Debate On Concussions Needs Action

Two standard hockey pucks
Two standard hockey pucks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being from Canada, I am naturally a big Hockey fan. Like most, I was first exposed to the sport as a child and remember the other kids talking about, and cheering for their favorite teams. Unfortunately, my Mother being from England sent me to school in a Flyers jacket. The problem was you see, that I was born and raised in Southern Ontario, home of the beloved Toronto Maple Leafs. Of course I took some ribbing through the years, but I want you to know, that I’m still a loyal Flyers fan.  I’ve always been a fan of Hockey’s physicality, as I have been a Broad Street Bully fan some 40 years.

I think we can all remember certain stars falling to career ending injuries before our very eyes.  Concussions’ happening in the world of contact sports is inevitable. Take Sidney Crosby for example. To try to discount the possibility of concussions in the World of Sports is naive. We’ve had enough talk and studies about this subject, and now is the time for action.

As I have noted my age, I’m sure you can realize that I have seen my fair share of players having to leave the game, but only recently due to concussions. In the greater part of the 70’s and 80’s, the medical field as not as well informed about concussions as they are today, and I mainly remember numerous shoulder or “upper body” injuries that might have been concussions in all reality. We can see the resistance from some in the NHL, more notably the Head Coach of the Maple Leafs, Randy Carlyle, who believes a lot of players are having these issues due to the equipment. The opinions of those such as Coach Carlyle are being swept under the carpet. I honestly do not remember the rash of shoulder and elbow injuries that would warrant such body armor, or as I like to call it, weaponry.

The sticks and equipment for the most part have evolved, but nothing has become more dangerous to the game than the way that shoulder and elbow pads are being worn. Do we really know what is being worn under players’ jerseys these days? Goalies already have their equipment measured by the NHL, but the same does not go for the other players on the ice. In an age of no accountability, it is important that before they even lace up the skates, these players know the damage that could be caused. So please do not try to tell me about “innocent hits” or “the particular way you caught a player” and feel absolved.

In Boxing and the UFC, athletes are inspected for illegal objects and/or equipment, before they’re allowed to enter the ring. After their events take place, the fighters are asked to submit their gloves for inspection because in this day in age, there is no code of conduct or ethics. We would have never come across “loaded” boxing gloves if there wasn’t a need for regulation and I believe the same circumstances should happen in hockey, especially for defensive players. What was wrong with the older shoulder pads, that protected a player, and never had an epidemic of shoulder injuries to require titanium steel anything. Take the armor and weapons off these goons ASAP!

I challenge Gary Bettman and Brendan Shanahan to discuss this with me at their convenience. I will be forwarding this to the NHL headquarters, and as many Hockey related media outlets as I possibly can.  I will also continue my campaign until this is addressed. Enough is enough; all players should be inspected before they enter the field of battle.

Dan Russell

danrusell67@Twitter

Mayweather vs Alvarez

On September 14, 2013 the fight of the year is going to be going down. Floyd “Money” Mayweather, in his goal to fight six times in an incredible 30 months, is going to put his undefeated record up against who some consider the second best fighter in their class, a young Santos Saúl Álvarez Barragán aka Canelo Alvarez. With tickets ranging anywhere from $650 all the way up to $23,000, Las Vegas will be buzzing Mexican Independence Day Weekend with fight fans and high rollers, all wanting to see what will for sure be a fight for the ages.

English: Floyd Mayweather during a press confe...
English: Floyd Mayweather during a press conference for the fight against Victor Ortiz at the Hudson Theatre on June 28, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mayweather will be fighting Alvarez only 5 months after defeating Robert Guerrero, which is a little unheard of for fighters his age. The 36 year old legend will be taking on a 22 year old phenom (who will be 23 at the time of the fight) who dismantled Austin Trout in his last fight April 20th, handing Trout his first loss. Alvarez has fought an astounding 43 times already in his career with a record of 42 wins, 0 loses and 1 Draw. Canelo’s draw came against Jorge Juarez back in June of 2006, in what was only his 5th professional fight of his career. Though Alvarez has plenty of bouts under his belt, this will be only the fourth time in his career that he will be fighting in the city that Mayweather is based out of, and 10th time fighting in the United States. 

Floyd has a reputation with boxing fans that don’t respect him, as always trying to “duck” the big fight from a formidable opponent. When he chose Canelo as his next opponent, he made sure to mention that when he picked Alvarez to be his next fight, that he was “giving boxing fans what they want”. The flawless 44-0 career fighter is making sure that he doesn’t leave any questions on the table when he retires after these next five fights. Mayweather wants to come out undefeated as the greatest boxer of all time. I personally credit him for fighting a powerful young fighter like Alvarez sooner than later. One reason Floyd might be taking on Alvarez so soon could be that if his record does take a blemish, he’ll have a chance for a re-match before he hangs up the gloves. One thing is for sure, the Floyd haters that’ll watch this epic fight will be saying the same things about the defense oriented boxer as they do every other fight. That he’ll be running and hugging Canelo way too much.

In my opinion, I feel Floyd will come out on top once again by defensively winning the fight. If anyone can neutralize the power of Canelo Alvarez, its definitely “Money” Mayweather. The problem Floyd will be facing in Canelo, is that he does not tire out as easily as others and does not lose his “game”. Both fighters seem to get stronger as their fights go on, so it will be interesting to see how Mayweather handles this tactically as he prefers to wear down an opponent and then become more offensive. This definitely has the chance to be the biggest Pay-Per-View event in history for sure!

Article by: Chad Woodroof

Twitter: @CwickB