Concussions a dizzying topic

  • John Sleeper
  • Monday, October 29, 2007 6:17am
  • Life

Wrote a piece on concussions in junior major level for Monday. Thought it was important because, in my mind, we’re seeing concussions more and more. That may be the case. Players are bigger, stronger and faster, but it’s also true that teams are treating brain trauma more seriously than ever before. And that’s a good thing.

Anybody who saw Silvertip center Zack Dailey go down after a frightening collision thinks about the seriousness. There was Dailey, having taken a hit from a Spokane Chief who was nearly a foot taller and weighs 70 pounds more than Dailey, convulsing on the ice. THe good part is that it was a relatively mild concussion. He told me he had about a 10-minute memory lapse and a headache that night that was treated with painkillers. He said he was fine the next day, but still, wisely, had to go through a long series of tests for days. He missed three games.

It’s a violent game. Heavy hits are part of the game. Players understand that. Fortunately, the league is taking all this extremely seriously and manage the treatment in a vigorous manner. I felt good after having talked to players and medical personnel.

One aside: Players can be pretty sensitive about the subject. Some are reluctant to talk about it, for fear that someone may hear a player has had a concussion and may take a cheap shot on them. One Silvertip talked to me willingly about his experience with two concussions he’s had, but didn’t want me to use his name in the piece. “I don’t want to let it get around the league that I’ve had them,” he said. I can’t blame him.

I don’t usually blow my own horn, but I think it’s a good piece, worth reading. I could have written it three times as long, with all the detail I ran across, but I still think the story is effective. Enjoy.

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