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Friday, Nov. 28, 2014

Dealing With Concussions

Posted Monday, June 20, 2011, at 2:43 PM

I'm pleased to see more attention being placed on athletes, and others for that matter, who suffer a concussion.

There are times when an athlete who has suffered a head injury shouldn't be allowed to return to action just because his or her presence is needed in the game.

While walking up and down the sidelines covering a high school football game, the coach asked me if a talented receiver, who was sitting on the bench after receiving a hit on his head, was coming around ok.

Please don't take the answer I gave him after checking on the receiver as being funny.

"He's at the prom right now and having a great time," I informed the coach. "He's through for the night. Looks serious to me."

The coach kept him out of the game. As I recall this young man never played again. He had a history of temporarily losing consciousness after a hit in the head area.

I've had a concussion from helmet-to-helmet contact.I continued to play but for s day or so it seemed some thought from the past was in my mind and couldn't come all the way through. There was also a headache for a couple of days.

One thing that alarmed me once was a young assistant coach who had his players line up five yards apart and at full speed intentionally collide helmet to helmet. He though that drill would "toughen them up."

Helmets simply don't absorb that kind of contact.

Too often I've seen people involved in vehicle accidents and receive head injuries. Some took years to come completely back.

Have you ever had a concussion? How did it bother you?

Showing comments in chronological order
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I've had three hits that qualify. A football hit, car accident and a surfing mishap. I really don't remember much about them (not from the hits).

I do remember being hazy for a day or two, some headache but nothing past that. Of course, my wife thinks differently but...

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Jun 21, 2011, at 6:48 AM

One day in high school during Phys. Ed. we were involved in a game of two-hand touch footbell wearing only our gym shorts and tee shirts. Me (on defense) and another boy (on offense) were both going after a pass when we made very hard head to head contact. We were both knocked unconsious for a short period of time. About all I can remember from that contact was the stars, the singing birds, and the bells or chimes ringing, and the terrible headache. I was later told that I walked around in a fog the rest of the day and was mostly non responsive. Just an average day in the life of a boy.

A couple of years later while playing in an Independant League basketball game I was running down the floor when all of a sudden without any contact my legs and arms quit working, and I fell to the floor only to get right back up to my feet in only about 3 or 4 seconds. After that I never had a recurrence of the event, but I have always wondered if that event in any way related to my head contact from years earlier.

-- Posted by leeiii on Tue, Jun 21, 2011, at 8:12 AM

Walking around in a fog reminded me of another hit to the head. I was on a school field trip to the Museum of Natural History in New York City when my group was confronted by a street gang. (In the museum!)

Somehow I was at the head of the group and their leader decided to blind side me with a punch to the left side of my head as we were talking.

They say I never hit the floor but wandered around for about half an hour before I started making sense again.

I don't recall any long-lasting issues with that one either. It was the highlight (or lights out) of my trip though.

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Jun 21, 2011, at 8:36 AM

I have been told that I spent some time in the huddle of Chapel Hill during a football scrimmage, but I don't remember a thing about it.Coach Copeland sent Chuck Woodruff to rescue me, and all I remember was the massive headache for several days after that.

-- Posted by Cal t on Tue, Jun 21, 2011, at 5:49 PM

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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette. He passed away November 15, 2014, at age 81.
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