As the Super Bowl draws near, the books on this reading list challenge us to take critical look at football and the brain trauma many players have experienced …
I used to be a big football fan, often spending large chunks of my Sundays enjoying NFL games. But the more I heard and read about brain injuries and trauma, the less enthused I was about the sport. Today I rarely watch a full game, and have mostly lost interest in the sport.
Here’s some excellent books that present the research on brain injuries and tell the stories of former football players:
Concussions and Our Kids: America’s Leading Expert on How to Protect Young Athletes and Keep Sports Safe
Robert Cantu. M.D.
From Washington to Quebec, from offices at the NFL to the New York Times, from the NHL players union to the soccer fields of Anytown, U.S.A., people are talking about concussions. Long believed by experts to be a silent epidemic, concussions are fast becoming the most dominating and important issue in all of sports. At the center of this crisis—and one of the key reasons for this increased awareness—is Dr. Robert Cantu, the country’s leading expert on athletic brain trauma and a pioneer in the study of the link between concussions and progressive brain disease in athletes. He has treated thousands of patients who have experienced brain trauma, from high-profile professional athletes to peewees, including young boys and girls who play soccer, football, lacrosse, hockey, and other sports. And he is on the frontlines of groundbreaking research that is changing the way sports are played.
Concussions and Our Kids is the first prescriptive book of its kind to address the issue of head trauma in sports and provide preventive solutions to protect athletes and give guidelines for the way sports can be played safely. Dr. Cantu and sports journalist Mark Hyman have crafted a book that is part manifesto, part manual, explaining to parents and coaches what head trauma is, why it has become a focus of national attention, and why some practices in youth sports must change. They also outline the measures we can take to protect our children. Readers will learn:
• The signs and symptoms of a concussion
• Three concussion tests parents can give at home
• Concussions and what “rest” really means
• How concussions improperly treated can develop into post-concussion syndrome
• Why total brain trauma (not just the number of concussions) is a risk factor for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE)
• Why helmets are no guarantee of safety
• Why concussions are prevalent in all sports, not just football and hockey
Addressing what sportswriter Bill Simmons calls “the single most important issue in sports today,” this book is essential reading for parents, coaches, players, and all those interested in young athletes, their safety, and their future well-being.