The Rest of the Story

Isn’t it odd how the bigger story sometimes just sits inside a small story?

One reason why I’ve maintained my subscription to Business Week Magazine for so many years is because just that seems to happen so regularly over there.

You won’t hear about this during Super Bowl Weekend, but the National Football League is battling charges that it isn’t doing enough to protect players from concussions. After a player gets banged on the head, the team doctor asks him some questions and watches him for a few minutes. Barring any major concerns, he often sends the player right back onto the field. But recent studies suggest that the odds of long-term damage skyrocket if the player suffers another concussion before the brain has healed. This is also a growing concern in high school and college sports, where athletes often shake off hard hits to rush back into the game.

A startup called BrainScope is developing a tool that may help inform doctors about which injured players should stay on the sidelines—or be taken to a hospital.BrainScope is attracting attention beyond the gridiron. It is also in talks with the U.S. Army, which it says plans to look into the technology later this year. The Pentagon estimates that 150,000 soldiers serving in the Middle East have suffered blast concussions, mostly from roadside bombs. A portable tool to gauge the severity of those injuries in real time could help protect wounded soldiers from rushing too quickly back into the fray.

Wow! Is there any chance that this number could actually be true? 150,000 concussions means what percentage of our troops have been hit by a roadside bomb? You do the math! What I see, though, at least if this number is accurate, is a battlefield that has been far more dangerous than any more traditional story I’ve read has ever told the story of.

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3 Responses to The Rest of the Story

  1. Virginia Cotts says:


    Interesting source of support for the tragedy that Iraq has become. The numbers of Iraq vets who have come home with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) is apalling. Added to PTSD and we have a suicide rate in the Iraq vets that is even worse than Vietnam.

    The ultimate burn for me is that for all the shock and awe going after the WMDs, the Bush Administration refused to pay attention to the warnings of the IAEA on the locations of the Iraq conventional munitions storage sites.

    Before and shortly after, BushCo was warned about these munitions depositories. That they should be secured ASAP. Too much trouble. 650,000 TONS of explosives were looted from the al-Qaqaa weapons depot between the time the first American forces went by it and confirmed they were still there, and five weeks later when the Bush administration finally allowed some battalion to check it out. More to the point, the original group that found the depot had asked the command what they should do. They were told to leave it. Every time I see a vet without a limb, I think of the looted al-Qaqaa explosives.

    How terribly American that we are more worried about our football players than our soldiers.

  2. So they “can get back into the fray”. WTF is that! Have we now come to look at war as a game? Yeah, right, uless you happen to actually be in it.

    I don’t know, I was in favor of ending the draft at the time, but I think that we may have done ourselves more harm than good.

  3. Virginia Cotts says:


    It was my understanding that the founding fathers did not want a standing army because it would inevitably lead to a millitary class. Millitary families and some individuals dependent on war. I think the millitiary-industrial complex has exceeded that influence, but the fact that we have such a highly trained, expensive millitary has made it all too easy to jump ‘into the fray’ to begin with.

    Understanding the millitary thinking process from a civilian viewpoint is a stretch. It still makes no sense that we are putting so many at risk for these permanent, disabling injuries when it ultimately puts our troop strength much lower.

    Not to mention the cost of the war much higher in loss of productive lives and liftetime support of those individuals.