Lots of good food for TBI thought, lately

I’ve been spending a bit more time on Twitter, lately, and I’ve found a steady flow of information about late-breaking TBI / concussion news… as well as some pretty good pieces talking about the personal experience of TBI.

And that’s great. Really, really great.

It’s a lot to take in, and it’s a lot to process. One of the things that concerns me, is that we can end up with so much information that we cannot possibly process it all. Even the bits that we can take in comfortably often don’t get their due from our noggins.

Heck, most things don’t get their due.

So, I think about what I can, and I sure have a lot to consider. And a lot to write about. That includes a story I read recently in the Washington Post about how headers are not the main cause of concussion in soccer. Well, alright, it appears that statistically speaking, contact with other players (68.8%) or contact with (13.3%) a playing surface together account for a lot more than the heading itself.

But there in the article, it says (my bold),

“Previous researchers discussing the safety and risk of soccer heading may have been asking the wrong question,” they wrote. In fact, they argued, the “ball striking the head during heading has less of a role in soccer concussions than the athlete-athlete contact that occurs during contested or challenged heading opportunities.”

So, the ridiculous thing about saying that “heading the ball isn’t the main cause of concussion” in soccer is that — by their own admission — heading-related contact accounts for a lot.

Whether or not you actually contact the ball is only part of the story. The main point is that

Players Are Playing Soccer (or Football, if you will) With Their Heads

I honestly don’t see how it’s possible to make a meaningful distinction between the instances where heads hit a ball, or they hit something else. The point is, Heading Is The Root Cause.

Well, anyway, so much for researchers. Kind of like what they were telling us a few years ago about not turning on the light in the bathroom when you wake up and need to empty your bladder. Having the light on can disrupt your sleep patterns. Of course, so can stepping in a puddle of pee that your significant other left on the floor because they couldn’t see the toilet.

Researchers got a lot of ridicule for that one – especially on the radio. Hahahahaha.

Anyway, tomorrow is my last day at my current job. I have to call the HR folks to make sure I have everything in order for my first day on Monday. Gotta figure out where to go, what to take with me, etc.

They have rules, as I understand it. Gotta keep to the thin line and keep myself together.

I had planned to buy some new clothes ahead of time. Maybe Sunday, as Saturday I’m supposed to be joining friends for a gathering at the beach. Not in the mood. Want to keep to myself. I’ll probably beg out of it, one way or another.

We’ll see.

Lots to think about.



Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

8 thoughts on “Lots of good food for TBI thought, lately”

  1. Going up Or going down. Diving headers. Any type of vying for a head ball in traffic is very dangerous especially in the “area” or “the box” near the goal. The goal posts aren’t like the hockey ones that come out; no those pipes are deep in the ground on many playgrounds. And they don’t give neither does the skull much but what’s inside gets all shaken up.

    As BB says the sports are worth the risks, in general. We just need to be more proactive and the risks be emphasized.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It really is dangerous to lead with your head — especially since nobody who competes for the ball actually intends to miss it. Two folks with the same thing in mind, will have their heads occupy the same space. So, to my thinking, forbidding use of the head in play — same as the hands — just makes sense. Another thing I took from the article, is that the author (and perhaps the researchers as well) don’t strike me as being soccer/football players… or athletes at all. Some things you just know, from being in competition. And I’m not sensing it in their findings.


  3. I never thought about taking headers out of soccer. It seems such an integral part to the sport.
    However, arguably the world’s second all-time best did very little with heading. Diego M. It certainly did not take away too much in his case. I remember when Orest Kinderchuk of the Flyers wore a helmet. I think it was him. Maybe Dupont. But I thought this is not ice-hockey. The sport will never be the same. Gretzky had a helmet. He sure had enough vision and flexibility in his play. Of course the comparison is not great but it is hard to see bobby clarke without a helmet. So while your suggestion at first seems absurd to an ex-footballer. I think that you may be a”head” of the curve. It is an awesome sport, but no sport is worth losing your mind too. Without headers, soccer would gain safety; I have zero doubt. Would it be worth it?
    Pele fans might say “no” and most teams from nations that have an obvious size advantage.
    Interesting to consider it.


  4. It is interesting to consider how much it would even up the competition, if it didn’t matter how tall you were. If height were not an advantage, it could really change things up for “the little guys/gals”. Either that, or everyone starts wearing helmets.


  5. BB. I was thinking more on this idea. Watching footage of diego m., I see how he uses his head mostly just to control the ball. I’m thinking that there should be a new rule that is more like the rule of using your feet in ice-hockey. Rather than say heading the ball is considered a hand ball, I think a good rule would be that the use of a head to advance the ball directly to another player or to score a goal is considered an infraction. The opposing team is awarded an indirect kick from the point of this infraction. The net result of this would be players learning to stop going for head balls. Head traps and using the head in open areas to forward it to yourself poses little danger and would not hurt a player who is used to using their head already. Unintentional head balls that result in an advantage would be left to the discretion of the referee. I also think as you said, it would help ‘even the playing field some”. China in their bid against my country for a world cup were at a distinct disadvantage. Any ball in the air could more easily be taken by the USA team. Not due to their skill but the simple fact that they had a considerable height advantage. The USA had plenty of skill anyway to win the game and the game would have been no less exciting but much safer. Good work. I would have never considered this.

    Liked by 1 person

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