Heads up: some thoughts on concussions in sports | Bleader

Heads up: some thoughts on concussions in sports



Ernest Hemingway in 1917.
So, are athletes suffering more concussions, or—to borrow an argument from the field of autism—have trainers simply gotten better at diagnosing them?

Whatever. There's a virtual epidemic of concussions these days, and no wonder—given all the pressure football has faced over the long-term effects of head injuries on the likes of the Bears' Dave Duerson.

The White Sox's Paul Konerko came down with a concussion last week, and was placed on the seven-day disabled list—newly created specifically to address head injuries.

Paulie's concussion symptoms are said to be mild, but it gives a fan pause, considering the extended time off they recently caused the Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews and the Minnesota Twins' Justin Morneau, who pretty much crashed the franchise with his long-term recovery.

You don't have to go back to football's leather-helmet days to find a completely different attitude toward concussions and head injuries—although it does bring to mind Jake Barnes's football concussion flashback, after getting beaten up by Robert Cohn in Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises (and colors Hemingway's own suicide).

No, this is one area where it pays to be safe, even with the Sox just two games ahead of the Detroit Tigers. There's nothing namby-pamby about taking care of your head—and what's inside it.