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December 27, 2010

Football: Organized, Voluntary Brain Damage

There's an excellent article in Sunday's Post-Gazette titled, "A career of concussions: Football damaged my brain and it didn't have to happen", by George Visger, a former San Francisco 49er (1980, 1981).

Mr. Visger, who has had nine brain surgeries attributed to his 13 years of football experience1, has written an open letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith. He also contributes to discussions about football injuries.

Money quote from the Post-Gazette article: "It's time we realize the human brain was not meant to be used as a weapon or repeatedly banged into the ground."

1 Seems significant that Mr. Visger calculates his time of damaging behavior as "13 years of football", starting from his 11-year-old Pee Wee Pop Warner experience (and his first of many concussions) and ending with his two seasons of professional football.

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