THE MAIL

September 24, 2012

Hardest Hits

Melissa Segura's article on the dementia often suffered by retired professional football players (The Other Half of the Story) highlights what we in the medical community have known for decades about concussions and brain trauma. So well-known are the effects of repeated concussions in the boxing world that old-timers use the term pugilistic dementia to describe the early degeneration of cognitive function seen in retired boxers. While medical science is making progress in early diagnosis and therapy for these conditions, the reality remains the same: If you smash your head over and over again, the damage lingers long after the lights have dimmed and the crowds have gone home.

J. Mark Fulmer, M.D., Dallas

Unfortunately, the more violent the hits in football the more likely a player is to make the highlight reel. Still, while my sympathies go out to both the suffering players and their caregivers, it should be noted that no one forced any of these guys to play a game that is so violent that you have to wear a helmet to protect your brain.

Bob Cushing, M.D., Carmel, Calif.

The O's Have It

I think it is a delicious irony that Bobby Valentine was not interested in managing the Orioles in 2010, apparently feeling that the Baltimore job was too big of a challenge for him to take on. Now it is Valentine who has the project on his hands trying to manage the Red Sox' failures (Fall of the Red Sox) while the Orioles could make the playoffs for the first time since 1997.

Paul R. Schlitz Jr., Baltimore

Steve Rushin was right on the money about there being almost no reason to attend NFL games (SCORECARD). It costs a fortune for tickets, parking, food and drinks. Plus, with the three or four hours of tailgating before the game, many fans are drunk and looking to start trouble or a fight. I love the NFL, but these days it's cheaper and much more fun to stay home.

Thomas Mandes, Annapolis, Md.

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TWEET OF THE WEEK

TAKE IT EASY, [REDSKINS WR] JOSH MORGAN ... THROWING BALLS AT DEFENSIVE GUYS IS MY JOB! #REXSKINS

SEXY REXY (@FAKEREXGROSSMAN)

TRENDING

[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]

RED SOX

SEPT. 10

SCORECARD: LANCE ARMSTRONG

SEPT. 3

NFL CONCUSSIONS

SEPT. 10

ROB GRONKOWSKI

SEPT. 3

FEEDBACK

Do you think UConn will still be an elite program in the post--Jim Calhoun era?

Michael Lickteig UConn will struggle for a while, just like Arizona struggled after Lute Olson retired in 2008. I wasn't a big Calhoun fan, but he will be a tough act to follow.

Will Schaffer: Let's see, UConn is planning to build a $35 million practice facility and new coach Kevin Ollie has done most of the recruiting over the past few years (including Andre Drummond and 2012 freshman Omar Calhoun). I think they'll be just fine.

Brett Schexneider No, they won't be good enough to be considered elite for a while. No incoming recruit wants to go to a team that's in a rebuilding phase. They'll be elite again but it's going to take a while.

Dyann Busse: I am a huge Huskies fan, but I'm glad to see Calhoun go. He was cited by the NCAA for recruiting violations in 2011, and that negatively reflected on the basketball program and the school. It was time for a changing of the guard.

Kristopher Mcgregor Eventually, I suppose...but not for the next couple of years.

Calvin Sharp: I don't think the Huskies will, but that's not just because of Calhoun. Without Drummond and Jeremy Lamb on their roster, they will have a tough time this year.

Michael Kohl: Perhaps they won't, but I am glad Ollie is getting a chance.

PHOTOROBERT BECK (COVER)FOR Sept. 10, 2012 PHOTOTWITTER.COM (REXY) PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH (CALHOUN) PHOTO CHART

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)