Christopher Hawkins

Professor Lucas

December 9,2015

English 131.09


Concussions are the new scare for everyone who plays a sport. The injury concussion was only discovered a short time ago. So people who suffered the dreaded injury, back when doctors didn’t know how to deal with it. Concussions have ended very promising careers causing professional athletes to hang up their cleats because the severe risks they face if they continue to play. Athletes that have done this are Chris Borland, Patrick Willis, Jake Locker and also Jason Worilds have been some standout players to retired early due to concussions.

I decided to write about this topic because I was a player who had to hang up his cleats for good. I had to walk away from the game I fell in love with and started playing from the time I was six. My sophomore year of high school I received my my fourth and final concussion after tackling someone with my head down, causing trauma to my head.

One of the sports concussions are most prominent is football because of the way that the sport is designed. Since there are so many concussions, more high-tech equipment and concussion protocol is being actively researched. This is done to help prevent the athletes from sustaining a concussion or if they do receive a blow causing them to get one, trainers now have the knowledge to help one heal correctly.

If one plays through a concussion they can deal with severe side effects immediately and also later on in life. Many people deal from short term and long term memory loss, since a concussion affects the brain. People who sustain this injury have also been know to develop depression, thoughts of suicide and many other drastic personality problems, such as uncontrollable anger.


Annotated Bibliography

Goldberg, Daniel S. “Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, The National Football League, And The Manufacture Of Doubt: An Ethical, Legal, And Historical Analysis.” Journal Of Legal Medicine 34.2 (2013): 157-191. Academic Search Premier. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.

This article is about the NFL’s wrong doing and what symptoms, from not dealing with the injury correctly, have occurred. There has been over 2,500 lawsuits over the mal-practice of dealing with concussions related to the treatment a person receives. The company riddell was also under scrutiny for their helmets, since the helmet is the only piece of equipment protecting the athletes head.The NFL and the company had some insight as to what was happening to theses players and how their lives were being ruined. But they didn’t care, they tried to sweep it under the rug. The NFL is linked to doing the same thing that the big tobacco companies were doing before they got caught. As Goldberg states in his article,“Given the powerful evidence that political economies are fundamental causes of disease and health inequities,  assessing pathways between powerful institutional actors and adverse health and deliberating on appropriate policy responses is of enormous ethical significance. That such assessment is obstructed in the absence of evidence that would enhance it means that the production of such evidence is itself of moral value”. (Mild Traumatic…). The NFL knew about what was occurring with these athletes but did nothing to warn the public just as the cigarette companies did. The NFL could have helped thousands of its former and current players if they gave the correct insight people needed to know about concussions.


Johnson, L. Syd M. “Return To Play Guidelines Cannot Solve The Football-Related Concussion Problem.” Journal Of School Health 82.4 (2012): 180-185. Academic Search Premier. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.

This article is about return to play which is a procedure that must be done in order for someone who suffers from a concussion to return to his sport. This right now is the most common procedure that has to be followed in order for an athlete to return. This slowly allows the athlete to return to his respected sport with simple exercises. The exercises start off with something basic to get the athlete’s heart rate up to see how the body reacts when in a physical activity. The exercises then transition into something that is related with his sport. If they are able to perform these exercises they are cleared to play again. This is about  a week process after taking the necessary time of sitting out and letting the head recover from the trauma it received. If an athlete rushes back too soon he is in grave danger of making the concussion worse. Athletes that return while still have a concussion can acquire CTE.  As Johnson states in the article “Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is associated with early dementia, depression, suicide, disinhibition and erratic behavior, and motor neuron disease”. The guidelines help prevent this from occurring since an athlete can not get hit during this procedure it is the safest way to return. Many states have implemented the Return to Play guidelines and many states are in the process of passing them.


Singh, G. Dave, Gerald J. Maher, and Ray R. Padilla. “Customized Mandibular Orthotics In The Prevention Of Concussion/Mild Traumatic Brain Injury In Football Players: A Preliminary Study.” Dental Traumatology 25.5 (2009): 515-521. Academic Search Premier. Web. 18 Nov. 2015.

This article is about the technology used to prevent concussions from happening. A major factor of getting a concussion is the placement of where the jaw is when the impact to the head is received. With more high-tech mouthguards the severity of the concussion can be limited and in some cases they can be prevented. The new technology requires players to wear a CMO mouthguard, which is not the common boil and bite mouth pieces. These mouthpieces have to be formed to an individual’s mouth. When an athlete’s head hits the ground the mouthguard  puts the jaw in a proper place so it is not to tense. Other factors come to play with concussions, as Singh states in the article  “Indeed, simulation studies suggest that a stronger neck musculature reduces head acceleration and displacement, which might explain the increased concussion risk in youths and women when compared to male football players (Customized Mandibular Orthotics…). The mouthguards can play a big factor in preventing an athlete from getting a concussion however, but they can’t completely prevent them from happening altogether. The article says that mouth guards in basketball play minimally prevent concussions since there is nothing protecting the individual’s head. The concussion from the trauma dealt is going to happen with one in or not, so a mouthpiece at for basketball is really only helping prevent dental damage. For all contacts sports that require headwear it is a viable tool to fight concussions.

Chuck Klosterman

Chuck Klosterman visited Lenoir-Rhyne for the visiting writer series. The only thing that I have that he wrote was “My Zombie, Myself: Why Modern Life Feels Rather Undead”, the article touches on how the average person is a zombie now. Klosterman describes the average person not consciously thinking just going through the same actions over and over again. Like a person going to his job everyday siting at his desk and going through and deleting all his work emails. It goes over how the new vampire is the zombie and how they were obsessed with the zombie because in a lot of ways the zombie represents us, the average person. Just like being a vampire the disease of a zombie is contagious, the zombie actually eats part of the person, as to were the vampire only bites a person. Still having the same concept, this explains how the every day person catches the “zombie” disease. We have a choice to be a zombie or to go against it and be an independent person and not be a zombie like the rest of society.

Jeff Hobbs

Jeff Hobbs came and visited Lenoir-Rhyne as a part of the Universities visiting writers series. Jeff Hobbs spoke about his book The Short And Tragic Life Of Robert Peace. In the book he writes about his roommate and good friend at Yale Robert Peace. He got the idea for the book, because he felt that everyone should the interesting life of Robert. Robert was a kid who grew up in one of the toughest parts of New Jersey and was able to thrive in the classroom.  But although he was able to make it out of the tough neighborhood, he still managed to find himself in the wrong crowd at Yale where he started selling weed. Jeff Hobbs talks about this all and he tells how because Rob did this doesn’t make his life a waste, but one that had full meaning to it and reason. He lived a full and fulfilling life it was just short and tragic the way it came to end, a drug deal gone wrong with a shooting and murder Robert Peace lived a uncommon life and one that should be studied and pondered upon and that is why Jeff Hobbs writes about it in his book. He said he is forever grateful having Robert Peace in his life.

Roommates: The Strangers That You Have To Live With For A Year

One of the biggest anxieties college students have is finding a roommate or wondering if they should go random. College can be a stressful time for many and having a roommate who is not who you want him to be can make your experience a horrible one. Roommates are one of the biggest factors on your freshman year will partake. They’re someone on campus that you can’t avoid because you see them everyday.

I had no choice. I had to room with someone who was on my lacrosse team. My team was required to do this because he wants us to consider our teammates our brothers, and brothers live in the same house. Us living together helps us become closer on a team, and someone to rely on when they have the same schedule as your for practices and since there is only a few time slots for class most of us have the same class schedules too. So I knew I was going to be rooming with someone who had some common interest with me since they played lacrosse. Which relieved me to know that it wasn’t going to be a broken relationship where we had nothing in common. I did get the choice, however, to be assigned a teammate or go out of my way and find one. I decided to find one because I didn’t want to risk being roomed with someone on my team who I didn’t get along with. So out of the twenty people I had the choice of living with I decided that going random was not for me as did most of the team only a few decided to let the coach pair them up. If I didn’t have to room with someone on the team, I definitely would have found a roommate, I am not a big fan of being placed with a random stranger and expected to live with him for a year.

Many people like the idea of a randomly being assigned a roommate, as it allows them to make a friend with someone they might never have met. It forces people to break their comfort levels and grow and mature as a person. It forces people to think about someone else before them, this may be the first time that a person is forced to do so. From my short time living with a roommate it is the first time I’ve thought about some else before myself.

Colleges want their students to be happy at college, so being roomed with someone they get along with is important. Many colleges require students fill out surveys or use apps so they can accommodate people with  the same interest. Anna Altman states in her article she wrote in the New York Post “examples like RoomZoom and Roomidex, which use an algorithm similar to an online dating site — can limit a freshman’s experience: “It’s easy to find someone with whom you have a mutual friend or you’re from the same hometown or have the same interests. People don’t necessarily seek out someone completely different because of how difficult it might be to find that person”.”. (Altman) Research has shown being roomed with a person who is not of your race or religion gives you a different point of view on things going on in the world and gives us a broader perspective. Where if we room with someone who is exactly like us our perspective on ideas and subjects aren’t as likely to change. “The more different they are, the more likely you’ll get yanked out of your comfort zone”

Some people are completely against having a roommate and would rather live alone, colleges are starting to allow people to live by themselves. Allowing this prevents people from having any roommate trouble. I wouldn’t enjoy this though it takes away the college experience. When there is down time, you are by yourself no one to talk to. I feel a roommate is a vital part to college. As observed by Harry Frankenfeld “Basically, I had to learn to be less self-centered and selfish. It’s helped in my marriage, in my work relationships, and in my relationships in general. Roommates are good for us.” (Altman) Roommates are people you will always remember, whether your friends or not.

With all of these options to help pick a roommate this has allowed people to succeed in college. In both making friends and in the classroom because they don’t have to worry about where they are going back to once class is done.

Work Cited

Altman, Anna. “A College Education Should Include Rooming With a Stranger” The New York Times. The New York Times, 7 Sept. 2014. Web. 29 September 2015

Jaki Shelton Green

Jaki Shelton Green was a writer for Lenoir Rhyne University in the visiting writers series. In Jaki Shelton Green’s poem “i know the grandmother one had hands”, she explains what she thinks the chores of an average grandmother is. We discussed in class that through the lowercase “i”, we can assume that she is referring to the general population of grandmothers rather than her own personal experiences with her grandmother. The cooking, cleaning, gardening, playing, and helping that is displayed through her words allows us to infer that Green’s perspective on grandmothers is overall positive. In the poem, it explains that the hands of grandmothers are always so busy that they are always doing chores to show the people they care about that they care, but because of that constant work that she must do, she never gets the chance to personally show her sons, daughters, or grandchildren that she cares about them. Through this poem, I believe Green was trying to prove a point that actions speak louder than words. The grandmother is the center piece in the family, her actions support and hold the family together.