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Ex-49ers LB Chris Borland doesn't think football can be saved

this is a discussion within the NFL Community Forum; It is an absolutely fascinating read for anyone with the time to dig in. It's reported and written by Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada, who wrote League of Denial, which studied traumatic brain injuries in the NFL. Here are a ...

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Old 08-20-2015, 08:25 PM   #1
 
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Ex-49ers LB Chris Borland doesn't think football can be saved

It is an absolutely fascinating read for anyone with the time to dig in. It's reported and written by Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada, who wrote League of Denial, which studied traumatic brain injuries in the NFL. Here are a few of the biggest revelations from Borland's story:

Borland believes he's suffered 30 concussions

A visit to the Boston School of Medicine after he retired revealed just how much damage to his brain Borland may have done.

"Some people have the misconception that concussions occur only after you black out when you get a hit to the head or to your body," the graduate assistant told him. "But in reality, concussions have occurred any time you've had any symptoms for any period of time." She ticked them off: blurred vision, seeing stars, sensitivity to light or noise, headaches, dizziness, etc.

"Based on that definition, how many concussions do you think you've had?" she asked.

Borland paused.

"I don't know, 30?" he said finally. "Yeah, I think 30's a good estimate."

Thankfully, Borland's vital signs appear to be okay.

The NFL surprised Borland with a drug test after he retired

The timing of this request was certainly curious, especially because Borland had made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that he would not be returning to football. Borland, knowing that his name might be sullied if he refused to take the test, agreed, but also had an independent test conducted.

"I don't want to be a conspiracy theorist," he says. "I just wanted to be sure." Borland agreed to submit a urine sample to the NFL's representative, who drove in from Green Bay and administered the test in the Wisconsin trainer's room. Then he hired a private firm for $150 to test him independently. Both tests came back negative, according to Borland.

"I don't really trust the NFL," he says.

Football is an addiction almost on par with sex

Borland was not dispassionate towards the game, but his attachment to it may not have been healthy.

"Outside of sexual intercourse, there's probably nothing like it. But fun is the wrong word for it. I don't consider football fun. It's not like a water park, or a baseball game."

Borland was more hurt in college than he let on

Borland created a reputation at Wisconsin for being one of the toughest players in football, and that's before anyone knew anything about his life off the field. He once had a teammate who had to wake him up through the night out of fear he'd lapse into a coma.

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Old 08-23-2015, 12:39 AM   #2
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Re: Ex-49ers LB Chris Borland doesn't think football can be saved

Good read, i read every word,
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Old 08-23-2015, 12:53 AM   #3
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Re: Ex-49ers LB Chris Borland doesn't think football can be saved

Not to belittle borland's injuries, but if any one of those symptoms means a concussion then I've had more than 30 concussions, and there's only been a couple times where I hit my head. I don't remember having anything put a knot on my head, and nothing out of the ordinary.

He may have had a lot of concussions but 30 sounds unrealistic. If he has, then he obviously leads with his head WAY too much, and I am surprised he still knows how to walk and talk.
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Old 08-23-2015, 05:29 PM   #4
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Re: Ex-49ers LB Chris Borland doesn't think football can be saved

Wow... This is a fascinating story. I read that it was Cris Carter who was apparently the speaker at the rookie symposium who talked about making sure you have a fall guy. Class act.
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Old 08-23-2015, 05:37 PM   #5
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Re: Ex-49ers LB Chris Borland doesn't think football can be saved

That's enough for me! Shut it all down!! NOW!!! Sigh, we'll never again know the joy of losing the game but having the other team hurt the next day!!!!
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Old 08-24-2015, 07:06 AM   #6
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Re: Ex-49ers LB Chris Borland doesn't think football can be saved

Originally Posted by burningmetal View Post
Not to belittle borland's injuries, but if any one of those symptoms means a concussion then I've had more than 30 concussions, and there's only been a couple times where I hit my head. I don't remember having anything put a knot on my head, and nothing out of the ordinary.

He may have had a lot of concussions but 30 sounds unrealistic. If he has, then he obviously leads with his head WAY too much, and I am surprised he still knows how to walk and talk.
I think he is correct. It is the defenition of what is a concussion and not that is changing. More research has shown that even hits with less force creates damage an thus the defenition has changed accordingly.

I think his piece is interesting. I have just finished my 14th season of football at the age of 34. I'm have injuries to my ankles, knees and hands that will never heal and as a lineman I have to say I am a little worried about the long term impact of the hits to the head I have taken.
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Old 08-24-2015, 11:24 AM   #7
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Re: Ex-49ers LB Chris Borland doesn't think football can be saved

Heard an interesting local interview with former Colts center Jeff Saturday. His answer to the obligatory "Do you miss it?" was: Not the games but the camaraderie. The fans remember who won the game but it didn't mean that much at the time.
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Old 08-24-2015, 11:36 AM   #8
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Re: Ex-49ers LB Chris Borland doesn't think football can be saved

Originally Posted by vpheughan View Post
Heard an interesting local interview with former Colts center Jeff Saturday. His answer to the obligatory "Do you miss it?" was: Not the games but the camaraderie. The fans remember who won the game but it didn't mean that much at the time.
That is so true and I think moreso the longer you play. The football in itself wasn't that much fun in my 14th season but I loved being around my teammates. I think it is a lot different for guys tthat played maybe jr high and high school or just high school, its such a "short" time.
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Old 08-24-2015, 05:23 PM   #9
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Re: Ex-49ers LB Chris Borland doesn't think football can be saved

Thanks for the opinion. Good luck to ya. Move along.
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