Doug Flutie is the Hall of Fame, Heisman Trophywinning quarterback at Boston College and former star quarterback in the National, Canadian, and U.S. football leagues. Today, he remains a student of the game, covering college football for NBC Sports.
Flutie is often asked about concussions and brain trauma associated with sports like football, soccer, cycling, and others.
"I had two concussions with memory loss. One in college and one with the San Diego Chargers," Flutie says. "In San Diego, I came out of the game right away. At Boston College, I stayed in for another series and went five for five and a touchdown. But I threw the ball to the wrong receivers and still have no recollection of those plays. On the next series, I stood in front of the huddle with a blank stare and the players got me off the field. It was no one's fault. I didn't know and didn't bring it to anyone's attention."
His own experiences have taught him that players and coaches are not in the best position to judge when a player needs to be pulled from a game or not allowed to go back in a game because of head injuries.
"I believe it's up to training staff to pull the player off the field. Follow protocol and be on the safe side," he says. "Coaches and players need to just do as determined by staff. Coaches and players should be out of the decision-making process."
To prevent head injury and reduce the risk of TBI, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urge people to always:
- Wear a seat belt when driving or riding in a car
- Use a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt for children when riding in a car
- Wear a helmet when:
- Riding a bike or motorcycle
- Playing football, ice hockey, or any contact sport
- Roller skating or skateboarding
- Playing baseball or softball
- Horseback riding
- Skiing or snowboarding
- Store firearms and ammunition in a locked cabinet or safe
- Avoid falls by using or installing:
- A step-stool with grab bar when reaching for high objects
- Handrails on stairways
- Window guards to keep young children safe
- Safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs when young children are around