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Donovan Montgomery

Mrs. Thomas
UWRT 1101
20 October 2014
I learned a lot about my writing skills during this assignment. The most important
being; pick a topic that you are passionate about (it makes it a lot easier). I received
constructive criticism that I found very helpful. There was a mixture of negative and
positive comments, negative in the sense of what I did wrong. With this kind of mixture it
showed where my paper stood out and where it needed improvement. For the most part I
did a very good job explaining my topic through four pieces, and need to improve on
condensing my sentences, whether that meant combining two or more sentences or just
making one shorter. All in all this paper was very helpful in enhancing my writing skills
and I hope you enjoy and learn something about concussions.
Concussions Presented in Four Genres
Concussions have become one of the more prominent problems in the National
Football League (NFL). There are between 1.6 and 3.8 million concussion a year, not just
in the NFL, but also in sports across the board. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury
that is caused by a blow to the head that shakes the brain inside the skull. There may be
no other visible signs of a brain injury, but symptoms that may hint a concussion include
headache, confusion, dizziness, amnesia, nausea and vomiting. Concussions can very
well affect anyone. Although it may not affect you directly you may know someone
affected by it. I chose this topic because I myself have had a concussion and know people
whove had multiple concussions.

Political Cartoon The NFL: The River of Denial

The background of the political cartoon is blue with a black backdrop. There is
a man wearing a white shirt that and says NFL, his pants are black. He is lifting the
football field turf exposing the ground and sweeping skulls and bones under it. His
speech bubble states Concussions? What Concussions? In the top right corner of
the cartoon it says 2012. Drew Litton is the author of the cartoon.
Drew Littons career as a cartoonist began when his grandfather read comics to him at
an early age. Pete Maravich, a former NBA player, inspired him to play basketball,
but his asthma hindered his basketball dreams. This led him to become a sports
cartoonist. The cartoon I am using shows how concussions in the NFL are being
swept under the map and not being taken seriously. As stated in the caption the
league, NFL, encourages big hits to create more highlights, but dont compensate
for players for their injuries. The big hits cause concussions that lead to degenerative
brain disease. There are studies that show dead NFL show symptoms who previously
had concussions. His cartoon connects with the pathos emotional appeal. It evokes
the emotion of disgust to me. Displaying how people should be disgusted with how

the NFL takes a big problem and blows it off as something small. My question to
other viewers would be what emotion does it evoke for you?

The Tweet
Tweeting has become of the main platforms of communication in todays
society. Twitter can be used to express opinions and facts to the entire world. The
tweet states the statistic Degenerative brain disease CTE in 76 of 79 samples from
deceased football players followed by a link to a news article. This tweet displays
logos by giving a statistic. It was tweeted by the Health Policy Journal, which tells
the viewer that they specialize in the medical field. Thus making the information seem
more reliable. There is a picture also embossed in the tweet the caption says
Concussions arent just the NFLs problem. Theyre societies too. When one follows
the link that is included with the tweet they can find a breakdown of the number of
concussions that happened in the 2013 season along with their respective positions.
There were a fifteen concussions at the running back position, one at the fullback, six
at Quarterback, twenty at wide receiver, sixteen at Tight End, eight at Offensive
tackle, nine at guard, four at center, twenty-three at corner back, defensive end eleven,
four defensive tackle, fifteen at linebacker, and twenty safety. If I were to retweet this
tweet it would show my followers that I am an advocate for the safety of NFL players.
If You Give a Mouse a Concussion

Researching on the Internet about concussions I came across an article written

by Robert Klemko titled If You Give a Mouse a Concussion. The intern that
discovered this phenomenon in the article is Theo Roth. Theo was born in St. Louis,
Missouri and raised in Alabama. He graduated from Stanford University; upon
graduation he landed an internship with the National Institute of Health in Maryland.
His initial task was to see how meningitis affected a mouses brain, but Roth was so
bad at the skull thinning surgery that he always concussed the mice. During these
failed attempts he discovered that during the concussion a leakage from blood vessels
lining the skull seeping down and caused brain damage. And this is where Roth
compared this to small-scale concussion to those of NFL players. He realized that he
was recreating what happens in a mild traumatic brain injury. He noticed that the
images from the mice brains showed green, blue and purple figures that represented
brain trauma, which is also the case for humans. He broke down his findings into an
1. A mild brain injury occurs, in this case, when skull is pressed into brain.

2.The impact damages blood vessels lining the skull, causing some to burst or leak.

3. The body responds, in part, by producing molecules called reactive oxygen species
(ROS), which mistake the injury for the intrusion of a foreign body.

4. Useful in fighting bacterial infections such as E. coli, the ROS swarm around the
injury and cause damage by tearing up the glial limitans, the thin membrane
separating the brain from the fluids around it.

5. Fluids from the damaged blood vessels leak through the new holes in the membrane
and come into contact with brain tissue, destroying it.
Roths mentor Dorian McGavern found this information to be very effective
for the development of CTE, the same disease that plagues the NFL. One thing I found
interesting about the discovery was that although this whole discovery was found on
accident it actually turned out to be very helpful. The NFL actually funds the National
Institute of Health but was not funding this particular project considering the fact it
was an accident.
Academic Piece: Depressive Symptoms and Concussions in Aging Retired NFL

My academic piece was study conducted by Nyaz Didehbani1, C. Munro

Cullum, Sethesh Mansinghani, Heather Conover and John Hart, Jr. It was created in
the center for brain health at the university of Texas at Dallas. Where their study
started off by giving a statistic of how many concussions happen yearly (between 1.6
and 3.8 million). They then went more in depth particularly about NFL players, saying
many players continued playing with a concussion worsening their symptoms before
the NFL implemented a Health and Safety standard in 2007. This Health and Safety
standard implemented concussion testing and also informed players and families on
the symptoms of concussions; guidelines state that players need to be cleared by a
team physician and an independent neurological consultant before returning to
play. But players that suffered a concussion before the guidelines were created
continued to play even during their concussion, thus creating a lasting impact of a

concussion on the individual. Nyaz, Munro, Stethesh, Heather, and John then gathered
forty-two retired NFL players that all suffered concussions before, during or after their
career. They were testing depressive that may have occurred as a result of previous
concussions. Their results were compared to the control group, individuals that did
not experience concussions. The results are posted below

As seen in the results above, NFL players that experienced concussions scored
higher in all of the cognitive factors, affective factors and somatic factors. This suggests
that the number of concussions increase the likelihood of depressive symptoms later on in
Wrap Up
When analyzing these four genres, I realize the seriousness of concussions and
how important it is to treat them carefully. The writers/ authors of each piece exemplify
their knowledge of the topic very well and put it into terms that any audience can