“…like the Oscars, but with concussions.”

Oscars….or Super Bowl? Justin Timberlake — photo Mark Briello, Wikimedia

It would be hard to have spent any time this past month in the United States, my home country, and not be aware that today is “Super Sunday,” when the Philadelphia Eagles and the perennial champion New England Patriots will be playing the final game of the NFL Season.  For all the marbles. For the big kahuna. For (insert your favorite, overused metaphor here).

I woke up this Sunday in my customary manner:  with some coffee and the New York Times. The newspaper had several articles about the upcoming Main Event, including profiles of the halftime highlight, Justin Timberlake.  The story that most resonated with me was a piece by Bruce Weber, whom I find to be an uncommonly funny writer.  He wrote of the Super Bowl’s grandiosity, with its “…pregame blah, blah, blah….the rollout of new advertisements at a cost that might otherwise stabilize Social Security, and the betting line in Vegas, where gamblers risk enough to underwrite a single-payer health care system.”

He summarized:  the Super Bowl is “not so much a ballgame as a happening, like the Oscars but with concussions.”

Spot on.

Eagles or Patriots?  It’s hard to say, though the line favors the Patriots slightly (and most neutral observers with whom I’ve spoken say it’s an, er, no-brainer, the Patriots will be winning) — but one bet that is a sure thing: there will be injuries. And very likely, a high profile concussion, which may or may not be mishandled.

Who can forget the game three years ago (which the Patriots won): Julian Edelman sustained a hit which appeared certain to require medical evaluation, but remained in the game.  And then caught the go-ahead touchdown.

Concussions and gridiron football– the pairing appears in the pages of CJSM nearly every issue, so common is the injury and so prominent the issue.  Our first issue of the year contained cutting-edge, original research on the frequency with which professional football players hide their potential concussions. The article is free, but if you don’t have time to read it, you can even ‘listen in’ on what the author has to say about the study in our most recent podcast.

Super Sunday is upon us. There’s a game, yes, and a whole lot more. Will we see a hologram of Prince? Will Janet Jackson make a reprise showing and sing a duet/have a wardrobe ‘malfunction’ with Timberlake?  What will be the most memorable commercial?

And, oh yes, who will win:  Eagles or Patriots?

Enjoy the game and/or its attendant bells and whistles, if you’ll be watching.  And share your reactions with us on Twitter [@cjsmonline ] if you have thoughts about one of the injuries you’re bound to see.

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About sportingjim
I work at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio USA, where I am a specialist in pediatric sports medicine. My academic appointment as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics is through Ohio State University. I am a public health advocate for kids' health and safety. I am also the Emerging Media Editor for the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine.

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