Concussions change the game of football

Austin Lemak, Staff member

Concussions are a big part of football. Players should either accept them and play the game knowing the risks or sit at home or in the stands.

Concussions have been brought up again recently as ESPN reports that Chris Borland, the 49er’s promising linebacker, is retiring after one year of being in the NFL. He took over the starting linebacker job as Bowman and Willis received season ending injuries.

Borland said he is retiring because he does not want any more damage to his brain. He said his health is the most important thing.

Most people were shocked Borland retired after his one breakout season, but his reason is more than enough to leave the game. He is a young guy who wants to live his life without any long-lasting injuries that he will suffer from in later years of his life.

Borland went about leaving the league in the correct way. He didn’t complain. He didn’t sue the NFL for injuries, unlike others who knew they were making the wrong decision, but remained in the league too long.

The new concussion protocol is a more in-depth testing to see if the player is cleared to play, which can result in being held out of the longer. In the years before the concussion protocol, players disregarded their health and would go back in the game even if they knew they had a concussion. Football is taking concussions more and more seriously.

Diablo Valley College head football coach, Mike Darr said he doesn’t know how to get rid of the concussion risk completely.

“Players are given a strike zone,” Darr said. “And it’s hard to hit that zone when both players are going 100 miles per hour and have to make a split-second decision.”

It’s reasonable to be concerned about high school players who don’t know how to hit properly and probably hit every day during practice. It’s not right for those who have never played the sport to jump into tackling.

But there’s no reason NFL players should complain about injuries they sustain while playing the sport. They make millions of dollars for doing a job so many dream of doing.

Borland left because he didn’t want to see the further consequences of head injuries. That is his decision, but if you have the opportunity to play on Sunday, you should take the risk because it is an elite few that play.

Our only responsibility is to educate players about concussions and teach proper techniques so we can reduce the risk. If you’re willing to walk between the sidelines, then you should know what you’re doing, because the only one you can blame when you get hurt is yourself.


Editors note: Staff member Austin Lemak is also a member of the DVC football team.