WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by Zachary McAuliffe 11.05.2013
Posted In: football at 04:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
marvin jones

Marvin Jones Emerges as a Driving Force for the Bengals

The destruction of the Jets two weeks ago by the Bengals saw not only the largest margin of victory for our football team in many years, but also the emergence of second-year wide receiver Marvin Jones. The Bengals brought Jones aboard in 2012, but not until the fifth round of the draft — much to Jones' disappointment. He assumed he was going to be drafted in the second round, and many scouts agreed, also thinking he would go in the second or third round. Looking at his college stats, it’s easy to see why.  Jones played at University of California, Berkeley, and scored 13 touchdowns throughout his four seasons with the team.  As a wide-receiver, he averaged 14.6 yards with the team with 156 receptions for a total of 2,270 yards. This includes a freshmen year when Jones only made one reception for eight yards.  With these stats, it’s no wonder he was predicted for the second round.  In his rookie season with the Bengals, though, Jones didn’t see much play time. He started in five of 11 games, but this season Jones has exploded on the scene.  When the Bengals and Jets played on Oct. 27, Jones set a franchise record of four touchdowns in a single game, with a total of 122 receiving yards.  If the Bengals had not called off the hounds with 17 minutes left in the game, it is safe to say Jones very well could have tied the record for receiving touchdowns in one game.  This record is currently held by Hall of Fame players Kellen Winslow and Jerry Rice, as well as Bob Shaw, all of whom scored five receiving touchdowns in one game.  One comparison we can draw from Jones to an active NFL wide-receiver is the Broncos’ Wes Welker.  Welker, who gained mass popularity as one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets for the Patriots, sports impressive stats with close to 10,000 career receiving yards in regular season play.  As an established receiver, Welker currently holds the most red zone touchdowns for this season at eight, followed closely by Jones’ seven in the red zone.  What really made this possible for Jones was not only his superb skill set and hands these past few weeks, but also quarterback Andy Dalton’s trust in his many receivers.  Dalton has not played favorites with receivers since the loss against the Browns where he threw the ball to A.J. Green 15 times.  Jones, in an interview with Coley Harvey for ESPN.com, said Dalton is spending extra time in film and practice with the other receivers, making the relationship between the QB and his many targets stronger than ever.  With the second half of the regular season upon us, this level of cooperation in the backfield will be vital, and if Jones’ professional career is anything like his college career, we can expect him to continue to grow and improve alongside the team. 
 
 
by Zachary McAuliffe 10.07.2013
Posted In: football at 10:53 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
league of denial book cover

Hidden History of Concussions and the NFL

New book reveals connection between football and brain injuries

A new book set for release Tuesday called League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth is set to challenge the NFL and their denial of a connection between concussions and football.  Written by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, investigative reporters for ESPN, the book claims the NFL has not only known about the connection between concussions in the NFL and long-term brain injuries for about 20 years, but the league has been actively trying to cover up these facts. The suicides of Junior Seau as well as former NFL players such as the Bears’ David Duerson and the Eagles’ Andre Waters have brought this issue to the forefront of players’ and fans’ minds. All three players are thought to have suffered severe brain damage from injuries while playing football, all of which lead to their unfortunate suicides. The NFL has claimed for years they had no knowledge of any relation between the brain injuries sustained from concussions and the deaths of professional players. Even in the face of a recent lawsuit from players, the league held firm to their stance. The league did settle the recent lawsuit out of court for $765 million, and many questions were raised asking if the league has been honest with how much they know about the possible link between concussions and football.  For a long time, concussions in the professional level of football were not seen as a big issue because no one knew of the long-term effects. Former New York Jets defensive lineman Marty Lyons talked with Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com where he described his own sideline concussion experience.  Lyons said whenever a player would come off the field, the physician would hold up some fingers, ask how many and, despite the player’s answer, the physician said, “Close enough.” A couple plays later, or even the next play, the player would find themselves on the field once again.  “That wasn’t the doctors or trainers saying, ‘You’re OK,’” Lyons said in the interview. “I’m not saying the league didn’t know, I’m not saying the players didn’t know. It was part of the game.”  According to the authors of League of Denial, the cover-up of how much the NFL knew about the connection started when the former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue created a concussion committee in 1994 to better understand the effects of concussions on players. A few members of the committee came forward in 1995 saying concussions were not “minor injuries” as previously thought. These claims were quickly hushed by the NFL.  Another claim the book makes is that around 2000, some of the country’s top neuroscientists told the NFL the big hits in football, especially those considered head-to-head, led to not only concussions, but also what is known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Some of the symptoms of CTE are higher rates of depression, dementia, memory loss and brain damage. The NFL, rather than publishing these findings and telling players of the potential harm, made no such effort and tried to ignore the facts. Then in 2005, the authors report the NFL tried to persuade a medical journal to retract articles and findings on concussions and their effects on individuals. The journal in question refused and the findings continued to circulate without interference.  The authors spoke with Dr. Ann McKee, a former assistant professor of neuropathology at Harvard Medical School and one of the leading professionals on the link between football and brain damage, who said of the 54 harvested brains of deceased NFL players, only two did not have CTE. However, all of these findings are not just exclusive to professional football. Youth, high school and college football players are also at a high risk for concussions.  A report from 2007 titled “Concussions Among United States High School and Collegiate Athletes,” found that about 300,000 people aged 15 to 24 suffered traumatic brain injuries every year from contact sports. This number is only second to brain injuries sustained from motor vehicle accidents.  This same study also found of the total number of concussions from other collegiate sports, including boys’ and girls’ soccer and basketball, football was responsible for more than 40 percent of the concussions. Concussions in high school sports have even led to the death of young athletes. Jaquan Waller and Matthew Gfeller are two football players who died in North Carolina after head injuries sustained during high school games this season. A study from the University of Pittsburgh found that over the past decade, 30-40 high school football players have died from concussions, and the likelihood of contact sport athletes to receive a concussion is 19 percent.  Changes are coming to the NFL, however, most notably in the minds of players. Bengals’ cornerback Brandon Ghee received two concussions in back-to-back preseason games against the Falcons and Titans. Ghee was forced to take a five-week break from contact because of these injuries.  In an interview with The Enquirer, Ghee said if it weren’t for the recent deaths and lawsuit, he would have wanted to go back to play immediately. Now though, he’s not so sure. “After the second one you have to think about your kids and family,” Ghee said in the interview. “You don’t want any long-lasting issues.”
 
 

Worst Week Ever!: Sept. 12-17

2 Comments · Wednesday, September 18, 2013
FRIDAY SEPT. 13: Ohio is a great state with a lot of smart people in it, but somehow it seems like the dumbest people in it end up in really important positions. Take Debe Tehrar, the president of the Ohio School Board.    

UC’s Return to Conference USA Days

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The Big East is officially a mid-major. Not that it’s a surprise, but the agreement on a TV deal with ESPN for $130 million over seven years seals it.  

UC Football Coach Tommy Tuberville Settles In

0 Comments · Wednesday, February 13, 2013
The success or failure of any college football program starts with recruiting, which is why we see the coaching turnover in the sport start before the final games are played.  

All Part of the Game

Ruling against former Bengals players illustrates the next step in NFL concussion saga

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 23, 2013
As America spends the next two weeks readying for its largest annual sporting event, the spectacle, hype and excitement of the Super Bowl will undoubtedly overshadow the toll our enjoyment takes on the players on the field.   

Bengals Head Into the Playoffs Unconcerned About the Past

0 Comments · Thursday, January 3, 2013
Orson Charles had no idea that the Bengals hadn’t won a playoff game in his lifetime. Yet, it’s true. The Bengals rookie tight end was born Jan. 27, 1991 — just three weeks after the team’s 10-7 victory over the Houston Oilers on Jan. 6, the franchise’s last playoff victory.    

Losers No More: 2012 in Cincinnati Sports

0 Comments · Thursday, December 27, 2012
For too long the denizens of our fair city have identified themselves as losers because of the struggles of our professional sports teams, but perhaps we turned a corner in 2012.   

Ending a Love Affair With Football

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 12, 2012
A funny thing happened to me during the first full weekend of football — or didn’t happen to me. I just didn’t care.   

Seau’s Death Demonstrates Conflicted Reality of Football

0 Comments · Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Last week, former San Diego Charger and New England Patriot Junior Seau, a future Hall of Famer, committed suicide. Like former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson, the 42-year-old Seau shot himself in the chest. Last February, before shooting himself, Duerson sent a text to several family members.  

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