League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth (Anglais) Relié – 8 octobre 2013
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Descriptions du produit
Revue de presse
"It is meticulously researched, artfully structured, engaging and well written... this is an informative, intriguing and sobering book about power and control. I recommend it strongly." - Nate Jackson, The Washington Post
"Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru's book 'League of Denial' should be required reading in secondary schools for all athletes. Those of us outside the lines will be wiser, as well, for having invested just a few hours to read it." - Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas Morning News
"Meticulously documented and endlessly chilling." - The New York Times
“'League of Denial' may turn out to be the most influential sports-related book of our time." -The Boston Globe, Best Sports Books of 2013
Biographie de l'auteur
Steve Fainaru is an investigative reporter for ESPN. While covering the Iraq war for the Washington Post, he received the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for his investigation into the U.S. military’s reliance on private security contractors. He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife Maureen Fan, and son Will.
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Commentaires en ligne
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As an avid NFL fan since the late 70s, I found this book difficult to read. The stories of what many players have had to endure after they retired is heartbreaking. The first time that I recall concussions being discussed in the media were in the time of Al Toon's retirement at the age of 29 after he said he had 9 concussions. I vaguely remember it being said then that there was a belief that having had one made a person predisposed to another and also there was a theory that some players are more prone to them, like Toon.
In reading this book, it carefully lays out what was known about concussions by whom and when. And the startling thing is that a lot of what we take for granted, still wasn't considered hard science even 20 years ago. In 1990, a team doctor wanted to keep Bubby Brister out of a game and the Steelers Coach Chuck Noll wanted to know why and on what basis or evidence. At the time, they were guidelines. But the doctor had no conclusive proof exactly how much time was necessary to heal a concussion. Healing times are different. There was no test, no baseline.
What the book does well is take the reader from that time when things were murky to the death of Mike Webster when there was a change. A Nigerian, Dr. Omalu, made the decision to study the Hall of Famer's brain even though he died of a heart attack due to what the doctor had read about the player's odd behavior over the last few years. After the brain was "fixed", stained and placed the brain tissue under a microscope he saw something that had not been seen before. He saw Tau. Tau, a substance in the brain, was strangling portions of Websters brain. Tau also goes a little crazy in Alzheimer's patients in a different way. The brain damage in boxers is not the same either. It was something new. And it opened up a whole new can of craziness for the NFL.
There is so much in here that is infuriating. The NFL Retirement board paid benefits for brain damage, yet the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee said "football doesn't cause brain damage". There were people who wanted to help find out exactly what was going on and they were discredited or marginalized by the NFL.
I think the book is extremely well written and it lays out all the people who have been involved (including their flaws and all) and just tells the story without really trying to steer a person in a direction. One thing that is interesting is that many of the people involved in identifying the issue love football and they're working to benefit the players they love and respect.
The one thing that I wish were included is more about why the players are not reporting concussions to the team doctors. Of course, part of it is that they're competitive and want to play, but I feel that another part of it has to do with the fact that contracts aren't guaranteed. In baseball, someone like Mike Witt could have a 5 year guaranteed contract and only end up throwing a few innings over those five years. But in football, you can't play, you get cut. Dave Duerson's wife alluded to it briefly.
The authors revealed how the NFL, for almost twenty years, had tried to cover up and even deny proofs that football players due to the lack of enough protection are far more vulnerable to brain diseases and damages.
Unfortunately, it was proven that the league didn't protected its players enough (or at all), because no matter of advanced technology usage, it wasn't possible to create shields good enough that would adequately protect their heads.
But instead to say it publicly, the whole story was a long time hidden from the media to avoid jeopardizing the entire show, and a large amount of money invested.
I suppose that the authors' intention with their book wasn't to reduce the love of fans for this exciting sport, but to illuminate some secrets that shouldn't be tolerated in any sport.
Due to that, I can recommend reading "League of Denial", a book that shows how today's athletes are real gladiators, not only in a figurative sense, and that the cost of their health and life is almost irrelevant compared to the value of entire show in which they participate.
The authors touch on but don't entirely address some added issues. How have many ex-players apparently avoided CTE while others suffer memory loss, depression, and worse? What about the ex-college players who received no pay (except a scholarship) and are not eligible for workers compensation? Does CTE result from concussions, insufficient recovery time, non-concussive helmet blows, or some combination of all these? Finally, can a safer game hopefully emerge via changes in rules, techniques, and helmet design?