Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Concussion Can No Longer Be Swept under Carpet

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Concussion Can No Longer Be Swept under Carpet

Article excerpt

Byline: LODGE AND LOAD Matthew Lodge

IT'S A strange feeling.

On your back, the team doctor and closest trainer hovering over you asking rapid-fire questions, when your last recollection was being on your own two feet.

To you it's instantaneous, the duck-dive in and out of consciousness as swift as the impact itself. To the observer, it's the whole incident that sticks in one's mind and isn't as easily forgotten.

This season, perhaps beyond other years, has proven that this football business, this game we play, is tough.

Forty-four men take the field with just a slab of plastic to cover their teeth and accept the brutality and punishment dished out by an opponent from every angle a high, low, from the side, and even from above.

Boots fly like the hands that desperately grab at a floating Sherrin. Athletes charge at each other and collide as bones crunch, muscles bruise and a man's body screams at its inhabitant as it gets pushed to physical limits.

Yet concussion remains the hush-hush topic. It is an injury that frustrates players and has the brows furrowed of the coaching and medical staff.

A player who is knocked senseless, with permanent injuries to the body's most vital organ, will display the egotism of historic manhood and will himself to play on, having cleared himself of any other physical inhibitions that would otherwise render him unable to take the field.

Yet concussion in our great game can no longer be swept under the carpet.

The issue of Daniel Bell's future health, in combination with the current debacle surrounding Kurt Tippett and the Adelaide Crows, has highlighted that concussion, while not the most prevalent, is the most dangerous injury.

In a world of torn anterior cruciate ligaments and popped AC joints, which have been conquered by the advances of medical surgery, there is no cure for the ramifications of being knocked out.

It's a case of life as a footballer versus life after football. …

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