Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Dustin.Fink Dustin Fink

In a time when I truly feel strongly that we should collaborate rather than look down noses’ at other peoples work and words within the concussion realm there seems to be none of that with a recent report from TSN, Canada.  Although I did get a chance to read, I really didn’t have the perspective that, say, a Canadian would.  Insert Terry Ott, who has penned some very interesting articles here, in regards to concussion coverage and information — particularly in Canadian Football — from north of the border.

I believe Mr. Ott presented a very fair summation of the information provided — mainly the Tator quote — via TSN.  It has been very interesting to see how different places handle the concussion issue, from North America to Europe to Australia.  For the most part it mainly has to do with the “biggest ^!” in the room.  Which is not always the best way to accomplish the same overall goal: tackling the concussion issue — head on!  (see what I did there?)

Remember, “None of us is as smart as all of us.” -Japanese Proverb

Now for Terry

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TSN CANADA REPORT DEMONSTRATES DIFFERENT NORTH/SOUTH CONCUSSION PERSPECTIVES

HAMILTON

Dec. 6. 2014

TERRY OTT

In Canada, The Concussion Blog has come an awfully long way in the past 18 months.

Prior to its ongoing addressing of the concussion crisis in the Canadian Football League the site was definitely for seekers of specificity of brain injury and prevention, but certainly not pertaining to the CFL. Canuck readers were limited.

And now, Canadian-based The Sports Network (TSN) which previously had cast a rather jaded TV and radio eye on the Arland Bruce concussion lawsuit now seems to be seriously pursuing the story with a Dec. 3 piece by Rick Westhead on their Website:Westhead: Bruce lawsuit claims CFL should have offered helmet to monitor for concussions

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When interviewed by Westhead about the rather curiously titled and limited participant (6) “Absence of CTE” 2013 study by Dr. Tator and colleagues which was written about extensively earlier this year on this Blog, what had reportedly been a sort of BU/Toronto researcher gentleman’s agreement to not rock the communal scientific boat led unexpectedly to a rather interesting statement by Tator.

“They (Harvard) must have had a crystal ball in 1952,” Tator said in an interview with TSN. “(The recommendation) certainly would not have been based on any science. It would have been a wild guess. Someone picked that out of a hat…”

Perhaps in an interesting amalgam of metaphor a hat or crystal ball, but maybe also picked from witnessing the damage done as the concussion incidents escalated for any particular player in a sort of best practices for the time or even just a common sense pronouncement and through the 50s and 60s knowledge of the seriousness of concussions increased rapidly and certainly not just “out of a hat.” Or even a crystal ball, if in fact they could be consulted for football matters.

Obviously, healthy discussion within the medical and research community regarding a disease as severe as CTE should always be subject to vigorous debate and even at times disorderly dispute. Dr. Tator repeatedly states that “extreme caution” must be exercised in diagnosing CTE, whilst the BU CTE center seems to have gone well past being CTE “cautious.”

Yet when there seems to be a current movement to get all concussion prevention and treatment interested parties on the same page, Dr. Tator’s singling out of BU’s public relations methods, and his rather flippant disregard for Harvard University’s 1952 concussion recommendations would appear to be a step backwards as far as finding consensus on the concussion problem which is fast becoming a significant public health concern and danger to the sustainability of tackle football at all levels.

The BU CTE Center was unavailable to comment on Dr. Tator’s comments for this article.