[size=12pt]Goodell defends NFL efforts on concussions to House committee[/size]
Posted: Wednesday October 28, 2009 10:25PM; Updated: Thursday October 29, 2009 2:40AM
WASHINGTON (AP) -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell did not acknowledge a connection between head injuries on the football field and later brain diseases while defending the league's policies on concussions before Congress on Wednesday.
That frustrated several members of the House Judiciary Committee, including the committee chairman, Michigan Democrat John Conyers, when Goodell told him the NFL isn't waiting for that debate to play out and is taking steps to make the game safer.
"I just asked you a simple question. What is the answer?" persisted Conyers.
Goodell replied by saying a medical expert could give a better answer than he could. But some House members complained later that Dr. Ira Casson, chairman of the NFL's committee on concussions, had not testified.
Generally speaking, I think Goodell (and Tagliabue and Rozelle before him) have done a good job as commissioner.
But that's crap.
A 5-year-old knows that banging your head on something hurts you.
Disagree with the sentiment.
Goodell would be irresponsible to answer a medical question publicly, particularly before congress, if the league has not taken a position based on hard research.
It's one thing to say that hitting your head hurts you, or that players get concussions.
It is another step to say that those hits are related to brain diseases that manifest years later.
Obviously the NFL suspects there is (or at least could be) a connection, or they wouldn't be doing studies and 'taking steps to make the game safer.'
I think most of us suspect this as well, and based on the article many in congress have already made up their minds.
But I'm trying to think of a good analogy and maybe this is it:
Imagine you have sex with a girl and about 9 months later she has a kid.
She tells you it's yours.
The doctor or a social worker or whatever asks you if the kid is yours.
What do you say?
It's probably yours.
Seems reasonable, everything lines up.
But do you really know that she wasn't also having sex with someone else?
Might it be better to wait for paternity test results in some cases, rather than answering what you think?
Could be that the NFL does have sufficient information and the studies are sufficiently clear that they do know there is a connection.
Then maybe the smoking industry comparison some offered in the article is correct.
But I don't know if that's true or not.