Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Guest Article: 4 (IN)FAMOUS FIBS

This article was written by a friend of the blog, Terry Ott -
"Cigarette smoking is no more addictive than coffee, tea or Twinkies."
James Johnston, CEO, RJ Reynolds, later part of a perjury probe, (used as "expert" info by NFL)

"Paul is dead"
Those freaks, according to John Lennon

"Absence of CTE"
Dr. Charles Tator "study"

"The science on CTE is unclear."
Randy  Ambrosie, CFL commishinor

Why do people lie?

Well, according to a piece in the June 2017 issue of National Geographic, for several reasons, really.

In a study partly done by the University of Toronto, it was found that of those aged 45-77, 37% of that group tell one to five lies daily, with an additional 10% fibbing more than 5 times per 24 hours. That, is a lot of deception.

Of those litany of lies, it was further found by Oakland University that 53% of the lies spun in the above group were told to cover up a mistake, to mislead, and gain an economic or personal advantage.

Is this the scenario employed by the CFL, and some others, including a "renown" Canadian doctor when addressing the public health crisis of football concussions and CTE?

Some of the new and updated information may help to understand and flesh out the above possibility.

A prominent Canadian health care professional who has been involved in concussion research and treatment for over 20 years said that the "research" done by Dr. Charles Tator, and his continual questioning of the cause  of CTE, led to the pro's eventual disengagement with Canadian concussion conferences because he believed "the fix is in," and saw no further use in attending.

Speaking on condition of anon due to what he called Tator's overarching influence and media loved reputation and his standing in the Canadian medical community, the health pro said of the Order of Canada member, "many fear going against him. That's been a major factor all along. The man has tentacles all over. He can influence all of them."

The health care professional also said that in 2015, he witnessed "the perpetual smile wiped from (Tator's) face" when a fellow colleague dared question the master's perpetual denying of the concussion related nature of the development of CTE. "He was not amused, that day," said the source.

According to the health pro, Tator has embarked on the deny concussions=CTE cause mainly for professional and legacy and egotistical reasons, looking to make a contrarian name for himself in the face of overwhelming evidence that CTE is the direct-and near only-result of sports concussion injury. 

If it assists the CFL in their denials that would be friendly, accommodating, collateral cooperation, and not much more according to the source, who like some others in the medical community consider the "Absence Of" study to be a made to order job, or at best, a badly misguided farce.

The pro also said that Tator is cozy with Ontario government representatives, advising a cabinet minister on Rowan's Law, put forth in memory of 17 year old soccer player who died from concussion injury.

Tator has this to say on the Rowan's Law site:

“I became a doctor because I wanted to help people. I became a brain and spinal surgeon. I realized that trauma often caused such severe damage to the brain and spinal cord that I could not put the pieces back together. I was frustrated that I could repair skull or spinal fractures, but not the severely injured brain or spinal cord.

I learned that prevention is the only cure”

And virtually every article or broadcast done on concussions in Canada contains a nod or opine from the TSN described, "renown" Tator.As member of the Order of Canada, the doctor appears to be seen as a sort of patriotic medical Dudley Do-Right by most of the  nationalistic Canadian media,in spite of his continuing questioning of CTE cause and despite the world class CTE research done by Boston University which now shows definitively that CTE is the result of sports concussions. And yet, still,uch of the Canadian media appear to be unaware of this fact, ignoring it, or even suppressing it.
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Look, to put it in plain English, most of the Canadian media is in the bag to Tator and remain blissfully unaware of all the obvious discrepancies of what he is preaching. It is a black mark on Canadian journalism, although I doubt the main offenders even give a damn. In the privileged world they inhabit, sucking up to the "renown" is pro forma.

But here is one of the very few-announcing the passing of Rowan's law-that does not have Tater as a spokesperson.

And one of the only sane voices in the Canadian media CTE wilderness comes from the CBC Fifth Estate's Bob McKeown, a former CFL player who says that "common sense" should be enough to link concussions with CTE:

So, even though Tator is very active in Canadian media talking about concussions, the doctor talking about concussions and CTE is another matter. References by Tator to concussions causing CTE, now a world wide accepted premise, are few and far between, and have been since he published his odd "Absence of CTE" study in 2012 with the CFL providing some degree of funding, and accordingly,what Tator described in a 2013 email as the league being "more helpful."

In fact, in this video from 2012, Tator emphasizes how he needs funding-he says it requires "a lot of money"- to investigate concussions and brain disease, as well as "co-operation." And perhaps not coincidentally, around this time, the "Absence Of" study was hatched.

And now the strange and confounding case of the former offensive lineman, turned CFL commissioner, and  CTE denier.

Randy Ambrosie, Winnipeg, Manitoba native, big, genial smiling guy with the perpetual can-do attitude is the national face of CTE denial.

Back in the day he played 9 seasons in the CFL, and won a Grey Cup with the Edmonton Eskimos in his final year in the league in 1993.

Ambrosie then joined the Canadian Football League Players' Association as secretary, and according to a Wikipedia post, was involved in the failed expansion of the CFL into the US which almost destroyed the league, and did wreck it's credibility.

Then Ambrosie replaced the previous CFL commissioner who raised eyebrows in 2015 when he too denied a link between concussions and CTE in the midst of the Arland Bruce III concussion injury lawsuit.

So when Ambrosie took the helm early in the 2017 season, there was some optomosim that he would finally address, honestly, the crisis of concussion injury and CTE in the CFL.

No such luck.

In the beginning of his term, he said some things about concussions and brain disease that seemed rather reasonable and not surprisingly, CFL fan boys like Justin Dunk immediately heaped praise on him.

But when he appeared before the media and the fans prior to the 2017 Grey Cup, it was major eyebrow raising time again.

The media, for a change, actually asked a serious CTE question, and Randy clumsily stickhandled around it, eventually proclaiming the old, "unclear" science nonsense, or even lie and he even gave (another) obtuse answer to a star CFL player, on "player safety."

Then in the fan forum, when one fan finally got round to popping a concussion question 45 minutes into the feel-good gig, even the host looked uncomfortable as she handed off the question to Ambrosie who did a long, unrelated discourse before winding down and finally addressing the concussion/CTE issue as one of again, "unclear" science, which anyone so interested knows is cover your legal ass absurd and disenguenis clap trap. I don't even think.Randy believes it as it is antithetical to (valid) current research and has already been admitted by the NFL-5 years ago!

An even as an offensive lineman, he ain't that dumb.

Randy keeps crowing about "the experts," who not surprisingly include Tator and some of his crew, and of course if he relies solely on those "experts," perhaps some of the CTE denials would make some sort of sense, if not still being obviously morally wrong.

But despite some contradictions to the contrary, the CFL is not that stupid, ether.

They know exactly what is going on, have managed since 2010 with the help of much of the Canadian media to muddy the waters on CTE and still believe what with a nice media hand up they can continue to kick the can down the road until some kind of miracle arrives to exempt them from legal action.This is a completely immoral and unsustainable position to take, and yet, this is Canada...

Historians of the CFL will note that in 1974, the Canadian government was prepared to legislate the upstart World Football League out of Toronto reasoning that it would "destroy" the CFL. When the WFL cried uncle and took off for long distance information Memphis,Tennessee, the ridiculous notion was put in a drawer for, as they used to like to say in the CFL, "future considerations."

It may seem like a paranoid lawyer's bridge too far, but would not such an issue on redux be a vote-getter for a phony politician running in next year's federal election? You know, the party that "saved" the league from those evil, blood thirsty, greedy lawyers relying on  notions  of Trumpian Yanks outta Boston?

Granted, that scenario is pretty much outta left field, but so is a lot of other happenings over the past 10 years in this many times nonsensical "Absence of CTE" league and Johnny Manziel country continuing banal soap opera, so like,stay tuned, eh?

The bottom line on the CTE issue is the CFL, as a league, and Randy Ambrosie as commissioner, and former player and human being, and even Tator-ironically faculty at the University of Toronto that informs on lying- if anyway possible, would do much better to tell the truth, putting the study on lies on the shelf, and then do the right thing.


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