Concussion Movie Brings Dangers to Light


Concussions cause damage to the brain that is not always visible to the naked eye. This photo shows the effects the proteins have on the brain when the healthy cells don’t get rid of them after continuous concussions.

“Find what you love, and let it kill you,” said poet Charles Bukowski. Sadly for football players this is becoming the truth. Constantly hitting their heads together doesn’t just give players a concussion and bench time for a few weeks, but life long issues. In Will Smith’s new movie, Concussion, this problem is brought to the light.

In Concussion, the story of Mike Webster, former center for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is portrayed. Mike Webster was found dead in his truck after he suffered a heart attack. This strain on his heart was brought on by the stress in his head. Webster was suffering from CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. CTE occurs when the healthy brain cells are overwhelmed by the number of proteins that appear when the brain suffers a direct injury, instead of clearing the proteins. Webster was examined by Doctor Bennet Omalu. Before Webster passed, he was described as having lots of confusion, fits of rage and rising anger. These issues cost him his marriage and his career, and eventually his life.

Concussions in football, as well as other sports, are a serious hazard in the sports world, but with the fame football gets in the U.S., NFL officials tend to shove the problem under the rug.

”I wish I never met Mike Webster. CTE has driven me into the politics of science, the politics of the NFL, you can’t go against the NFL,  they will squash you,” said Omalu, in an interview with PBS .

High school begins to shape a student’s dreams, but with a dream like football that has consequences such as CTE. It’s not a sport that should be pressuring students to always keep playing and to become legacies no matter what happens.

“We never push kids to get back to the game,” said football coach Jeff Kinney.

Playing with a concussion, or before a concussion is completely healed, can cause much more immediate damage, which leads to the long-term problems.

“We do tests before and during the season to make sure the players are okay. We take it seriously, and it’s scary about the lack of knowledge about what goes on in your brain,” said Kinney.

Although it’s relieving to know that coaches at North are trying to prevent the damage of concussions, it doesn’t mean they never happen.

“Concussions happen all the time,” said varsity football player Andrew Jones. He suffered a concussion during his football career in high school.

Concussions cause dizziness, sensitivity to light, nausea, fatigue, ringing in the ears, lack of coordination, and can also cause memory loss. This affects school work as well as a person’s social life.

“My concussion lasted two weeks, and it was a pain to deal with,” said Jones.

Starting a career in a sport that seems harmless, especially when associated with so much joy such as the Super Bowl, Friday night games in the fall, and even homecoming games, is causing much more harm than first thought. Luckily, this issue is being taken seriously at North, but because the NFL chooses to shy away from cases like Mike Webster’s, not many people see the concussion problem that many athletes face.

by Mattie Gaubatz, staff writer and Media Tycoon