Posts Tagged ‘concussions’

Brett Favre is the NFL’s iron man, having started a record 321 games in a row during his 20-year career.

But, with the concern surrounding Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and concussions growing, Favre admitted in a recent CNN interview that he’s worried by what the future holds for his health after a career of physical punishment.

“I’m able to function the way I so choose, at least up to this point,” Favre said, according to Tully Corcoran of thebiglead.com. “I stay active. … Tomorrow may be totally different. Tomorrow I may not remember who I am, I may not know where I live, and that’s the frightening thing for us football players.”

Favre also said he won’t push for his grandchildren to following his sporting footsteps.

“I’m not going to encourage him to play football,” Favre said regarding the oldest grandchild, who is eight. “I’m not saying I would discourage him, but I would be cringing every time I saw my grandson get tackled, because I know, physically, what’s at stake.”

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There has been speculation on Daniel Bryan possibly returning to the ring as a surprise entrant in the WWE Royal Rumble match on Sunday but The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that Bryan has not been cleared to wrestle as of earlier this week and that is not expected to change this week.

There has also been speculation on Bryan somehow being involved in the Rumble and winning without taking a bump, but there’s no word yet on if that will be the direction they go in.

Bryan recently appeared on Peter Rosenberg’s podcast and revealed that he will not continue working as SmackDown GM when his contract expires later this year if WWE doctors do not clear him.

“If I get a bad test somewhere along the line, I won’t wrestle,” Bryan said. “But I also, will probably, when my contract is up, I’d probably, if I’m still General Manager at that point, I’d probably step away from that part of it because just being around it, I love it a little too much and I need to transition. I need to get this focused because I’m very good at focusing on one thing, right? But then, I need to switch that laser focus to something else like saving the starving polar bears. So yeah, assuming everything continues as it has been going, when my [WWE] contract is up I would wrestle elsewhere if WWE would not clear me.”

Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter

As noted, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon took questions at the Television Critics Association Winter Tour event in California on Tuesday.

The Wrap asked Triple H if there’s some sort of exception in WWE’s strict policy that might allow SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan to return to the ring. Triple H said:

“There can be no exception medically,” Triple H said. “If the belief is that he’s not healthy enough and there’s a risk [for him] to perform, then I don’t know why you’d allow him to step into the ring unless it can be proven otherwise. There will be no exceptions. We have some of the best medical people in the world that work for us. Our wellness policy, our concussion programming, our protocols — I’ll put them up there against any on the planet.

“That is a new science in a way, too. So we’re gonna look at it from all aspects, but the medical experts will make the determination as to whether he can ever step into that ring or not. Look, personally for him, I know it would be something he would love to do, and part of me feels like I hope he has that opportunity. But at the same point in time, he’s married and has a child. Certainly, [we put] the human being first.”

Bryan has not wrestled since April of 2015. He announced his retirement in February of 2016, but has since said that he plans to wrestle again this year unless doctors advice him otherwise. His WWE contract expires in September.

Brett Favre won’t stop his grandsons from playing football, but admits he’d be relieved to see them choose another sport.

The former Green Bay Packers quarterback appeared on CBS Sports’ “Pick Six” podcast ahead of the release of the documentary he helped produce, “Shocked: A Hidden Factor in the Sports Concussion Crisis,” which sheds light on head-to-turf collisions and what can be done to fix the issue.

“I have three grandsons – and people may wonder why a retired player would be so adamant about concussions and making the environment safer – I don’t know if they’ll play football. They’re 8 (years), 3 (years) and several months old,” Favre said.

“What little bit I know now – and it’s more than when I played – concussions (are) not good. And definitely not for a youth. And so, there is something out there that can make the environment safer, aside from helmets, and that is the surface. I think you have to look at the surface as an equal if not more important than the equipment you wear.”

Asked what direction he’d push them in, Favre said he’d prefer they take a “safer route” like golf.

“I’m not going to encourage them to play. I’m not going to discourage (them),” he said. “But I say this to everyone who will listen: If my grandsons were to say … ‘Will you be my caddy in golf? I think I’m going to do golf instead of football,’ I would be much more happy, satisfied, and excited by that then by them playing football.”

Current WWE SmackDown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan recently spoke with radio personality and pro wrestling enthusiast Peter Rosenberg about Bryan’s present medical status, his frustrations over being cleared by various healthcare professionals and still not being allowed to return to a WWE ring, the support of his wife, Brie, and whether his in-ring return is inevitable.

According to Bryan, he is still not cleared to wrestle by WWE, supposedly on account of WWE’s position that Bryan has had too many concussions.

“Oh, so I’ve had too many concussions [according to WWE].”

Bryan said, “they have outright said, ‘no, you’re wrestling again.’ Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’re still at the ‘no you’re not wrestling again’ part of that conversation. But I have presented them with my case, which is a lot of testing and that kind of stuff that shows, ‘hey, I’m fine.’ And so, it’s interesting.”

Apparently, Bryan was cleared by the specialists at UCLA who WWE sent him to see; however, WWE is still not clearing the former world champion.

“I’ve worked with some of the best people in the country. I’ve been cleared by specialists at UCLA that I did not choose, right? WWE sent them to me because they’re the best. A whole team of people who work with concussions on a daily basis and they said to me, ‘you are fine to wrestle.’ And we’re also at this stage where all my brain EEGs, my MRIs, my neuropsychological tests [have been positive].”

In Bryan’s view, in his current role, he can only do the stuff he does not like in pro wrestling such as traveling and cutting promos.

“I love [professional] wrestling, but I don’t love all of it, right? The hard part of wrestling is the travel and going here and there and being away from your family. The part that I love is being in the ring and wrestling. Yeah, being in there and doing it. So now, I’ve got the job that’s the part of wrestling that I don’t like.”

Bryan continued, “I am very appreciative of WWE giving me this something to do, but I think some people still think, ‘oh, you’re in wrestling still and you’re getting a pay check – you should be happy.'”

Also during the interview, Bryan shared that Brie is very supportive of him wrestling again.

“So Brie, and you’d think that this would be the opposite, she’s fully supportive of me wrestling again and one of the reasons why is she has been in some of these doctors meetings with the doctors that cleared me.”

Bryan admitted that he did not inform WWE about experiencing post-concussion seizures until years after his final seizure.

“I also had post-concussion seizures and I had hidden that. And WWE is not wrong in this. One of the things that was bad about what I had done myself is that I hid things from the doctors, so if your doctors can’t trust you, this is another thing about high school kids and college kids and all that kind of stuff if they get concussions, if you start hiding things from your doctors because you’re afraid of what will happen to you, that is not good for you in the long run and that breeds this situation of mistrust.”

Bryan explained, “I didn’t tell WWE [about the seizures] until my last concussion in 2015 and I hadn’t had a seizure since 2012, but I never told them that I had any seizures.”

Interestingly, Bryan noted that Brie saw him have a seizure firsthand when they first started dating and he begged her to keep it secret.

“Brie was there for one of them and it was when we had first started dating, like, we had just started dating, and we were in the hotel room and I had a concussion that night and we were in bed and I started having the seizure, and Brie was there for that and she saw it. And then, like, you have to understand that we were in this really weird situation where it’s like we had only been dating for, like, two months and she wasn’t even my girlfriend yet. We were just kind of seeing each other. And I begged her, I said, ‘please don’t tell anyone about this.’ She didn’t tell anybody. She has a twin sister – she didn’t even tell her twin sister that like, ‘hey, Bryan has this thing.'”

Bryan explained that when he was initially forced to retire, he accepted that he would not be able to perform in the squared circle any longer and it was not until he was around WWE again as SmackDown GM that his desire to wrestle again grew.

“I’m somebody that if they found something wrong with my brain, I don’t want to wrestle because I’m okay with not wrestling. The hard part for me is having all these specialists that told me I’m cleared to wrestle and then I am not able to wrestle. That’s the hard part, right, because it’s still this passion. It was interesting because when I retired, I made peace with it, right?”

Bryan continued, “for a while, I was like, ‘okay, it’s going to be okay. Whatever.’ But then, it gets to a point where you’re like, ‘wait a minute, not only can I do this, but I feel like [sighs] it almost feels like I’m doing a disservice to me and a disservice to other people who are going to be in my situation.”

Bryan claimed that he has not been cleared by WWE because the company is trying to protect him and itself, though he wondered how many current WWE performers would be able perform as well as he has with respect to concussion testing.

“If you look at some of the people who perform now, and so, this is one of my things too. And so I also need to say this because it comes across as ‘argh, WWE!’, but that is not the case at all. WWE is trying to protect me, right? And they’re also trying to protect their company, but I don’t know how many people on the roster, just in total, if you had them do all the brain testing that I’ve done that their tests would be as good as mine.”

Finally, Bryan divulged that he will not continue on in his role as SmackDown GM if he is not cleared to return to the ring by the time his current WWE deal expires. In such a turn of events, ‘The World’s Toughest Vegan’ will seek out greener pastures for an in-ring return.

“If I get a bad test somewhere along the line, I won’t wrestle. But I also, will probably, when my contract is up, I’d probably, if I’m still General Manager at that point, I’d probably step away from that part of it because just being around it, I love it a little too much and I need to transition. I need to get this focused because I’m very good at focusing on one thing, right? But then, I need to switch that laser focus to something else like saving the starving polar bears. So yeah, assuming everything continues as it has been going, when my [WWE] contract is up I would wrestle elsewhere if WWE would not clear me.”

Former Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson believes he’s living with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) – the degenerative brain disease found in many ex-football players.

Johnson chronicled several behavioral abnormalities he’s experienced over the last number of years to The Washington Post’s Kent Babb, which convinced him he has the condition. CTE can only be diagnosed after death, though researchers are looking for a way to detect it earlier.

In one story, Johnson said he sometimes gets an urge to jump off the rooftop deck of an apartment building. Johnson also said he gets frequent headaches, is triggered by bright lights or noise, and is struggling with a deteriorating memory, among other issues.

Johnson, 38, played eight years in the NFL, most of them for the Chiefs, with whom he was a two-time Pro Bowler. He played his last game in 2011 as a member of the Miami Dolphins.

Former WWE Superstar Rob Van Dam remains sporadically active on the independent circuit, even at 46 years old, but you won’t see the popular star back on Raw or SmackDown anytime soon.

According to TheBlast.com, a “visual impairment” caused by a concussion suffered in November 2016 has “disqualified [me] from working for WWE,” as per the terms outlined in the company’s Concussion Management Program protocol. The claims were made in papers filed as part of RVD’s ongoing divorce proceedings.

The former WWE and ECW Champion suffered the affliction while wrestling Pentagon Jr. for England’s Preston City Wrestling. It saw the veteran fly out of the ring and use a steel chair, with RVD taking a couple of big bumps throughout, though he was competing again by December.

Now in his 27th year in the business, Van Dam claims he has “aged out” of wrestling partly because of his inability to rejoin WWE, which has “substantially reduced” his income. He last worked for the company back in August 2014, but has fulfilled a number of independent dates in 2017, including a featured spot at ICW’s flagship Fear & Loathing event last month.