In his six years with the Cincinnati Reds, Ryan Freel wowed fans with his ostentatious, fearless style, running into walls and colliding with other players. He estimated that he had sustained 10 concussions in his career, though his family said the number might have been even higher.
But off the field, he struggled with depression and substance abuse. His repeated injuries led him to retire from baseball early in 2010. One year ago, Freel, then 36, killed himself with a shotgun.
Today, he’s become the first Major League Baseball player to be diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, after researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine released the results of a test on his brain tissue after his death.
Read more. [Image: John Sommer II/Reuters]
“The truth is I had a lot of concussions. It was just the way things were at the time. I’d get hit hard and be woozy. I’d be dizzy. I’d take a play off and then go back in. Sometimes when I went back into the game, I still couldn’t see straight. This happened all the time. Sometimes once or twice a game.”
“Back in January 2010, two NCAA staffers exchanged a series of emails mocking the concussion safety efforts of David Klossner, the organization’s director of health and safety.
“Dave is hot/heavy on the concussion stuff,” wrote Ty Halpin, the director of playing rules administration. “He’s been trying to force our rules committees to put in rules that are not good — I think I’ve finally convinced him to calm down.”
“He reminds me of a cartoon character,” responded Nicole Bracken, the associate director of research.
“”HA! I think you’re right about that!” Halpin wrote.”
- 2012 Less than five years after retiring from a widely-respected football career, former NFL linebacker Junior Seau used an unidentified firearm to take his own life. In the absence of a note explaining any motive, many have blamed Seau’s May 2012 suicide on the brain disease discovered during the athlete’s autopsy.
- 2013 Junior Seau’s family has announced that they will become the newest plaintiffs to file a lawsuit against the NFL. Acknowledging that no settlement will bring back their lost relative, Seau’s family says they hope the ensuing legal battle will “send a message that the NFL needs to care for its former players, acknowledge its decades of deception on the issue of head injuries and player safety, and make the game safer for future generations.” source
Major breakthrough in the NFL/concussion story: for the first time, a new study has identified Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in living players.
Read: FRONTLINE | PBS
MLB Investigating Stem Cell Procedure On Yankees’ Bartolo Colon
Major League Baseball is examining a procedure performed on Yankees right-hander Bartolo Colon last year that involved stem cells being injected into his painful shoulder and elbow, according to The New York Times.
Joseph R. Purita, an orthopedic surgeon in Boca Raton, Fla., told the newspaper he flew to Colon’s native Dominican Republic and helped a team of doctors there with the treatment on the 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner. He said he has used Human Growth Hormone in the procedure before, but not in this case with Colon.
HGH is banned by Major League Baseball.
“The Yankees did notify us and we are looking into it,” league spokesman Pat Courtney told the Times for a story posted on its website on Wednesday night.
General manager Brian Cashman told the Times he didn’t know about the treatment in the Dominican Republic when the Yankees signed Colon. He was recently told of the procedure by the pitcher’s agent, and he then notified Major League Baseball.
Purita told the Times he took fat and bone marrow stem cells from Colon and injected them back into his elbow and shoulder.
“This is the future of sports medicine, in particular,” he said. “Here it is that I got a guy back playing baseball and throwing pitches at 95 miles an hour.”
You’ll Just Die if The Steelers Don’t Win on Sunday. No Really. You Will. Researchers found that there was a 15 percent increase in cardiac deaths in Los Angeles County after the LA Rams lost the 1980 Super Bowl. Seems your favorite team losing the title isn’t exactly good for your circulatory system. Also bad for your heart: wings, beer, ribs, mozzarella sticks, chili, polish sausage, nachos, polish sausage nachos, mini burgers, and meatballs on toothpicks. I never buy any of these mass studies that tell you the Super Bowl causes more crime or heart attacks or decreased productivity. We’re American. We’re gonna be guilty of those things regardless.