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What really killed NHL's Bill Masterton

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  • Craig Wallace
    From today s Toronto Star; Craig http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/article/998665--star-investigation-what-really-killed-nhl-s-bill-masterton?bn=1 [Non-text
    Message 1 of 2 , May 27, 2011
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      From today's Toronto Star;

      Craig


      http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/article/998665--star-investigation-what-really-killed-nhl-s-bill-masterton?bn=1

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • William Underwood
      Head trauma and concussions are nothing new we just are better equipped to understand, diagnose and to cope with them. It is always easy to point a finger of
      Message 2 of 2 , May 28, 2011
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        Head trauma and concussions are nothing new we just are better equipped to
        understand, diagnose and to cope with them. It is always easy to point a
        finger of accusation to a past era with new knowledge. If Masterson were
        playing today he would probably beg alive..he would have had better head
        protection and been diagnosed. Even in the 70's and early 80's when I was
        playing amateur hockey there was no real awareness of concussion unless you
        were REALLY put out and the symptoms obvious. You said "just had my bell
        rung is all." If you threw up later you would say "gee must have been
        something I ate" or "I must have a bug." And I submit the same would be true
        of anyone who got one in an auto accident or anything else, no one knew any
        better. We did not have the tests and knowledge of today. I have been seeing
        a neurologist for three years for a neuropathy in my hand that it has taken
        three and a half years to figure out was probably (operative word) caused by
        an odd immune system reaction where for some reason my anti bodies attacked
        a nerve sheath of two nerves at a very specific point in each arm... there
        was nothing in my blood work and they constantly say " we discover new stuff
        everyday". And quite frankly if it were not for a freak injury to my elbow
        as my left hand has no major symptoms it may not have been deduced and it
        still may not be. Neurology is a field that STILL has not gotten it all
        figured out and in the 60's was light years behind what it is now.



        As for athletes and their burning desire to achieve, that is nothing new
        either nor will it disappear. And it is a part of the human animal. Men will
        die each year trying to reach mountain peaks. Executives will over work
        themselves into an early grave through ulcers and hypertension. Do you not
        think that CEO candidates feel the chest pains and ignore them as the last
        thing that they want is lost time or health questions for the board to look
        at when the time comes? "It's nothing just a little bit of heart burn." All
        of it is avoidable abut how many guys drop dead each day because they
        ignored signs? There was a survey done once where Olympic athletes were
        asked "if you could take a drug that would win you a gold medal but you
        would die in six months would you take it?" A scary total said "yes". If you
        asked the same to businessmen ":would you take a drug that could make you
        CEO of a major firm but you would die in five or ten years would you take
        it?" I have NO doubt that the results would be similar. Hell, if you asked
        politicians if they could do the same and win the presidency or become PM,
        you would see the same no doubt. They all have a commonality they are driven
        risk takers.



        And quite frankly it is reflective of a part of human nature that we need.
        The risk taker the driven and the gambler is a vital part of us as a race.
        If we didn't have them there would be no explorers police, firefighters or
        soldiers We would roll into a fetal position as a race and wither away and
        die or the next big bad thing that hit us would make us quit. LIVING is
        hazardous to your health and the more you live the more dangerous it gets.
        Should it be tempered by common sense? YES! But there are two things that
        can't be expected.you can only temper it by what is known at the time so to
        judge events of the past it always has to be in that light. It is hard to
        put people on trial by today's standards when the standards that produced
        their actions were so different. And two you have to look at human nature
        and when it comes to health only you know how you really feel and some of us
        are those risk takers, there are those who are ready to take the gamble and
        it is hard to stop them and quite often they will go on fine.



        So when you look at this tragedy you can draw two conclusions. One Masterson
        would be all view today because we just know better. But given that he is a
        guy who wanted to play, he would have done it until he was utterly forced to
        stop. But I have to laugh when you get this sort of "it is a warrior
        mentality bred into hockey players".no it is endemic to ANYONE who will
        fight to the top of their field.Gang how many execs do you know who are
        popping blood pressure pills or ulcer pills on a daily basis? These guys do
        the SAME thing! Half should quit and go fishing if they knew what was good
        for them. But DO THEY? Isn't that a "warrior mentality bred by their
        system" too? Aren't they maybe one stress crisis away from the big one
        which they doubtlessly would ignore the pains in the arm and shortness of
        breath if an important series of meetings where the success of the firm is
        at stake or the big sale was about to be made were on? And the question we
        have to ask is in the end where would we be without guys like that as a
        race? It is part of us and if we ever become a race of sniveling worry we
        are doomed.



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