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Hasselbeck, other Seahawks take part in health study

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  • Some Seattle Seahawks legends are part of a massive study of former NFL football players quietly underway at Harvard University.

    “There was a lot that was attractive about the player’s study at Harvard. I think one of the things for me is that it was the whole body, whole person,” said former quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who led the Seahawks to the Superbowl in 2006.


    Hasselbeck is one of nearly 4,000 NFL players under examination by Harvard physicians, neurologists, cardiologists and other medical experts.

    The research director of the Football Players Health Study at Harvard University says the seven-year study is the largest of its kind of professional football players.

    Dr. Alvaro Pascual-Leone says the goal is to identify the effects of playing football “by developing ways to diagnose earlier, treat more effectively and ultimately prevent the consequences that may come from a career in professional football.”

    “I think what I appreciate about this study is that it’s not (just) a concussion study,” Hasselbeck said when he met with KING 5 on Harvard’s campus in early January. “It’s a holistic study and we’re learning all kinds of stuff,” he said.


    Participation in the study is confidential, but KING 5 is aware of at least a half-dozen former Seahawks who are taking part, including Hasselbeck, Eugene Robinson (free safety, 1985-1995), Jordan Babineaux (safety, 2004-2010), Ricardo Lockette (wide receiver, 2013-2015), Isaiah Kacyvenski (linebacker, 2000-2006) and Harper LeBel (tight end, 1989).


    Kind of a long article. But the rest is here:
    http://www.king5.com/article/news/healt ... e=facebook
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  • I like this kind of thing. Sure, everybody has heard about the concussion studies lately, but many players can hardly walk a few years after they retire. Arthritis and other musculo-skeletor ailments are just as real, and maybe even more prevalent than just TBI.

    I know some folks are screaming "They're ruining the game!" but the long term health effects are real, and football needs to address them.
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  • While it is easy to be sympathetic to these players who have retired from playing football it does need to be remembered they are modern gladiators who are well paid to put their bodies in harms way. They all have voluntarily assumed the risks of these injuries for the ability to be paid exceptionally large sums of money.

    They alone have the responsibility for themselves as long as they are are protected from injury that is intentionally or recklessly visited upon them. There is little doubt that as a whole we all have hardly any real idea of hoewseriously messed up many ex-players are from the pounding they took as players.

    I know my above sounds cold and studies like the Harvard comprehensive study at least allows the players collectively to understand their risks.
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  • Exactly.

    If nothing else is provides more understanding, and that can never be a bad thing.
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  • sutz wrote:I like this kind of thing. Sure, everybody has heard about the concussion studies lately, but many players can hardly walk a few years after they retire. Arthritis and other musculo-skeletor ailments are just as real, and maybe even more prevalent than just TBI.

    I know some folks are screaming "They're ruining the game!" but the long term health effects are real, and football needs to address them.


    So true. Played a charity golf tourney with a former Seahawks lineman (who also played for a couple other teams) about six years ago. He wasn't an old man in years by any means but wobbled around the putting greens, had poor balance on the tee box, it was sad to watch. His knees and one hip were shot and he said his lower back was giving him lots of trouble too. He got winded walking from the cart to the tee box. Had a great attitude about it, though. Laughing the whole day. His forearms were about the size of my thigh but consistently outdrove him by 30-40 yards. He just didn't have any timing/balance because his wheels were so messed up.

    I asked him if he had to do it over would he not play in the NFL. Without hesitating he said hell no. He'd never give up those years. He did say the retirement system for league players sucked big time. I'm not sure if it's any better now.

    I think the league needs to up the longterm medical coverage for these guys because most of them really need it.
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  • jammerhawk wrote:While it is easy to be sympathetic to these players who have retired from playing football it does need to be remembered they are modern gladiators who are well paid to put their bodies in harms way. They all have voluntarily assumed the risks of these injuries for the ability to be paid exceptionally large sums of money.

    They alone have the responsibility for themselves as long as they are are protected from injury that is intentionally or recklessly visited upon them. There is little doubt that as a whole we all have hardly any real idea of hoewseriously messed up many ex-players are from the pounding they took as players.

    I know my above sounds cold and studies like the Harvard comprehensive study at least allows the players collectively to understand their risks.


    Agreed. Nobody forces them to play. Make the game as safe as you can, but these guys are just so much bigger and faster than players used to be that there isn't any possible way to make the game risk-free.
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  • I wish somebody would do that for my job
    I'm a contractor that does his own work and go through a lot to make it happen and a lot of preventive maintenance is part of the game and I don't make anything near what these guy do
    The difference is that I'm a lot older and had to do this or not feed my family and realized that this was beyond kickin my ass in almost every physical way imaginable .
    They need a serious waiver cuz nobody can do this kinda stuff and not feel the effects later in life
    It's impossible
    For me I just bought a new Heated , massaging , cooled cupholders and reclining sectional
    I think I can write it off too , but you have to take care of yourself like your some piece of fine art and I'm not that kinda person but I get that if I don't I won't be waliking sometime in my late 60s ' so ya they need to let these guys know what they were in for
    I stay in this because I'm doin Ok and at this point in time changing from what I do isn't the best way , however changing the way things get done turns out to be a far better option
    I hope the NFL and the players can come to an equally advantageous agreement and not screw the hell up the game that is football
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  • jammerhawk wrote:While it is easy to be sympathetic to these players who have retired from playing football it does need to be remembered they are modern gladiators who are well paid to put their bodies in harms way. They all have voluntarily assumed the risks of these injuries for the ability to be paid exceptionally large sums of money.

    They alone have the responsibility for themselves as long as they are are protected from injury that is intentionally or recklessly visited upon them. There is little doubt that as a whole we all have hardly any real idea of hoewseriously messed up many ex-players are from the pounding they took as players.

    I know my above sounds cold and studies like the Harvard comprehensive study at least allows the players collectively to understand their risks.


    If you're talking about today's players, yes they are now well informed and fully understand the risks of playing football.

    But IMO you're not being fair or even accurate for prior generations of players, especially going back prior to the 90's. There was not accurate information on the health risks, and even some negligence on the league and team's part on the severity of CTE data.

    Yes those players knew they were playing a physical game that had long term ramifications on their bodies. But they had nowhere near the accurate data that today's players have to make an informed decision about playing football or not..........and like I said there's evidence that the league and owners even hid some of the data, or at the very least weren't as forthcoming as they should have been with those early CTE studies.
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  • Not even CTE, look at how they doped players to play, ask Kenny Easley.
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