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One of the best and most honest looks at the consequences of children participating in sports at a higher level, when they are far too young. The win at all cost mentality is astounding and the coach/parental attitude that when a child is injured, they should "shake it off" and get back in as fast as possible borders on abuse. In this film, I think that what was most astonishing to me was the female physician at the end, who works with concussion victims and whose son has had numerous concussions playing hockey--and yet, she "can't seem to let him give it up". Amazing. I say this, by the way, from the perspective of having a son who sustained a serious concussion playing high school lacrosse, a sport he had played for many years, at which he exceled and loved---and who decided that he would bow out because we, and he, did not know what might happen if he ever had another (he missed 3 months of school and has taken more than two years to regain his capabilities and his personality). Every parent who pushes their child to play adult sports at a level inappropriate for children should be required to watch this film.
Reviewed in the United States on November 29, 2018
This was really great. It’s all about concussions athletes get in every contact sport, football, hockey, lacrosse, pee wee football. I knew these head hits were killing people and they are. Some commit suicide young, CTE is found in even young brains. After you watch this you’ll look at contact sports differently. Some young kids are brain dead, paralyzed. Watch this with your child.
Reviewed in the United States on December 29, 2013
This film was recommended to me as my 17yr old grandson committed suicide in October after several concussions playing hockey and lacrosse. I knew he suffered from headaches, highs and lows, grades in school going up and then way down but thought it was just a teen thing in to too many activities. He was a well liked fun kid, but would ask to go to the doctor then feel fine for awhile. This film actually had his doctor from the BU Legacy for Sport Med speaking about her patients. Primeau actually coached him and he explains his problems with concussions. I wish my grandson had shared more so we knew the pain. My son's family continues to work with the BU Legacy for Sport Med to educate coaches, players and their parents about concussion and their effects. I feel it is a must to see. Sue, missing Z20
Reviewed in the United States on November 29, 2013
I'm currently reading the book 'League of Denial' and some of the main characters from the book (Novinsky, McShea, Bennett) are also featured in this documentary. CTE is not something to take lightly, and unfortunately it took a long time for the NFL to finally admit that there are links between concussions and CTE in their players. I only hope that all the research and data that is being collected (and refined), will one day make all contact sports (for both kids and adults alike) safer. At the same time, I fear that the sport of football that we know and love will no longer exist. I can partly sympathize with the NFL because the only direction this will conclude in is the end of football. Goodell and league officials know this and are facing some tough decisions for the long term.
I have two grandsons and a granddaughter who all love to play "head games" and it is becoming harder and harder to overlook the longterm problems associated with concussions and concussive effects, especially on children. These issues are eventually going to have a major impact on these games and how our future sports environment looks in the future.
The film is an exceptionally well written and structured, giving a clear and precise representation of the institutional neglect of head injuries in all sports and football in particular. While it offers some hope given the mild contrition of the NFL and exceptional efforts of campaigners and scientists, the calculated arrogance of the NHL is an unwelcome source of disgust. Unfortunately, history has shown that real changed is often only implemented after an event so appalling that even the entrenched vested interests can no longer justify the realty (young athletes on steroids, pushy-demanding parents, advertisers, owners, coaches and league officials).
Head Games is a great documentary. I knew few things about concussions and football but I didn't know how severe and in how many sports players are at risk, especially children. I love football and all sports but something has to be done.