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CTE in 99% of Studied NFL Player Brains

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CTE in 99% of Studied NFL Player Brains
Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:17 am
  • http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/25/health/cte-nfl-players-brains-study/index.html

    Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known as CTE, was found in 99% of deceased NFL players' brains that were donated to scientific research, according to a study published Tuesday in the medical journal JAMA.

    Out of 202 deceased former football players total -- a combination of high school, college and professional players -- CTE was neuropathologically diagnosed in 177, the study said. The disease was identified in 110 out of 111 former NFL players. It was also found in three of the 14 high school players and 48 of the 53 college players. The study included brains of individuals who have been publicly confirmed to have had the disease, including Ken Stabler, Kevin Turner, Bubba Smith and Dave Duerson.



    From this study it seems that at the high school level, the risk is much less (approximately 20%), but grows rapidly at the College level (Approximately 91%) and is almost guaranteed at the NFL level (just over 99%). The fact that it is caused by repeated head trauma, this makes a lot of sense, but it also means that playing in the NFL is nearly a guarantee of having CTE. That seems a stiff price to pay for a game. It should be interesting to see if, in future studies, they find if any of the protocols in place today can bring this number down or not. I'm skeptical.
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  • Yeah, the effects are cumulative, and brains (and nerves in general) don't self repair like many other tissues. There is some "healing" but it appears to be much slower than muscle or bones.

    I think they should mandate a 1/4" of padding on the outside of helmets. That would attenuate the shock waves transmitted into the skull significantly, I think. Part of the problem is the helmet to helmet contact. It creates sharp, high frequency shock waves into the head. Pad that hard shell and you reduce the impacts.
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  • Go back to leather and you won't have people using their heads as a weapon. or just a soft foam if you want to keep a look, won't need a facemask either if people are not using their heads.
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  • I strongly detest the title of this thread, and of the article itself. All the brains they studied were purposely donated for research; i.e., they were given by players who already knew they had mental problems from playing. It's like going into a cancer ward at a hospital and basing your incidence rate on that.

    I'm not downplaying CTE in any way, but damn, this is presented like 99% of NFL players get CTE and that's not even close to true...But people will pick up on it and ignorantly trumpet those numbers, contributing to the ever-growing dilemma of fake news and just inaccurate news in general.
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  • RolandDeschain wrote:I strongly detest the title of this thread, and of the article itself. All the brains they studied were purposely donated for research; i.e., they were given by players who already knew they had mental problems from playing. It's like going into a cancer ward at a hospital and basing your incidence rate on that.

    I'm not downplaying CTE in any way, but damn, this is presented like 99% of NFL players get CTE and that's not even close to true...But people will pick up on it and ignorantly trumpet those numbers, contributing to the ever-growing dilemma of fake news and just inaccurate news in general.



    So you have actual positive proof that 99 percent of Pro Football players do not have CTE in anyway shape or form and degree to argue your open ended disclaimer statement.
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  • RolandDeschain wrote:I strongly detest the title of this thread, and of the article itself. All the brains they studied were purposely donated for research; i.e., they were given by players who already knew they had mental problems from playing. It's like going into a cancer ward at a hospital and basing your incidence rate on that.

    I'm not downplaying CTE in any way, but damn, this is presented like 99% of NFL players get CTE and that's not even close to true...But people will pick up on it and ignorantly trumpet those numbers, contributing to the ever-growing dilemma of fake news and just inaccurate news in general.


    The title of the thread states quite clearly that it's 99% of STUDIED brains. Also, those were just the NFL players. They also studied players who only played in HS or only through College. The HS players were significantly less. Actually 80% didn't have it, so those studied brains didn't have it so it's very likely they didn't show signs of it.

    Also, let's just say that the majority of players do get CTE after years of playing football (just assume) wouldn't it therefor be difficult to get examples of non-affected brains for testing?

    The number of NFL players with CTE may not be at 99%, but the study clearly shows that the more you play football, the higher the odds are of having it.
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  • These are troubling numbers. But for it to be conclusive science we need to have a control group of similar brains.
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  • kidhawk wrote: That seems a stiff price to pay for a game.


    Except that (for the NFL players at least) it isn't a stiff price to pay for a game. It's the price they pay for the money they earn. Just like old broken-down laborers, concrete finishers, and such. Physically demanding jobs all extract their price, and the pay is a LOT lower for the regular ones.
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  • GeekHawk wrote:
    kidhawk wrote: That seems a stiff price to pay for a game.


    Except that (for the NFL players at least) it isn't a stiff price to pay for a game. It's the price they pay for the money they earn. Just like old broken-down laborers, concrete finishers, and such. Physically demanding jobs all extract their price, and the pay is a LOT lower for the regular ones.


    Can't debate unsafe work practices, and I won't debate NFL player salaries being quite handsome, but there comes a point where the money doesn't make up for the quality of life and everyone has to set that bar for themselves. Personally, I feel that it's a positive thing to bring awareness to how much of an impact this issue can have on one's life so parents and youth can make the informed decision as to whether or not this is for them. I suspect some will choose against the sport for this very reason, while many others will continue to join.
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  • GeekHawk wrote:
    kidhawk wrote: That seems a stiff price to pay for a game.


    Except that (for the NFL players at least) it isn't a stiff price to pay for a game. It's the price they pay for the money they earn. Just like old broken-down laborers, concrete finishers, and such. Physically demanding jobs all extract their price, and the pay is a LOT lower for the regular ones.


    This is where I'm at. Some of it was my own fault, wrecking snowmachines, falling asleep at the wheel and hitting a telephone pole, etc. But most of it comes from hard work. Starting out on a farm when I was 12, 4 years there, some of it bent over a row of lettuce with a 12" handled hoe, hoeing weeds from around the base of the lettuce. Then being laborer, lifting heavy shit when no one else was around, loading 55 gallon drums of fuel.

    I get angry sometimes when I think back on it, how it has crippled me now, and how much it costs me financially. But all in all I've had a pretty good life. So when I hear football players complain about it, I don't have any sympathy. If only I could get the kind of medical attention they do. There have been times when I was in so much pain, I started thinking about "Quality of Life." I had a friend that got hit by a drunk driver. He got off light, while she ended up in a wheel chair, on opioids, battling constipation, chronic pain, the fog caused by painkillers and struggling to pay for it all. She committed suicide. And there are likely tens of thousands of victims like her.

    I think the best way to address this, is to educate players early on, then let them make the decision. After that, it's on them.

    I sometimes wonder, where is the NFLPA when it comes to finding solutions? I've heard them complain a lot, they've filed lawsuits, are they also commissioning studies on prevention? I think that's what they should be doing. Raise the issue, file lawsuits where it will benefit treatment and prevention, and look in to it themselves. Don't expect the NFL to do it because they are looking out for themselves, and any solution they provide, might look good, but might also fall short in the long term.

    And to piggy back on what Roland said, numbers can be made to say anything. I have a degree in Mathemathics, including statistics with calculus. When I first started, I thought statistics was just a minor part of math, but it's a huge field with endless applications. Granted, most Phds are smart enough not to make the mistake of fudging the words to make the numbers look better, but some are dependent on grants and provide whatever is needed to renew or expand them.
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  • sdog1981 wrote:These are troubling numbers. But for it to be conclusive science we need to have a control group of similar brains.


    We do have a sense of which populations it is prevalent in, in relation to the general population.

    "the disease is found in a more diverse group of individuals with a history of repetitive head impacts including a variety of contact sport athletes, military veterans, domestic abuse victims, and individuals with self-inflicted head banging behavior [7]."

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4255271/

    Agreed that more work is needed, but we are FAR FAR beyond having to question if 99% of the general population shows signs of CTE.
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  • ivotuk wrote:And to piggy back on what Roland said, numbers can be made to say anything. I have a degree in Mathemathics, including statistics with calculus. When I first started, I thought statistics was just a minor part of math, but it's a huge field with endless applications. Granted, most Phds are smart enough not to make the mistake of fudging the words to make the numbers look better, but some are dependent on grants and provide whatever is needed to renew or expand them.


    As you probably know I agree with the sentiment, but we're talking about descriptive statistics here, not the type of hyper-complex recoding, data censoring, and alternative strategies at modeling in which you can bury a whole slew of bodies down the garden of forking paths to eek out statistical significance.

    It's just descriptive statistics. These researchers are either out-and-out complete and total liars or they're not.
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  • ivotuk wrote:I think the best way to address this, is to educate players early on, then let them make the decision. After that, it's on them.


    I understand this is the perspective of some, and not everyone agrees with the following, but it's not really how we operate as a society.

    I seriously can't think of a single activity that leads to traumatic and life altering injury in nearly 100% of cases which isn't outlawed.

    Heck, we abide by traffic laws, seatbealt laws, construction code laws, food regulation laws, and so on to prevent the comparatively small CHANCE of traumatic and life altering injury.

    I mean, the closest thing I can come up with is that smoking is legal, and IIRC that only eventually leads to death from smoking-related cancer in about 50% of smokers.

    Think about it this way: you're more likely to get CTE from playing football than you are to get HIV from having unprotected sex with someone with HIV; you're much more likely to live through an attempt to kill yourself than you are to play professional football and not get CTE.

    I find it kind of mind-boggling (no pun), and I reall don't see a scenario in which the game exists in its current form 20 years from now.
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  • Popeyejones wrote:
    Think about it this way: you're more likely to get CTE from playing football than you are to get HIV from having unprotected sex with someone with HIV; you're much more likely to live through an attempt to kill yourself than you are to play professional football and not get CTE.




    I totally get what you're saying here, but the analogy doesn't quite work. The problem with this analogy is that you are comparing a career of football (thousands of hits), to a one off night of sex. Maybe the analogy would work better if you were to say that the odds of getting CTE are like having daily sex with someone with HIV. Eventually it's going to happen.

    The one thing I'm interested in seeing is some of the outcomes of some of the brains to be studied that have been donated by more recent players who currently may not be showing symptoms. If the numbers hold up, I can see the NFL having a serious problem going forward as it is today. If the numbers see a serious decline, then that's a different story. Either way, playing football means almost certainly lowering your quality of life later for a higher quality of life today. A trade some will gladly make, others maybe not.
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  • kidhawk wrote:
    Popeyejones wrote:
    Think about it this way: you're more likely to get CTE from playing football than you are to get HIV from having unprotected sex with someone with HIV; you're much more likely to live through an attempt to kill yourself than you are to play professional football and not get CTE.




    I totally get what you're saying here, but the analogy doesn't quite work. The problem with this analogy is that you are comparing a career of football (thousands of hits), to a one off night of sex. Maybe the analogy would work better if you were to say that the odds of getting CTE are like having daily sex with someone with HIV. Eventually it's going to happen.

    The one thing I'm interested in seeing is some of the outcomes of some of the brains to be studied that have been donated by more recent players who currently may not be showing symptoms. If the numbers hold up, I can see the NFL having a serious problem going forward as it is today. If the numbers see a serious decline, then that's a different story. Either way, playing football means almost certainly lowering your quality of life later for a higher quality of life today. A trade some will gladly make, others maybe not.


    I can remember hearing, years ago, that many NFL players suffer physical problems due to playing, knees, back etc. Much like what Ivotuk speaks about. I was OK with that as everyone that takes part in a strenuous physical job will pay a price. And they generally understand the trade off. It's good that this info is coming out. The NFL should have been much more forthcoming so players, parents and all involved can make an informed decision, to play or to watch. Has there been any interviews with current players asking them if they've reconciled the downside of playing with the rewards? I will likely watch this coming year and would be able to rationalize it a bit better if the players are doing this with full knowledge, but even with that I know I'm heading to the door when it comes to football at some point.
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  • kidhawk wrote:
    Popeyejones wrote:
    Think about it this way: you're more likely to get CTE from playing football than you are to get HIV from having unprotected sex with someone with HIV; you're much more likely to live through an attempt to kill yourself than you are to play professional football and not get CTE.




    I totally get what you're saying here, but the analogy doesn't quite work. The problem with this analogy is that you are comparing a career of football (thousands of hits), to a one off night of sex. Maybe the analogy would work better if you were to say that the odds of getting CTE are like having daily sex with someone with HIV. Eventually it's going to happen.

    The one thing I'm interested in seeing is some of the outcomes of some of the brains to be studied that have been donated by more recent players who currently may not be showing symptoms. If the numbers hold up, I can see the NFL having a serious problem going forward as it is today. If the numbers see a serious decline, then that's a different story. Either way, playing football means almost certainly lowering your quality of life later for a higher quality of life today. A trade some will gladly make, others maybe not.


    Yeah, you're absolutely right that for unprotected sex with an HIV positive person or a suicide attempt I'm comparing a single event to playing a sport over a period of time.

    Guilty as charged on that one. :2thumbs:

    Rhetorically, at least, I think the point still works though, as I'd think you'd be incredibly hard pressed to find someone who would have unprotected sex with an HIV positive person, while at the same time we have several million children playing football.

    Just for background, for a man having unprotected vaginal sex with an HIV+ women results in a 1 in 1,250 chance of contracting HIV. Even the most dangerous form of unprotected anal sex with an HIV+ results in a 1 in 70 chance of contracting HIV.

    99% of NFL players showing evidence if CTE is an insane number. Cut it in half just for fun and it is still totally and wildly untenable.
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  • These numbers don't mean much. It's too early and there isn't enough comparative data. What would a group of non-athletes brains look like by comparison? Soccer players? Boxers? Etc. And to what degree is the CTE? Not enough info but it's good they are studying this.

    And some people still don't understand that it's not the helmet. Concussions are caused by the brain hitting the inside of the skull. That happens with simple whip lash. Remember Vernon Davis' concussion? His head did not hit the ground or Kam's body. It was total whip lash. You really can't make a safer helmet for concussions. Safer for skull fractures, yes.

    It's going to be a long and difficult evaluation period. How many NFL vets who've never had a concussion are donating their brains for study? It's going to take a long time.
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  • chris98251 wrote:So you have actual positive proof that 99 percent of Pro Football players do not have CTE in anyway shape or form and degree to argue your open ended disclaimer statement.

    I never even remotely came close to saying or implying that 99% do not have it. The misleading headline and articles imply that 99% do, which is clearly NOT the case. Use the gray matter between your ears. It's like going to a McDonald's and saying 99% of people studied there received fries with their order. Well, no shit - look at the the flaw in basing such a universal fact in what you chose to get your numbers from in the first place. Next week on Lifetime's "Totally true, unbiased, and certainly not misleading statistics" show we bring you a Lifetime exclusive first look at a new study that shows 99% of people at Dairy Queen buy some sort of ice cream product - UNBELIEVABLE!


    kidhawk wrote:The title of the thread states quite clearly that it's 99% of STUDIED brains.

    Yeah, and they don't elaborate. Most likely, the vast majority of those brains were donated by people who agreed to it while alive or even pursued it like Junior Seau did because they KNEW they had mental problems likely due to CTE. Ever hear of the concept of a control group? How about comparing the results against brains of football players who, while alive, were surveyed and said they didn't think they had CTE or any adverse mental problems due to football. Also, what about old people in general who played sports but not football?

    kidhawk wrote:Also, those were just the NFL players. They also studied players who only played in HS or only through College. The HS players were significantly less. Actually 80% didn't have it, so those studied brains didn't have it so it's very likely they didn't show signs of it.

    Also, let's just say that the majority of players do get CTE after years of playing football (just assume) wouldn't it therefor be difficult to get examples of non-affected brains for testing?

    The number of NFL players with CTE may not be at 99%, but the study clearly shows that the more you play football, the higher the odds are of having it.

    Difficult to get non-affected brains for studying? I doubt it. How many kickers, punters, etc. have had concussions in their football careers? Probably very few have ever had more than one, if any. Also, like I said, find players who say (or think) they've never had a concussion that have played at the NFL level to compare against. By the way, I'm not arguing that the more you play football, the more likely you are to have CTE. That's just common sense. The fact that the article's phrased the way it is, which leads people to believe that virtually all NFL players suffer from some CTE, is where my problem is; and there is nothing in there that demonstrates that whatsoever, click-bait title and summary be damned.

    sdog1981 wrote:These are troubling numbers. But for it to be conclusive science we need to have a control group of similar brains.

    Jesus Christ, someone with some common sense and a basic understanding of how to form conclusions based on data. What a miracle.

    ivotuk wrote:And to piggy back on what Roland said, numbers can be made to say anything. I have a degree in Mathemathics, including statistics with calculus. When I first started, I thought statistics was just a minor part of math, but it's a huge field with endless applications. Granted, most Phds are smart enough not to make the mistake of fudging the words to make the numbers look better, but some are dependent on grants and provide whatever is needed to renew or expand them.

    Not to mention, those that actually PERFORM studies are rarely the ones that are allowed to put out the actual press release about it. Any book on the peer review process will demonstrate that, it's more like a CNN news room. Data gets "massaged" every step of the way, which is why it's critically important to actually read the original SOURCE study, in full, to really get an idea of how good it might be and what the real conclusions are. It's amazing what gets stripped out of studies in their official "summaries" and even official "conclusions" that then get spread across the media.
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  • Again though:

    The report is that 110 out of 111 brains that have been dissected shows signs of CTE.

    This is a simple descriptive statistic. There's no room for misreporting, accidental misinterpretation by journalists, or the other types of things that can happen when complex models are made legible for mainstream audiences.

    You either think the researchers are absolutely nefarious and devious liars or you do not. Full stop.
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  • Seafan wrote:These numbers don't mean much. It's too early and there isn't enough comparative data. What would a group of non-athletes brains look like by comparison? Soccer players? Boxers? Etc. And to what degree is the CTE? Not enough info but it's good they are studying this.


    Again though, on what evidence do you base the claim that there's not enough comparative data?

    Is that just something you're saying or is it actually based on anything?

    How much comparative data are you aware of and what would you conclude would be "enough" to make these data concerning?

    There have been tons, and tons of studies on CTE. I mean heck, the first article on what is now called CTE was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in friggin 1928, and people have been continually studying it since then. :lol:
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  • chris98251 wrote:
    RolandDeschain wrote:I strongly detest the title of this thread, and of the article itself. All the brains they studied were purposely donated for research; i.e., they were given by players who already knew they had mental problems from playing. It's like going into a cancer ward at a hospital and basing your incidence rate on that.

    I'm not downplaying CTE in any way, but damn, this is presented like 99% of NFL players get CTE and that's not even close to true...But people will pick up on it and ignorantly trumpet those numbers, contributing to the ever-growing dilemma of fake news and just inaccurate news in general.



    So you have actual positive proof that 99 percent of Pro Football players do not have CTE in anyway shape or form and degree to argue your open ended disclaimer statement.


    That isn't what he was saying. He was saying that the article was reckless in the way it presented the results of the study. People misusing information to create the narrative they want only serves to water down the actual issues. This has always been a problem, but recently it is rapidly becoming worse.

    I personally believe that it is likely that the data from study probably comes close to approximating what the article eludes to and the article does provide a single paragraph disclaimer as to what the study actually represents. The rest of the article is written with the feel that the data accurately represents football related CTE occurrence rate.
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  • For those arguing semantics of the article, I suppose it was too much work to click the links in the article which were provided to take you to the study. If you REALLY want to base your argument on the study, feel free to have a read....

    http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2645104


    It's pretty simple really, this was a study of brains donated by players from varying levels of football. It wasn't meant to be a study on how many average citizens have CTE, it was meant as a study of the effects of CTE from playing American Football.

    It's not 100% conclusive of anything, but it does bring some facts to light that were previously not known.
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  • JustTheTip wrote:That isn't what he was saying. He was saying that the article was reckless in the way it presented the results of the study. People misusing information to create the narrative they want only serves to water down the actual issues. This has always been a problem, but recently it is rapidly becoming worse.


    Yeah, but that's simply not true though. The thing he claims the article doesn't do the article actually does in its very first sentence:

    Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, known as CTE, was found in 99% of deceased NFL players' brains that were donated to scientific research,


    The only more clear you could be would be would be to also include the researchers own summaries of the potential limitations of the generalizability of their finding. But, hey, the article does precisely that too:

    The study points out potential bias because relatives of these players may have submitted their brains due to clinical symptoms they noticed while they were living. It also acknowledges the lack of a comparison group that represents all individuals exposed to college-level or professional football. Without that, the study lacks an overall estimate on the risk of participation in football and its effects on the brain.


    The critiques over the legitimacy of the reporting in this article is a complete and total nothingburger, and the fecklessness of those critiques are easily seen by actually, like, reading the article.

    Again, the researchers are either complete and total liars, or they're not. These are descriptive statistics presented in an article which notes the population under study in the first sentence, and discusses limitations from that study as specified by the researchers in the article too.

    Likewise, while we're on the topic the key claim made by Roland is false: " All the brains they studied were purposely donated for research; i.e., they were given by players who already knew they had mental problems from playing."

    This is complete and total conjecture on his part. The researchers, responsible as they are (and as reported in the article), forward the hypothesis that this may bias the material they've been given access to for study, but it should not be treated as a statement of fact. If someone has surveyed the descendants of all those who donated on the motivations and causal factors in those donations, by all means, they should show themselves, but if they haven't they should engage in definitive claims making on motivations.
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  • kidhawk wrote:It's pretty simple really, this was a study of brains donated by players from varying levels of football.


    Yep, or you could just work your way through the first 20 words of the CNN article before criticizing it, and come to the same conclusion. :2thumbs:
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  • Popeyejones wrote:uote]

    Yeah, but that's simply not true though. The thing he claims the article doesn't do the article actually does in its very first sentence:


    And, as I pointed out, provides an entire paragraph disclaimer stating the same. That doesn't excuse the rest of the article presenting opinion like it is fact. The study is good. The data from the study is good. My personal opinion is probably close to that of the person who wrote the article. The article is still, in my opinion, bad.
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  • JustTheTip wrote:
    Popeyejones wrote:uote]

    Yeah, but that's simply not true though. The thing he claims the article doesn't do the article actually does in its very first sentence:


    And, as I pointed out, provides an entire paragraph disclaimer stating the same. That doesn't excuse the rest of the article presenting opinion like it is fact. The study is good. The data from the study is good. My personal opinion is probably close to that of the person who wrote the article. The article is still, in my opinion, bad.


    The article is merely writing about the study, but it includes a link to the full study results and conclusions. If you don't want to be bothered reading what the writer at CNN has to say, then don't. The link was in the very top of the article. Go read the study conclusions yourself.

    I merely posted the CNN article as a quick reference to it as it's more mainstream. Too many people are focusing on the semantics of the article and not the study itself. Why? I have no idea.
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  • kidhawk wrote:
    JustTheTip wrote:
    Popeyejones wrote:uote]

    Yeah, but that's simply not true though. The thing he claims the article doesn't do the article actually does in its very first sentence:


    And, as I pointed out, provides an entire paragraph disclaimer stating the same. That doesn't excuse the rest of the article presenting opinion like it is fact. The study is good. The data from the study is good. My personal opinion is probably close to that of the person who wrote the article. The article is still, in my opinion, bad.


    The article is merely writing about the study, but it includes a link to the full study results and conclusions. If you don't want to be bothered reading what the writer at CNN has to say, then don't. The link was in the very top of the article. Go read the study conclusions yourself.

    I merely posted the CNN article as a quick reference to it as it's more mainstream. Too many people are focusing on the semantics of the article and not the study itself. Why? I have no idea.

    Why? Simple. It's an age old strategy. It worked for tobacco, it is working (more or less) for climate change. It's being applied here. When you don't have the facts to make the case you want, argue the 'controversy' whether it is real or not. Dispute the methods, attack the credibility of the presenters, on and on. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.
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  • kidhawk wrote:
    JustTheTip wrote:
    Popeyejones wrote:uote]

    Yeah, but that's simply not true though. The thing he claims the article doesn't do the article actually does in its very first sentence:


    And, as I pointed out, provides an entire paragraph disclaimer stating the same. That doesn't excuse the rest of the article presenting opinion like it is fact. The study is good. The data from the study is good. My personal opinion is probably close to that of the person who wrote the article. The article is still, in my opinion, bad.


    The article is merely writing about the study, but it includes a link to the full study results and conclusions. If you don't want to be bothered reading what the writer at CNN has to say, then don't. The link was in the very top of the article. Go read the study conclusions yourself.

    I merely posted the CNN article as a quick reference to it as it's more mainstream. Too many people are focusing on the semantics of the article and not the study itself. Why? I have no idea.


    I read all of it. The point Roland initially made (I believe this is the point he was trying to make), which I agree with, is that improper use of data to present opinion as fact (and not just by the media) is a problem that is rapidly becoming worse and shouldn't be accepted or ignored.
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  • sutz wrote:Why? Simple. It's an age old strategy. It worked for tobacco, it is working (more or less) for climate change. It's being applied here. When you don't have the facts to make the case you want, argue the 'controversy' whether it is real or not. Dispute the methods, attack the credibility of the presenters, on and on. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.


    I agree, but in this case the author of the article is doing what you are talking about. As I said, my opinion is probably pretty close to that of the author, so what exactly is it that you think I am denying by trying to make the point I am trying to make?

    I don't have a problem with people writing about their opinions. I wouldn't even have a problem with that article (using the data from the study to help solidify that opinion) if it was more carefully written. I am tired of watching people intentionally use data improperly. I am also tired of watching people be hypocritical about it.
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  • JustTheTip wrote:I read all of it. The point Roland initially made (I believe this is the point he was trying to make), which I agree with, is that improper use of data to present opinion as fact (and not just by the media) is a problem that is rapidly becoming worse and shouldn't be accepted or ignored.


    Which has really, nothing to do with the data presented in the study. Different people will read things and come up with varying opinions. That is what humans do. Copying the actual study word for word wouldn't get read by hardly anyone. News organizations are for profit. Readers want things like this simplified. The article does this and is written in such a manner as to draw in readers.

    Honestly, I think it's difficult for some to accept the possibility that something like this could eventually lead to the downfall of the NFL. I know I certainly don't want to see that conclusion, even if it is way off in the distant future. It's definitely easier to nit-pick how an article about it was written, but as I started the thread, I can say with full confidence that this thread was intended to discuss the actual study itself and what it may or may not mean for the future of the NFL and it's players.
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  • JustTheTip wrote:
    I don't have a problem with people writing about their opinions. I wouldn't even have a problem with that article (using the data from the study to help solidify that opinion) if it was more carefully written. I am tired of watching people intentionally use data improperly. I am also tired of watching people be hypocritical about it.


    The problem is, we aren't here to discuss how journalism may be flailing in the country. All this does is push us off the NFL aspect of this topic. This isn't the lounge, nor is it the shack or a PWR forum. This is the NFL forum. This thread should be about the study and it's effects on Football and those who play it. The stuff about journalists may have merit, but it has nothing to do with the NFL or how it relates to CTE.
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  • JustTheTip wrote: That doesn't excuse the rest of the article presenting opinion like it is fact.


    Sorry, but I'm just not seeing what you're seeing. Can you give me a few example sentences from the article in which the reporter is treating her opinion as fact?

    I'm not trolling, I'm just really curious and really don't see it.

    And sorry Kidhawk -- you're absolutely right that this discussion doesn't belong in this forum, but I really am curious. I'll delete this post on your request, if you don't want it in here. :2thumbs:
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  • kidhawk wrote:
    JustTheTip wrote:
    I don't have a problem with people writing about their opinions. I wouldn't even have a problem with that article (using the data from the study to help solidify that opinion) if it was more carefully written. I am tired of watching people intentionally use data improperly. I am also tired of watching people be hypocritical about it.


    The problem is, we aren't here to discuss how journalism may be flailing in the country. All this does is push us off the NFL aspect of this topic. This isn't the lounge, nor is it the shack or a PWR forum. This is the NFL forum. This thread should be about the study and it's effects on Football and those who play it. The stuff about journalists may have merit, but it has nothing to do with the NFL or how it relates to CTE.



    You say that, but you didn't link directly to the study results. You linked to the article, which (I would hope) opens up the validity of the presentation of data in the article to the discussion in this thread (which is what Roland did.) The follow on conversation about the misrepresentation of data in general is a byproduct of the discounting of Roland's initial assertion, which had nothing to do with the general problem outside of being a subset of it.
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  • JustTheTip wrote:
    kidhawk wrote:
    JustTheTip wrote:
    I don't have a problem with people writing about their opinions. I wouldn't even have a problem with that article (using the data from the study to help solidify that opinion) if it was more carefully written. I am tired of watching people intentionally use data improperly. I am also tired of watching people be hypocritical about it.


    The problem is, we aren't here to discuss how journalism may be flailing in the country. All this does is push us off the NFL aspect of this topic. This isn't the lounge, nor is it the shack or a PWR forum. This is the NFL forum. This thread should be about the study and it's effects on Football and those who play it. The stuff about journalists may have merit, but it has nothing to do with the NFL or how it relates to CTE.



    You say that, but you didn't link directly to the study results. You linked to the article, which (I would hope) opens up the validity of the presentation of data in the article to the discussion in this thread (which is what Roland did.) The follow on conversation about the misrepresentation of data in general is a byproduct of the discounting of Roland's initial assertion, which had nothing to do with the general problem outside of being a subset of it.


    It's simple really, by linking to the article, it gives people the ability to both read what the article says (which is much easier for a lay person to understand) while also allowing people to have access to the link within that article to get the actual study for themselves if that is something they wish to read. The majority of people on an NFL forum aren't here to read the dry read of a study, They want things in a format with which they are more comfortable. Linking the article gives both.
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  • Popeyejones wrote:
    JustTheTip wrote: That doesn't excuse the rest of the article presenting opinion like it is fact.


    Sorry, but I'm just not seeing what you're seeing. Can you give me a few example sentences from the article in which the reporter is treating her opinion as fact?

    I'm not trolling, I'm just really curious and really don't see it.

    And sorry Kidhawk -- you're absolutely right that this discussion doesn't belong in this forum, but I really am curious. I'll delete this post on your request, if you don't want it in here. :2thumbs:


    I went back and read the article again. I will admit there aren't specific sentences I can point to as examples, so it is just my interpretation of the "feel" of the article. When I read the article the first time after the sentence you pointed out and the paragraph I referred to near the top I was thinking "finally, a properly written article on a polarizing subject." When I got to the end, I was disappointed. My opinion on the article itself did not change with the second read it (outside of there being no specific examples.) But without examples, that is just my (strong) opinion (of the article itself, again my opinion on CTE in football probably comes pretty close to the author's opinion.)

    kidhawk wrote:
    It's simple really, by linking to the article, it gives people the ability to both read what the article says (which is much easier for a lay person to understand) while also allowing people to have access to the link within that article to get the actual study for themselves if that is something they wish to read. The majority of people on an NFL forum aren't here to read the dry read of a study, They want things in a format with which they are more comfortable. Linking the article gives both.


    That is why I have a problem. Too many people will just read the article and not attempt to understand the data. And not just here, in general (cnn readers.)
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  • JustTheTip wrote:That is why I have a problem. Too many people will just read the article and not attempt to understand the data. And not just here, in general (cnn readers.)


    That is perfectly fine, but discussing that, takes the subject off the topic. Those who come here and read this thread would benefit more by a discussion about the topic at hand then the merits of how journalism tilts science (or however you wish to phrase this). My point here is that I'm not arguing the merits of what you are saying, only that this isn't the place for it. We are in an NFL Forum, so let's get back to talking about the topic at hand: THE EFFECTS OF CTE ON AMERICAN FOOTBALL PLAYERS
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  • JustTheTip wrote:I went back and read the article again. I will admit there aren't specific sentences I can point to as examples, so it is just my interpretation of the "feel" of the article. When I read the article the first time after the sentence you pointed out and the paragraph I referred to near the top I was thinking "finally, a properly written article on a polarizing subject." When I got to the end, I was disappointed. My opinion on the article itself did not change with the second read it (outside of there being no specific examples.) But without examples, that is just my (strong) opinion (of the article itself, again my opinion on CTE in football probably comes pretty close to the author's opinion.)


    Ok. I'm admittedly being a jerk and putting too fine a point on it, but it really is to get us back on track.

    Think about it for a second:

    You argue for rejecting the article due to the claim that rather than relying on evidence the reporter is inserting her own feelings.

    When asked for evidence of her doing this, your response is you can't find any actual instances of her doing this and you're instead relying on your own feelings.

    Literally by the evidentiary standards which you have created in order to criticize the article (i.e. feelings in place of evidence), we should therefore reject your claims about it.

    So, as it now stands, we have had three claims made about the ethicality and veracity of the article.

    Two of them have been proven to be objectively false.

    The third has been reduced to just a feeling that even the claimant acknowledges is not supported by any presentable evidence.

    I think we can now safely get back to discussing the findings of the actual paper which is being reported on, which is squarely about CTE. ;) :2thumbs:
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  • In other news related to this story, in a PR move in 2012 the NFL announced that over the next five years it would donate 30 million dollars to federal research on CTE with absolutely zero strings attached.

    Four years and 11 months later, the money they've donated has come with strings attached that would make any professional research shudder (they get to kill any research they don't like, which is INSANE).

    To be fair this would be a bigger deal if they had actually donated even half of the money for research they claimed they would:

    http://deadspin.com/congress-calls-out- ... 1797283631

    Long story short: if you don't want to be compared to the tobacco industry, the best thing to do is to try to act a little bit less like the tobacco industry.
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  • Popeyejones wrote:In other news related to this story, in a PR move in 2012 the NFL announced that over the next five years it would donate 30 million dollars to federal research on CTE with absolutely zero strings attached.

    Four years and 11 months later, the money they've donated has come with strings attached that would make any professional research shudder (they get to kill any research they don't like, which is INSANE).

    To be fair this would be a bigger deal if they had actually donated even half of the money for research they claimed they would:

    http://deadspin.com/congress-calls-out- ... 1797283631

    Long story short: if you don't want to be compared to the tobacco industry, the best thing to do is to try to act a little bit less like the tobacco industry.


    I've been meaning to post that as well. Glad you did.

    The NFL wants to appear as if they were doing something to show they care about player health, but in reality, all they really care about is their appearance. The problem with this issue, is that there is just no way to appear to care about the players' well being without actually caring about the players' well being. So far all the NFL has shown is it cares about it's bottom line. As a business entity, I can completely understand that, but if they want to continue to be a successful business model 50 years from now, they need to be proactive about this issue.
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  • kidhawk wrote:
    The NFL wants to appear as if they were doing something to show they care about player health, but in reality, all they really care about is their appearance. The problem with this issue, is that there is just no way to appear to care about the players' well being without actually caring about the players' well being. So far all the NFL has shown is it cares about it's bottom line. As a business entity, I can completely understand that, but if they want to continue to be a successful business model 50 years from now, they need to be proactive about this issue.


    To defend the league, it's a razor's edge their walking on here with CTE.

    If they're REALLY concerned about the long term health of their players, they'd dissolve the NFL today because there's no scientific doubt that playing NFL football will shorten your lifespan. That's a fact.

    But they can't, because it's a multi billion dollar cash cow.

    So they have to continue to do things that APPEAR like they care. Less contact in pre-season, rule changes, safer equipment, stricter concussion rules, this monetary commitment to studying CTE, etc.

    So what are they REALLY suppose to do about CTE? Honestly, the only way to show their true concern is to dissolve the league or turn it into flag football.
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  • kidhawk wrote:As a business entity, I can completely understand that, but if they want to continue to be a successful business model 50 years from now, they need to be proactive about this issue.


    100% agreed except for this sentence.

    I'll give them the "business entity" pass the day they stop pretending that they're a tax-free non-profit organization. You can either acknowledge yourself as a business entity and get a pass for only caring about the bottom line, or be a tax-free non-profit organization and get your feet held to the fire for repeatedly only acting in the interest of your bottom line.
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  • Sgt. Largent wrote:
    kidhawk wrote:
    The NFL wants to appear as if they were doing something to show they care about player health, but in reality, all they really care about is their appearance. The problem with this issue, is that there is just no way to appear to care about the players' well being without actually caring about the players' well being. So far all the NFL has shown is it cares about it's bottom line. As a business entity, I can completely understand that, but if they want to continue to be a successful business model 50 years from now, they need to be proactive about this issue.


    To defend the league, it's a razor's edge their walking on here with CTE.

    If they're REALLY concerned about the long term health of their players, they'd dissolve the NFL today because there's no scientific doubt that playing NFL football will shorten your lifespan. That's a fact.

    But they can't, because it's a multi billion dollar cash cow.

    So they have to continue to do things that APPEAR like they care. Less contact in pre-season, rule changes, safer equipment, stricter concussion rules, this monetary commitment to studying CTE, etc.

    So what are they REALLY suppose to do about CTE? Honestly, the only way to show their true concern is to dissolve the league or turn it into flag football.


    What they can do, is things such as follow through on promises to donate towards researching the subject. Saying they will, then putting off fulfilling their stated obligation isn't helping anyone except themselves.
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  • kidhawk wrote:
    What they can do, is things such as follow through on promises to donate towards researching the subject. Saying they will, then putting off fulfilling their stated obligation isn't helping anyone except themselves.


    But they don't want to donate, because it means even more empirical evidence creating a slippery slope towards the demise of their golden goose.

    If we're talking even a decade ago, I'm totally with you guys. The NFL hid information, and even used deceptive practices withholding critical medical information on players because they knew about concussions.

    But IMO in the year 2017, it's 100% on the players and their families now. There's more than enough information about the effects of concussions and CTE. So they all know the risks, and can decide whether to play or not.
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  • Sgt. Largent wrote:
    kidhawk wrote:
    What they can do, is things such as follow through on promises to donate towards researching the subject. Saying they will, then putting off fulfilling their stated obligation isn't helping anyone except themselves.


    But they don't want to donate, because it means even more empirical evidence creating a slippery slope towards the demise of their golden goose.

    If we're talking even a decade ago, I'm totally with you guys. The NFL hid information, and even used deceptive practices withholding critical medical information on players because they knew about concussions.

    But IMO in the year 2017, it's 100% on the players and their families now. There's more than enough information about the effects of concussions and CTE. So they all know the risks, and can decide whether to play or not.


    If they don't want to donate then they probably shouldn't be making announcements promising millions in research dollars without strings.
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  • I like Popeye's "all or nothing" mentality. They're either completely corrupt and nefarious, or they're not. Very appropriate for today's political mindset and climate.

    YOU'RE EITHER OUR BFF OR THE ENEMY, MAKE YOUR CHOICE! WE DON'T STAND FOR ANY MIDDLE GROUND UP IN THESE PARTS!

    Also, from the study itself: "Inclusion criteria were based entirely on exposure to repetitive head trauma (eg, contact sports, military service, or domestic violence), regardless of whether symptoms manifested during life."

    I mean, I guess we could also go grab a bunch of carpenters to see if they've had increased lung exposure to sawdust, too.
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  • RolandDeschain wrote:I like Popeye's "all or nothing" mentality. They're either completely corrupt and nefarious, or they're not. Very appropriate for today's political mindset and climate.

    YOU'RE EITHER OUR BFF OR THE ENEMY, MAKE YOUR CHOICE! WE DON'T STAND FOR ANY MIDDLE GROUND UP IN THESE PARTS!

    Also, from the study itself: "Inclusion criteria were based entirely on exposure to repetitive head trauma (eg, contact sports, military service, or domestic violence), regardless of whether symptoms manifested during life."

    I mean, I guess we could also go grab a bunch of carpenters to see if they've had increased lung exposure to sawdust, too.


    The study was meant to be specifically about those who are exposed to head trauma.....that was the point. It's kind of ridiculous to pick on the reason for the study to claim it's not accurate or has some sort of bias. There are other studies out there that cover CTE generally. This study is case specific to study one possible cause/effect. This study isn't in a vacuum. You are free to go find other studies to research if you are actually interested, but this study directly relates to the NFL and that is what we are here to discuss.

    The question is, do you believe that there is a higher likelihood that NFL players will get CTE than other occupations? If so, I'd like to hear the reasons. If not, then you agree that the study has merit.
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  • RolandDeschain wrote:I like Popeye's "all or nothing" mentality. They're either completely corrupt and nefarious, or they're not. Very appropriate for today's political mindset and climate.

    YOU'RE EITHER OUR BFF OR THE ENEMY, MAKE YOUR CHOICE! WE DON'T STAND FOR ANY MIDDLE GROUND UP IN THESE PARTS!

    Also, from the study itself: "Inclusion criteria were based entirely on exposure to repetitive head trauma (eg, contact sports, military service, or domestic violence), regardless of whether symptoms manifested during life."

    I mean, I guess we could also go grab a bunch of carpenters to see if they've had increased lung exposure to sawdust, too.


    Stupid analogy, now if you said hearing loss that would be different.

    Also Kickers and Punters not having head trauma, guess you missed the hit on our Ginger a few years back, also most have not always been kickers and or punters, if they played from Jr football on they probably played other positions as well, you would have to have played the sport to understand it though, I can only imagine how many of the Gulf and Southern states drill their kids as well. I know you rarely punt in Jr High School and Pee Wee leagues also.

    Also talking Politics I thought was not allowed, that Grey Matter between your ears must have forgotten that.
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  • kidhawk wrote:The study was meant to be specifically about those who are exposed to head trauma.....that was the point. It's kind of ridiculous to pick on the reason for the study to claim it's not accurate or has some sort of bias. There are other studies out there that cover CTE generally. This study is case specific to study one possible cause/effect. This study isn't in a vacuum. You are free to go find other studies to research if you are actually interested, but this study directly relates to the NFL and that is what we are here to discuss.

    The question is, do you believe that there is a higher likelihood that NFL players will get CTE than other occupations? If so, I'd like to hear the reasons. If not, then you agree that the study has merit.

    I was bitching about the news site's portrayal of it and yours via the thread topic.

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    RolandDeschain
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  • kidhawk wrote:
    The question is, do you believe that there is a higher likelihood that NFL players will get CTE than other occupations? If so, I'd like to hear the reasons. If not, then you agree that the study has merit.


    I'd imagine the reason is because these are men that have been smashing their skulls into each other from age 8-35.

    I have no doubt CTE and concussions are a very serious issue in the NFL, I just think it's naive to think the owners and league who make billions off their sport are going to do the right thing when it comes to hard research and more importantly solutions.

    Cause like I said, the only real remedy for this is to stop playing entirely.
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  • Sgt. Largent wrote:
    kidhawk wrote:
    The question is, do you believe that there is a higher likelihood that NFL players will get CTE than other occupations? If so, I'd like to hear the reasons. If not, then you agree that the study has merit.


    I'd imagine the reason is because these are men that have been smashing their skulls into each other from age 8-35.

    I have no doubt CTE and concussions are a very serious issue in the NFL, I just think it's naive to think the owners and league who make billions off their sport are going to do the right thing when it comes to hard research and more importantly solutions.

    Cause like I said, the only real remedy for this is to stop playing entirely.


    Which, with these types of studies, people can make more informed decisions on whether or not they actually want to play. 20 years ago, when guys in the league now were starting as kids, the vast majority of the people had no clue about CTE and it's high risk from playing football. Today, we have a much better idea of what it is and are learning more all the time about how playing football can cause the risk factors to jump dramatically.

    You are correct, there is likely no way to completely eradicate CTE from being caused by hits in football without ending the game as we know it. That doesn't mean we shouldn't study it and see if there's not any way to lessen the risk, even if it's still leaving the risk extremely elevated for those who choose to play the game.

    The NFL is definitely between a rock and a hard place with this issue. They are damned if they do and damned if they don't. Of course they'll continue to get richer in the meantime.
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