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Brooke de Lench

"The Smartest Team": Staking Out The Sensible Middle In The Polarized Debate About Football

It has been an exciting week for those of us who worked so hard over the past two years to produce The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer.   

After kicking off with our premiere on Oklahoma Educational Television (OETA - PBS) in August, and with stations in North Carolina and Colorado having aired the documentary in September, the beginning of October marks the first full week of broadcasts on PBS stations in more than ten states. 

The buzz about the PBS documentary, "The Smartest Team," has been overwhelmingly positive, but some appear to be working overtime, on Twitter, through a whisper campaign, and via other back-channel means, to cripple MomsTEAM's ability to get its message out. Brooke de Lench explains.

Contact Brooke

Publisher / Founder

Brooke de Lench

Mail Address

MomsTeam.com

Att: Editors
60 Thoreau Street, Suite 288
Concord, Massachusetts 01742
USA

Email:

delench@MomsTEAM.com

Telephone:

+1 (781) 775-0280 (media line only) 

+1 (800) 474-5201

Improving Football Safety: Is It Up To Parents?


Now that the concussion lawsuit filed by retired National Football League players has apparently been settled (remember: the judge still has to give her approval), it's time to focus on the upcoming football season, and working to make the sport safer at every level of the game. Missy Womack

Sincerest form of flattery

We could sit back and wait for the N.F.L., National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS), USA Football and Pop Warner to lead the way on football safety.

Football safety is largely up to parents, argues Brooke de Lench, working with all other groups in their community with a stake in making football safer, including independent football organizations, school boards, school superintendents, athletic directors, coaches, school nurses and psychologists, and other health care providers, to improve football safety at the grassroots level.

NOCSAE Voiding of Certification For Sensor-Equipped Helmets: A Big Blow To Player Safety

Last week many of the technology manufacturers who have been working diligently to produce products to make helmeted sports such as football safer were dealt a severe, if not crippling, blow by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) when, out of the blue, it decided to view modification of helmets with third-party after-market add-ons as voiding its certification, which could only be regained if the helmet is retested with the add-on. Newcastle Racers wearing three different football helmets

Brooke de Lench believes that the new NOCSAE ruling voiding the certification for sensor-equipped helmets could not have come at a worse time, just as football - from the youth level to the NFL - is gearing up for the 2012 season. If not reversed or modified, de Lench fears that it will have harsh real-world consequences; not just on sensor manufacturers but on player safety and consumer choice.

Newcastle-Moore, Oklahoma Tornado Hit Close To Home

Two things have weighed heavily on my mind the past two weeks: the tornadoes that have ravaged the Oklahoma City area, and the professional and amateur storm chasers who risk their lives to follow them.  

On May 20, 2013, as I watched coverage of the EF-5 Newcastle-Moore tornado on CNN, I was worried about the football community in Newcastle, a town I had grown to know, respect and appreciate over the 8 months I spent visiting last year while producing and directing The Smartest Team documentary.  

Two things have weighed heavily on Brooke de Lench's mind the past two weeks: the Newcastle-Moore tornado that ravaged the Oklahoma City area, and the professional and amateur storm chasers who risk their lives to follow them.

A Mother's Day Wish List

It's May once again. Time for spring sports, warmer weather, longer days, and, of course, Mother's Day. This year, instead of celebrating mothers with the usual cards and flowers, I have put together a special wish list for the mothers, grand mothers, step mothers and other caregivers in this country with kids playing sports.

Brooke de Lench and Taylor Lench

Here's this year's list:

This Mother's Day, as has been her Brooke's practice in years past, she has a wish list for making youth sports better. Here's this year's list.

Improving Concussion Safety in High School Football: Promising Developments, But A Long Way To Go

It has been a good two weeks for parents looking to make high school football safer, with a number of promising developments. But it is not time to declare victory, and many questions remain to be answered.

The last two full weeks of April 2013 have been a good one for parents looking to make high school football safer, but it is not time to declare victory, and many questions remain to be answered,

Stricter Enforcement of Rules Against Helmet-to-Helmet Contact: The Time For Action Is Now

The most recent consensus statement on concussion in sport (1) states that "rule enforcement may be a critical aspect of modifying injury risk."    

Watch any high school football game and you will see a lot of helmet-to-helmet contact in the trenches, much of which has been technically illegal for over three decades. The problem is that penalties are rarely, if ever, called; so much so, that linemen see leading with their helmet, perversely, as a form of self-protection. The time for that to change is now.

The Smartest Team Is Out!

It's hard to believe that, after over a year of hard work, MomsTEAM's high school football documentary, "The Smartest Team, is finally being released

The release of MomsTEAM's high school football documentary, "The Smartest Team," is the culmination of everything we have learned over the last 13 years as the pioneer in youth sports concussion education, and 13 months working with a high school football community and a team of experts to implement a concussion risk management program we call the Six Pillars.

NFL's Goodell Speaks At UNC About Concussion Safety

On March 6, 2013, National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell spoke about concussion safety at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was there at the invitation of a leading concussion expert, Kevin Guskiewicz, PhD, ATC, Kenan Distinguished Professor and Director of the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center at UNC.

In a wide-ranging speech (see video below), Commissioner Goodell indicated that the NFL "stand[s] ready" to  "share any of our research with any other league," and expressed the belief that "we should all be working to make youth sports safer." 

We at MomsTEAM couldn't agree more. 

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