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Head Games Trailer: Because I Needed One More Thing To Worry About

By TK | Trailers | August 27, 2012 | Comments ()


otl_e_concussion_ill_b1_576.jpg

Shortly after our kid was born, Mrs. TK proclaimed that Wee TK wouldn't be allowed to play football when he gets older. I thought that was a mite silly at first -- I never played football myself, but I played lacrosse (badly) and never thought twice about kids playing contact sports.

Of course, if you follow professional sports, you know that there's a dangerous and rather terrifying epidemic of head injuries coming to light. Head Games seeks to shed some light on the whole affair -- the injuries, the trauma, the lasting effects -- that are sometimes leaving athletes both pro and amateur damaged, crippled and, sadly, dead. And before you start thinking that it's a fluff piece or an overly dramatic take on the subject, you should know that it's directed by Steve James, director of Hoop Dreams and No Crossover, two of the best sports documentaries I've ever seen.

Take a look at the trailer:

Head Games comes out On Demand on September 21st.



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  • Steve Ward

    Glad to see professional wrestling featured in this, as well as Chris Nowinski, who has dedicated his life to this cause. It's easy to overlook that fake sport, even though they fall a dozen or more times a night, at least four times a week, every single week of the year.

  • ee

    I think we should also discontinue letting kids play some of these sports so young. The end shot is a kid so small the helmet is comical. Reduce some of the constant repetition/risk from such a young age, and maybe the damage is at least lessened over the course of people's lives.

  • Bert_McGurt

    I can't help but think that the epidemic of traumatic head injuries is becoming more prevalent in football in part BECAUSE of all the padding players wear these days. It's much more acceptable to lead a tackle with your head than it is in nearly every other sport. Not to mention the effect of helmet-to-helmet hits. Or that of a stock-still QB being flattened by a 250-pound D-Lineman at full speed.
    Granted, I never played football either, but I did play hockey and rugby, quite possibly the contactiest of all contact sports. I somehow escaped with only one (what I think was a) concussion, in a rugby game, which was due to a knee directly in that spot where your nose meets your forehead. Still, it seemed that head injuries of that sort were much less prevalent in the nearly padding-free rugby pitch compared to the heavily-armoured ice rink. Hockey teammates of mine seemed to sit out far more often due to head injuries than rugby teammates.

  • Groundloop

    I played football and rugby through middle and high school, and I'd have to agree. I saw (and experienced) far more injuries, and more serious injuries playing football than rugby. Now, 25+ years later I have shredded knees, scoliosis and completely degenerated discs in the lumbar spine area, and arthritis and nerve damage in my left shoulder, most of which I can trace to one particularly brutal football game. I consider myself lucky that I managed to avoid any head injuries.

  • TK

    I've heard it said that the reason for the disparity in injuries between rugby and football is that rugby is a contact sport, while football is a collision sport. It's an apt distinction.

  • Bert_McGurt

    A very good point. It's not that there AREN'T injuries in rugby, it's just that they tend towards dislocations, contusions, and sprains. The severity is much less than those in football, on the whole.

  • Fredo

    TBF, it's not just football. Just about every sport carries intrinsic danger of damage to the head. Soccer (which is often ridiculed in the US for not being as physical as our football) has a danger of brain trauma as well -- from all those times they use their head to hit the ball. Just recently a family won a major lawsuit against an aluminum bat maker because they proved that the aluminum bat sped the line drive that hit their son on his chest and caused cardiac arrest (depriving him of O2 to the brain for almost 20 minutes) which led to permanent brain damage.

    Any activity you spend doing hundreds of times where you can collide with another fast moving object/human being carries a level of danger regardless of what we think of it.

  • tmoney

    I teach high school and I have several students who have been told that they are "allowed" one more concussion before they will be benched for the season. This mentality is disturbing on several levels, the least of which is that my husband and several of his college fb teammates suffer from afflictions that only former pro players use to experience.

    I don't have any solutions, but I hope there is recognition of the work it takes for kids to even be able to play these rough and tumble games.

  • Miss Laaw-yuhr

    Not just the injuries tmoney, but growing up in Texas, I've been continually appalled how many high school kids actually die each year from practices in the extreme heat (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/h.... Six kids in 2011 is a huge number. I think an increased focus on exercising good judgment and caution in terms of injuries and conditions (e.g. heat) would be an excellent start.

  • ,

    This.

    Used to be, every time someone died in a boxing ring, there would be a huge hue and cry to ban boxing. But every year a dozen kids drop dead on football fields and no one blinks an eye. Or better yet, kid gets paralyzed on a football field and three months later they roll him out in a wheelchair and he's a big hero.

    I don't hear much of the "ban boxing" talk anymore, though, so I guess the fans of both sports can claim victory: Continuing head trauma wins.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    It is frightening how competitive sports has become. If I had kids I would encourage them to play guitar.

  • ,

    Why not golf or tennis?

    Football is now where the cigarette industry was in the 1960s. My solution is to go back to leather helmets without facemasks, strip away much of the armor and turn the game into something more like rugby. It's still tough and physical, but you'd see way fewer high-impact collisions. Plus, as I understand it, the real damage comes not from the big hits, which are bad enough, but from the everyday bingbingbingbing of helmet-to-helmet in practice. Cut all that shit out. Then we'll see how many fans there are of sport, and how many people just liked getting blackout drunk at tailgating eight times a year.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    You can play guitar forever, well... until arthritis. And you can smoke and drink while playing. It is the best of all worlds.

  • ,

    Ever hear of the Seniors Tour in golf and the Masters tournaments in tennis?

    BTW, I'm sorry for what so many ex-football players are suffering through now, but I'll be pretty happy if the arrogant as all fuck NFL gets taken down a peg or two. A multibillion-dollar settlement didn't kill the cigarette industry and it won't kill the NFL, but it might help some of these guys who are 50 years old and don't know who the fuck they are.

    "The other team's quarterback must go down, and he must go down hard." -- Al Davis, used by Sports Illustrated to sell subscriptions along with "The NFL's Hardest Hits" videos.

  • Bert_McGurt

    And if your'e particularly adept, you can even store your lit cigarette in your guitar strings! Talk about multitasking.

  • And to bring it all together with a big ole bow, I used to play hockey with a guy who smoked while he skated. One hand on the stick and the other on the cigarette. The worst part is that he still outskated all of us. He was actively hindering his own ability to process oxygen and he still played better than everyone else on the rink.

    No lie. The dude even drank old milwaukee during games. I know because he gave me a can to serve as an ice pack after I took a stick to the eye.

  • I nearly played college ball, and am so glad I chose not to do so. Football in today's era reminds me of the robot football on the Jetson's way back in my youth. They smash into each other until they break, and the broken ones are swept up and carted off to be replaced by another. The game offers so little concern for the athlete. We have dehumanized the game and are finding out that all that armor provides a delusion of safety. Still, we've had gladiators throughout human history, in one form or other, and we will continue to sacrifice strong, able men (and women too) for our primal bloodlust.

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