Former Chicago Bear, Dave Duerson’s Brain Damage Linked to Playing in the NFL

The Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University’s School of Medicine (CSTE) has confirmed that former Chicago Bear safety, Dave Duerson, had “moderately advanced” brain damage related to head injuries suffered while playing in the National Football League.

“It’s indisputable that Duerson had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disorder linked to repeated brain trauma.” Dr. Ann McKee of CSTE said. “Duerson had classic pathology of CTE and no evidence of any other disease, and he has severe involvement of all the [brain] structures that affect things like judgment, inhibition, impulse control, mood and memory.”

CSTE is a collaboration between Boston University Medical School and the Sports Legacy Institute and has been researching sports related head trauma cases. They are also pushing for better treatment of concussions for both professional and amateur athletes.

Only 50 years old, Dave Duerson’s body was found in Sunny Isles Beach, FL, on February 17, 2011, after he shot himself in the chest. He had left a note asking that his brain be given to the NFL’s Brain Bank and it’s speculated the reason he shot himself in the chest was to preserve his brain for the Study.

Dave Duerson played his college football at Notre Dame University before being drafted in the third-round by the Bears in 1983. He played safety in the NFL for 11 seasons, seven with the Bears, and was selected to the Pro Bowls four times before he retired in 1993.

NFL Files Legal Brief with 8th Circuit.

The National Football League has filed its brief with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals which states the lockout should remain in place while they fight things out in court with the former NFL Players’ Association.

Per their 18-page brief, the NFL argues two issues.  First, the federal court lacks jurisdiction over this matter, citing the Norris-LaGuardia Act which bars federal courts from interfering in labor disputes, and second, that lifting the lockout would result in the NFL being irreparably harmed.

The absence of a stay “would irreparably harm the NFL by undercutting its labor law rights and irreversibly scrambling the eggs of player-club transactions,” the NFL wrote. “Absent a stay, there will be trades, player signings, players cut under existing contracts, and a host of other changes in employment relationships” between hundreds of players and the 32 NFL teams.”

The appeals court, consisting of the same three judges that granted the temporary stay, will decide this week whether a permanent stay should be granted until the appeals process is completed.

The players, on the other hand,  need to convince the three-judge panel that by the postponement or cancellation of free agency, offseason workouts and being barred from the team facilities, they suffer irreparable harm.

When does the UFL season begin?

The NFL’s 2011′s Mr. Irrelevant: Cheta Ozougwu!

This year’s Mr. Irrelevant, Rice University’s Cheta Ozougwu who was drafted by the Houston Texans with the 254th overall pick. Mr. Irrelevant you ask  – the name given to the last player selected in the NFL draft.

While at Rice, Ozougwu had 198 tackles (121 solo), 11 sacks, 21 solo tackles for loss, and four forced fumbles.  At the combines in February, the 6-foot-2, 247 pound defensive end numbers were solid in that he ran a 4.85 40-yard dash, hit the 225-pound bench press 26 times, and posted a 34 ½-inch vertical.  But NFL scouts describe him as a “tweener” — not big enough to be an every-down defensive end, and not explosive enough to stand out as an outside rush linebacker.

Allegedly, Mr. Irrelevant and his family will be invited to spend a week in Newport Beach, CA where they enjoy a golf tournament, a regatta, a roast giving advice to the new draftee, and a ceremony awarding him the Lowsman Trophy. (This trophy mimics the Heisman, but depicts a player fumbling a football.)

Note:  Even though I have been Irrelevant for years, this is the 24th NFL draft in a row in which I have been eligible, but not selected.  There’s always next year.

Osama Bin Got’Em

President Obama has announced that Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, was killed in a firefight during an operation inside Pakistan last week.  This ends a 10-year manhunt for the world’s “most wanted terrorist.”

Bin Laden was able to elude capture by hiding out in the mountains of Afghanistan and elsewhere, but American forces, acting on intelligence, launched a “targeted assault” that killed him.

Finally, peace for the victims and their families.