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How much is your brain worth?


Edward Saldana

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Concussions have become a serious concern in sports. We see it on TV when people choose to end their athletic careers due to their history of concussions and, unfortunately, in criminal courts as an explanation for their violence.

Concussions occur most often in direct contact sports like hockey and football. In some cases, players are able to walk it off and report to the bench. In other cases, however, we see the stretchers come out to take the player off the field.

According to, in 2012 there were 3.8 million concussions reported, double than those reported only a decade ago.

I played football my first two years in high school. While playing I got hit many times, and sometimes I got my bell rung a few times. The feeling I had after I got hit was a dazed shock, and my whole body felt stiff and it was hard to move for a few minutes. I asked myself the question “What just happened?” After seeing a doctor, he reassured me I did not have a concussion. Other people however, may not be so lucky.

Nick Lehman, my former high football teammate who also played tight end for the University of New Mexico Lobos, once had a diagnosed concussion. “I could barely see. I really didn’t know what was going on… it all felt like a dream,” Lehman said.

In USA Today, Dr. Michael “Micky” Collins said athletes did not have to lose consciousness in order to have a concussion.

“ Up to 90 percent of concussions do not involve a loss of consciousness.”

It’s a scary topic to think about, Where at the snap of a finger one play can happen, and then the next moment you don’t know what happened to you.

There are risks when you sign up to play sports. I knew that risk when I signed up, knowing that I might get hurt. Passion is what drives us to compete in the sport that we love, and it’s very hard to leave if you truly love the sport you’re playing.

In a few major sports, major rule changes have been passed in order to make the sport safer, such as Football and hockey, which are considered the most dangerous sports to play. In football, they have the targeting penalty, where a defensive back hits the defenseless receiver near the head. If this penalty occurs, in college football you get automatically kicked out of the game.

In the NFL, you can get kicked out of the game, fined, or even suspended for future games.

For hockey, concussions often occur near the boards when a player gets checked by the opposing player. A penalty is usually called on that type of play, and depending on how severe the circumstance is, there could be a game misconduct. Following the game misconduct, there could be a suspension or a fine.

Risk exists in any sport you participate in. We see many careers end due to concussions, but concussions don’t stop there; they carry over and can cause serious brain damage.

Professional athletes’ brains have been studied after their death in order to see to what extent their brains were damaged, and hopefully this research will help us gain a better understanding of how to treat athletes with concussions. We know that we are not going to play sports forever, so it is important for us to take care of our body because it will benefit us in the long run;How much is your brain worth to you?

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