the findings of a congressional investigation regarding the NFL’s respect for independent research:

    “This investigation confirms the NFL inappropriately attempted to use its unrestricted gift as leverage to steer funding away from one of its critics”

  15. everlast79 says: Sep 14, 2016 9:40 AM

    SMH. Always reacting to the latest backlash. I have no faith in the NFL doing anything proactively to better the game and protect the players from long term head injuries.

  16. mogogo1 says: Sep 14, 2016 9:44 AM

    And now the other side of the mouth speaks, just a few days after assuring us that Cam absolutely didn’t have a concussion so there was no need to worry about that at all. There’s a new slogan and more money to do the exact same things the last round of money was supposed to do.

    How exactly is that new helmet thing going given that project has been underway for years? At what point does it either get completed or they finally admit a helmet can’t magically keep your brain from banging around inside your skull?

  17. evrybdyhas1 says: Sep 14, 2016 10:15 AM

    Reality is helmets will never prevent brain injury, In fact the head is used as a battering ram because it is protected with a hard shell that inflicts sharp and concentrated trauma.

    These initiatives are trying to protect the players from themselves.

    Reality once again is that head hits will be a violation of the rules in the future or players will sign a waiver recognizing the risks and long term effects. Either way it appears big change is coming down the road.

  18. leatherhelmets says: Sep 14, 2016 10:33 AM

    There needs to be a soft outer shell. It is obvious that the NFL is opposed to this for reasons that compromise player safety.

    Soft outer shell will absorb more of the impact and not pass it all on to the brain.

  19. Bradley Dillon says: Sep 14, 2016 10:41 AM

    I’m sure this has been said before and call me crazy, but I think one of the main reasons why there is such a prevalent amount of CTE is because of the hard shell of the helmets players use. I actually think the helmets give the players more incentive to tackle with their heads or spear because they falsely believe it will protect them from brain injuries. The hard shell is also a big problem because it doesn’t absorb the impacts but instead reflects impact, which is worse. There is simply more momentum and force when using a hard shell than a softer one that would give way and reduce the power of hits. (call me out if I’m wrong, I’m not a physicist).

    I actually think that getting rid of some of the protection will actually reduce injuries because players will have more incentive to tackle smarter and avoid using their heads to spear and tackle.

  20. 345snarkavenue says: Sep 14, 2016 10:47 AM

    The way I see it is that most serious football fans aren’t buying whatever Goodell has to sell any more. But the popularity of the NFL has expoloded on the back of the casual fan….and that is what these messages target.

    What they don’t understand is that the casual fan is there because of the serious fan….for the most part it’s the serious fans that have the game-viewing parties, run the office football pool or fantasy league….they basically keep the casual fan interested, buying gear, watching games, etc.

    My perspective is that when the league starts losing the serious fan….the collateral damage of losing the casual fan will quickly follow.

    They just don’t get it though. They play to the masses instead of the base of the fan foundation.

    And most serious fans are going to be skeptical, if not downright suspicious, of anything the league says until there is a new commissioner. This one has burned the bridge to most serious fans.

  21. kenmasters34 says: Sep 14, 2016 11:03 AM

    LOL. The NFLs continued biased for the Broncos has cost them an additional 100 million.

    Maybe the NFL should have reminded the refs that Peyton isn’t there any more. Stop looking the other way, on obvious penalties.

  22. ghost072 says: Sep 14, 2016 11:13 AM

    If the NFL was serious about player safety, Brandon Marshall and Darian Stewart would not be playing this week. Until you start suspending players who headhunt, and therefore the punish the coaches who imply they should, this problem will not go away.

  23. mogogo1 says: Sep 14, 2016 11:30 AM

    Realistically, the future of the NFL looks a lot like current rugby. No helmets at all or minimal ones that can’t be used as battering rams, minimized shoulder pads for the same reason. The Cam example from this past week never happens if the “protective” devices aren’t capable of being used as weapons.

  24. xpensivewinos says: Sep 14, 2016 11:34 AM

    Plan A – Guaranteed Way To Reduce Concussions 100%: Stop playing football.

    Plan B – See Plan A.

    I’m going to wait by the mailbox for my check…..

  25. rootpain says: Sep 14, 2016 11:40 AM

    Two problems with this announcement. First off the $100 million gets diluted by 75% because Goodell is involved. His narcissistic self won’t allow the money to truly be invested independently. He will insist on he and his cronies getting credit and as he has already proven he isn’t scientifically knowledgeable, the bulk of the money will be wasted.
    Of the balance, it’s not enough to make reasonable progress. It’s like a 4 wheel car with only three wheels. Is it a car? Well yeah, depending on the definition. Is it of value? Very little and certainly not to function as a car. So discount the balance by another 90%. So net benefit will probably be $2-1/2 million.
    Nothing good will happen while Goodell is commissioner.

  26. LyinRogerMustGo says: Sep 14, 2016 11:43 AM

    I saw Concussion.

    The sooner #LyinRoger is fired, the better.

    That is all.

  27. jgedgar70 says: Sep 14, 2016 3:36 PM

    I don’t think all parties really want this fixed. If they did, they would move like NASCAR. It took less than 1 year after Dale Earnhardt was killed before they developed and started installing SAFER barriers at the tracks. Dale Earnhardt Jr is out for the year with a concussion, and he’s the only one with a significant head injury since the barriers were installed – and no one in the top 3 levels of NASCAR has died on the track in that time.

    Like others, I have zero confidence there will be any independence on how this money is distributed or on any potential outcomes. These suits in the NFL office just can’t think of anything outside of themselves. They will inject themselves into the distribution of the money, and will inject themselves into any research study or product development.

  28. tktool2013 says: Sep 15, 2016 2:01 AM

    if they are going to play the the stupid game then just take the consequences, give the fools enough money they will screw themselves up, who cares, should take the research money out of their pay, the payers are the ones that need the reaserch, maybe they should put some of that big money away for the rest home when somebody has to take care of them till they are dead

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